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Letter to the Editor - The top 10 things I learned from Herb Lien

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The top 10 things I learned from Herb Lien

To the editor:

When the Lien family hired general manager of Blackduck Telephone, I expected to learn about a small rural telephone company and their high level of service and dedication to the customers and their employees. I learned that and so much more.


What I remember most about Herb are the things I learned outside of work. Let's call them living lessons, in no particular order:

• Be a good public servant and serve with conviction.

• Toys come in $5,000 increments and you need at least two of them.

• You need to have a lot of ratchet straps of different strengths and sizes to tie down these toys. By the way, the straps don't work if you don't use them.

• Things are just things, as long as nobody got hurt.

• Use a small chain saw when trimming the lower branches of the spruce trees.

• All Scotch tastes bad; pretend you enjoy it.

• Blizzak tires in the winter and carry a tow strap.

• Playing numbers for your lunch. They will let you win the first time, after that it's blood.

• Herb can mark trails better than any GPS. Just give him some red or orange ribbon.

This is a long one. What you need to put a dock in the water in the spring and take it back out in the fall:

• High tolerance for ice cold water

• Small tractor with a bucket and several chains

• 2x12 wood planks, at least 14' long

• 4x4 green treated square posts 6' long

• Cordless drill and deck screws

• WD40

• Sockets, several sets

• Air tank for the flat tires on the dock

• Row boat with oars

• Bug spray

• Hornet spray

• 4-wheeler

• A Golden Retriever (or two)

• Neighbor's dog to get in the way

• Extra help to stand around and watch

• Cold beer and some food

• Fire starter

• Chainsaw, there could be some downed trees in the way

Bob Gannon

Marcus, IA

EDITOR'S NOTE: Herb Lien, lifelong Blackduck resident and former owner of Blackduck Telephone Co., died Feb. 16 at the age of 63. Bob Gannon is former general manager of Blackduck Telephone