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78


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Vanishing America


Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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Monday, August 7, 2000

Ever since I read about Lilly and her general store in his book, Jailhouse Stories, Iíve been asking Neil Haugerud to take me over to the little burg of Amherst for a visit.

"Youíve never met Lilly?" Neil always responds with surprise. "Everybodyís met Lilly."

Well, I havenít.

This summer, after encountering several people, including a former Minnesota state legislator and three slightly unbalanced New York bankers, who were each going through a bout of severe Midwestern culture shock, and after learning that Neil had taken them all to visit Lilly, I insisted that it was my turn next. And last week, the former sheriff finally agreed.

Neil had described Lilly in his book as "a diminutive craggy-faced woman of considerable character". He wrote of the time when Lilly would not sell a customer the last three loaves of bread from her sparsely stocked shelves because the customer "had to leave some for the others".

That anecdote was one of the most refreshing and appealing things I could remember reading anywhere. Lilly sounded like a throwback to another era, a true remnant of a vanishing America. Lilly was more in synch with 19th century sensibilities than those of the 21st. And when she was gone there would be absolutely nobody who would be able to take her place.

Last Wednesday afternoon when Neil and I pulled up to Lillyís Amherst store there were four pickups parked out front. "Iíve never seen this place so crowded," Neil commented.

Inside a few local farmers and loggers were sitting on chairs and well-worn couches talking about the previous nightís thunderstorm.

Neil introduced me to Lilly, who promptly told me that her back was bothering her.

"Iím 85 years old, you know," she said. "I started running this store on April 1, 1954. Thatís forty-six years ago."

LILLY standing outside of her Amherst general store.



I commented on the uniqueness of the country grocery store in todayís world. I knew that Highland, just up the road, still had a grocery store but I couldnít think of any others around the county. I told Lilly that when I was a kid, Greenleafton, a town of fifty, had two grocery stores, as did Cherry Grove, another town of fifty, only four miles to the west.

Lilly said that within a few miles of Amherst, there had once been grocery stores in Newburg, Lenora, Tawney, Choice, Bratsberg, and Henrytow .....
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Hauling

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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My family and I went to a wedding in Wisconsin on a recent Saturday morning. The wedding site was straight east of our place about one hundred twenty miles. There was no good way of getting there due to the negligence of the last glacier that failed ..... 
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The accidental artist

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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For Hong Kong native Peter Mak, the journey to Lanesboro isn't as far as it seems. You see, Mak's exhibition of art work at Cornucopia Art Center has a local connection. Mak's wife is Barbara Tammel, the daughter of Marilyn and Donne Tammel of rural ..... 
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What I do when I canít find anything to do

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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It helps if I make a list of things to do when I have the time. I think of all the nice things that I might be able to do for the people less fortunate than I am; such as giving advice to those in need of it and time to the timeless.

When the ..... 
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Journal Profile # 76

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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Name: Tamara Hamlett
Home: Trotwood, Ohio
Profession: Domestic Engineer
Family: Husband Anthony, four daughters: Autumn-20, Candice-18, Olivia-13, Carmen-10, and one son Charles-8
Personal Hero: Laura In ..... 
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Meat Loaf Pie

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pound lean ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon diced oregano
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese< ..... 
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8/7/00

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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Max, Maxxximum, Madcap, Cartoon, Food for thought, Fud 4 thot

Monday, August 7, 2000

Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
Posted in

To the Editor,
The 2000 Fillmore County Fair is history. I think it will be remembered as one of the best county fairs here in decades. Not only was the weather perfect, the good mood and attitudes of those exhibiting and attending was unparalle ..... 
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Sun, Aug 6th, 2000
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