The photographic memories of Spirit Lake — including those unphotographed!

Life as we know it
Pull of a Place Division

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “Every summer, we drove my mother back to her home town of Spirit Lake, Iowa. I thought I was taking a picture of my baby daughter snuggling in her grandma’s arms, but now I know what that serene and contented look on my mom’s face really meant. She was ‘homing.’ She had arrived in her mind long before our packed van pulled into town.





“One year, I took her photo at the front door of the tiny house where, in March of 1890, she and her twin sister were born — but her favorite place to reminisce about was the big house by Lake Okoboji where she and her five siblings grew up. I have a photo of my tall and beautiful mother as she stood beside her twin sister in the middle of their ‘forest,’ which lay between their house and Lake Okoboji. As she walked among the now-sturdy oak trees with my kids, I’m sure she felt as though little crippled Bonnie was still there, right by her side.


“My mother told them about one very large tree near their house and how, when she and her twin sister were little girls, they could barely reach each other’s fingertips when they wrapped their arms around it. To her delight, that particular tree still stood, but now so mighty and wide that it took Mom and several of my kids to grasp hands around it. I was so busy enjoying the moment that, to my regret, I didn’t take a picture, but the one in my mind I can bring up without looking in my photo albums.”

Life as we know it
Pull of a Place Division (responsorial)

Hugo Woman: “I thoroughly enjoyed the story from Mounds View Swede about his trip ‘home’ to southern Sweden, in Tuesday’s (3/7) BB.

“My grandparents, too, on my father’s side, came from southern Sweden, and came to northeastern Minnesota to live. Unfortunately for me and my siblings, they both died before we ever met them, but their farm, high in the hills overlooking Lake Superior, had a gigantic lilac tree, also; I remember hiking back to their property with my mom, aunt, and cousin, when I was about 16 years old, and viewing this behemoth. The lilacs were in bloom at the time of our hike, and it seemed as if I had to look up, up, up before I saw the top of the lilacs, which on that day were swaying in the wind. The farm’s view of Lake Superior was spectacular, too — a view which, on a later hike (years later), was swallowed up by vegetation. I don’t recall seeing the lilac tree on this trip; perhaps it had died out, after what was probably a long, productive life.”

In reply to that some report, by Mounds View Swede, here’s Jimmy Still in Limbo: “Great post. My eldest (Caitlin) is coming off her first year living and working in Malmö, and despite her American and Scottish roots, she is turning Swedish. Cue the Vapors:

“Sweden is an extraordinary and confusing place. Why did so many Swedes leave for America, particularly to a more cold and frozen place? It’s still a paradox to me.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: We have a hunch that false advertising played at least some role.

Then & Now (Baseball Division)
Plus: Everyone’s a (baseball announcing) critic!

The Old Hand of Oakdale: “The post on the Twins announcers sure brought back pleasant memories — back to a time when you could actually listen to the Twins on the radio; before the Pohlads decided to ‘broadcast’ the games on their radio station. Now, unless you live in the western suburbs, you have a hard time getting the station. I have a Power radio with an antenna in my house, and even with that, sometimes I lose the station. Try driving north on I-35, and you lose the station way before Hinckley. And forget about this so-called Twins Network.

“You would think that the Twins’ owners would want to have people listen to games, build up the fan base, pacify the old fan base. People listen to the Twins because they can’t see the Twins live that day for numerous reasons. Radio is not keeping fans from attending in person. I sincerely doubt if any of the fans of what passes for music on their radio station will ever become fans of baseball.

“Today the spring-training game was on cable TV. I had errands to run and figured I could listen to it on the radio. Wrong! Instead of baseball on the Pohlads’ station, all there was was that noise that passes for music.

“When the Pohlads were doing PR to get a new stadium, shortly after they tried to abolish the team, one of their key spokesman, the senior sports reporter in the Twin Cities, spoke long and loud about how important listening to the Twins on the radio is to residents of the old folks’ homes. At that time, the Twins were on a station that these folks could get on their radios. The Pohlads got their stadium and changed over to a station that most of the folks in nursing homes can’t get.

“And remember when Twins games were broadcast on free TV? Now, if you don’t have cable, you are not going to watch any Twins games. Granted, I have cable and love to watch the Twins, the Wild, the Wolves, etc., but there are a lot of old-faithful fans that either can’t afford cable or can’t get cable where they live. [Bulletin Board says: We are told that one can stream Fox Sports North via Sling TV, at a small fraction of the price of cable.]

