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Township Roads:Chaperones


Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

My wife, Deb, and I just got back from the Minnesota FFA Convention. Our sons, Matt and Ted, both participated in the event. They are guitarists in a band named Near-Death Experience that participated in the FFA Talent Contest. Near-Death Experience performed in front of several hundred fellow FFA members. Near-Death Experience performed as well as Iíve ever heard them, but not well enough to win the top prize. That prize went to a young woman who played the guitar and sang a song she had written herself. It is amazing the amount of talent these kids have accumulated by the age of only eighteen.

Deb and I went to the FFA Convention as "roadies" for Near-Death Experience and as chaperones for our local chapter. We had to take the seats out of our mini-van in order to haul all the drums, amps, speakers, guitars and luggage. It was our job to scout out the auditorium at the University of Minnesota where the FFA Talent Contest was being held. Although I attended the University, the auditorium was across town and across the river from the College of Agriculture where I spent most of my time. It was lucky we left early because the University manages to tuck some big buildings into tiny spaces and doesnít bother with signs to tell you where you might start looking. Although we had planned poorly and failed to take a proper map like good scouts would have, we made up for it with cell phones.

Deb and I, with the help of Lloyd and Jane Johnson, had one main task as chaperones; to stand guard at the motel and make sure that our young charges felt secure in their rooms after eleven p.m. Our FFA advisor, Mr. Schaufler, checked each room at curfew and then went to bed to get his well-earned rest. We chaperones stayed up and watched the hallway from the vantage point of our room. We heard hardly a peep out of our kids, but boys will be boys and girls will be girls, so we watched until very early in the morning anyway. We didnít expect any shenanigans from our FFA members and they didnít disappoint us. Iím sure a few of them didnít get much sleep, but they didnít keep anybody else from sleeping either. They all behaved very well for the entire convention, as did almost all the FFA members from all chapters throughout the state.

I was hoping that the kids would be better than I was when I was their age. Although I was not wicked by any standard, I was easily misled by others more worldly. My FFA experience .....
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Journal Writing Project: Eric Leitzen

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

By Eric M. Leitzen

Anger. Sadness. Indifference. Fear. Longing. This is what I saw on the bronze faces of the nineteen soldiers that made up the National Korean War Memorial. Those faces, so masterfully sculpted, will be forever ..... 
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Of People, Places and Things: Courts will likely decide Heartlandís fate

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

At the Preston City Council meeting on Monday night, when Preston Mayor Dave Pechulis pulled a rabbit out of his hat and ruled that a three to two vote supporting a conditional use permit for Heartland had failed because it did not meet the super maj ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: Harvey, the Homeless

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It is 2:30 p.m. at the Harmony Library, time for me to begin a talk about my book "At Home in the Big Woods," but the only people who are here besides me are the librarian, the maintenance man and one patron. I never know what to expect when I prepar ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Andy Wolter

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Summer seems like it might finally be back, weatherwise at least we see some days crawling up to 80 degrees. School is getting close to being out, again, and I canít say if thatís a good thing or not (again). When ever summer comes around I always ma ..... 
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Township Roads: Gopher Mine

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

They say that all wealth comes from the earth and I was reminded of that early last Sunday. Against my better judgment I got up early. I ground some coffee beans and set our high-tech coffee maker to do what it does best Ė noisily boil water and slos ..... 
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Prairie Notes: Take me home, country roads

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Last March, my older sister Jenni called, wondering what to do about our motherís dilemma. Momís recently diagnosed osteoporosis left her unable to bend or lift meant no spring cleaning without help. On a mutually agreed upon weekend, I drove to my s ..... 
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