By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY – This year’s grand marshals for Rustic Lore are Tom and Judy Wink.
“We are excited and really honored! We were like oh? Are you kidding us,” said Judy.
Tom and Judy’s families both moved to the Emerald township around 1940 and since the beginning farming has been their way of life.
The couple had met during grade school, Tom went to Bell School and Judy attended Oakdale School. The couple would see each other when the two schools played ball but according to Judy there was no romantic connection, but in 1962 they would meet again at the bowling alley in Glenwood City.
“We actually lived just a few miles from each other,” Tom said.
Tom and Judy were married in the fall of 1963 and moved to the farmhouse in the Emerald Township to start their family and lives together.
The couple have seven children whom have all graduated from Glenwood High School and have 26 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren with two more still due to be born this year.
While raising their family, Tom continued to work on the farm and Judy worked as a farm wife and mother to their children. When their children were older Judy obtained several jobs outside of the home.
Their oldest son Mike has recently switched jobs after 30 years as an auto mechanic to now teaching how to work on cars at a technical school in Rosemount.
The middle five children (Mark, Dean, Donan, Barbe and Brent) still reside in area townships, either farming or commuting to the Cities every day for work. The youngest of the seven, Troy, started his second year teaching in Somerset, he has been teaching for 17 years.
All their kids will be attending the parade in support of their parents. “They are all really excited,” she said.
The one thing the couple agreed upon was no matter where life has taken them or their kids, or grandkids farming is rooted deep in their blood. For the Winks they grow what most farmers do in Wisconsin, corn, beans, hay, and alfalfa for the cattle that they have.
“They all have day jobs just so they can support their farming habits,” commented Tom.
Tom has been part of the Lions Club for many years and the couple would help during the Sunday chicken dinners for Rustic Lore, he still helps with the Knights of Columbus free throw contest.
“It is for all the public schools, and he worked it again this year and he’s 76,” Judy explained.
Before retiring Judy was a coordinator for the Red Cross blood drives and helped keep the books for their church St. John’s Catholic church in Glenwood City. “I did that for a little while then decided to retire again and that was it for me,” Judy said.
Now adays they focus on family, be it at a sporting event for one of the grandkids or just sitting down and spending time with them, that is the life for this year’s grand marshals.
“When the kids were younger we sometimes had to split up to make sure there was a parent at the sporting event for the kids,” Tom said.
And as their grandchildren got older the couple found themselves still attending all the games they could until last May when the last of the older grandchildren graduated from Glenwood City high school.
“We’re a sports family, but sometimes we find comfort just sitting at home watching tv too,” commented Judy.
They commented that even though they are Packer and Wisconsin Badger fans, that some of the kids strayed out to like the Minnesota Vikings.
“We all still get along though,” joked Tom.
With the upcoming events for Rustic Lore the parade has always been their favorite part of the weekend. “We plan to be down there each day taking part in one of the events… The kickball tournament Saturday we plan to be down there for too, and then I have a class reunion that afternoon, so it really got full,” according to Judy.
They also enjoy the coronation for the new court and watching their acts is a nice way to pass the time, explained Judy.
“Actually, we had two granddaughters that made it onto the court. Brent’s two girls, McKenzie and Elizabeth,” she said.
“They pretty much keep us busy with family events,” Tom chimed in.
To this day, the couple still live in the Emerald Township where Tom continues to work on the farm and Judy is retired. There is no doubt that Tom and Judy possess strong ties to the Glenwood City community.
You can find the couple starting Friday evening with the Rustic Lore picnic, or through out the weekend at any one of the events the city will host September 7-9.