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Pathways Through Our Past

It's been a long time since I've written this column, so long in fact, my information may appear stale. I'm going to write it anyway because to me it was important once, still is, I guess. The only reason I'm late with it is because... you guessed it, my old computer went kaput and finally died. I'm in the process of learning how this new Hewlett Packard computer operates and I'll be darned if I'm going to be one of those old dogs that can't learn new tricks. Hang in there with me, ok?

Ten years ago, Blackduck celebrated its 100th birthday. Some of you may recall what a memorable year it was with some sort of fun event happening almost monthly.

Remember the wintertime games and snow sculptures, the all-school reunion and the sentimental journey musical just to name a few? Oh! And who could forget the year-end celebration, a year completed with a mighty fine fireworks display in cool, crisp December. Winter fireworks are fantastic!

Five years ago, come August, the Blackduck Area History and Art Center opened as one of the city's main attractions. The Blackduck community's history is portrayed in museum-like displays throughout the center.

Our library contains historical records, scripted and DVD stories of veterans and early residents and vintage photographs.

The center also houses an art gallery "The Tin Pan gALLErY" where local artists can show their works. The facility is constant, however, many, many entertaining special events are presented regularly. I've said it before, it's a great place to spend an afternoon reminiscing with friends.

Twenty years ago, the Blackduck newspaper headlined a column "Keep the Dream Alive." A new children's playground was completed at the school grounds. It included among other things, tire swings, a maze, tire crawl spaces, a dinosaur slide and a Viking ship with a handcarved Viking head at its top. It was a major undertaking involving both adults and kids. Gov. Arnie Carlson added a little handiwork in the cement, then proclaimed: "Blackduck is the finest example of community involvement in the state of Minnesota."

He told the students at the Blackduck School where he was touring the unique playground that, "A community is only as strong as its people and youth must be given incentives to renew the community by staying in the community." He urged the students to "come back after your higher learning and make Blackduck your home and give your children the same opportunity." Sounds good to me.

Guess I'll have to save my other thoughts for next time. I do want to remind you of the Community-Wide Garage Sale coming May 21. The History and Art Center will be grateful for any articles you care to donate to us for this fundraiser. Call LaVonne at 835-8210 or drop items off Thursday or Friday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.