132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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This year’s theme at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota was very interesting to me. In fact, so interesting that I’m donating most of this column to that very theme: “Remember When?” Put those two words in front of each of the following statements as you read this.

• Outdoor toilets weren’t portable.

• Most people failed the driving test to get their driver’s license (there was no driver’s ed.)

• Canadian geese weren’t plentiful.

• You could go to a movie with popcorn for less than five dollars.

• McDonald’s had only one kind of coffee.

• The interstate speed limit was 55.

• A box of crayons was either 8 or 16. 

• All barns were red.

• A fish house was heated with wood.

• A windmill was for water, not electricity.

• Helicopters were not used for crop dusting.

• Your fingers did the telephone dialing.

• There wasn’t a computer in your house.

• There was a school in Hartland, Hope, Geneva and Clarks Grove.

• There was a restaurant at the junction of Minn. 30 and I35. 

• Highway 14 went through Waseca and Owatonna.

• There was an “Uncle Sam” in every post office, with the words, “wants you.”

• New Richland and Ellendale each had a weekly newspaper.

• Flat tires were very common.

• Pheasants outnumbered turkeys.

• All pickup trucks had 2 doors.

• Your car didn’t shut off the lights if you didn’t.

• There weren’t any coyotes.

• Every Sunday church service began and ended with the ringing of the bell.

• You could drive north through Hope, take a right turn and cross the Straight River while driving east.

• Ellendale and New Richland were separate high schools.

• A rural address was rural route.

• There was a summer drive-in restaurant at the Junction of Minnesota 13 and 30 in New Richland.

• There weren’t any girls’ team sports in high school.

• A phone wasn’t a camera or anything else.

• You could drive the Lemond Road from Pontoppidan Lutheran Church to Owatonna.

• Jack rabbits and red foxes were common.

• Town water towers were silver colored.

• Everyone had a special “go-to” church Sunday outfit.

• Most people smoked cigarettes – especially movie stars.

• Christmas at Grandma’s was a few miles away.

• Your first fishing pole was not a rod and reel.

• You had to have a TV antenna to get a TV reception.

• Most homes had a one car garage.

— — —

Christmas by the Lake is the first Saturday in December yearly at Clear Lake, Iowa.

F.R.O.G. of Central Freeborn Lutheran Church has a bus departing at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 6 from behind Slumberland in Albert Lea to Christmas by the Lake.

You can tour the activities on Main Street, view the lighted Christmas parade followed by fireworks over the lake (the parade and fireworks can be viewed from the bus) and then a KFC buffet meal in Clear Lake.

“Deal or No Deal” will be played on the bus en route to Clear Lake for prizes.

Reservations are needed. Contact Bob or Genie Hanson at 373-8655 or Wayne or Bev Inderlier at 826-3267 to attend. The price is $26 per person, with $5 cash back per person if the 56 passenger coach bus is full.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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