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Generations Reflections by people 55 and over

APRIL 2018

April 19 & 20, 2018 Willmar Civic Center Free admission

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D2 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D3

Welcome... M

ore than 1,000 attendees are expected at the 19th annual Life Connections event Thursday, April 19, and Friday, April 20, at the Willmar Civic Center in Willmar.

Hours are 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, featuring speaker Al Newman, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, featuring keynote speaker Don Shelby. Life Connections has become a tradition for mature adults of Willmar and southwest Minnesota, providing exhibits, seminars, entertainment and probably most important — interaction — for those who attend. This year’s event will once again include an evening session on Thursday to make it easier for more people to participate in the event, and to allow for more speakers and events, as well as time to visit the exhibitor booths. Featured at the evening session will be former Twins Major League Baseball player and coach Al Newman. Bring your jerseys, baseball, bats and more to get them signed by Newman during the meet-and-greet starting at 5:30 Thursday, April 19. Enjoy a “ballpark” supper from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and listen to Newman’s entertaining and empowering speech starting at 6:30. Friday’s session will open with a Dad’s Belgian Waffles breakfast, beginning at 8:30 a.m. There will also be bingo, the Outstanding Senior Award presentation, sweet treats and coffee, musical entertainment by the Kingery family of Grove City, dance music by the Wendinger Band, bringing back the rich, musical heritage of New Ulm, and much more.

Don Shelby, widely considered the most decorated and honored local television journalist in the country, will be the featured speaker on Friday, April 20, beginning at 12:15 p.m. Shelby is a retired news anchor for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. Transportation from the parking lot of the Civic Center to the front door will again be provided, and admission to the event is free, including all speakers, seminars, booth exhibits and other activities. “Once again we are excited to bring Life Connections to the residents of west central Minnesota,” said Christie Steffel, advertising manager at the West Central Tribune heading up the Life Connections event. “This year’s event proves to be ‘bigger and better’ than ever, with the added evening session on Thursday and our two-day dynamic speaking duo featuring Al Newman and Don Shelby. We are especially honored to have Don and Al here to share their messages with our attendees. “And we still have the exhibitors, entertainment, seminars and a lot of fun, with a lot of ‘hands-on’ programs. This event has a real following here in Willmar. Come join your friends for breakfast, sweets and coffee, or to play bingo; enjoy live music from the Wendingers and Kingery family. You are sure to have a great time.”

Tribune file photo

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D4 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Outstanding Senior to be named at Life Connections person has been involved in; the end results and benefits of the individual’s efforts and contributions; and comments as to how this person’s efforts have helped to make their community a better place. For more information, call 214-4317 or email csteffel@ Sponsor of the award is West Central Sanitation of Willmar.

2017 recipient Gary Bonnema was named the 2017 Outstanding Senior Citizen. He was honored for displaying a “servant’s heart” across a lifetime of volunteering and caregiving on behalf of young and old. He and his wife, Corrine, were involved for many years as mentors and leaders to youth in their church congregation. After his wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and seriously injured in a traffic crash in 1993, he became her primary caregiver, a role he held until her death in 2016.

Bonnema helped establish a weekly Bible study at the Kandiyohi County Jail and has co-led the group for 17 years, showing up almost every Tuesday night for prayer and talk with the inmates. His concern for their lives often extends beyond these sessions in the form of providing a motel room for a couple of nights after an inmate is released, offering a ride home to the Twin Cities or making sure an

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Tribune file photo

Gary Bonnema helped establish a weekly Bible study at the Kandiyohi County Jail and has co-led the group for 17 years, showing up almost every Tuesday night for prayer and talk with the inmates. Bonnema was named Outstanding Senior Citizen at the annual Life Connections event in 2017.

inmate has a warm coat or jacket. More recently he became a supporter of The Fortress, a 31-bed group home in Willmar that assists men in making the transition from jail or treatment back into society and employment. Bonnema is often seen at The Fortress offering words of inspiration, mentoring someone or picking somebody up for coffee or a meal and an encouraging conversation.

