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Across The Lake

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Across The Lake
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Now comes the hurt. Various people in public office have been credited with saying it, but it's the old "Don't tax him, don't tax me -- tax that fellow behind the tree." Change the word "tax" to the word "cut" and you get the reason behind all the protests from pressure groups of every stripe and variety. Not just the Wisconsin kind, or the one in front of the capitol in St. Paul earlier this week. Understandable, too, because a lot of good people are going to feel it. Doubly, most likely, because of what's taking place in Washington as well as in Minnesota's legislature.


Now with April 15 upon us and with the county's Kay Mack sending the local good news to taxpayers, thrift season is here again. Mostly, but it's priority time, too. Time to hope and pray that legislators have their priorities straight. Meantime, a good time to remember the old adage that reminds us, "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." OK -- that's sexist -- women are no safer, either.

When The American first was published, a map of Beltrami county would have been of little help in knowing where the paper was located. A map of the county appearing in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1901 showed the Chippewa Village at Red Lake as the only settlement in the county. The county at that time extended from the Canadian border south to include what is now Clearwater County and parts of the present Cass and Hubbard counties.

Old maps are fascinating for the changes they show. What prompted the name change that made Detroit City become Detroit Lakes? Was that Winter Road River into Lake of the Woods as important a stream as its inclusion would indicate, since it's one of only a half-dozen to be shown in all of Beltrami County? When did the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railroad become the Soo Line? And on that subject, at the turn of that century, railroads in Minnesota only are shown as far north as Brainerd.

Old friends can be fascinating, too. I've got three in particular with whom I've had the good fortune to have shared a desk or a job or even a microphone. They are the same three who now seem dedicated to making sure if something of interest shows up in their e-mail, it will also show up in mine.

Duane is one of them. If something involves numbers, he'll send it along. If something involves politics, especially in Colorado, he'll send that along. More especially, if it involves the former governor with whom we both worked until Bill Owens decided he liked politics more, Duane will be sure I know.

Lyle is another one I hear from. We were on the same board of directors almost from the time Hines became my home again after years spent living in other states. His area of special interest seems centered on things mechanical. That probably reflects the work he and a couple of his friends did, building a machine that cuts logs to firewood length, splits them and loads them into a truck or onto a pile. It works, too.

And then there is Conrad. As a radio station manager, he allowed more latitude in a morning broadcast than was usual in those days. He later allowed more generosity in his restaurant servings than was profitable. He even allowed campers near Mt. Rushmore to enjoy a hearty breakfast without having to cook it themselves. I never have the least idea what sort of e-mail will be waiting when I hear from him.

Someone sent me a July calendar -- maybe you've already seen it. According to the note, only once in 823 years will we have a July like the one this year. Take a look. There are five Fridays, five Saturdays, five Sundays. The superstitious call this month Money Bags and base it on the Chinese feng shui. That makes sense in a way since most stuff these days is made in China.

Thoughts while drying the dishes... like so much, if not everything, that shows up on the internet nowadays, this calendar came with the admonition to send it off to everyone and money will start rolling in, to me, within four days. I know three guys who should probably see this. I also know I won't be holding my breath waiting for the mailman.

Pioneer staff reports