132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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Latest New Richland, Minnesota, weather


Fourteen years ago I wrote my first Fact or Fiction column—May 30, 2002, to be exact. Since then it has been a struggle to keep only intelligent readers with the ability to decide fact or fiction. The following math problem should help with all the readers with the problem of deciding:

One thousand plus 40. Now add another thousand. Add ten. A thousand more. Add 40. Now add ten more.

If you got 4,000, keep on reading, as that answer is most certainly from the kind of intelligent reader this column is looking for to make the wrong decision of “fact or fiction.”

In looking at the big outdoor billboard in Albert Lea of Kevin LaFrance, I noticed some small lettered words in the lower right-hand corner. After stopping the car and going over to the billboard, these were the tough-to-read words: “Any similarity between this picture and an FBI Most Wanted poster is purely coincidental.”

In looking at the pretty yellow flowers in our lawn, plus many other lawns, this is the year of the dandelions. (I suspect the price of dandelion wine will drop drastically due to the bumper crop.)

Genie and I attended the 14th Annual Meatball Dinner at Community Lutheran Church in Geneva. Per the church ad, you were to attend and show your appreciation for one of God’s greatest gifts to earth: Meatballs. (The appreciation was in the form of a free-will donation.) It seems there is a “meatball” problem; three hundred forty people were served two meatballs per person – thus, 680 meatballs sold when they ran out. Yet 720 meatballs were made for sale. The local question is, “Where have all the meatballs gone?”

Store hours posted on the door at Wayne’s antique store in New Richland (Dad’s Good Stuff): “Open daily Mon.-Sat. 8-4.” Below the posted hours in small, red handwritten letters: “Quiet, he naps from 1-3.”

Keep the following in mind when reading about my root canal experience: I graduated from Mankato State College in 1961. The population in the 1960 census was 29,724 for Mankato and North Mankato combined. Thus, the answer to the question, “Where have all the cornfields gone?”

I don’t think I can handle another Friday the 13th, as May 13 was the end of a weeklong tough chain of events. The two busted teeth in North Carolina resulted in a root canal, three teeth pulled and a partial denture – far, far exceeding the cost of 15 days on the road there and back.

Dr. Scott Peters and licensed dental assistant Carrie at Southern Minnesota Endodontic in Mankato did the root canal. (The last time I was at their location was as a student at Mankato State College, when the farmer landowner hired me to cultivate his corn while driving his John Deere tractor.) They let me know the next root canal would be a lot easier, as they were opening an office for just root canals as of this August in Albert Lea. I let them know only if they subscribed to the Star Eagle newspaper with it being available to all their clients would I use their services, if needed. After going back and forth, Carrie politely said, “Deal,” and Doc was outvoted.

Dr. George Lundstrom in Albert Lea did the other dental work. His pretty female surroundings agreed to subscribe to the Star Eagle newspaper for his clients to read. (After they have read it.)


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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