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The selection of an outstanding senior for the year is a favorite feature of Life Connections. This year will be the ninth year of the award. The award will be presented at 10:25 a.m. Friday, April 20. The Outstanding Senior Award will be given to an individual age 50 or older who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment that benefits the community and its citizens. Leadership qualities include creativity, volunteerism, responsibility, problem-solving, respectfulness, cooperation and organizational skills. Nominees must live in Kandiyohi, Swift, Chippewa, Renville, Meeker, Pope or Stearns counties. The winner will receive a $100 award, plus $100 donated to the charity of his or her choice. In addition, the person providing the nomination will receive $50. Nominations must include a description of the projects, activities and/or volunteerism the


West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D5

Life Connections entertainers Entertainers at the Life Connections 2018 event on April 20 will include the Kingery family musicians, of the Atwater-Grove City area, and the Wendinger Band, above, bringing the rich, musical heritage of New Ulm to the Willmar Civic Center arena. The Kingery family will put on a musical show in the morning, while the Wendinger Band will play at 2:30 p.m. for an afternoon of dancing and entertainment. Whitney Music will provide the Wandering Minstrels throughout the event.

The Kingery family began as a family of 10 – Mike, Chris, and their eight children – singing and ministering together through music. It has grown to include two sonsin-law and seven grandchildren. They have enjoyed singing together for the past 16 years. They sing primarily gospel bluegrass music while also incorporating fiddle, patriotic, Americana and a Capella. Their combination of tight harmonies, uplifting songs and family unity are sure to encourage all.

Tribune file photo

Jay Ellingson, from left, Bob and Jeanne Whitney, are the Wandering Minstrels, music provided by Whitney Music, at the 2017 Life Connections event.

Wendinger Band

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D6 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Don Shelby, Al Newman are keynote speakers at Life Connections 2018 Don Shelby and Al Newman will be the keynote speakers at the Life Connections event at the Willmar Civic Center. Newman will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, and Shelby will speak at 12:15 p.m. Friday, April 20. Both presentations are open to the public free of charge. Don Shelby Don Shelby has been a reporter and television anchor for 45 years. Before retiring from daily journalism in November 2010, he worked for 32 years as anchor, investigative reporter and environmental correspondent for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Shelby is considered the most honored and decorated local television journalist in the country. He has won three national Emmys, as well as a host of other awards, including the National Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and has twice won the Pulitzer Prize of Shelby broadcasting: The George Foster Peabody. He was honored in 1983 with the top award for investigative reporting by the International Radio and Television News Directors Association, and he has been awarded more than two-dozen regional top honors from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Associated Press and United

Press International. He was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008, and television’s Silver Circle. He’s also been named the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian of the Year. In 2010 he was named Distinguished Minnesotan, an honor he shares with such luminaries as renowned conservationist and author Sigurd Olson and polar explorer Will Steger. Shelby has reported from locations spanning the globe, including Romania, Egypt, Iraq, Venezuela, Australia and the Arctic Circle – to name a few. He originated the I-Team concept in 1980, and developed Project Energy in 2005. He reported nationally on the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and from the scene of the terrorist attack in Oklahoma City. In 2010 he reported on the war in Iraq from Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, embedded with the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division of the Minnesota National Guard which was in operational command of the southern half of that country. Upon completion of the assignment, the Minnesota Adjutant General, Major General Richard Nash, called Shelby, “Our Ernie Pyle,” refer-

Life Connections Thursday, April 19th 5-7:30 & Friday, April 20th 8:30-2:30 SHUTTLE RIDES COURTESY OF

AND 001710350r1

ring to the famous World War II reporter. He also had a 10-year term as a drive-time radio personality for WCCO-AM 8-3-0. He interviewed more than 2,000 national newsmakers during that time, and began a weekly segment known as E-Day, in which he dedicated three hours every week to the discussion of alternative energy, global warming, environment, ecology and the new economy of energy efficiency. Shelby is an avid outdoorsman and primitive survival specialist. Over the years, he has spent much of his free time climbing ice falls, mountains, hiking and canoeing his beloved Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.

