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Reflections by people 55 and over APRIL 2021

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320.979.0632 320.894.3862



D2 | APRIL 14, 2021





The Time of Your Life Begins Here

for Multiple Positions We believe you will find the Clara City Senior Living a fun and rewarding place to work. The Care Center offers a full array of benefits, competitive pay, and flexible scheduling. Stop in for an application or call Cindy 320-847-2221 at Clara City Senior Living for more details! Due to COVID-19, we are currently following the restrictions of no visitor or volunteer entry into the Care Center and Assisted Living. When the day comes and it becomes safe to open our doors we will have numerous volunteer opportunities such as: reading to residents, visiting, playing games or cards, assisting with bingo, giving rides, peeling potatoes with residents, sitting in on bible study, helping at picnics, special events, tending to gardens, helping with crafts or decorating, playing instruments. As a volunteer to our residents, you are counted on as one of their friends. The rewards are endless!

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Kris Nelson-Jensen, Activity Director at 320-847-7217.

• Independent living units. • Emergency call system • Social and recreational activities along with full access to campus wide events • Noon meal and weekly housekeeping.

Apartments Available Now!

For a tour of our facility, or for more information, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Prairie Park Place

1100 Warrings Ave, Clara City • 320-847-3785

Assisted Living A Tradition in Caring

• • • • • • •


Secure memory care areas On-site Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services Large spaces for family gatherings Phone & cable access in each room Short-term Rehab Therapy Suites Assisted & Independent Living Activities offered, along with full access to campus wide events

Space Available Now! 200 Wachtler Ave, Clara City • 320-847-7208


1012 N Division St. Clara City 320-847-2221 www.claracityseniorliving.org

• • • •

A Community of Compassion for Over 50 Years! Hosts individualized and campus wide activities Therapy suites to help you recover with all the comforts of home Physical and Occupational outpatient therapy with most insurances accepted • Assisted Living and Independent living attached to the Care Center • Beautiful outdoor courtyards For more information or to arrange a personal tour of our facility, please contact us today. 1012 N Division St. Clara City 320-847-2221 www.claracityseniorliving.org


Clara City Senior Living offers so much more than just a place to stay! Come and enjoy a full and rewarding community experience, including an active social life that helps bind neighbors as friends and staff as family. Clara City Care Center offers many different services to their residents. Our independent living community where there is always something fun going on! We offer several apartment layouts to meet you or your loved one’s needs. This offers privacy while our community provides a place to visit with your neighbors as you wish. Our facility offers congregate dining, a beautiful enclosed sun porch, and a walking area in the courtyard as well as full and easy access to campus wide activities. The lounge area includes a fireplace and library area, creating a cozy corner for thoughtful discussion. Our assisted living program offers so much for our residents! Have peace of mind with our skilled, 24-hour staff. Assisted living provides a friendly, homelike atmosphere that has been a part of our community for three years. Our nutritional services work to provide for the overall health of each resident. Our team includes an on-site and on-call Registered Nursing Director, Assisted Personnel, Licensed Dietitian,

and Certified Dietary Manager. We have full and easy access to campus wide activities. The rehab services are provided by AEGIS Therapies. They work with our nursing staff to provide physical, occupational and speech therapy. The therapists are at the facility on a regular basis and work hard to meet the needs of our residents. Our outpatient physical and occupational therapy services to people that do not wish to travel to a hospital or other facility to receive therapy. No matter what your age or health level, you are welcome to contact our Therapy Department to see what options are available to you!

Our skilled nursing facility, called Clara City Care Center, has 24/7 licensed nursing. The care center provides a number of services including: • IV antibiotic therapy • Wound care • Restorative therapy • Short term rehabilitation • Tube feeding • Activities • Housekeeping and Laundry Maintenance •Social Service Assistance Clara City Senior Living has been a part of the community for over 50 years. We have a long standing tradition of providing great patient care to residents of Clara City and its surrounding communities.

1012 N Division St. Clara City • 320-847-2221 www.claracityseniorliving.org


APRIL 14, 2021 | D3

Pancakes and the pandemic Saved by the meatloaf special BY AMY RODELIUS as told to Rand Middleton

Steve and Amy Rodelius have owned and operated Frieda’s Restaurant in downtown Willmar since 1994. As it was for managers and employees of restaurants and bars everywhere, the shadow of COVID-19 cast a gloom and strain throughout 2020 and into 2021. The little eatery sits on a one-block oneway stretch of Benson Avenue as it spins off the U.S. Highway 12 bypass on the west edge of downtown. With its bar-stool counter snug to the grill — a throwback to the 50s — the Willmar landmark serves food and comfort in equal portions. For many, it is a warm kitchen away from home. Speaking beside a sizzling grill that turns out flapjacks and bacon in the morning and cheeseburgers and fries at lunchtime, Amy recounted the challenging 12 months to Rand Middleton on March 17, the anniversary of the first COVID lockdown. *********************************** n Wednesday, March 18, 2020, we were closed. There was no indoor dining. It felt like the governor just tossed us into the air and no one knew what to do. We were supposed to shut down but we didn’t know what to do. We let a few people come in on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, the state department called and said, “Shut it down.” After 26 years of serving people inside our restaurant, we were told we couldn’t do it that way anymore. We didn’t know what to do. This was all we knew. We closed the restaurant on Thursday. Then on Friday we took the day off because we didn’t know anything


