Twice in the last couple of months we have received requests from grade school students asking that we send informational material about Minnesota in general and about our part of Minnesota specifically.
One request came from Puyallup, Washington and another came from a grade-schooler in North Baltimore Ohio, a small town near Toledo. I contacted Nicole Zemple at the Chamber of Commerce office and she provided a nice array of informational material about our area’s interesting history and scenic beauty.
We added one of our annual visitor guides and, of course, the latest issue of the Advocate Tribune to the packages. An added twist from the Puyallup kids was a request for an expired Minnesota license plate. That sent me into the garage digging around for some plates I had set aside after changing plates on one of our aging vehicles.
Not only did I manage to find the plates but one of them was in good condition, with few scratches and no dents or scrapes. I cleaned it up and slipped it into the envelope with the assortment of info and publications and sent it off to western Washington to the small town just east of Tacoma.
I’m not sure why but I hope that one of those grade-schoolers brings the license plate home and that his dad hangs it up in his garage for the next 20 years. Maybe they’ll decide to take a trip to Minnesota someday and stop by this scenic river valley town.
Who knows what those kids and their teachers were thinking when they opened our envelope. I wonder what they thought when they read the issue of the Advocate Tribune. Maybe they figured that we were all just too interesting to not visit. Or maybe they thought they really ought to stay away.
It’s pretty fun to think about. Makes it worthwhile to send away a package like that.
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The fun goes on this weekend when Ole and Lena Days gets into full swing. The Chamber banquet last weekend was very well attended and a nice night out. There was good food and very good entertainment.
This Friday and Saturday there is a long list of events and happenings worth taking in, too. Take a look at the info in this week’s paper and make some plans to it check out.
Over the years, Ole and Lena days has changed with new events coming along and others fading away.
Page 2 of 2 - We have a letter this week from Ron Skjefte, where recalls some of the glory days from a few years ago when the Smoosh Races were all the rage. The competition was intense and there were even teams from other towns coming here to try to dethrone the local champions. You would have thought they were trying to land a spot on the Olympic team.
I wound up on a smoosh team by default one year when a sprained ankle opened up a spot that no one else was foolish enough to take. The race went well until we lost control resulting in a rather showy fall into the snow that the Advocate Tribune captured on film. Bob Barden, Dwayne Strand, Tim Douglass and I looked like dominoes falling in the shape of an unfolding fan as we tumbled into the deep snow on Volstead Field. It was the only graceful thing about our effort. With our shoes nailed to our Smoosh skis, we watched as the other teams chugged right by us.
Former Community Ed Director Dave Brokke came up with the Ole and Lena Days idea and it still lives on, a bit of relief for each winter’s drudgery.
The Smoosh Races must have been the product of some late night brainstorming by Brokke and some of his pals. They even conceived the idea of the Lefse Fling. Tossing frozen lefse is enough of a low-impact sport that it deserves to be revived. Maybe next winter.