2004 – Del the Gnometographer

The Gnometown tale of “Del the Gnometographer”
Delbert Thielke

A little gnome, named Delbert, was born in Appleton, a village not too far from Gnometown. His father ran the town’s grocery store during the depressed times in Gnomeland. He grew up to be a very charming young man, and attracted many young gnomettes. There was one special one from the village of Louisburg, not too far from Appleton that caught Del’s eye. They enjoyed each other’s company for a short time in high school.

Then, one day while Del was still in high school, darkness fell over all of Gnometown. Many large pumpkins had fallen from the sky and landed on the islands in the Gnome Sea. The pumpkins had fallen on several of the large boats in the harbor and killed many of the sailors. Del and many of the gnomes his age immediately decided that they should go and help defend Gnomeland from the invaders. Del signed up for the Boat Brigade, and set out in a large boat to sail after the invaders across the Gnome Sea.

One day while Del was walking on the deck of the boat, he noticed an older gnome who didn’t appear to be working like the rest of the sailors. The older gnome was walking around and was pointing a black box at other sailors as they worked. Sometime the box would give off a flash of light. Del wondered what on earth that fellow was doing, so he approached the fellow. Del said, “Hello, sir. What is your name?” The older fellow answered, “My name if Kodak, nice to meet you young fellow.” Del the asked Kodak what he was doing with that black box and the flashing lights. Kodak said that he was a gnometographer, and that the Sea Brigade had hired him to record the activities on the gnome boat. He said that if you held the black box up and pushed a special button, the black box somehow captured whatever he pointed the box at and put the image on a piece of magical paper.

Del was really impressed and asked Kodak if he would teach hi how to use the black box to make the magical images. Kodak told him that he couldn’t teach him, but that Del could go to magic school after he was done and the Boat Brigade, and learn how to use the magical black box.

So, that is what Del did. After he left the Boat Brigade he went to magic school in Chicago. There he learned how to use that black box to make his own magical images. He finished magic school, married that little gnomettes that had caught his eye in high school and moved to Gnometown. He wanted to build a business making magical images for all of Gnometown. To get the business going he knew that he must have a building that was easy to find. So, he built his studio a block off of Main Street and painted it a bold green color with bright red trim. He also placed a large sign on the front of the building that said, “Del’s Gnometown Studio”. Del’s studio business prospered, and he continued to make magical images for the gnomes in Gnometown and the surrounding area, for over 500 years.

Delbert Thielke was born in Appleton, Minnesota. His father ran the town’s grocery store. After high school, Del enlisted in the U.S. Navy and sailed on an aircraft carrier during World War II. When he returned from the Navy, he went to photography school in Chicago.

He then married Myra Iverson, his high school sweetheart; moved to Dawson an opened is photography studio. They raised three children: Paul, Jane and Scott. Del’s wife, Myra, passed away in December of 1978.

Del married Anna Mae Thoreson, who had also lost her spouse in June of 1984. Anna Mae has eight children: Bob, Mary, Don, Margaret, Tom, Jim, Margie and Marie.

Del retired from the photography business after over 50 years in the business. Even though Del and Anna Mae are retired, they continue to be vary active members of the community, helping other in any way that they can.


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