more. Saturday morning, we got up and I looked at Steve and said, ‘I’m going to work. Either we can serve one person a to-go breakfast, or 10 or 20, but we gotta do what we gotta do.’ So then we went downtown. I made a post on Facebook stating that we would be open for to-go orders. That’s what we did and people were very receptive. When people came in to get their orders they social-distanced while waiting. We had to lay off our six employees. The rest of March, April and May, Steve and I kept going to work keeping a positive attitude. It kept getting more and more busy so we had Jerry come back. Rand Middleton photo During COVID, breakfast was usually The first week of dining on Benson Avenue ended Saturday, June 6, with a late quiet but noon hours were crazy busy. breakfast crowd as traffic whizzed by on the downtown bypass. We’d get here and the phone would start ringing by 9 a.m. We wrote the to-go orders down as they came in and then lined them up on the grill hood. People began calling right away because they wanted to make sure they got the noon special. One of our customers, an older gentleman in his 80s came flying around the corner and got pulled over. The cop asked: ‘Why are you in such a hurry?’ And he said, “I’ve got to get to Frieda’s before all the noon specials are gone.’ So they let him go without a ticket. On June 1 the city closed the road out front and set out picnic tables so we could serve customers outside. That went really, really well. The first day of outdoor dining our oldest daughter Sarah came home from Champlin and helped serve to make sure we made it Rand Middleton photo through a really busy day. A year removed from the first shutdown, waitresses scurried to deliver orders around 10 a.m. March 20 as Steve Rodelius worked the grill and toasters. PANCAKES: Page D5


Jane Vikse Real Estate has a track record of Connecting Buyers and Sellers.

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D4 | APRIL 14, 2021

Traveling to far away places around the world, pre-COVID BY SUE MORRIS



frica was never on my bucket list. Then I attended an informational meeting on an excursion to that country, presented by Lake Region Bank. I went to the presentation out of curiosity. Halfway through the presentation I turned to a friend of mine and said “I’ll go if you go.” Arlene said the same to me. The rest is history. Arlene had been to Africa before, going on a game hunt with her husband, so it was an old hat to her. I must say it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. It’s terrific if you are an animal lover and I fall in that category. We arrived in Capetown and spent a few days in the city, touring the countryside – including a huge botanical garden which was a highlight for me. Most of the flora and fauna hadn’t been included in my master gardener training. Who knew there were penguins in South Africa? From there we flew to a private game reserve where we went on six game drives — one at 5:30 in the morning and the

Photo by Sue Morris

Close up of lion on safari.

other at 4 in the afternoon. We were able to spot four of the big five — elephants, lions, cape buffalo and rhinos. Only saw a fleeting glance of a leopard. Then there were all the other critters — zebra, giraffe, hippo, kudu, impala, cheetah, hyena, monkeys, wildebeest, crocodiles, wart hogs galore and hundreds of birds — including the one that is

featured in “The Lion King” movie. We never knew what we would see on each drive and the anticipation was part of the excitement. To be that close to a pride of lions sunning themselves was worth the trip alone. We were in an open jeep and were told to stay seated and keep your mouth shut and the animals would consider you part of the jeep.

I was never afraid, but I sure did as I was told. We had the same driver and guide on each outing. Halfway through each game drive we would get out, stretch and enjoy coffee or other treats. Then it was on to Johannesburg, home of Nelson Mandela, where we saw his home and the museum dedicated to him. Two Nobel Peace Prize winners grew up in the same neighborhood, Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Next we flew to Zimbabwe and visited Victoria Falls, which is a mile wide — cruising the Zambezi river with more wildlife — crocs, elephants taking a bath in the river and hippos keeping cool. We visited a village and were able to talk with the Chief who told us about their way of life. The children had to walk miles to school — we don’t realize how fortunate we are. Good memories. This was November 2019. After Covid I don’t know if I’d be willing to take eight different planes, take malaria pills, several vaccinations and travel all that way but I’m sure glad I went.

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The downtown committee really loved the traffic on the bypass seeing all those people and thought it was really good for the downtown. So they want to have a few picnic tables across the street on the grass where we can serve meals in nice weather. On a typical Tuesday pre-COVID, the Meatloaf Special averaged around 30 orders. During the first shutdown we would fill up to 80 orders. Things just kept getting busier and we were able to bring everyone back to work. We worked all summer long and then we were told we could go up to 50 percent occupancy indoors. With customers outside and inside that got hard. We had to try and keep an eye on everyone out there and in here. You have tablecloths and then there is bird poop occasionally. I would wipe it up and joke with the customers that our governor thinks it is better for us to eat outside as I cleaned it up. That would draw a laugh. When fall came we were limited to the 50 percent in the restaurant. On November 17, they shut everything

APRIL 14, 2021 | D5

down again through the middle of January. We went back to takeout. On Jan. 2 we just closed the restauPeople were displaced suddenly (by the lockdown). This is a social place rant for a week. We were both so for many. It is their big meal of the day, and affordable. It was more than exhausted from filling all the to-go a business shutting down. This was like saying ‘You can’t go to mom’s.’ orders. It was hard with just Steve, I and Jerry. – MARY SUNDIN, waitress Keeping the orders straight was difficult. Everytime we figured out a new system, they changed the rules. You’d get close to running smoothly again and they’d move the goalposts further out. It was frustrating. But we know our job well. We are trained to bleach everything, we are trained to keep everything clean but it was frustrating because we couldn’t do the job we knew how to do. But we had to follow the rules. Volume now is about where it was before the virus. We’ve been really, really fortunate. We were so fortunate that the city of Willmar, the businesses in Willmar were so good to us small businesses in town. They supported us. We got incredible support from folks like Terwisscha Construction, Jennie-O, the police department. We had huge orders from the utilities which once called on a Tuesday for 43 noon speDonna Middleton photo cials. So we are so very thankful for all the support. A shortstack of pancakes at Frieda’s Cafe in downtown Willmar.