West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D7

Al Newman

It is safe to say if you are a Minnesota Twins fan then you know the name Al Newman. He is one of seven Twins who hold two World Series rings. Newman started his Major League Baseball career by signing with the Montreal Expos in 1982 after turning down the Angels, Rangers and Mets. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in 1987 – for the most exciting five years in Twins history. A sure-handed defensive infielder who could play all over the place, Newman was a valuable utility player and fast runner. Primarily a second baseman, he also played shortstop, third base and left field at some point in his career. New-

man was a member of two World Championship teams with the Twins in 1987 and 1991. His most productive season came in 1989, when he posted careerhighs in stolen bases (25), hits (113), doubles (18), runs batted in (38), runs (62) and batting average (.253). He also played for the Rangers in 1992, his last major league year as a player. Following his playing career, Newman managed and coached for the Minnesota Twins organization from 1993 through 2005. He became an advance scout with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006. Whether playing or coaching, Newman’s bubbly personality brought a lot of energy to the clubhouse; he was

always smiling and laughing, keeping the players loose and eager to play with a positive attitude. You’ve seen him on TV, post-season pre-game and post-game shows. You’ve heard his voice on KFAN, WCCO, KKMS, WWTC and many other stations. He is the face and moving force behind the Al Newman Foundation. With his love for baseball and his desire to help kids, you would often find Newman helping out high school and college players. He’s done clinics for those boys who really want to focus on baseball, teaching the fundamentals of the game but will also talk about the “D’s” Desire, Dedication and Determination.


About this section: Generations, formerly Prime Time, sections are published periodically throughout the year as a special section within the West Central Tribune. People age 55 and older are invited to write stories and submit pictures or other artwork for publication in these sections. We recognize that senior citizens have much knowledge and experience. What better way to share that with the community than by writing an article for publication? We invite all interested senior citizens to contribute articles. They may deal with serious issues, or tell human interest stories. Photos or other graphics may be included with the submission of your article to help illustrate the piece. If you need a photo returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Try to keep articles to within 500 words. Articles may be sent to: Generations, West Central Tribune, Box 839, Willmar, Minn. 56201; or emailed to with Generations in the subject line. Generations sections are currently published January, April and October. For additional information, call 320-235-1150.

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D8 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. 001712165r1

Awareness By Bev Goodmund Blomkest Taking Charlie out at 5 a.m. It’s still dark and the start of a new day I feel the wind blowing in my face The moon light allows me to see the trees … Watch the leaves gently sway The birds are singing, all seems at peace My little corner of the world seems secure But … Not so in this world where evil abounds Things cannot go on as they are and … Something has to give To watch the evening news is an awakening Fearful times of uncertainty So much evil and hatred, times have changed My little corner seems secure but for how long Freedom is a precious gift to cherish I thank God for giving me peace I thank Him for the help from my friends For things I don’t know how to do Those things my loving husband once did Things I took for granted, the guy things Living alone makes me more aware … I’m not as independent as I think I am I thank God for watching out for me.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D9

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah By Corrine Nelson Grove City The words from the Walt Disney movie go like this: Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay My, oh my, what a wonderful day Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay Today we hear these words, they take us to the pinpoint of accurately determining precisely the point of creative power in a word. Editor’s note: “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is a song composed by Allie Wrubel with lyrics by Ray Gilbert from the Disney 1946 live action and animated movie Song of the South, sung by James Baskett. For “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song… For many years the song was part of an opening theme medley for the Wonderful World of Disney television program and it has often been used in other TV and video productions by the studio. It is one of many popular songs that features a bluebird (“Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder”), epitomized by the “Bluebird of Happiness,” as a symbol of cheer. The song is influenced by the chorus of the pre-Civil War folk song “Zip Coon,” a “Turkey in the Straw” variation: “Zip a duden duden duden zip a duden day”. – Wikipedia

