I watched last week, with a glimmer of my youth showing, as the young couple - he dressed in a black tuxedo and she in a bright, salmon-colored, long gown - posed in front of the photographer. They giggled to each other excitedly. It was prom night in our community. A gala event was no doubt planned for the evening. I thought of my first prom at Hinton High School in 1964. It seems a long time ago. It was.
Some moments in a man's life you just don't forget. Your 16th birthday, the day you turn 21, the day you are married, the day your first child arrives and the day you catch the biggest walleye of your life. I was re-sorting our downstairs closet last week when I came upon a box full of old newspaper clippings. Digging through the box I found almost 40 years of memories, some good and some sad and some kept just for posterity. There were clippings of weddings, funerals, business dealings and community festivals. Funny, I don't remember the years in-between ever happening.
The grain elevator exploded last week in my hometown of Hinton, Iowa. Well, at least a part of it did. Unfortunately, two workers were severely injured, but I understand they are recovering. At the time of this column a cause of the explosion has not been determined, but it was suspected to have been a dust explosion. The blast was felt for several miles around, closed off highways and got the attention of those living and working in Hinton!
I try to stay out of political discussions. I've found that expressing opinions on who and who should not be our representative only brings heartache and sorrow to those who would seek to impose their political theories on others. The coming elections are bringing out reasons that I keep my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut. I like to have friendly friends and relatives who invite me to dinner.
The huge, white-headed bald eagle circled the long dead jack pine tree. Against the royal blue sky the bird stood out like a picture in a nature manual. Wide wings stretched out as the bird glided ever closer to the top the the tree. I wondered what it was looking at? There was no nest to be seen and no prey that sat on the limbs. I was on a late winter walk north of our home in the Norway pines.
A fellow columnist in one of the newspapers I write for in South Dakota wrote a column last week that brought back memories of my time in college after high school. This writer attended the University of South Dakota as a Coyote while I was a Jackrabbit at South Dakota State. He was a Coyote, I was a Jackrabbit. Somehow I always felt somewhat inferior because of the relationship between those two animals, but I found reasons to like rabbits over time.
Viola was our social media source. I just returned from a conference where one of the main topics was how social media is being used by humans to connect with each other. Names such as Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and a multitude of others were front and center of discussions throughout the conference. If you walked into this conference knowing nothing more than you did in 1965, you would have thought a new language had been created.
My wife came headlight to eyeball with a huge, northern timberwolf last week. The big gray wolf came barreling over the hill from the south, no doubt following a deer trail that crosses the sand drive that leads to our house. The wolf spotted my wife's car, did a spin around and as she proceeded down the road the wolf crossed the road behind her car, continuing on its pursuit of the unseen deer in front of it. Such occurrences are no longer rare in northern Minnesota.
Why didn't I meet my wife, Jackie, in the third grade? It would have saved a whole lot of despair, depression, self examination and heartbreak. If I'd met my future wife in the third grade it would have saved countless hours of "cruising the streets" in search of love. I would have just offered her an engagement ring then and there, hoped she would have accepted my proposal and been done with it. That's not what happened.
Snow is melting off the roof as I write this week's column. A large flock of mallard ducks is circling the open water below the dam that flows through Pine River. Just a few minutes ago a group of huge, white tundra swans wafted over our house. Sun rays are packing a little more heat as they pry the frozen slush off my pickup, exposing the rust underneath. Groundhog's Day happened this past Tuesday. There is a light faintly glimmering at the end of winter's long tunnel.