9/11 Memorial Pools Model to be on Display
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 911 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit featured during the 2016 Farmers Day is returning to Jesup's 2021 Farmers Day, bigger and better than ever. "This is going to be the biggest and best Farmers Day ever!" promises Farmers Day's biggest fan, Alan Wright. Wright has instigated many additions to the festivities this year. One of the most impressive is the scale model of one of the two 9/11 Memorial Pools located at the site of the former World Trade Center Complex in New York City.

Once Wright had the vision, he didn't think twice about the best person to implement it. Donny Jacobsen had created the large tyrannosaurus rex for the 2018 Farmers Day; he could construct a Memorial Pool. Jacobsen did a lot of research on the internet trying to find out how it was constructed. "They don't give many dimensions," he noted, but he was able to find the basics, and decided a 1/50 replica would be the way to go.

There are two main pieces: the interior square which everyone sees, and the exterior square, that holds 15 gallons of recirculating water and serves as the base. The water flow is fueled by a 1,000 gallon/hour pool pump. The lighting is provided by strip LED waterproof lights. Every effort has been made to perfectly mimic the original. Jacobsen made the Memorial Pool in his industrial welding and machining shop on Reuter Road, using structural steel and steel sheeting. He applied leveling devices to each leg to ensure perfect alignment. Once the pool was assembled and tested for the correct water flow (the first pump he tried wasn't big enough), it was ready for the finish work.

The Pool was transported to Jesup Paint and Body, where Darryle Else etched away the rust and applied the appropriate paint to each portion of the structure. Five different paints were required to match the original, ranging from the marble/granite exterior to the turquoise/sage green interior.

The Memorial Pool will be placed on First Presbyterian Church property on the corner of Sixth Street and Hawley, across from the Jesup library.



Fire Hose Flag
Alan Wright's daughter-in-law, Cari Wright, won an art piece of an American Flag made out of fire hose at Fairbank Days last year. Once Wright saw it, he was hooked. He knew he wanted to create something similar. After a few months of engineering some changes, he started the project in January.

He knew the Jesup Fire Department had old hose, no longer fit to be used, in storage. He asked, and they gave it to him. Inserting wood pieces 2.5" x .5" into the hose would create a strip the same size as the 13 stripes on a standard 3' x 5' flag. The star section would be assembled the same way. The inserts would give the pieces stability and aesthetic depth.

The old fire hose was white; some sections had printing on them Wright wanted to preserve. He painted the sections that needed to be blue and red. He asked Hawkeye Tool and Die if they could make a template for him to use in painting the 50 stars. They did.
All the strips were attached to a plywood backing, and Wright finished the project with an oak frame.

The year 1962 is imprinted on one of the pieces. This is especially meaningful to Wright because he served on the Jesup Fire Department during that time and figures he handled that hose in action. Wright's father, Chet Wright, was also a Jesup firefighter.

Wright was so pleased with the finished project that he created a second one. Both will be on display Farmers Day: one will be displayed with the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, placed on an easle Wright also created; the second one will be on the back of the First Presbyterian Church parade float. After Farmers Day, Wright is keeping one and donating the other to the Jesup Fire Department.

Over 500 flags line streets of Jesup – thanks to donors
Got Flags

Last April, at the funeral of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, Alan Wright was impressed with the large display of American flags. He thought it would be wonderful to have a similar flag display welcome the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit as they came into town this Farmers Day. But the price at which the City could buy flags was prohibitive.

He shared the idea with Legacy's owner, Matt Seastrand. Seastrand agreed it would be a great gesture, and decided to check out the internet to see what he could find. He was able to find some full-size flags at an affordable price and bought them out! During the course of their conversation, Wright had mentioned he might be able to borrow the ones used at Cedar Crest cemetery, but they were getting to be in pretty tough shape. So Seastrand actually bought 600 flags, donating 560 to Farmers Day, Inc., and another 40 to the cemetery.

What drives a person to make such a large gift? Seastrand is a strong believer in paying it forward. "When you are an active member of a community, that's just what you do." Plus, he and Alan Wright go way back. In his younger days, Seastrand says he was the farthest northeast stop on the Jesup Community School bus route. Apparently he could get a little rowdy back then, and Wright, his bus driver, kicked him off the school bus for one week. Shana, a JHS student open enrolled to Jesup from Oelwein, drove by and gave him a ride every day. Today Matt and Shana are married and co-owners of Legacy's Bar & Grille. "So I owe him a lot, actually," says Seastrand.

Got Poles

Once the need for poles was known, an anonymous source stepped forward and donated the necessary flagpoles.

Got Labor

With the flags and poles secured, the next question was where would they be placed and who could do it? Jesup Public Works Director Mike Fettkether works with computer models of Jesup's Streets every day, he could lay out the plan. Five streets (South, Hawley, North, Sixth and Main) would have flags placed about forty feet apart, stretching across virtually the whole town. Utilizing GPS, Fettkether's crew drove the streets, hopping out at approximate 40' intervals to paint a white mark on the curb, indicating where a flag should go. 

Jesup firefighters, with the assistance of other civic groups, would use a masonry drill to provide a hole in the ground about a foot deep where the flagpoles could be inserted.  

Got Storage

The last challenge was how and where to store 560 flags and poles when not in use. Steelworker and welder Donny Jacobsen created a pallet type structure that would fit inside a pickup bed. The weight of the structure and the load of flags would require a forklift to move in and out of the pickup. When not in transit, the pallet of flags and poles will be protected in the Farmers Day warehouse.