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D10 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Grandma’s wall of heroes By Cpt. Jacob Morris Willmar Who did you look up to when you were a young child? Who were the people you pretended to be when playing with your siblings or friends? Astronauts? Athletes? These are common choices for the imaginations of kids. When I was a young boy, I pretended to be largerthan-life characters from movies just like anyone else. However, my true heroes, the people I looked up to the most and wanted to be more than anything, were faces I had grown up seeing all the time. At my Grandma Johnson’s house in Northfield, on the edge of farm country in beautiful, snowy Minnesota, I have innumerable happy memories of Thanksgivings, Easters and Christmases. No matter what fun activities the family would be doing together, inevitably we would have dinner in the dining room. Along the walls of the dining room were many, many pictures that should adorn the home of a grandmother. Pictures of her children in grade school, now grown with children of their own. Graduations. Marriages. Grandchildren being born. I memorized every single one to exquisite detail, but the ones that made me stand and stare were the soldiers, sailors and Marines. My Uncle Michael “Mike” Morris standing proudly in his bright dress white Navy uniform staring

straight ahead with a hint of smile was the first pic- realities of military life. My grandfather’s overall ture you would see walking in the front door. It was assessment of being in the Army: “It keeps you on impossible to miss as it was tied for the largest in your toes.” the room. Right below it hung a photo of his aircraft My father, Tony Morris, looking majestic in his carrier from the perspective of a helicopter, the crew U.S. Marines blue dress uniform, ribbons decoratcrammed together on the bow with men dangling ing his chest from his service in Operation Desert their feet off the front of the ship. Shield/Desert Storm, was my ultimate hero in this My Grandfather George Johnson served in the pantheon of American champions. His steely gaze cemented in my young mind as the Army in the era of the Vietnam War. He was drafted high standard to hold all military warriors against. and sent to Germany as a cook. Throughout my whole childhood, I devoured the Before leaving the United States, he was given a stories of my father’s exploits and adventures, full round of vaccinations. That evening, his squad regaling classmates and teachers with my enthusileader grabbed him and dragged him to get the vacasm to re-tell the tales. cinations again because his name was not marked complete on the list, despite my grandfather’s protests. With a second dose in his system, he writhed in pain all night and was late for formation the · Uses volunteer drivers who use their personal next morning. His comvehicle to transport seniors. pany commander gave him an Article 15 for · Available Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. missing formation. Real-life anecdotes · Available to residents who are at least 60 years of age such as this punctuatand who register with CCT. ed my childhood and prepared me for the

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I wanted to be my father more than anything and, today, after two decades of time, six years of active duty, two Middle East tours including running route clearance missions as a platoon leader in Eastern Afghanistan, I still want to be my father. In 2016, as I attended the Captain’s Career Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, I sent my Grandma Johnson a framed photo of myself in my Army Service Uniform. She put up my picture in the dining room and I joined my grandmother’s wall of heroes. Men have served on both sides of my family for generations all the way back to my Great-Grandpa Farenbaugh who served in New Guinea and Korea

in the Korean War. To join the ranks with these prodigious men has been the number one motivating factor for me to join the U.S. Army and every day that I serve, I think of those who have gone before me. I strive to be a soldier worthy of their extraordinary company. On my second tour in the Middle East, I am proud to hold the line while the rest of my family is safe back home. As long as America needs protection, it seems there will be someone from the small farming community in Minnesota willing to go into the dark places. Today, I think of my heroes and take my turn.

D12 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D13

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D14 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Memories of the past: My story By Bob Erickson Willmar I was born in Willmar on 3-3-33, the height of the depression, with a sister, Phyllis, three years older. In 1939 our father died. This was a difficult time for mother, as there were no government safety nets, and mother received $43 a month from an insurance policy and she had to go get a full-time job. It was difficult time for Phyllis and I, having no father. In 1942 mother remarried and we moved to a small farm north of Willmar. Our farm was 93 acres with 37 acres of cropland and a meager income from cows, pigs and chickens. Having no father for those three years made me shy and timid. With the inquisitive nature of my Swedish ancestry and humor of my Danish, I learned to express humor, but beneath the radar. It was no coincidence I brought the snake to LaVerna. One of my first teachers was Ida Admunson. She also helped her sister operate a cafe in Willmar. She sensed my loneliness and each Monday she brought me comic books left in the cafe, and there was no resentment from my classmates. I lived the farthest from school, 2 miles, with three-quarter mile of country road and 1¼ of narrow township road which was seldom plowed of

