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Couple celebrates 60th anniversary on Independence DaySubmitted: 07/05/2013
Story By Lex Gray


TOMAHAWK - "We met in a little bar in Gleason, place we used to hang out," says Neal Olkives.

"He happened to walk in and I said to my girlfriend, 'There�s a nice-lookin� guy,'" says Isabel. "He came and asked me to dance."

"We�ve been together ever since," says Neal.

Isabel and Neal Olkives started dating in 1951. Only wartime kept them apart.

"I was scheduled to go, had to go to service pretty quick," says Neal. "My buddy had already left in June, and I figured I was going to go soon."

That�s how the Olkives ended up with a rather unique anniversary: July 4, 1953.

"It happened to be the Saturday that fit in. Didn�t think anything of it being a holiday," says Neal. "We knew when the two brothers were going to get married, so we fit it in between, so that�s how it happened."

Neal shipped off to Missouri, then Germany, then Kansas. He was gone for four years, four months, and four days.

Of all their July 4th anniversaries, Isabel remembers one especially well.

"When he came back from Germany, that was kind of special, because he met our oldest son for the first time."

After Neal finished his service, the couple moved to southern Wisconsin.

But the Northwoods eventually drew them back. Now, they get to relive a wedding memory in Tomahawk almost every year.

"After we were married at the Harrison church, we came to town on Somo, and the parade was going on," says Neal.

"They put us in the parade, kind of by accident," says Isabel. "Our car was decorated, so the cop just kind of waved us in."

A July 4th parade makes for a unique start to a marriage. Maybe that�s the key to lasting 60 years. But the Olkives have other tricks, too.

"One thing, we never go to bed mad at each other," says Isabel. "Regardless of if we had a little tiff during the day, we still manage to kiss goodnight."

"Secret to 60 years? Never let the honeymoon go. That�s it," says Neal. "Every day is a new wedding day. Without all the frills, but nevertheless - when you get up in the morning and you look at your partner and she�s glowing on the side of the bed, you just know, that�s the way it oughta be."

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MINOCQUA - While the rain this weekend stopped some Memorial Day activities, businesses in the Northwoods saw sales boom. Rain made tourists head indoors to see what different businesses had to offer.

Many Minocqua area businesses said the weekend was very busy because of the rainy and cloudy weather. Business was slower Monday compared to the weekend.

At Dan's Minocqua Fudge this weekend, staff saw thousands come in to shop.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/30/2016

- We will take you across the Northwoods to show you Memorial Day celebrations that took place today.

- Plus, while the rain this weekend stopped some Memorial Day activities, businesses in the Northwoods saw sales boom.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - The gloomy weather made it difficult to stay outside for the entire weekend, but the rain brought a lot of people to the Pioneer Park Historical Complex.

The complex opened for the season on Saturday.

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ANTIGO - A group of tractor enthusiasts showed off their work Monday morning at Antigo's Memorial Day parade.

The Northwoods Tractor Club prides itself on refurbishing old tractors to like new condition.

The not for profit group started with just 20 members and has steadily grown to more than 100.

"Northwoods Tractor Club started in 2011 and it's a group of tractor enthusiasts that kinda thought well maybe we should get together and have an organization, maybe help out the community a little bit. So, we got together with 20 guys back then and now we're well over 100 members," says club President Mike McDougal.

Many of the tractors are hand me downs or ones that are too old to be used in the field.

That's why finding replacement parts can be tricky.

"A lot of times it's the family tractor that had been on their parents or grandparents farm. We reworked it and use it for parades such as today. Our whole general purpose of the organization is to raise money and establish an agriculture tractor museum up just north of Antigo is where we're looking at some land right now," says McDougal.

Many of the tractors date back to the 1930s.

Meeting are held on the last Monday of every month at Quinn's Bar in Neva Corners.

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ST. GERMAIN - Thousands of visitors come to the Northwoods each year in search of treasures old and new.

That's because one of the largest flea markets happens right in St. Germain.

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ARBOR VITAE - Many people enjoy being on the lake and away from work on Memorial Day.

But some volunteers were working hard Monday on local lakes to prevent the spread of AIS.

Volunteers from Clean Boats, Clean Waters work at different lakes to check boats as they come in and out of the water. They often catch common mistakes, and teach boaters how they can help stop the spread of AIS.

"They usually recommend draining the water up away from the landing that way anything mixed in with the water in the boat doesn't get back in the lake," said volunteer Aaron Tomasoski. "Pretty often people will drain it out. It's been that way for a while, but people are starting to get a hang of it. But we are making progress on that."

Clean Boats, Clean Waters is a state-wide volunteer program that grew out of a program called Milfoil Masters, created by Minocqua middle schoolers in 2003.

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CINCINNATI - Animal rights activists have gathered at the Cincinnati Zoo for a vigil in remembrance of a gorilla who was fatally shot to protect a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into its exhibit.

Dozens of people were outside the zoo Monday afternoon. They held signs with messages such as "Rest in Peace Harambe."

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