Augustana celebrates 50 years of tradition
By Julie Arbach
Augustana Lutheran Church’s Tea has been the unofficial kick-off to the Christmas season in Underwood for 50 years. Leona Ash and her daughter-in-law Linda Ash said the tea was started by Judith Hepper and Larry Evander. "They wanted to have something special in the church for ladies in the community," said Linda. "They used Larry’s tea service and that’s how it got started." Evander’s tea service is still being used, along with a set that was donated in memory of Gertrude Torske. "I remember Laura (Paulson) saying we had to have long dresses and high heels," said Leona. "And, all the fanciest stuff you had." Leona said she was busy having babies at that time and didn’t really fit into that class, but she made due with a borrowed dress. "I had borrowed a dress when we went to Jamaica and when they told me at church one morning that Marion Berg got sick and they needed me to serve, I remembered I had the dress, so I went home, put on my long dress and heels, changed wigs and went back to serve," said Leona. The tradition of the tea has evolved through the years, following today’s more casual attire as the years passed, but some things remain the same.