Senior Transportation Program • Uses volunteer drivers who use their personal vehicle to transport seniors to various appointments; medical, hair, dental, shopping, etc. up to 3 times per week. • Available Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm to residents of Kandiyohi, Renville & Meeker counties who are at least 60 years of age and register with Central Community Transit. • The Fare/Cost is based on your income in the form of Cost-Share Contributions. • This Program will provide transportation in Kandiyohi, Renville, and Meeker counties as well as outside the service area. Hours may vary slightly for medical purposes or long distance trips.

Interested in being a Volunteer Driver… Flexible hours customized to your schedule Local, short and long distance travel Mileage reimbursement Making a difference for individuals in your community!

CCT drivers continue to do an excellent job to keep you safe and provide for your transportation needs. The Central Community Transit will provide FREE public transportation to COVID-19 Vaccination appointments during its regular hours and on established routes as schedules allow and must be scheduled through dispatch office for tracking purposes. The passenger must register for an appointment on their own. CCT may offer additional hours for planned vaccination clinics. CCT Senior Transportation will provide either bus or volunteer driver transportation for eligible riders. CCT will continue providing transportation for clients and charge contracted rates for all authorized contracted transportation. For any residents in Kandiyohi, Renville, and Meeker counties who need transportation that are not on an established route or service location, CCT will provide that ride with an additional bus as driver availability allows and charge the regular transit fare for the distance traveled. Masks are required on the buses and in volunteer driver vehicles and social distancing policies are in place. ALL VEHICLES ARE CLEAN AND SANITIZED OFTEN FOR THE SAFELY AND COMFORT OF ALL PASSENGERS.

Call us today for all your transportation needs

Volunteer Driver Programs Willmar Office (320) 235-8413 Olivia Office (320) 523-3589 Litchfield Office (320) 693-2718

Public Bus Transportation

Central community Transit, Connecting Communities Together

Willmar Office (320) 214-7433 Olivia Office (320) 523-3589 Litchfield Office (320) 693-7794

Connecting Communities Together www.cctbus.org


Willmar 320-214-7433

Olivia 320-523-3589

Litchfield 320-693-7794

D6 | APRIL 14, 2021


Breaking Bread: In search of common ground BY JOHN KELLEN

myself, love to cook and I believe it’s always been a useful skill set no matter the motivation. Consider also “Anybody n a world that seems more divisive who believes that the way to a man’s every day, wouldn’t it be nice to find heart is through his stomach flunked ways to work through our differencgeography” was written by Robert Byrne es? I realize that is a tall order or maybe in 1988. All this is to bring back the even unrealistic, but I feel compelled to point that food connects each and every make an attempt. Perhaps if people of one of us and even though it wasn’t different stripes would make a point of sharing meals together on a regular basis Confucius who coined the phrase, Confucianism emphasized personal and govthose experiences might lead to better ernmental morality, correctness of social understanding. A global pandemic has relationships, justice, kindness and made this premise untenable over the sincerity; all noble aspirations especially past year, until now. With the advances now given current societal trends. in administering Thinking of my vaccinations across own experiences the country there is and fond memories hope for a return to of sharing meals some sense of norwith my family and malcy however you friends, I suspect may define normal. most people can The concept think back to times of breaking bread where they looked together has biblical forward to their ties yet has origins mother’s or grandback to the beginmother’s home ning of time, a time cooking. Although when bread was the menus may be much harder than varied around the current variations. Photo courtesy of John Kellen world, the shared Most, if not all, Pictured with me is recent Syrian experiences are cultures and various Immigrant Sultana Lama’s daughter very similar, in fact who made a cake specially for me. religions have some I would argue, the This experience was powerful given form of stories feeling is univerthis family had recently escaped related to sharing sal. Bread in all its war-torn Syria with nothing, yet still food not only with forms is symbolwanted to extend their hospitality to families and tribes, me whom they had only recently met. ic of something but with strangers much larger than and those who are just nutrition and in need or less forwhether it’s Wonder bread, a baguette, tunate. a tortilla, lefse or garlic naan the tearing Curious where the sayings I’ve used and sharing go hand in hand. originated, I found that when I used Wheat (which is one of the main the idiom “Confucius say: Fastest way ingredients of most bread) has only been to man’s heart is through his stomach” a food source for the past ten thousand was not actually attributed to this wise years and the human digestive system man. Rather, John Adams the Amerwasn’t designed to process this easily ican statesman wrote in a letter “The cultivated and stored food source. Glushortest road to men’s hearts is down ten and the resultant inflammation in their throats” and some years later Rich- our bodies has been wreaking havoc on ard Ford’s ‘A Handbook for Travelers our immune systems ever since. While in Spain’ advised “The way to many an I digress from the main theme of this honest heart lies through the belly.” article, and be it known that I love most While this is often historically associated all breads and grains, food allergies and with how women attract men, it’s not subsequent maladies I’ve learned about always the case. Many men including compel me to make a full disclosure.



