Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just a Couple Things

Those who live in California today need to be reminded on occasion of the beauty of winter in the midwest.  Considering free desktop wallpaper from an online issue of Midwest Living, Merrilee Reid says:

It is beautiful to look at but I am a California girl and like the beach weather. This gave me goose bumps thinking about laying in the snow and spreading our arms and legs to make an angel - oh, the good ole days when you could get up by yourself when you were down on the ground!!

Incidentally, the bridge shown is a lift bridge that goes across the St Croix River between Wisconsin and Stillwater, MN, the final home of Jon Swenson.  In this span the water is probably open year-round.  Farther downstream folks from Hudson who work at the Andersen Window factory in Bayport drive across all winter, taking several minutes off their commute, and have designated individuals who plow their path open all winter.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

Another conversation revealed that Bonnie Mack (also living in California) took organ lessons from the fabled Opal Randall at the First Lutheran Church, then relatively new:

I used to practice for an upcoming wedding on the pipe organ in that church, sometimes late evening or early nighttime. The organ was located in the balcony so the only way anyone seated at the organ could see the front of the church was by looking into a mirror that had been installed above the keyboards (like a rear view mirror). I recall seeing that flickering red flame (of the eternal candle on the alter) on those occasions and, if it happened to also be raining and thundering at the time, it created a rather eerie atmosphere. One time in particular, I was so frightened, I didn't even turn the organ off and went flying down the flights of stairs and out of the church. What had occurred, Opal Randall later explained to me, was that air sometimes gets into the pipes and creates a howling sound.........a very LOUD howling sound. It was like someone had lit a fire under my behind. Gosh, how the memories that surface at the mere mention of a single event.........or a sound, a song.........a fragrance like newly cut grass or hay, etc. can transport us back in time so many, many years!

Bonnie also corrects the ownership of the local drug stores.  There were two in town, the Mack Drugstore owned by her family that was later sold to the Conner family (Eve, '63), and Veenker Drug, plenty of competition for a town the size of Northwood.  At least there was no Wal-Mart then.

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