John Wetrosky, Columnist
I've got "The Blue Virginia Blues" since I met the "Girl At The Crossroads Bar." I found out that she was a real "Kentucky Girl" with "A Love Of The Mountains." But, I was a "Rov'in Gambler" who was "Ragged But Right" and now I'm eating "Leftover Biscuits" and suffering with "Loneliness and Depression." So, I'm heading for that "Wide, Wide Dixie Highway."
Two dog and cat shelters recently opened in the area of Minnesota in which I reside. They are great facilities with state-of-the-art housing and were built with the animal's best interest taken to heart. I feel good to know they are here even though my wife and I are now dogless. It is good to know that there is a place for unwanted or orphaned pets. We didn't have animal shelters anywhere near our farm back in the day. We had plenty of cats and dogs during my tenure on the farm. Usually they provided a value to our farm as well as other neighboring farmyards.
They call it "a million dollar rain." We had one around here last week. Weather calls the tune when it comes to farming or gardening. All the technology, all the college courses, all the passed-down knowledge means zip if the weather doesn't cooperate. True, farmers can now provide water to their crops via irrigation, but not all practice that art. Most still rely on Mother Nature to water the crop.
I just watched a Willie Nelson special concert from Billy Bob's down in Texas. I see a lot of my dad in Willie's music. Music was a part of our country farm life. My family has a history of loving all kinds of music. I have a second cousin who played violin with the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. My great-grandfather hitchhiked his way to Sioux City and Omaha to play his clarinet in those community orchestras. I found the barrel of his clarinet in our farm garage one day. I have no idea of what happened to the rest of the instrument.
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.