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Remembering Gene Larson


Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Monday, June 25, 2001

Writing is a solitary job. Most of the time I work alone, but that changed recently for a few weeks when I had the good fortune to work with Gene Larson. Our relationship began right after I bought an old house in Lanesboro. Quickly I learned I was way over my head and asked Ordell Garness if he could help with carpentry. He was too busy and suggested I contact Gene.

"I work kind of slow," Gene said. But after we worked together for a few days I told him I didnt think he was slow. Instead, from what I saw, he was steady, thoughtful, he didnt waste motion and paid incredible attention to details.

"Why are you doing this kind of work?" he asked as I scraped hardened linoleum glue off the maple floor.

"The work I do is too lonely," I said, stopping to shake my sore wrist. "Many times all I have after a days work is crumpled pieces of paper. Plus Ive been feeling pretty insecure about writing and I need to do something that will give me a sense of accomplishment."

Gene went to his van, came back into the kitchen and handed me his scraper. It was honed to perfection, reflecting years of sharpening.

One day Gene asked me to hold a piece of sheetrock against the wall while he set the nails. Perched on a narrow ledge in an awkward corner he twisted his body around to set each nail in place. Then he reached up and with one blow of his hammer punched in each nail.

"That was pretty slick," I said. "Youve got good eyes."

He cocked his head, his blue eyes looked intently. "I do pretty good for a man with only one eye," he said, then talked about loosing his sight as a result of a cataract. Then he pulled his wristwatch from his pocket, "Ill be back in a little while," he said and went to have his daily cup of coffee with his good friend Arlo Rexford.

After we hauled the old carpeting out, Gene let me use his polished metal pliers to pull rusted staples out of the floorboards. The pliers had the precision of fine tweezers. As he removed the quarter-round he talked about being in the Army. His demeanor became serious as he remembered the cruelty he had witnessed; he paused, then wondered what Italy would look like now.

As we shared our life experiences and learned about each other, I didnt find out anything that Genes friends and family didnt know. He didnt share any secrets. What he did was share the experiences, wisdom and tools of 77 years. As we tor .....
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Foods Weekly Ads

Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in Columnists

Annabelle Kvam June 25, 2001

My heart goes out to all those people that have flood problems and the poor farmers trying to get their hay up. Last week Wednesday four of us girls were going to Stewartville to pick up my sister and between Wykof ..... 
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Fud 4 Thot

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Maxxximum Madcap

Answer:

HEIR TO THE THRONE

Fud 4 Thot

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Maxxximum MadcapWeekly cartoon, Max, Maxxx, Maxxximum, Madcap, food for thought, fud 4 thot

Vulture released back into the wild

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Monday, June 25, 2001


When Ginny Hayssen, a volunteer with the University of Minnesota Raptor Center in St. Paul, launched the turkey vulture up in the air the bird flew 100 yards across an open field to a nearby tree. This marked the f ..... 
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Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Spring Valley campout slated to benefit ALSBy Carol ThouinMonday, June 18, 2001

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 30 if you're looking for a fun, family event that combines great food, music and games and benefits Amyotrophic Later ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Council postpones decision on police chiefBy John TorgrimsonMonday, June 25, 2001

It shouldnt take eight weeks, interim Police Chief John Tuchek told the Lanesboro City Council at Monday nights meeting. Tuchek was reacting to the council w ..... 
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Spend it, then shut off the lights

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Monday, June 25, 2001

The countys Social Services Director, Thomas Boyd, was first on the agenda at last Tuesdays special meeting of the County Board. Boyds educational presentation was highlighted with explanations of budgets, and of what ..... 
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Journey to the lost city

Fri, Jun 22nd, 2001
Posted in

Traveling the Yucatan Peninsula -- with kids!By Al MathisonMonday, June 25, 2001

When we get to Cancun, were going to do something totally different and adventurous, I told my wife, Linda. We would rent a car and head so ..... 
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