snow until the second or third day after a snowstorm. This made it difficult walking for short legs, but I don’t believe I ever missed a day of school, or was late. I knew that on stormy days there would be fewer kids and we would play most of the day. During one storm Roger and James Carlson, who lived by the school, asked, “Why don’t you stay the night with us?” “Great idea.” We had no phone, but mother would know I was safe. That was fun and I tried it a second time, getting home to an irate mother. She said “if you can get to school you can make it home.” With the nearest schoolmate over a mile away, and no bike, I was lonely. It was the war years and we heard and read about the war and fighting. I got an idea to make my own war games with lady finger firecrackers. I would take our green apples, poke a hole with a nail and put in a lady finger. I would light the fuse and throw the apple just before it exploded, that was my hand grenade. One time it exploded prematurely and I had a handful of apple sauce – no harm. I would take an ear of corn and use a nail to make a hole in the cob center. I would put in a lady finger and then tease the pigs until I lit the fuse and threw it to them. It would blow the kernels off the cob, but did not hurt the pigs. I couldn’t fool them twice. I would take a one-pound coffee can and fill it full

of water. I would take a small piece of cardboard, cut a slot and squeeze in the firecracker and place it in the water with most of the lady finger below the water. It would make a two-foot geyser and expand the sides of the can. I sank that ship. We had deworming pills we put in the chicken’s water. They were about the size of a 50-cent piece and looked like gray chalk, and didn’t taste too bad. One day I took some to school and gave the young kids some “candy.” No problem. A few days later I brought some chocolate candy, Ex-Lax. That night one of the Wieses had to make a stop in the corn field, no problem. With little money on the farm, trapping was always a sure money maker and I made a school trap line on the 1¼ miles to the County Road and our mailbox. I mostly caught skunks but they were 2 or 3 dollars – a lot at that time. One dark morning a trap was pulled into a culvert and I bent down to grab the chain to see what I had. As I pulled the chain I saw an upset skunk, caught by the back foot, and it let fly catching me in the left eye. I had seen the anguish of our dogs being sprayed in the eyes and now I understood it. The fumes immediately closed the right eye and now I was blind. I fell back against the road shoulder, in great pain. It took about 15 to 20 minutes to get some sight in my right eye and then slowly in


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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D15

Submitted photo

Bob Erickson, right, stands with LaVerna (Noland) Birkland, his former teacher, by the old cottonwood tree that was part of the old country school’s playground in the 1940s. Erickson once brought a snake to school to give to his teacher - he reportedly had a sense of humor. Birkland is holding an old bell from the school which she bought at an auction for $52; the old country school was closed in 1970. my left eye. Now I was in a dilemma. If I went home mother would stop my trapping and what would happen if I went to school? I couldn’t sacrifice my trapping money, so I trudged to school and that mile and a half helped me clear my eyes and head. Getting to school, it was in session and I quietly snuck into the cloak room. The teacher heard or smelled me and quickly came into the cloak room. At first she seemed upset, but seeing my red eyes and forlorn look, her look quickly changed it to a look of sympathy. She said I should put my cap, coat and gloves on the porch and I could sit in the back of the room. It was an interesting day as the kids would look back at me, holding their nose. Getting home I didn’t tell mother the whole truth and I continued trapping. She heard about it at the school Christmas program and thought it was amusing.

The oldest girl in the school was the self-appointed leader, except for me. I was independent and she didn’t like that. We played a lot of work-up softball and I was the oldest boy and most athletic. When I was batting she would always yell “get Bob out.” I was the pitcher on our team and we had a game with another school and I told “leader” I wasn’t going to pitch, she could. She had to ask the teacher to persuade me to pitch. Even in my youth I had a theory, don’t get mad – get even. Those were the days when most farmers bought a can of smoking tobacco, a roll of cigarette papers and rolled their own cigarettes. As now, kids like to imitate their parents. One day “leader” got some cigarette papers and matches and took the kids into the cornfield to smoke. In the fall as the corn ripened, the corn silk would dry up and turn brown, resembling tobacco. I told her I wasn’t going, partly to diminish her ego.

