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Across The Lake

We asked Ron Rabe of the DNR here about was happening to Balm of Gilead trees -- a few weeks back they already seemed to be dying off. Ron passed our query on to Jana Albers, the department's insect and disease specialist. Her reply: "In August and September, the only other notable pests I picked up were leaf diseases on Balm of Gilead (now crispy leaves). Three diseases (Septoria, Septotinia and Linospora) are all wet- season leaf spots that really built up this year, pretty much all across our region... Since they are sporadic and late season diseases, no losses are expected."

Sometimes the accents on Lakeland TV are a bit hard to understand. The very British ones on the BBC programs like Masterpiece Mystery, for example. It's one of the shows people miss now that Lakeland is filling airtime with shows that viewers tuned to other PBS stations do get to see. When the Bemidji station doesn't even show Antiques Road Show, it's no wonder I get calls and comments asking what I know about it. I hate to be the one who says "I have no idea -- try asking them." They should at least let the receptionist in on it.

"Where do you get your ideas?" Whenever I'm asked that question I remember the writing of Arch Ward, for many years a columnist for the Chicago Tribune whose column was headed, 'In the Wake of the News." I've probably quoted this before, but it's worth repeating:

"The Wake depends... Help! Help!

Upon its friends... Help! Help!"

And so does this column.

Few weeks ago our story about threshing at Wendell Knutson's farm south of Puposky entailed a visit a short time later with Arvid Sether. Have to hope he remembers next fall to give me a call when they start cutting those oat fields. Sether has rebuilt an old horse-drawn binder, and they use a four-horse team to pull it. Should make for some good pictures of another "how we used to do it" farm story.

Gordon Berg was another reader of the story about changes taking place at The American. Gordy got involved working at the paper when Lee Oberg was publisher and he probably remembers Lee's advice to apprentices: "Printer's ink isn't something that gets in your blood -- it gets on your hands!" Takes a lot of type cleaner to get off, too, but the smell of ink on paper creates memories that soap and water can't remove.

Driving can be hazardous to your health. I'm not sure which is the scariest but the Internet is full of examples, a couple of which showed up on the screen yesterday. One showed a bad way to bag a moose. The driver in this case seemed to have escaped without injury but the moose didn't fare as well. It came through the guy's windshield and wound up in the back of his vehicle. Most of it, anyway, though highway patrol photographs did show that not all of the animal made it.

The second driving mishap happened near Deer Lodge, MT. A college student from Washington state was on his way to Chicago when he fell asleep at the wheel. And drifted onto the shoulder. He hit the end of a guard rail, and 120 feet of the rail went through his right headlight, the engine compartment, the firewall, glove box, the passenger seat, the rear seat, and exited out the rear window on the driver's side. There were no passengers and the driver wasn't hurt, but the car was totaled.

Thoughts while drying the dishes... Years ago a very famous syndicated sports columnist came to work one morning after a night of quite serious over-imbibing. His column filled his allotted 600 words that day with a single sentence, repeated some 75 or 80 times: "I should not mix whiskey and rum." I know better -- my editor wouldn't print it and My Favorite Reader wouldn't allow it. How about Diet Pepsi?