Photo courtesy of John Kellen

Pastor Tim Larson, clockwise from left, John Kellen, Earl Habben, Gene Johnson and Don Kellen would meet for breakfast every Tuesday morning to discuss and solve the world’s problems. I happened to be home for the holidays and always love to listen to their banter and of course enjoy one of Steve and Amy Rodelius’ delicious pancakes.

Photo courtesy of John Kellen

Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix is a premier international business school in Phoenix, Arizona. Originally based on a World War II Army Air Corp flight training school Thunderbird launched one of the first international trade schools in the US and has Alumni working around the world in nearly every country. Pictured here are the Tucson Chapter Alumni Association gathering for a “First Tuesday” networking event which happens each month in cities around the globe. This photo happens to be my last event as President of the chapter prior to leaving for Minnesota to care for my elderly parents.


Back to the concept of breaking bread as a metaphor for bridging divides. I’ve had the good fortune of traveling around the world and I love sampling local delicacies wherever I go. While I’m very fond of fine cuisine, some of my most memorable experiences are of sharing humble meals in places like remote villages in Guatemala, Nepal and China. Villagers welcomed me into their homes and shared feasts in my honor as a complete stranger from a foreign land. The generous people had very little in material possessions yet went out of their way to make sure I could sample their traditional dishes and drink. Even though in many cases we didn’t speak the same language, we could still communicate on a very deep level which is a testament to the power of shared time and space. While working with the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona we hosted documentary filmmakers Ozlem Ayse Ozgur and Leslie Ann Epperson and viewed their film “Taste Bud Memories.” It features indigenous Tohono O’Odam If your front door was next to a lovely marsh and you could conveniently walk or Tri-shaw bike to Robbins Island Regional Park - wouldn’t you want to live there too? Vista Prairie at Copperleaf is that place. Our location is just one of our many advantages. Older adults who need a little or a lot of help in daily living will find a loving home in Copperleaf. We provide assisted living, memory care services, and care suites options for seniors. Our services include a dedicated 24-hour staff, on-site nursing, a physician who makes weekly rounds, frequent Copperleaf bus transportation, and an Emergency Response System. Call Jennie or Mackenzie for a tour at 320-222-5000 or email copperleaf@ vistaprairie.org. “There’s a lot of love at Copperleaf,” says Executive Director Jennie Marcus. “Our residents are active with movies, culinary club, music and cards and a wide range of other interests.

Peoples of Arizona, immigrants from Mexico, Uganda and Syria, as well as Americans of European descent. Their stories are about connection to traditional foods and growing crops that remind them of their homelands. Many immigrant’s stories are filled with harrowing escapes from atrocities we here in the United States find hard to fathom. Only a few generations back those similar stories might be of our great-grandparents coming from Europe to this region and the associated displacement of Dakota and Ojibwe Peoples. Every one of us has a story to tell if we dare. What I found moving in the documentary and what left me hopeful was the demonstrated will of people to not only survive but to provide a lifestyle for themselves and their families which here again is a universal desire that transcends geography and ethnicity. Two comments strike at the heart of the message of this film – the first from Cesar Chavez “If you want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…. The

We are eager to get back to regular excursions in our bus -- dine outs, shopping and casino trips. Our culinary staff prepares delicious home cooked meals featuring quality ingredients for our residents.” Jennie acknowledges this past pandemic year has been tough, for residents and staff alike, “Our staff were amazing in their ability to step up during this time, working doubles, splitting shifts and managers coming in and working on the floor to provide care. No staff who tested positive needed to seek medical treatment that we are aware of. Our residents who tested positive have recovered well, although it’s been a challenge because of the

APRIL 14, 2021 | D7

people who give you their food give you their heart” And the second from a Yazidi woman from Syria – “Food is Love!” Fast forward to contemporary West Central Minnesota where our evolving communities include various immigrants and ethnicities. As the journalist Thomas Friedman has written of Willmar, I share his optimism that we could become a model for how rural communities develop and thrive going forward. I have no illusions that the tasks at hand will be easy, but believe over time with increasing participation by ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things, acts of kindness will prevail over our darker tendencies. When it is safe again to do so, I hope people will connect and I encourage all of us to venture beyond our comfort zones and invite a stranger to share a meal and listen to their stories. I suspect that you’ll be surprised by what you learn. Just maybe this act of “breaking bread” will be the spark of something meaningful and beautiful. We get to choose how our future will go.

required precautions.” It was a big day in February when residents and staff got their second round of the COVID-19 vaccine. “Copperleaf has been so careful,” resident Richard Halterman told the West Central Tribune. “We’ve been really helped a lot. They’ve been delivering meals and we’re all waiting when we can eat in the dining hall again.” Halterman was one of more than 80 residents and staff who were vaccinated on February 15. The dining room is now open again. Residents report that it’s that feeling of home and family that convinces folks to choose Copperleaf. “Oh, and the staff is wonderful, very accommodating,” says Lea Brower, a two-year resident.

