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The Game of Softball


Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Monday, June 4, 2001

When I was growing up, my brothers and I began our softball season as soon as the grass in our front yard was dry enough to walk on without leaving tracks in the mud. We played softball every spare moment we got throughout the entire summer.

Our enthusiasm for softball was fueled by neighborhood tradition. It was a well-supported community activity. There were 4-H, church, town, and township softball leagues that a boy could play in from the time he could pick up a bat until he was old enough to be a danger to himself. There were no big trophies or college scholarships involved. We played because we liked to play.

Our training regimen involved the basics. We played catch with each other when our work was done and while we waited for dinner and supper. We enlisted anybody that walked on the place to play in our pickup games. Two on two softball games can be quite entertaining. The batter had to be his own catcher. The pitcher was the outfielder and everyone was an umpire. Scoring was usually high. We had to negotiate the outcome when a team managed to get both their men on base at the same time. There was no one left to hit them home so they had to draft an opposing player to bat for them.

Our practice field at home was right outside the front door. The backstop was the house. First base was the first maple tree, third was by the light pole, and second base was somewhere out there in the middle. I dont recall that we ever broke any windows with this haphazard arrangement, but there is evidence that we came close. One time my brother threw an overhand rising fastball that tipped the end of my glove and whacked the house. The dent in the steel siding just under the kitchen window is still there. That got my fathers attention. We were more careful after that.

Training continued at our country school. Every recess and lunch period that was not otherwise scheduled involved a softball game. We didnt have time to pick teams so we just ran out and took a position on the field. There werent enough of us to have competition for any one position and there wasnt enough true athletic talent among us to form any rivalries. We had a pitcher who could get the ball over the plate. We had a third baseman who could get the ball to first. We had a catcher that could eventually find the ball underneath him. Everybody had a place. The place to avoid was right field where almost nothing ever happened. When somethi .....
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Hoffman Stables

The Death Penalty, with Chinese Characteristics

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

The European Parliament, considers capital punishment to be both barbaric and inhumane, regardless of the means by which the death penalty is carried out. They routinely mention the United States in the same breath as Chin ..... 
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editor here

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, June 4, 2001

In regards to the letter from Marc Prestby regarding the dismissal of the County Engineer, Mr. Prestby says they cannot respond to the rumors and gossip concerning this issue. Why not? You were el ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Jun 1st, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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