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Then Elroy Wig decided to stay with me. As the teacher came out to check on us at recess, she asked Elroy and me where the others were. That month Elroy and I got an “A” in deportment (behavior, manners) and they all got a “D.” In support of the war, the county school students were asked to collect the floss from milkweed pods. At that time it was used for life jackets. In our one-room country schools, we lacked most athletic activities and social life, but I believe our education was equal to any town school. One advantage we had was that growing up in our one-room school we could usually listen in to the discussion and class work of the grades above us. I always had dedicated teachers and we learned to respect each other. It was always an honor to be asked to assist on the tasks to maintain the school. I feel fortunate to have had that opportunity. This is the third and final story in a series of stories surrounding the history of myself and District 62, the old country school eight miles north of Willmar.

D16 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

The corner grocery By David V. Levine Fargo, N.D., formerly of Willmar

While it lasted, it was a warm and fuzzy staple of the nation’s neighborhoods. The Corner Grocery is long gone and with it a stop-over place where neighbors talked and got an exercise walking to and from your home. Willmar had four scattered corner groceries. That’s where you went to pickup miscellaneous groceries, maybe some select cold cuts, dairy and produce. All of it cost more than the uptown stores, called supermarkets, and that was an understood for obvious reasons. Corner grocery stores were yesteryear’s version of today’s convenience stores, minus the slickness, the gas pumps, the car washes and multi-checkout cash registers. We had one a couple blocks from our house

called the Southside Grocery Store. Yeah, there were a few loaves of bread on the shelves and a very small canned good selection. I don’t remember seeing much produce, although they did stock bananas. This little place lasted through the years, maybe longer than the other corner groceries. For one good reason. Real estate folks coined the phrase location, location, location. Willmar’s Southside Grocery had one of the more envious locations in town, just across the street from dear old Willmar Junior and Senior High School. That location meant that the potential student count for grades seven through 12 was approximately 1,000, most with jingling change in their pockets. This store will long be remembered for one goofy reason. It had action from 7 a.m., when students started for the hallowed halls, right up to around to 6 p.m., when athletic and stage and choir practices finished. But here’s the best part. There was, I believe, four minutes between classes throughout the day. The nicotine crowd used those short timeouts to race out the school’s back and side doors over to the store’s backside.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D17

amount. I have no idea how long the Southside Grocery lasted, but I know it was active all through the ‘40s and ‘50s. I lived in Minneapolis during grade school days in WWII. I remember the corner grocery in our neighborhood got chocolate buttons delivered once a week. They looked like chocolate chips and were stuck 50 to a sheet, cost maybe a dime, and the line went half way around the block. Maybe mom and pop shops got their name from the old corner groceries. Anyway, we all miss ‘em. Heck, in our retirement, many of us would enjoy having one, just for something to do. It sure would be a nice return to a lovely time.

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By Corrine Nelson Grove City Today we seem lost in the fast pace our inventions have taken us. In a west central Minnesota town stands a church, a reminder of the history of the past and the truth which underlines the benefits of responsibilities we have for others. In 1940 this church had a Sunday School of 130 children and 12 teachers, creating service occupations of many kinds. Doctors, bankers, farmers and the list goes on. This photo brings back many mellifluous memories of our history in the time of truth and power.