Photo courtesy of John Kellen

Colleen Kellen teaches the ins and outs of making Rosettes for the holidays. Passing on traditions and recipes from one generation to the next has been going on for centuries.

Copperleaf Senior Living Community provides assisted living services, memory care services, and care suites living options to seniors. Our residents are provided with 24-hour staff, on-site nursing staff, Emergency Response System and much more.

“We are so Thankful for Copperleaf. Grea t place to live, we are well taken care of.” - Anitra Loe

1550 1st Street N | Willmar, MN 56201 320-222-5000 | copperleaf@vistaprairie.org


D8 | APRIL 14, 2021

My COVID year Staying busy and staying away from the virus BY BESSIE KLOSE



ast year, 2020, started out very good. My two daughters, a friend and I took a trip to the southeast United States. I was scheduled to receive an award at the National Farmers Union convention which was held in Savannah, Georgia. We started our trip visiting my sisterin-law in North Carolina. We flew to Charlotte, rented a car and drove to their place. We had a wonderful visit and got to see all their kids. From there we drove to Savannah for the convention, then did some sightseeing in South and North Carolina before going back to Charlotte to fly home. The COVID virus was just starting to pick up and we were lucky to fly home when we did. A few days later all the airports were closing and directions were to stay home. What do you do to keep occupied? Well, luckily I have hobbies. I started out embroidering dish towels for two of my grandchildren who were

getting married that fall. That kept me busy for a while until I finished those two sets and ran out of towels. I love to read books and a few years ago my daughter, sister, a good friend and I started a little round robin library. Each of us would read a book or more, initial it, so we knew who had read it, bagged them, and when we got quite a few in a bag, passed it to the next. So we all had plenty to read without having to each buy or go to the library. We got to read a good variety of types of books this way without much expense. I like to watch TV so I worked a lot of viewing into each day. I don’t have cable so when there isn’t much on I watch old movies that date back to when I was a kid. I enjoy seeing some of the famous actors when they were just getting started. I enjoy talking on the telephone and talk regularly to family and quite often to friends. I don’t know what I would do without that although I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t have that luxury.

Quality care available at GlenOaks Senior Living GlenOaks Senior Living is a senior living campus that has been a vital part of the GlenOaks Community since 1964. This 52-bed skilled nursing facility is staffed by professional, caring individuals who are committed to providing compassionate, competent care for our residents. GlenOaks Senior Living is a beautiful campus that is surrounded by scenic beauty. Guests staying at our campus love to watch the wild turkeys, deer, and other wildlife wander around our grounds. Consideration is given to both short-stay rehabilitation as well as long-term stays.

With our in-house therapy team available seven days a week, your therapy is always consistent. If you are seeking quality care for a member of your family, please stop in or call us at (320) 354-2231, we are here at GlenOaks Senior Living to provide comfort, security and care.

Short Term Care

Glen Oaks offers comprehensive medical and rehabilitation services for patients discharged from the hospital who no longer need hospital care, but still require an additional inpatient stay. This unit serves as a bridge returning you to your home and is designed to focus on your individualized therapy program.

Call us today if you have any questions! (320) 354-2231 • www.glenoaksslc.com


Another thing I enjoy is baking. I used to bake a lot and I sold at a farmers market. But I had to slow down due to physical reasons. Now I bake a little and then sit a little. But I still managed to get enough baking done, so a lot of my pie and lefse customers came and bought baking for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Since our family couldn’t plan to get together for Christmas, I had what I called a drive-by Christmas. I packed a bag for each family with homemade snacks, candies, lefse, rye bread, pie and doughnuts for each member of the family. Then each family drove by and picked up their bag and went home to enjoy them. As of the middle of March there is still one family’s bag in the freezer as they live in Wisconsin and we haven’t been able to see each other for over a year. My birthday came up in February and I knew we couldn’t do our usual family Red Lobster gathering or have the whole group to my place. My wish for my birthday was to get my COVID shots. This wish was granted as I got my second shot four days before my birthday. My daughters got the idea of putting a notice on Facebook and asking people to send cards or give me a phone call to surprise me. The day was great! Dr. David Larson started providing stateof-the-art medical and surgical treatment for disorders of the musculoskeletal system in 1974 when Alexandria Orthopedic Associates opened. In 2009, we became Heartland Orthopedic Specialists to better represent our growing patient area as well as our expanding regional presence throughout West Central Minnesota. • Over the years, we have been recognized by various independent health care organizations for our excellence in medical care, Top 10% in the State and Top 10% in the Nation for Joint Replacement. • For more than 10 consecutive years, over 98% of our joint replacement patients have indicated that they had an exceptional patient experience at our practice even during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. • We maintain an active program of adult reconstructive surgery including primary and revision total joint arthroplasty.

