Louis Ettlin Celebrated 90 Years
Louis Ettlin celebrated his 90th birthday with a wingding party at Swiss Park in Newark on November 9, where the Gruber Family Band (GFB) lit up the room with their music. Louis has been part of our polka dance scene in Northern California as close to forever as you can get. He and his partner, Mary Reichmuth, are icons in Mt. Angel, Oregon where their picture adorns a 25 foot monument that stands in the middle of town. They have attended the Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel for over 15 years attired in traditional Bavarian costumes and were honored as Mt. Angel’s favorite dance couple. Hundreds of well-wishers joined Louis for this celebration including his family and many, many dance friends. Louis is high energy, dancing every dance and talking a mile a minute with a perpetual smile on his face. He wishes that Oktoberfest was year-round and is disappointed when he misses one. Just being around the guy lifts your spirit. GFB never disappoints us. They’re high energy and pump out great music – German, Austrian, Swiss, Polish, Slovenian, and American. The original Gruber Band was headed by Al Gruber, the paterfamilias of the Gruber clan. Al attended the celebration and joined GFB for a few numbers. He said he was very rusty and hadn’t played in 5 years. No one but Al knew it; he was great.
In photo: Louis Ettlin surrounded by Mary Reichmuth, Gail Haderle, & Mary Saber.