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Maybe five to 10 kids would stand behind the place, lightup, and take a few drags of satisfaction before racing back to beat the four-minute buzzer. But if you remained in the school and happened to look out the window, you’d think the Southside Grocery was on fire as the smoke of Camels, Lucky Strikes, Chesterfield and Phillip Morris rose like a chimney. That went on year-in, yearout. Of course, the ground behind the store was filled with countless butts and the pile grew worse over the winter. Kids smoking wasn’t against the law. It was just frowned upon. And no one was supposed to sell cigs to kids. But forget that one. The Southside Grocery was run by an elderly little guy in a white apron and his middle-aged bespectacled son. During the above-mentioned breaks, before and after school, the kids ran over for candy bars, gum, mints, cough drops, licorice sticks, little note tablets, pencils, etc., etc. In other words, and in other places, it might commonly be called a candy store. All that can be said is that the dad and son combo were always ready for the rush. I don’t recall they had a cash register, but used deep apron pockets to carry and make change and were very good at it. If it was a multi-item purchase, out would come tablet and pencil to total the

D18 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

A signed blank check By Mary Lou Pederson Blomkest The price of freedom, a signed blank check, From the halls of Montezuma Through the death march of Bataan, To men like General Patton, known as “Old Heck.” Soldiers throughout centuries gone by, Laying their lives on the line, Some lived, some died, some barely live, They fought for our country, freedom’s flag held high. Fitful sleep in foxholes to trenches, K-rations their sustaining food, The sizzling heat, the bitter cold, bullets whizzing by, Enduring, the mud and muck of war, completely drenches To these brave men and women of all ranks, Our country owes its deepest debt. As we live as always on peaceful soil, To them we owe more than we can give, our greatest thanks. Our brother lived, our neighbor died. Our brother is home now, only half the man. Now facing a whole new war, With PTSD, missing limbs and missing eyes. Are we saying genuine thanks for all you have done, With our two helping hands, our two strong legs and two seeing eyes? If we haven’t, we haven’t given them their well-deserved purple heart, And the battle has really not yet been won. Freedom’s price is great indeed. The star spangled banner still flies its highest, Our country still stands strong. Because the red color of freedom, is a freedom that bleeds.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D19

Clutter By Doug Bultman Spicer The older we get, the more we hate clutter. Junk underfoot, makes our heart flutter. Destroying old pictures, our minds turn to butter. We find out once more, we’re just not a cutter. Those shoes in the closet, no longer fit, And jeans that were saved in spite of crotch split. They take up space, we have to admit, Just like my torn old baseball mitt. A box full of trophies, depicting lost skills, Of days long ago, reminders of thrills. Flies full of paper and old worthless billws, Why did I pay for that unused treadmill? A desk full of records, some new and some old, A drawer filled with pens and one old billfold. Batteries in a bag, beginning to mold, I’m finding more trash, than my bucket will hold. My jewelry box, a tangled mess, Long forgotten and fashionless. No value here, I would guess, This pile of jewels, we must dis-possess. What should I do with what I throw out? I’m not real sure and have latent doubt. Is it a sale, Goodwill or to the dump hereabout? Or give to my children as an heirloom handout. So when the clutter is clear and I feel clean, My whole general being now feels serene. What I’ve thrown today, may seem obscene, But now I’m as proud as a new beauty queen. No clutter, no grime, not stuff left behind, All of my storage now looking streamlined. What’s abandoned today, gives peace of mind. No longer my house, will look undesigned.

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D20 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

A tribute to Jan By Mary Meyer Bird Island Jan was Mrs. American Legion Auxiliary. She couldn’t wait to be a member. I am not sure which she signed first, the marriage license or the member application. “Song About That Chuck” Jan loved all 21 Auxiliary programs but poppies and Memorial Day were her favorites. She felt it an honor to place the

poppies on the white wooden cross as the name of the deceased veteran was read. She placed three gold and 15 blue Auxiliary flags on the graves of the unit members at the village cemetery. The Honor Guard was also a favorite she would call and remind everyone of the death/funeral of


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a member. At the church when Gordie or Jim would say it was time to walk in Jan would say “stand tall” “be proud” and I would tell her “your ducks are in a row.” Jan was just finishing her 15th year as president. She will be missed, I will miss her. Jan passed away Jan. 4, 2018.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D21

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D22 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Thursday, April 12, 2018 D23 001712090r1

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D24 Thursday, April 12, 2018 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

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Generations April 2018  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune Also Life Connections 2018

Generations April 2018  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune Also Life Connections 2018