APRIL 14, 2021 | D9

My daughter told me not to plan anything for dinner, so I didn’t. She came and brought my mail, which had a whole pile of cards. While I was opening and reading them she was in the kitchen and said, “you’ve got company.” Here came my son and his wife. They sang Happy Birthday and since we couldn’t go to Red Lobster, they brought Red Lobster to me. Not really, but they did bring a seafood casserole, garlic toast, a mixed salad, with cheesecake for dessert. Lori had also brought spinach dip and Hawaiian bread. The phone calls started in the morning and continued off and on all day. Messages came on social media which I couldn’t see, but my daughter in Wisconsin read them to me. My one granddaughter sent a bouquet of flowers, others stopped by with gifts, but none of them stayed as they had not had their shots yet. The cards and calls continued for many days. I heard from people that I hadn’t heard from for years (even some of my 4-H kids who I had directed in 4-H plays many years ago.) So I’m still enjoying my special birthday which will continue as my daughter from Wisconsin will come to see me now that my shots should be active. So that is how I kept busy while trying to stay away from the virus.

We are committed to delivering quality medical and surgical care to those with afflictions of the musculoskeletal system. Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art surgical and nonsurgical orthopedic care in the areas of trauma, sports medicine, and elective reconstructive surgery. We will strive to maintain a complement of physicians who are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and will provide quality orthopedic care to our patients. We will allow sufficient time to properly evaluate, counsel, and answer questions raised by our patients. We commit ourselves to continuing medical education and adding newer, advancedtechnology as it becomes available to ensure our patients are receiving up-to-date, quality care.

• Our sports medicine program includes two of the few fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists outside of the Twin Cities.

We will always put the welfare of our patients before any financial, political, or personal considerations. We will not let economic aspects of the patients’ medical care impede proper evaluation and prescriptions.

• Trauma is a large part of our practice. We provide twenty-four hour emergency coverage seven days per week at Alomere Health.

In summary, we honor the hippocratic oath and pledge the best possible orthopedic surgical care for those people entrusted to our services.

Nationally Recognized, Regionally Preferred Joint Replacement

Don’t Let Joint Pain Keep You From Doing the Things You Love

Heartland Orthopedic Specialists’ team approach, advanced techniques, superior quality measures, and positive outcomes are just some of the reasons we’ve been recognized nationally and remain the region’s most preferred orthopedic providers.


In Willmar • HeartlandOrthopedics.com Back, Neck & Spine | Hand to Shoulder | Joint Replacement Hip & Knee | Foot & Ankle | Sports Medicine


D10 | APRIL 14, 2021

Televisions and Baby Boomers BY TERRY SHAW



s hard as it is to believe, most of the Baby Boomers growing up in the mid-50s didn’t have a television in their younger years. Oh, TVs were around, but who could afford one? And the reception, unless you lived in a big city, was very weak. When my family got a TV in 1953, I was in the third grade and 8 years old. Televisions were so unique in the early days that there were no “television stores.” In our little town, for example, the implement dealer not only sold implements, but he sold sewing machines, and RCA televisions and radios. TV was still considered a novelty, just like 3-D movies were in the movie theaters. But once, in June of 1935, according to our local newspaper ad, there was a service shop in Litchfield called Glader-Wilson Radio and TV. I can’t imagine that they repaired any televisions, as there weren’t any in town and the Minneapolis stations, 100 miles away, were hardly up and running yet. That ad was pretty forward-thinking. In August of 1948, there was an article in that same local newspaper telling the public that our town’s “electric” business had a new Motorola television set in the store. The article said that the television set, (not called a “TV” yet), “projects a clear image of the radio program” and predicted that someday it would be as common as radios in everybody’s homes. Funny though, at that time there was only one TV station in Minneapolis/St. Paul (KSTP, which had started in April of 1948). Then, in September of 1949, a local home supply business had a press release in the paper telling the public that the business owner had a new TV in his home and people were invited, by appointment only, to come and view “this new entertainment.” When we got our first television “set”, our single-parent mother told us four boys about the new TV the night before we got it. (Why did they call it a “set”?) I couldn’t wait to get home from school the next day. I got off the school bus, ran into our house, and saw the television standing along the north wall of our living room.

It felt like Christmas morning. The TV had a deep reddish-brown mahogany cabinet about 36 inches high and 18 inches wide with two brass lions’ heads holding rings in their mouths on fake doors in the bottom half. The entire bottom half served absolutely no purpose, as the tiny speaker was right on the very top of the cabinet. The top half of the cabinet contained a small twelve-inch black and white screen, with gold letters below, spelling Emerson on a pull-down door that concealed four controls right under the screen. On and volume, brightness, horizontal “hold,” and vertical “hold.” Our mother had bought the television from an electrician in town who sold Emersons out of his home. On top of the television was a note, which read, “Don’t touch until I’m home, Mom.” Rats! She didn’t get home from work until 5 p.m. When she finally got home, we started pestering her to let us turn it on. “We’re not turning that TV on until we’ve eaten supper and all of the dishes are washed and put away,” Mom said. We rushed through the meal and we were extra helpful that night clearing the kitchen table and washing the dishes. Mom had also started insisting that

we pray the Rosary every night while we did the dishes. “The family that prays together, stays together.” Finally, a little before 7 p.m., we all gathered in the living room, jockeying for the best place on the sofa, which Mom had pulled to the center of the room facing the TV. The single easy chair off to the side had been declared hers. She turned off all the lights, except for a special “TV lamp” sitting on top of the television. The 40W light bulb was in a red upside-down cone, which was perched on the middle of a little red settee, on which sat two miniature plaster

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Chinese people, a boy and a girl, dressed in red with gold trim. Mom had been told to have a TV lamp so that her children’s eyes wouldn’t get ruined watching television. The big moment had arrived. Mom reached down and turned the volume knob to the right with a click. The small screen started to flicker. A small white dot in the center of the screen slowly grew as the picture tube warmed up. This was taking an eternity. Suddenly the dot jumped to fill the screen. We had a screen full of…nothing. Nothing, but snow, accompanied by a roaring hiss from the tiny speaker.

