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Letters to Lydia


Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, December 11, 2000

It is 1966. My grandma, Lydia Harris DeLeeuw, lies semi-conscious in Glenhaven Nursing Home in Glencoe, Minnesota, the town in which she was born. She is eighty-nine years old and dying of colon cancer. My grandfather, Abram DeLeeuw, died three years earlier at age eighty-four. Grandma is talking to Grandpa; she claims to see him in heaven.

Abe and Lydia became a couple in 1896. Both were religious, loved music and came from families of nine children. Abe wanted to be a photographer, so in 1898, he apprenticed himself to a photographer named Miller in Minneapolis, sixty miles east of Glencoe.

While living in Minneapolis, Abe wrote to Lydia every Sunday and she wrote to him every Wednesday. She saved his letters, which I now have. He usually began his letters with "Dear Lydia," and "Your kind and most welcome letter was received Thursday and read with much pleasure." His salutation was usually, "Yours very respectfully, Abram DeLeeuw."
Following are excerpts:

Dec. 6th, 1898:

I am only going to write you a few lines to let you know that I arrived here O.K. I found Miller the photographer, and can say so far so good. I have been all over the gallery and worked in the operating room, printing and toning rooms . . .

My boarding place is two blocks and a half from the gallery. I have not been homesick yet, but I wish now that I was not so far away from someone.


Dec. 18th 1898

Lydia I wish you could come down and look at the stores. I tell you they are grand. S.E. Olson has music and a free show every night and there's a crowd outside that reaches across the street looking at the display in his windows . . .

* * *


When Abe came home for Christmas, he spent a good deal of time with Lydia and with his brother Charles, who was ill with tuberculosis.

* * *


Jan. 3rd, 1899

I am again at the old place. I left Charles at the streetcar bound for my sister Annie's and haven't seen him since. I suppose by this time he is on his way south . . .

I am sorry to say that I have got a roommate, but he seems to be quite a nice young man. He is an agent for The Minneapolis Tribune . . .


Jan. 22nd, 1899

Miller has got another young fellow from Hutchinson learning. He has made a contract with him to stay nine months. I think the .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

Election 2000:

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
Posted in

One for the history booksBy Al MathisonMonday, November 13, 2000

Fillmore County voters turned out in large numbers last Tuesday, November 7. The auditorís department reported that as of 7 a.m. on Election Day there were1 ..... 
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The Getaway

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, December 11, 2000

My wife and I like to take a short trip every year after Labor Day. We decided that this year we would return to the Black Hills and see how the work was getting on at the Crazy Horse monument, visit Mount Rushmore an ..... 
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A Harry Potter party

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, October 23, 2000

Harry Potter has worked magic in Fillmore County, enticing both children and adults to become passionate readers. And I, too, have become a Harry Potter fan. In fact, as each new book was released I had to bargain with ..... 
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The Easy Way Out

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, December 11, 2000

Here's a story for your entertainment. Say there's a girl and a boy who are both teenagers, we'll call them Britney and Billy-Bob. They have sex. They have sex a lot. In fact they have sex whenever they can. But one m ..... 
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The Underground

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, November 27, 2000

Earth
Day after day
Wave after wave
Where are you going? Where are you going?
Earth wounded by so many wandering men!
Earth fertilized by the bodies of so many.
But the earth is us,
We' ..... 
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Bird Brains

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday,December 11, 2000

While some may beg to disagree, I believe most birds are smart, real smart. Far more intelligent, in fact, than science ever gives them credit for. Unlike many ornithologists (bird scientists) who evaluate avian though ..... 
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Escape from America

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess Iím a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like itís going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecu ..... 
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Country Folk

Sun, Dec 10th, 2000
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Monday, December 4, 2000

My wife, Deb, and I recently went on a business trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. We had never been there before and didnít really know what to expect. Prior to the trip, I would not have guessed that food would provide ..... 
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