Across The Lake
Next Saturday will be a busy day around Blackduck, but I hope the fun and games associated with the annual Bash do not keep people away from Lakeview Cemetery where the memorial to Clarence Lossing will be formally dedicated. Lossing, whose nickname among the men in his unit was "Blackduck," was killed in Viet Nam. The memorial being dedicated honors not only him, but also his infantry unit, and all veterans. There are more than 300 servicemen and women buried at Lakeview Cemetery. The dedication next Saturday pays tribute to all of them, and they'll be recognized with the ceremony at 2 p.m. and with a dinner at the Blackduck American Legion later that afternoon.
There were some sighs of relief Wednesday, when results of the Blackduck school bond election were reported. That leaky roof will be fixed and should eliminate the risk of mold and possible adverse effects. The bricks will be tuck-pointed (and why it's called that I'm not sure) and won't fall off. The new buses will arrive and kids will travel more safely. Personally, it should halt any talk about getting along without a school here, a suggestion that had been heard. The idea of sending half our kids to Kelliher and the rest to Bemidji might have wakened a couple of sleepy-heads.
Barber Ken Gustafson is lucky he's here and not cutting hair in Iran. He doesn't have to greet customers by asking if they're Lutheran or Catholic before he invites them to take a seat. He doesn't have to tell the customer how he'll do the haircut, and in which official style it will be done. None of that, which an Iranian man might not expect.
The mullahs in Iran began dictating hair styles for men in the wake over a dispute on Afro styles, which were reluctantly approved only because many blacks have converted to Islam and, the Iranian mullah decreed, they now represent the vanguard for jihad on the Western front. Mustaches must be trimmed, beards grown freely and untrimmed, hair cut in approved styles. Ken, on the other hand, offers you trichological choice. (OK, I had to look it up, too).
"She parked right out in the street," the boy from Los Angeles told his mother. "She even left her car door open!" The "she" in this case was a Blackduck lady who saw some visitors trying to get a family picture in front of The Duck (capitalized because it was the real one, the original from the 1930s). And as the family posed, the lady snapped the picture, found out where the visitors were from, welcomed them to the Blackduck community, hopped back in her car and was on her way.
Still somewhat awed at anyone parking right there in the intersection just to help a visiting family get everyone into the picture, the 10-year-old, and his mother and the rest of the group, got a good idea of the north country version of Minnesota Nice. When we heard about it later, of course, we could have told them to expect nothing less from Jackie Barclay.
Put two or three dozen relatives and friends together and relationships become part of the conversation. There are uncles and aunts and cousins, grandparents and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and you get to wishing Judy Domm was here because even if this isn't a Kiehne reunion, she'd have it organized to the point where there would even be name tags so you could say "Hi, Ron" and know it was him.
Young grandson Dawson was getting confused last weekend because there was a lot of this relationship conversation going on. There were Sawayas and Mitchells and Heilands and, of course Swensons, too. When someone was pointed out and "You're his second cousin, once removed," Dawson was told. "Removed from what," he wanted to know.
At first it looked like a Home Ec project, but after regretting the loss of Home Economics as a high school course, the discussion centered on agreement that it was a 4-H project (Head, Heart, Health, Hands, if I remember it right) and that it was well presented. The "it" was a clothing project and the evidence was a scrapbook kept by My Favorite Reader. Our oldest daughter brought it along to give our youngest daughter, along with a collection of old fabrics and lace and trim from Marie Smith. She was My Favorite Mother-in-Law, for the obvious reason.
Done in MFR's junior year at Blackduck High, the scrapbook detailed the material used, the savings achieved and showed the cost involved. For the dress, four yards of material at 18¢ for a total of 76¢. Two cards of buttons added 20¢, a zipper 8¢ and the dress pattern 15¢ for a total of $1.19. In a store the dress would have been priced at $1.98 so the savings of 79¢ was significant. It was cute, too -- the drawing she made of it showed that she was, too. It's also in the scrapbook, showing her hair just the way it was when we were dating.
Sears and Wards folders in the scrapbook suggested fabrics and their care. A pamphlet from the Ag Extension Service at the University of Minnesota outlined the two year clothing project requirements, and offered advice on accessories. Shoes should be made of good, sturdy leather, preferably calfskin or elk. Hosiery choices were led by the recommendation of a neutral grayish-tan "appropriate for any season."
Thoughts while drying the dishes... There were about 30 of us at Fontenelle for a gathering that included not only a lot of fun and conversation but a chance to remember a lady we all thought of so highly, one who would have been so much a part of everything this weekend had she not passed away last February. So long, Sis.