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Mom turned the volume down and then, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk…she turned the channel tuner dial, which had numbers from one to twelve on it, until she came to a stop at a channel that wasn’t all snow. Somewhere in the snowy screen was the faint image of…NBC’s The Goodyear Television Playhouse. An hour-long drama without any cowboys and Indians or police shooting at bad guys. We had waited for this? Over the next few days, we did everything we could to improve the reception, including moving the TV set closer to the house’s front window, but all we could get was a snowy WCCO channel 4, a clearer KSTP channel 5, a snowy KMSP channel 9, and a very snowy WTCN channel 11. Mom called the electrician and he came over and went up on the roof. He yelled down, “Is it clearer yet?” over and over, as he slowly turned the antenna, until Mom finally told him to hold it and said to us, “Well, that’s the best we’re gonna get, I suppose.” It didn’t get much better until a few years later when the broadcasting stations started building bigger transmitter towers. Our little town was just too far away

from the transmitting towers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Television shows didn’t come on until 6 in the morning in the Midwest. Before that, all you got was a test pattern. I never knew what in the world you were supposed to do with that darn test pattern. Maybe to adjust those knobs in the compartment? We’d be watching a TV show and suddenly the picture would start twisting sideways. One of us would have to jump up, run to the set, and delicately turn the appropriate knob until the picture straightened out. “There…there…there…that’s it…no, back the other way, you dummy…no… here let me do it.” “Now the picture’s rolling…put it back the way it was.” Then, at midnight, everything went off the air after the National Anthem was played with a movie of jets flying superimposed over the front of the American flag. I sat on the floor right up by the screen, because I couldn’t see the television very well. I wouldn’t be getting my glasses for two more years. Mom kept telling me to back up from the screen because I was going to ruin my eyes, but I would just inch forward back to where I had been.

APRIL 14, 2021 | D11

So, I became the official knob turner, that is, the remote control. I became quite good at keeping a nice straight picture for my family. Plus, I got to “surf” the channels after shows ended. “There…leave that on.” “No, we ain’t watchin’ that junk.” “Mom…make him put it back to where it was.” In those early days of TV, fixing one usually involved finding a broken or burned-out tube. A lot of people repaired TVs by themselves. I remember our drug store having a contraption you could plug a tube in to and it would tell you if the tube was bad. If it was, you could buy a replacement… in the drug store. Pretty soon, there were electronics stores, furniture stores, music stores, hardware stores, you name it stores, all over our little town selling TVs. And there were many more repair shops with actual “technicians.” You needed these “technicians” because, before long, you couldn’t repair TVs yourself anymore. Something new had replaced the tubes. Something called “transistors” and “circuit boards.”

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D12 | APRIL 14, 2021

Steaming across the prairie

Martin Emmanuel Olson, left, with his granddaughter Patty Hass, and wife, Martha, in 1957.




y father, Martin Emmanuel Olson, told me this story of his experience in 1895, steaming across the prairie from Renville County, Minnesota, to Hettinger, North Dakota. My father, barely 12 years old, and his brother, Oscar, barely 10, had signed on to a steam engine powered caravan of water wagon, coal wagon, and several teams of horses and wagons, various tools, and a separator. Land owners had stacked the harvest and awaited the arrival of the convoy. The Olson boys’ job was to fire up the steam engine, starting with straw and match, then adding sticks of wood gathered from groves. When the blaze was hot enough, the coal was added and black smoke signaled a head of steam; the big belt made the separator “come to life.” Landowners were required to provide the meals, and on one occasion the entire crew became ill. The boss inquired about the food. The landowner had butchered a steer and covered the meal in the straw pile. The boss retrieved his rifle, shot and

Photo courtesy of Ralph Olson

killed a steer and told the landowner, “Get busy. That’s what we’re eating for supper.” The crew harvested the crop across western Minnesota, South Dakota and ended at Hettinger, North Dakota, in a terrible blizzard. The boss took the Olson boys by their hands, telling them, “Come, boys, we must find shelter” and climbed up the stairs to the hay mound. The boss dug a hole in the hay, telling the boys, “Get one of you on each side of me” and climbed into the hay, then pulled hay over them. My father stated the three of them slept “like babies” and never left the refuge of the barn for three days. That ended harvesting. For pay for the trip, both boys received a $10 gold piece. Each one bought an overall jacket for 75 cents, two chambray shirts for 25 cents, and boarded the train to Olivia, Minnesota. Both had $4 in their pockets when they got home and an experience they remembered for the rest of their lives. Ralph Olson, a life-long willmar resident and past owner of Petersons Shoe Store, and his wife, Evelyn, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in April.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Olson

Ralph Olson in the shoe store.

About this section: Generations, formerly Prime Time, sections are published a few times 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 news@wctrib.com with Generations in the subject line. Generations sections are currently published in January, April and October. For additional information, email news@ wctrib.com.


