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1920s theme set for Chamber of Commerce installment dinner
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It’s going to be a return to the 1920s flapper scene for the Ripon Chamber of Commerce members Thursday at for its annual installation dinner at the Ripon Community Center decorated to match the heyday of the 20th century when Ripon’s population was estimated at about 7,000.
Past chamber president John Mangelos is dressing in a double breasted pin-striped suit and will be wearing a fedora as will David Murphy a celebrated volunteer for many chamber activities during the past five years.
The dinner cocktail hour is scheduled for 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 serving tri-tip and chicken entrees to its guests. 
To add to the nostalgia of the event will be a historic fire truck nicknamed “Gertie” that was purchased as a flat bed and built into a fire truck in 1926 with a 250-gallon pump — a first for Ripon.  The late Chief Nick Van Dyken responded to calls with that vehicle from 1940 to about 1955.  It was built by Irv Goodwin who named “Gertie” after his wife Gertrude — reportedly to her chagrin.
Current chamber President Tamra Spade is dressing for the event in a black flapper dress with a string of pearls among her accessories and wearing long black gloves.  Spade said the evening promises to be an exciting and fun event. 
Mangelos, also president of the Ripon Historical Society, explained that the chamber was formed in 1923 tying the night into the business group’s early history.  He said the Women’s Improvement Club of the ‘20s played an important part in the formation of the chamber as it worked with the Ripon Board Trade in that era.
Mangelos added that the Women’s Improvement Club was formed to care for the Ripon Cemetery. He said they met in early years in the frame building on the northwest corner of Locust and First streets near the center of the downtown.  
Spade said Tuesday that she is hoping all her members will dress in the fun 1920s motif and experience the best ever installation event yet.
Returning to the board for another three years’ service are chairman Larry Stewart and board members John Mangelos, Daryl Bartels and Leo Zuber. Mangelos and Zuber are both past presidents in the chamber.
Spade commented, “We have all working forward so well I am pleased to see they are continuing their association with the chamber’s leadership.”
Tickets for the event are still available at the chamber office in the 900 block of West Main Street.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email