The day Grape Nuts rolled up to the farm

Can you imagine two New York producers driving down Highway 29 from Green Bay to check out a farm in Bonduel, Wisconsin, for a TV commercial? They spotted our farm up high on Dehn’s hill and turned off onto our little country road, up our steep hill and turned into our driveway. They got out and asked us how we would feel about “a gang” taking over the place.

Then they left to check out the place that had been recommended to them, but they came back and chose our farm overlooking miles of rolling hills and farmland toward Green Bay. From our hill, we could see the lights of Austin Straubel Airport at night, more than 30 miles away.

They came with a crew — two producers, camera crew and a filming coordinator. A Green Bay family had auditioned and had been selected to be the cast in the commercial.

Two days of intense filming kept the roads blocked off, but curious neighbors walked over to look on. Euell Gibbons, a naturalist and author of “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” starred in their many Grape Nuts commercials — including this one. Newspapers covered the event. Ken’s Drive Inn catered the meals for cast, crew and us.

At one point, a fatigued Euell Gibbons climbed the stairs to our bedroom so he could have a rest. Age was taking its toll on him. While downstairs, Nancy, the coordinator, kept us busy coming up with details for the table settings outside our door for the Herman’s Family Reunion scene. During the filming, we had to be absolutely quiet.

They worked patiently to get Euell to say his lines into a mike, which they would dub in later. The last day, Nancy checked out our antique shop and bought two of my restored trunks.

One of the producers found my upright piano in the family room and played, “How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen Green Bay.”

They paid us $1,000 for the use of our farm. It came in handy as we left for Mexico shortly after on a planned trip. We flew into Mexico City, and from there we were bused to Taxco where we bought silver rings. Then on to Acapulco where we vacationed and watched the cliff divers.

We felt blessed to have been chosen for this interesting filming experience on our farm and to have met Euell Gibbons.