APRIL 14, 2021 | D13

Our story of surviving COVID-19 BY MARY LOU PEDERSON



y son came home from work expounding on the fact that he had a sore throat. He said it lasted about half an hour and went away. I thought nothing of it. He is quite susceptible to colds. He works outside. The next day the sore throat came back. It lasted a little longer and he began to sneeze. Within the next two days, he was sneezing with a vengeance. I looked it up on the internet and sneezing was dubbed as rarely being a symptom of COVID-19. When the sneezing was over, he started coughing. Now I am beginning to wonder. Three days after he started sneezing, I came down with the chills, just out of the blue. The episode lasted about half an hour and I had another case of the chills the next day.

Now I was pretty sure we had COVID-19. We were both feeling poorly, but I managed to drive us both into a COVID19 testing spot. Two days later, a nurse from the Minnesota Department of Health called us with the results. I tested positive for COVID-19. I calmly said “OK.” Then I handed the phone to my son to get his test results. The nurse told my son he also tested positive. I couldn’t help but to chuckle when my son said, “Well! How disappointing!” It is what it is. I was 72 years old, have only one kidney and Multiple Sclerosis. I just figured if I got COVID-19, I was a dead duck. There was no way I would ever make it through a case of that dreaded virus. That had been my opinion from the onset of COVID. I had a multitude of symptoms, but they mostly were in the mild-moderate range. I ended up in the hospital with a

dehydrated kidney and went home with a UTI. COVID didn’t put me in the hospital. Fatigued as I was, I had to take care of my son, Mr. Terrific Immune System. He rarely ever gets sick. He wouldn’t know an emergency if it were staring him in the face. The Lord had something to show me through it all. Not only were my symptoms less severe than my son’s, I managed to live through it. I had gotten COVID and survived. I guess I lost sight of the fact that God was in control, even through this horrible pandemic with millions of people dying worldwide. My son took three doses of aspirin on day nine of COVID, told me he felt great that evening and went back to work on day 11, full of energy. I had twice the recovery time but did manage to regain my focus. God is in control. He always has been and always will be. Please join the Good Neighbor Club for our upcoming activities and have some fun!

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D14 | APRIL 14, 2021

Can you recognize signs of stroke?


any people are avoiding in-person doctor’s visits to limit potential exposure to coronavirus — or are simply ignoring health concerns altogether. However, when it comes to medical emergencies such as stroke, immediate medical attention is critical. The fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., stroke occurs every 40 seconds and it can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. When 59-year-old Paul “David” Dyches had a stroke on the job this past August, he quickly realized something was very wrong. “I never experienced a feeling like this before, and I knew we had to do something right away,” says Dyches, who was experiencing classic stroke symptoms of weakness in his arms and legs. Upon his arrival at the hospital, he was evaluated via tele-neurology by experts over 150 miles away. After doctors confirmed he was experiencing a stroke, they delivered treatment immediately and he was able to be

BE FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare, as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. © 2011 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved.

discharged the following day. While in some cases quick action can

help with recovery, statistics suggest that many Americans may be avoiding hospitals when they need them most due to anxieties surrounding the pandemic. A recent study published in “JAMA Internal Medicine” showed that emergency room visits to five major healthcare systems decreased by more than 40 percent as COVID-19 cases spiked. As patients such as Dyches are learning firsthand, hospitals have a range of protocols in place to help keep patients and staff safe from coronavirus infection. “The hospital staff set me at ease right away,” says Dyches. Beyond pandemic fears, one age-old barrier to seeking timely medical attention for stroke is simply awareness of signs and symptoms. While Dyches can credit himself with recognizing a classic symptom — arm and leg weakness — and reacting rapidly, only one in five U.S. adults are able to recognize 10 signs and symptoms of stroke, according to a nationwide survey. What’s more, nearly 70 percent of the survey respondents

say they’re knowledgeable about stroke, yet 62 percent falsely believe that signs of stroke come on slowly over a day or two, when in fact symptoms of stroke can come on suddenly. Experts say that immediate medical attention, which is vital, relies on everyone learning and being able to recognize the BE FAST signs and symptoms of a stroke in themselves and others and calling 911 immediately. BE FAST stands for Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Time and refers to these signs of stroke: • Balance: Sudden loss of balance • Eyes: Loss of vision in one or both eyes • Face: Face looks uneven or droopy • Arm: Arm or leg is weak or hanging down • Speech: Slurred speech, trouble speaking or seems confused • Time: Immediately call 911 For more shareable information and resources, visit Strokeawareness.com, developed by Genentech Inc, a member of the Roche Group. Statepoint

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APRIL 14, 2021 | D15

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D16 | APRIL 14, 2021



ing t s e r e t n i n a e v Ha hare? s o t e k li ld u o story you w

DO YOU KNO W A VETERAN OR CURRENT M ILITARY PERSONNEL ? Honor their se rvice by submitting a photo with their name and rank.

Stories and Pictures will be published FREE of charge in the ANNUAL HONOR section publishing Wednesday, May 26th.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, May 3rd

Submit information or questions to Christie at csteffel@wctrib.com or Christine at criemersma@wctrib.com


Profile for West Central Tribune

Generations April 2021  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune

Generations April 2021  

Reflections by people 55 and over; generational publication published by the West Central Tribune


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