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Play Ball!


Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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Monday, May 29, 2000

Outside the old St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanes-boro, the sweet strains of the Count Baise and Duke Ellington orchestras float through the warm evening air. Even before entering the theatre, you know you are about to be taken back to another time and another place.

The time is the postwar 1940’s, when the USA was a sharply divided country, deeply segregated along ra-cial lines. White America had its Major League Baseball and Black America had what was then called the Negro Leagues. This is the setting for the Commonweal Theatre’s newest play, Most Valuable Player.

It was Jackie Robinson who finally broke the color barrier in professional baseball and in his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers played so superbly, in spite of constant harassment, taunts and even death threats, that he was named Rookie of the Year. The play unfolds as a series of snapshots and flashbacks that cover the gamut of Robinson’s career; from his California childhood to the end of the 19 season, when he won the Most Valuable Player Award in the National League.

Guiesseppe Jones, a New York actor making his first appearance on the Lanesboro stage, plays the leading role of Jackie Robinson. Jones quickly establishes himself as a likeable guy we’re going to be pulling for. He plays Jackie with just the right blend of defi-ance and grace. Wherever Jackie goes from the sandlot ballfields of his childhood to the big league stadiums of the 1940’s, hostility and hate are there to greet him. When Jackie gets called up to the Dodgers, some of his fellow teammates start a petition to keep him off the team. Rival ballplayers and racist fans jeer and mock him unmercifully. For strength Jackie repeats the mantra, the quiet affirmation, that his older brother gave him: "I’m a Robinson and Rob-inson’s don’t give up".

The four other actors who make up the cast, all newcomers to the Commonweal Stage, turn in some fine solid performances. Nicholas Ozment is the far-sighted progressive baseball owner, Branch Rickey who recruits Robinson. Ozment nurtures both Robinson’s talent and fighting spirit with compassion and understanding.

Torsten Hillhouse plays PeeWee Reese, Robinson’s buddy and double-play partner, with verve and gusto. Mark Baer is Jackie’s nemesis, an opposing pitcher who is a bigoted redneck without shame. And then there’s June Christy Burch, playing a BBC journalist who is a bit befuddled by the complicated game o .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

Father and son

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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Our oldest son had an accident at work last week. He got his finger caught between two parts of a hydraulic punch. The business of the world stopped for two days as we focused on the questions of what and when and where and how long. His injury is se ..... 
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The three year plan

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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Monday, June 5, 2000

It was at supper a few weeks ago, when my family was all gathered, that I told them.

"Now that we are all together, there is something I need to tell you," I said to them in a voice that was serious but devoid of e ..... 
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Sour cream apple pie

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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5 cups pared, cored, and diced apples
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 9” pie shell
• Chop apples in a medium dice. Combine flour and sugar, add egg, ..... 
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Monday, June 12, 2000

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
Posted in

To the Editor,
My concern for canine officers and their handlers began when canine officer Lazer was shot and killed, along with two police officers, while apprehending a drug dealer in St. Paul. My concern resurfaced recently while watching poli ..... 
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Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
Posted in

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
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Merwin W. “Bill” Schmidt

Mon, Jun 12th, 2000
Posted in

Bill Schmidt, 59, of Preston died Sunday, June 4, 2000 at New Prague, MN.

He was born February 25, 1941, at Detroit Lakes, MN. He grew up and graduated from Detroit Lakes High School. He attended Luther College at Wahoo, NE. He served in the ..... 
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