John Wetrosky, Columnist
This is parade time in the country. Untold communities will be celebrating the height of the summer season and most will cap off their celebration with a parade. Our community is no different. This week we will be celebrating Summerfest. A festival that goes back eons and brings folks from far and near to town to renew their roots and have a good time.
This is a little story about advertising and how some things work and some things don't. I witnessed the episode personally. This is the time of year around here when sweet corn sales begin to happen along the roadways and byways of northern Minnesota. It has been a long winter, cool spring, and the population is ready for the taste of a freshly boiled ear of sweet corn. Sweet corn is God's gift to human beings and is held in high regard by almost anyone with taste buds.
It's a bad sign when your Medicare card is the first thing you see in your billfold. I had a phone visit with my cousin, Bob, last week. Bob and I enjoyed each other's company growing up among the hills of western Iowa. We are not that far apart in age, and over the years we hunted pheasants, ducks and raccoons together, and we fished from the banks of the Big Sioux River and any other pond that held finny creatures eager to bite. You could say that we were close and shared each other's woes and accomplishments through our younger years.
I don't know if any of you have bought into the theory (some would say it isn't a theory any longer) of climate change and global warming. From my un-scientific perspective, I think something is going on. An area in South Dakota where my column is published just experienced a terrible hail and wind storm. I receive the newspaper from that area and this past week's front page carried a picture of a huge, upturned tree, roots pointing high in the sky and broken limbs adorning the earth surrounding.
Last week's "Back To The Fifties & Sixties" event in the Twin Cities brought back memories of my "muscle car" youth. A wise man once told me, if you're going to have fun, do it when you can still reach the accelerator and the clutch. It was wise advice in my book. There is no reason to buy a high-powered vehicle while you're cashing in your pension. Your reflexes have gone to heck by that time and it might be dangerous to have you on the road. So, for those of you who never had the experience of a high-powered vehicle, I'm truly sorry you missed it.
In the days before the machine applied herbicides, we farm kids did a little thing this time of year called "walking the corn" and "walking the beans." Usually this happened when the Iowa temps hovered in the 90s in the afternoon with humidity to match. For some reason, weeds tended to like this kind of weather and without any chemical way to rid our fields of sunflowers, cockle burrs, button weeds and wild hemp, we had no choice but to do battle hand to hand.
One of the dreams my dad had working on that Iowa farm since his youth was being able to visit and maybe even to live in northern Minnesota. He had served his time in India during World War II, and I think the heat got to him. So it was after farming all his life that his farmer's back forced a decision to find a new occupation while he could still walk. He and my mother sold the farm and bought a small, "mom and pop" resort in northern Minnesota. Feeling some affinity to his home state, they named it Hawkeye Resort.
I must have irked someone in the Minnesota Twins organization with my once-a-year prognostication. They have a winning record. Far off from my dire prediction in April. My depressing forecast did give the Twins a better record than they had last year, but it was still a losing season. I really wanted to be optimistic, but after eating my hat and shirt last year and being the target of jeers at the morning coffee table, I decided not to use my rose-colored glasses this year and try to be more realistic. Bad choice.
We're getting ready to take our annual fishing excursion to our neighbor to the north, Canada. I've checked out the boat, readied our rods and reels, checked the air in the trailer tires and charged the boat battery. All looks good.
Memorial Day weekend is upon us. It opens the door to real summer, although we in the Northland know that it can still snow on Memorial Day weekend. We have seen it happen. But, perhaps the weather gods will smile on us this year and picnics will happen, parades will parade and we as a collective people will remember those who have gone before, sacrificed and all the other things this great country has provided.