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Pathways Through Our Past


(Part two of two)

A little more on entertainment in Blackduck for those who remember the way it was.

1950 was the first time ice fishing contests were held according to information I could find. It was also the first I found that square dancing was talked about. The notice read that if there was any interest in this new popular form of dancing, a club might be formed.

For many years this form of dancing was a favorite of those living in the hill country of Tennessee and the surrounding states. The Ten Pin Club was the new bowling alley to open in the Swanson building basement. The proprietors were Mr. and Mrs. George Yates. Plans were to install a couple of pool tables and serve lunches. There was also the plan to host a festival.

During the fair that year, lady wrestling took place at city hall. 1958 brought a magician, hypnotist and mentalist to the stage at the high school. People were challenged to look him in the eye.

Here was a new one: Dunk the Klunk. People were asked to guess when the ice would go out on Blackduck Lake and a clunker would go through the ice.

For several years, Blackduck's own barber shop quartet performed at local functions. Members were Mike Pafko, Don Hanson, Roy Miller and Luther Montgomery. Neva Moon Whitney played piano for the silent movies and Bud Moon, a crooner, auditioned in the Cities.

In the late 1960s, a young group of entertainers called The Inmates consisted of Stuart Snustad, Steve Parker, Richard Lien and Mike Frickstad. Along came the Blackduck Community Players. They put on many shows with Irene and Harry Strong directing and acting in many of the productions. They also put on several Gong Shows. Many locals preformed. Larry and Pat Zea's roller rink also provided entertainment and exercise.

Some memories local resident Wilma Joy are of playing on the bandstand located where Gary Anderson has his insurance office. Mary Wahnschaffe Joy can remember seeing almost every show that the theater ran. Several people remember dancing at local barn dances in the area.

For a small town, talent ran riot. We still have a lot as seen by the local school drama productions such as the community and school choirs as well as the school band. If all you can do is play the comb for your own entertainment, you have talent.

Mary Foster won the $25 gift certificate at the History and Art Center.