BOYS are busy threshing oats on the Louis Hammen farm in Ripon in 1945. The farm was located in the Hammen subdivision, where WaWa Avenue stands today. Sharing in the duties are Milo Klawitter, Jerry Grout, Arnold Hammen and Ervin Pinnow. The man on the left pitches oats into the thresher. Grout, center, tends the blower, assuring that the long stack makes an orderly pile. The man in the center with back to camera bags the oats as they roll down the chute. The man on the right helps load bags into the truck for delivery to the local grain dealer. Marty Hammen grew up on this farm.        RCP file photos
BOYS are busy threshing oats on the Louis Hammen farm in Ripon in 1945. The farm was located in the Hammen subdivision, where WaWa Avenue stands today. Sharing in the duties are Milo Klawitter, Jerry Grout, Arnold Hammen and Ervin Pinnow. The man on the left pitches oats into the thresher. Grout, center, tends the blower, assuring that the long stack makes an orderly pile. The man in the center with back to camera bags the oats as they roll down the chute. The man on the right helps load bags into the truck for delivery to the local grain dealer. Marty Hammen grew up on this farm. RCP file photos

     A FEW WEEKS AGO I quipped in a column that the street name “WaWa Avenue” is “what happens when you let toddlers create street names.”

     I was way off.

     No, a toddler was not involved.

     Rather, 93-year-old Riponite Marty Hammen’s father came up with it. Way back when, the entirety of Ripon’s north side was the Hammen farm.

     “Yep, 93 years ago I was born right there were WaWa is,” Marty said, noting with a laugh that he was “conceived and born” right in a home one door up from the corner of Oshkosh and Eureka streets, and that the corner house “is where my dad was brought up — seven boys and a girl.”

     So if anyone knows the secrets of that neighborhood — and where “WaWa” came from — it’s Marty. ...

     To read the entire column, including why Marty Hammen's dad named the street “WaWa,”see the Sept. 12, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.