Every time I go to the Star Eagle office in New Richland, I look at that empty building on Broadway that was once a theater, and I think of my dad.
I miss my dad. He had a mind full of things he could tell you about New Richland and growing up there. He could tell us endless stories about all the places he worked at in town, and many things that were interesting to know. Granted, he talked a lot about the people who lived there then, many who were gone before my time, but it was still interesting hearing all the stories.
Like the theater, my mother’s memory of the theater was that it was where she first saw the movie "Gone With The Wind.” The movie was long and in beautiful color for "those days.” Now we can watch it on home video whenever we want to. Back in those days only one movie was available in the theaters at a time, and people would have to wait until the different movies made the circuit around the area.
Some of the things I wish that I had been able to remember about my dad’s stories would be priceless to me today. One thing I do remember is, one day my mother had my dad talk with the people at a care center about the Armistice Day Storm. His audience was almost breathless as he spoke about his experiences during the storm. He rode his bike, with flat tires, through the storm to help a poultry farmer deal with turkeys that became frozen as a result of the storm.
One story my dad shared was a story about Rev. Walstrom.
Rev. Walstrom would go to the movies and would sit in the back of the theater, and was often criticized for being there. Evidently people then didn't believe that was the place for a pastor to be. He said he went to see what his parishioners were seeing when they went to the theater, so he could preach about it just like pastors do yet today.
As I remember, my dad said that Rev. Walstrom had a young black man live with him for a time, as he needed a place to live. Remember this was years ago when people didn't often see a black person in our area, let alone in town. The reverend got up early every Sunday, and he and his house guest would attend church together at the Catholic church because his guest was of the Catholic faith.
Someone once told him a story about "so and so" who wasn't in church because he had gone fishing. The good reverend said he would rather have the person out in a fishing boat thinking about God, than being in church thinking about fishing — which still holds true today.
Walstrom was a common sense "reality-type" person. His name should go down in history for the many things he did. If there are any people in our area who still remember Reverend Walstrom, I would love to hear stories and memories about this great man.
I would like to hear stories about my dad too. He was dyslexic — something nobody thought about back then, and as a result he had problems in school. Education then wasn't like it is today.
These great stories are priceless.
When I was working on my "Whatever Comes To Mind" column, I lost it off my computer, and I have learned you can't write the same story the same way the second time around. I apologize. Typing with one finger can be difficult at times – just ask Dana Standke. We don't appreciate things the way we should until something comes along and changes it.
I have been having some difficult times of late. I spent the past week in Rochester with my mother, and experienced a number of problems with my computer. Computers are great until something goes wrong.
I hope you have a great week.
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Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:
• Thursday, April 2: Harold Wayne, Leanna Burns, Deb Nelson, Luke Miller, Joyce Tufte Sorenson, Sonja Larson, Teresa Jensen, Kaleb Smith, Dwight Schewe, Greg Nelson, Matthew Halla, Genevieve Wayne, Bill & Pat Draayer, David & Shelly Mangskau, Brian & Lois Nelson
• Friday, April 3: Solvieg Sorenson, Linda Goodnature, Mikayla Moon, Joanne Christensen, Randy Kronberg, Patty Slater, Jase Dean Knudson, Kevin Born
• Saturday, April 4: Daryl Paulsen, Jena Richards Thompson, Erik Smith, Rachael Nicole Roades, Erin Elaine Peterson, Nathan Spande, Theresa Kasper, Danny Larson, Don Larson, Ann Michelle Larson, Diane & Dave Broskoff
• Sunday, April 5: LaVada Jensen, Colette Bauers, Samuel Thompson, Alyssa Haried, Brian Schultz, Duane Nelson, Mike Johnson, Gary & Sue Hunnicutt, Dale & Nancy Kelly
• Monday, April 6: Skip Cromwell, Spencer Kubat, Eric Crabtree, Duane Lembke, Dean Westrum, Andrew Haried, Paul Underland, Laurie Wayne, Paul Highum, Chris Phillips Carlson
• Tuesday, April 7: Janye Villarreal, Janice Jensen Skovera, Lou Hanson-Vu, Katie Lembke, Michael & Kari Ingvaldson, Gary & Sonya Peterson
• Wednesday, April 8: Sarah Collins, Ivy Obermoller, Dick Tracy, Nick Vreeman, Tim Stollard, Mark Hemingway, Sherri Carlson, Karen O'Byrne, Bob Donovan, David Pitcock, Alice Grosland, Dale & Vivian Dulas, Paul & Karissa Dolan
• Thursday, April 9: Becky Larson, Justin Tufte, June Lageson, Abby Paige Christopherson, Raianna Thomas, Jim Kaplan, Kiersten Knudson, Mike Nechanicky, Larry Sarver, Clarice McGrath, Tiffany Chrz, Joe & Mandy Moon
• Friday, April 10: Kimberly Luhring, Sara Bergerson, Sarah Skroch, Sophia Rose Christensen, Luke David Olson, Daniel Gould, Liz Reichl, Harold Pitcock, Arlen & Coleen Brekke, Lawrence & Dorothy Sprankle
• Saturday, April 11: Barb Marcus, Ruth Benson, Lori Dobberstein Sodeman, Jessica Dobberstein, Jacob Alan Reynolds, Dan Nelson, Darrin Thostenson, Theresa Bartsch, James Thompson
It is your special day - take a break and celebrate!
Surprise somebody. Call someone. Send a card and make their day. Little things mean a lot.