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In the 1940s, boxing was king in New Richland
GOLDEN MEMORIES — Above, items on display at the New Richland Area Historical Society. Below, Earl Parriott with his silver gloves award (Star Eagle photos by Rodney Hatle)
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a seven-part series about local, area, and state amateur and professional boxing.)
By RODNEY HATLE
At times there really is a rhyme and a reason. In this story of 68 years ago, the rhyme could be written:
Best in the state
In nineteen forty-eight.
And the reason is that Raul J. Donoso won the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Welterweight Championship through dedication to his own skills. It was February in Minneapolis.
The trophy is inscribed: “U.M.G.G. Team Champion 1948 – Raul Donoso – Welterweight.”
That was his graduation year at New Richland High School.
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MOTHERLY LOVE — Arianna Hansen, right, and her mother, Amy. (Star Eagle photo by Jessica Lutgens)
By JESSICA LUTGENS
Courage can often be found in those one might least expect.
Such is the case with Arianna Hansen, an 11-year-old fifth-grade student at NRHEG. In 2009, when Arianna was in kindergarten, a MRI revealed a brain tumor on her optic nerve.
“Her left eye had started to spasm,” Arianna’s mother, Amy, explained. “We took her in for an eye exam, and then we went to Rochester for the MRI.”
This type of brain tumor is called optic nerve glioma, and while rare, they almost always occur in children before age 20. In Arianna’s situation, if the tumor were not removed eventually, it would cause her to lose her vision.
At the time, because it is statistically slow-growing, it was thought the tumor likely wouldn’t grow – and if it did, only minimally.
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Peterson to auction Christmas lights
BITTERSWEET FAREWELL — After four decades, Vince Peterson of rural New Richland will not have his farmplace decorated this winter, as depicted in a painting that hangs in the entryway of his home. He’s selling most of it by auction on Sunday. Peterson is pointing at two items that will not be sold. (Star Eagle photo by Jim Lutgens)
By JIM LUTGENS
For anyone out there hoping to catch one last look at Vince Peterson’s now famous Christmas display, you’re out of luck.
It won’t be there this year.
At 84, after putting up a portion of the lights — a task he’s performed since 1975 — Peterson concluded that he’s too old and too tired to continue, and decided to hold a public auction on almost all of his collection. It’s set for Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. — just in time for the holidays — at Peterson’s farm north of New Richland. Auction proceeds will be donated, half to Trinity Lutheran Church of New Richland and half to the New Richland Area Fund.
It marks the end of an era for an impressive display, which gained popularity through the decades as Peterson and his late wife, Virginia, added items almost every year. It was a must-see for anyone with kids or anyone who enjoyed Christmas lights. It was known throughout Southern Minnesota.
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Bohlen finally achieves perfection on the bowling lanes
FAMILY AFFAIR — Bowling has definitely been a family activity for Rick Bohlen of rural New Richland, who rolled his first 300 game Nov. 16 at Trapper’s Lanes. (Star Eagle photo by Jim Lutgens)
By JIM LUTGENS
Nobody’s perfect, of course, but on one night, for one shining moment, Rick Bohlen of rural New Richland was exactly that.
Bohlen, 55, finally bowled an elusive 300 game, hitting 12 consecutive strikes Monday, Nov. 16 during league competition at Trapper’s Lanes in New Richland.
It was the first of a three-game 710 series for Bohlen, who followed the perfecto with games of 217 and 193, and it was a long time coming for someone who started bowling more than 50 years ago when his father, Merlin, owned the bowling alley then known as Bohlen’s Lanes.
“I think it was kind of neat it was done here,” said Bohlen, who bowled for many years in Albert Lea before returning to town with his brother, James, to take over their father’s heating and air conditioning business in 2006. “To come back here to do it where we actually grew up and learned how to bowl, it was special.”
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Friends, family pay tribute to one of Geneva’s favorite citizens
SOMETHING’S MISSING — A glass of Guinness, a shot of whiskey and other items were placed at Digger’s usual spot at Geneva Bar and Grill during a recent bar bingo. (Star Eagle photo by Kathy Paulsen)
By KATHY PAULSEN
This is a difficult story to write.
Difficult because in no way can it do justice to a special man who so warmed our hearts and left us with a vast amount of touching memories.
Leprechauns are special people who roam the world with their spirit full of tricks and laughter. They always smile and make you feel good.
It has been said if you find a leprechaun you will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That certainly holds true for the people in our area. The pot of gold was in the heart of Thomas Desmond Donnelly IV, and the rainbow of happiness always seemed to shine after the rain.
Tom was proud of his Irish heritage and could often be seen wearing green. Following his death, people passing by his home on Central Avenue in Geneva could see a lit green shamrock in one of the front windows.