“I love listening to baseball on the radio, even if the Twins are losing and losing and losing. I will keep trying to listen even if they are on a weak station. I love baseball! Too bad the Pohlads won’t put it on a real radio station instead of their toy station, and too bad they have allowed the team to sink the way it has. People are attending games now, in spite of the team, because of the great stadium the taxpayers built; but unless things change and a young fan base is built, in a few years nobody will be buying tickets to see their team and eat the overpriced concessions.

“When Jacobs Field in Cleveland was new, you couldn’t see an empty seat. The owner let the team go to pot, and the thrill of a new stadium waned. It became a stadium of empty seats until the team became competitive again.

“Thus said, I would like to say: I think we are really going to enjoy this year’s Twins team; even if their only off-season move was for a banjo-hitting catcher who ‘frames the pitches,’and even if we can’t hear them very well on the radio, and even if the announcers on both radio and TV are a far, far cry from the likes of Ray Scott, Herb Carneal, and Halsey.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: We were a huge fan of Messrs. Scott (no one could deliver more drama to a dramatic moment), Carneal (no one called a game straighter or more definitively), and Hall (with his cigar-and-onions breath — a man who made Harry Caray seem sober!).

But we also enjoy ALL of the Twins’ current announcers — for various reasons. Messrs. Provus, Gladden, Bremer, Blyleven, Morris and Atteberry all add value to the broadcasts and the telecasts.

(We just wish we could persuade Cory Provus, who is usually so precise in his descriptions, to stop saying balls hit to the infield are “wide of first” or “wide of third” when, clearly, that’s not what he means; balls hit wide of those bases are foul. Fools us every time.)

Our pets, ourselves

Dawn West Demma: “Irish proverb: A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.


“Rita is a 9-year-old Dalmatian who is always pretty and party-ready.

“Photo taken by her owner Thomas Demma of Cottage Grove, Minnesota.”

Everyone’s a copy editor!

Tuesday email from Walt of Wayzata: “From Page A2 in today’s New York Times, in an article by Susan Lehman where she describes blue-footed boobies: ‘They’re delightful, doddering temperaments make them terrific profile subjects.’

“Seems the page editors were flat-footed boobies.”

Our times — including: Our livestock, ourselves (responsorial)
Or: The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

The Rivermouse’s Sister: “I can’t locate in your recent archives the post about the young fence-jumping ram who managed, under the cover of darkness, to impregnate every ewe on the property, causing a birth explosion in chilly February, as opposed to the hoped-for April lambing season.

“The post-er [DebK of Rosemount] mentioned that soon after the blessed events, a catalog advertising fences that work arrived at their home. Within 24 hours after I read this post, the identical catalog arrived at our California home. We have seven chickens, two small dogs and a vegetable garden, but we don’t have other types of farm critters.

“Is this a Baader-Meinhof, or, does it fall into the lesser categories of coincidence?”

BULLETIN BOARD RULES: We would say “other,” rather than “lesser.” Presumably, the catalogs all went out on the same day, so their receipt in various jurisdictions within a day of each other is not nearly eerie enough to warrant Baader-Meinhofhood.


See world (Photography Division) (responsorial)
And: The vision thing


Cee Cee of Mahtomedi: “Studying Mounds View Swede‘s photo of the maple leaves after the snowfall was like looking up at clouds and seeing various critters in the formations.

“The photo could have been a long-necked standard poodle or fluffy sheep. I could see a bright red designer collar, red ears, tail and nose, enhancing the animal’s beauty. Or perhaps it is Rudolph preparing for his annual flight with Santa….”

Our theater of seasons
Plus: Ask Bulletin Board

Tuesday email from Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Subject: A question for the woodworkers.

“Last night, Minnesota had its first tornado/es of the year. When I was little, I hid my Tiny Tears doll in the southwest corner of the basement, when tornadoes were forecast. I feared that I wouldn’t find it in time if we had to rush downstairs in a storm. Nowadays, I gather with neighbors in the lower levels of my apartment building during storms. (One year I was scolded for not covering up enough, given that we had an elderly priest living in our building.)

“But I have a question for woodworkers: Can the wood from trees twisted by tornadoes be used in projects? I wondered about this after a tornado ripped through Highland Park, some years back. I think it took out many trees on Highland Parkway, that year, and I saw huge trees on Snelling, etc., being cut down. I asked one of the workers at that time; he said that trees corkscrewed by storms were too weak for use.


Band Name of the Day: The Flat-Footed Boobies

Spam of the Day: “This new program that is introduced by our firm is providing window for people to perform services, earn a living and still go about their daily activities. Kindly reply if you are willing to participate”

Websites of the Day: (1) Halsey Hall (and Ray Scott) outtakes and (2) Vin Scully and Ray Scott call Game Seven of the 1965 World Series:



%d bloggers like this: