John Wetrosky, Columnist
There were things you didn't learn from books in my country school. I am about the last generation that had the experience of a true country school. My school was Lincoln Township #2 and sat right across the gravel road from George Muecke's farm in Plymouth County, Iowa. The school space is now occupied by a corn or soybean field. The schoolhouse was moved in the mid-1950s to the small town of Hinton, just six miles to the west and used as a house for a time.
Would there be any more optimistic person than a seed corn salesman? I think not. Each year around this time or before, these folks make calls on farmers who may be a bit suspicious of the sales pitch. Most of them have long ago tired of hearing about bumper yields and high protein corn. Farmers know that once those bags of seed corn arrive, it is all up to them and the weather to produce. Once a seed is in the ground, you can't dig it back out. There are no money-back refunds.
Newly elected South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem hails from Castlewood. I write a column for the local newspaper there. I congratulate her for her victory last fall and wish her only the best on her journey to Pierre. I'm sure that since she is from Castlewood she might even read this column on occasion. Since I have her undivided attention, if that be the case, I would like to share some of my thoughts on a recent column in which the new governor expressed some of her hopes for the coming session and her term.
The Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is about to happen in my area of Minnesota. The event will draw worldwide attention as ice anglers of every ilk will trudge out on the frozen tundra of Gull Lake in hopes of winning a new pickup truck or some other minor prize. It's a great fundraiser for the Jaycees and I hope they have a great turnout.
How much is an acre of dirt worth? Depends on where that acre is. I was reading an Iowa newspaper a few weeks back and the article I was reading reported the average price of farm ground in Iowa. Even though I knew land prices had skyrocketed since I left the farm, I was taken back a bit at how much a pound of dirt costs nowadays. Our farm was sold in 1969. My dad's deteriorated back forced the sale to happen. The farm was sold for $648 an acre. We thought it was a bonanza for land that had sold 10 years earlier for $200-$300 an acre.
Some of you might remember the movie "A Room With A View" - a 1980s classic movie that gained many awards. I've never seen that movie, but I have seen "The View From A Deer Stand In January." Not a movie yet, but might be someday. A deer stand sits huddled in the woods of our hunting land. I've not been out to it, but I can imagine it is wearing a heavy coat of white snow as I write this column. It has long been abandoned by the last deer hunter of 2018.
2019 opened with a hush at our house. The recent snowstorm put a heavy coating of white on everything in sight. The only noise you could hear during daylight hours on January 2 was the hum of snowblowers and snowplows shoving the white stuff from the middle of the highway. It was a comforting quiet time and midnight came and went with nary a whistle to be heard in our home.
I've never been one to complain about a gift that someone gave me. I admit I've bitten my bottom lip a couple of times wondering why on earth someone would give me a gift completely out of my lifestyle. It's easy to lie at times like that and act like I like the gift while figuring out how I can get rid of it. Hopefully I can find the store that sold it and trade it in for a few bucks or for something I really wanted.
The following Last Windrow "classic" column was written by me in 1990, when my daughter was 5 years old. It was to be her first excursion to a Christmas tree farm that she could really remember. I wrote it as a Christmas card to her and I'm sending it out to Anna and my readers this week before Christmas Day. I hope you don't mind me re-submitting this season! "The Ugliest Little Christmas Tree" - By John Wetrosky It stood there in the midst of evergreens, Roots planted in the sandy soil. Its scattered branches bending low,
There really isn't a foolproof way to Christmas wrap a grain shovel. I didn't go holiday shopping on Black Friday. I didn't go shopping on Black Friday week or Cyber Monday. I'm not sure when the urge will hit me that will allow me to open my skimpy billfold and dive into rabid gift buying. I tend to kind of ooze into the season.