News: Greenwood (Greenwood Centennial 1991)


Surnames: Humke, Meyers, Braun, Kappus, Meinhardt, Goeke, Horn, Olson, Navrestad, Suda, Standiford, Ewoldt, Pentz, Johnson, Buker, Sloniker

----Source: Scrapbook of Agnes (Bizjak) Wehrmann

Elmer Humke

Some said it was ugly, others fun. Elmer Humke’s beard finally won.

On a day when Greenwood’s hairiest men pitted facial growth against one another, it was a neat beard and a neighboring curly moustache that won for Humke the title of best Greenwood Centennial beard.

He won by a whisker.

Since a hairless day last spring when Greenwood Centennial organizers announced the start of the beard contest to help commemorate the city’s hundredth year, the city’s masculine members began brushing their bristles instead of lopping them off.

On Sunday, about a dozen brave brought forward their bushy beards.

“Talk about one grubby bunch,” bearded contestant Mike Meyers mentioned as he took his place in the judging line.

And indeed, some of the contestants were a bit shaggy, others lacking a hair here or there. But, the judges agreed, Humke’s beard best represented the Centennial theme.

“He looked the part,” judge Alice Braun said. Clad in an old fashioned suit and hat and carrying his grandfather’s pocket watch, Humke and his beard were the pick of the judging team.

“He just looked natural,” judge Edna Kappus agreed.

“It was unanimous, judge Clarence Meinhardt said. “His beard was nice and full. It was trimmed nice, very dense very well groomed.”

The judges had their hands full of thatched faces as they labored to pick the best of the bearded mugs. In the first category, the Abe Lincoln look-alikes, Harvey Goeke’s white whiskers won out over Harold Horn, Duane Olson and Tennes Navrestad.

In the second division, the Gabby Hayes clones, Eliot Suda’s full face of hair took first over Mike Meyers, Roger Standiford, Don Ewoldt and Don Pentz.

Finally, Humke won the third category—the neatly trimmed variety—over Harry Johnson, Bob Buker and Ed Sloniker.

Harvey Goeke

That pitted the chin crops of Humke, Goeke and Suda against one another. Suda, the youngster of the bunch at 29, sported a thick beard, long to the length of his neck, brown and brushy. Goeke’s bristles were white, and drifted like snow around the sweep of his jaw. Humke’s neatly mowed facial lawn had every stem in place, and the moustache curled deftly over his lip.

Eliot Suda

While all three were winning crops, the judges agreed, Humke’s growth just fit the Centennial theme too well to be overlooked.

By Tuesday, some of the contestants had already sacrificed their growth to a can of shaving cream. Others said they might just wear the hair a bit longer.

Humke thinks he might keep his winning whiskers intact, at least until after hunting season. “Everybody says I should keep it,” he said. “Sometimes I wonder.”

The owner of the city’s best beard said he got involved in the hairy contest back in February because his wife, Elvera, was the event’s organizer. All through the summer, he didn’t know and didn’t care if he would win the competition, he said.

Humke had a beard “a long time ago,” and he said his latest growth was at first slow. “Just like that it took off,” He said.

And his secret? “A lot of chicken manure, I think,” he said.

As for the judging team, none of them claims to be a certified facial hair expert, although Braun admits, “I have a son who has one.”

Likewise, the non-bearded Kappus said, “I have no idea,” why she was selected to judge.

Meinhardt, the only judge with any experience in the matter, also said he is not the most qualified beard judge. “I shave mine off first thing every morning,” he said.




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