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The Little Red Jacket


Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features

"At one time it was so bad that I thought the young would have to go naked. We had of course ration cards, but that was no help so long as there wasn't so much as a yard of material to find! So then came a call from the Creamery Station that new 'American packages' had arrived in. I was so happy the tears rolled. When the package was opened, it contained clothes that fit all of the children and then I really cried. Still today 31 years later I don't think I can give thanks enough for this package." Quotation from 73-year-old Petra Størseth from Stadsbygd near Trondheim, Norway (translated from an article in a Norwegian newspaper 1977).

Petra recalled October 27, 1948, the very day she received her "heartily welcomed package from America." Amongst the clothing was a little red jacket with a piece of paper in the pocket containing the words "Charlotte Knudson, Canton, Minnesota." My mother, at age 14, had included her name and address in the pocket of her jacket destined for Norway.A clothing drive had taken place two years earlier, in 1946, at the Henrytown Lutheran Church. At the time, radio and newspapers kept everyone informed of the war and conditions in Norway. Charlotte's mother, Esther Knudson, hearing about the church event, collected good used clothing for her grandfather's homeland. Amongst the clothing donated by the Knudson family was Charlotte's jacket.The very same day Petra received the "American package" she wrote a thank you letter to my mother, Charlotte, containing in part (translation by Harley Refsal, Decorah, IA December 2002):

October 27, 1948Dear friend,Actually, the package arrived two years ago. Some of the gifts were distributed at that time, others were put away until now, when I received a red jacket, which just fits my six-year-old daughter. She was so happy, so I wanted to write and thank you at once."It was wonderful to receive the clothes, since times have been very difficult here - we have survived on almost nothing. But one has to be thankful that we now have peace, and we're finally able to get food again. During the war we couldn't get coffee or sugar, and ate a lot of dark, coarse bread. But - we survived that too.It's a bit unusual to be writing to someone I don't know, but I want to express my deepest thanks for the little red jacket . . . It's wonderful to have a contact .....
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TJ Liquor

“Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon...”

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features

Every December, as the Christmas spirit begins to fill our hearts, the city of Caledonia in Houston County, puts on their annual "Bluff Valley Balloon Rally". At this event, the people of Caledonia open their homes and share them with the balloon tea ..... 
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Harmony City one step closer on wastewater plant

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features

The city of Harmony may pass "Go" and collect anywhere from $374,850 to $624,750 in funding – if the Environmental Review Report application is approved for a U.S.D.A. Rural Development Grant explained Mike Lynch, Bonestroo & Associates, at the Harmo ..... 
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Police calls, library parking and liquor licenses discussed at Rushford council meeting

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features

The December 9th Rushford City Council Meeting began with a discussion of outstanding bills for police services to Rushford Village. Calls for police assistance are received in Preston; the Sheriff’s Department then often calls on the City of Rushfor ..... 
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Report on Preston indoor pool and rec center completed

Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features

The Preston area has the philanthropic capacity to support a capital campaign to build an indoor aquatic and recreational center.   That was the conclusion that consultants from Crescendo Consulting of Winona reached after co ..... 
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Inherit the wind

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Features

Over the past few months I have attended several public meetings in Preston dealing with the proposed Heartland Energy and Recycling project that, if built, will burn used tires to generate electricity. Proponents of the plant claimed that the enviro ..... 
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Minnesota faces “the mother of all deficits”

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Features

The latest revenue forecast from the State of Minnesota projects a $4.6 billion deficit. Journal Editor John Torgrimson spoke with State Representative Greg Davids about his reaction to that news and how he sees the state legislature working to solve ..... 
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County dips into reserves to balance budget

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Features

Fillmore County’s proposed 2003 budget tipped the scales at $20,849,241. That was $275,566 over projected revenues, which forced the County Board to dip into its reserves to balance the budget..

"We’re going to have to do some ..... 
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Lanesboro Council: Water park given go ahead

Fri, Dec 6th, 2002
Posted in Features

Raindrops? In December? The Lanesboro City Council turned its attention to a different kind of raindrops at the December 2nd meeting as RainDrop Products president Ron George presented information on "spraygrounds," water play areas. According to Geo ..... 
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