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Journal Writing Project - Eric Leitzen


Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

An excerpt from the diary of Corporal Peter Swenson, of Red Wing, Minnesota.

How much Longer will it last? Three days I have laid here in this dug out hole, this muddy, barbed wire studded bunker that has been my home for the past year. Another shell bursts overhead. The roof shakes, and it is all I can do to keep my sanity. Three days they have been bombarding us. Three days we have had to live like moles in these bunkers. How much longer will it last? How much longer will they prolong this, before that horrible whistle sounds? That blasted whistle. I hate it. Every time it blows, I realize that I may not be alive at the end of the day.

Another shell explodes, the boy in the bunker next to me shudders and whimpers on his pitiful pallet bed. He was just brought into our company yesterday, fearful and trembling, his oversize Doughboy helmet rattling on his youthful, blonde haired head. I remember my first day at war. My heart goes out to the kid as I introduce myself. I’m hoping that some gentle conversation will take his mind off the German shells thudding above.

“Hi, my name’s Peter. What’s yours?” “J-j-oey. Joey Clark. F-from Boston.”

“Boston, eh? I got a sister living there.” I tried to sound as genial as I could. The boy seemed to loosen up a bit.

“So what do you do in Boston, Joey?”

“I just graduated,” I could hear the tear in his voice as he thought of home, “I was going to be a writer.”

“A Writer? Really? Well maybe you can write about this whole mess when it’s finished. Just make sure to mention your old pal Peter.”

He even managed a small laugh. “Okay.” he said timidly.

Another shell burst above our heads. The Germans must have packed a little more powder into that one, it made a resounding crash, sending pounds of loose dirt raining down upon our heads. Then suddenly, silence.

“Why ain’t the shells dropping anymore Peter?” Joey asked. His helmet began to rattle again. He feared the same thing I did. That soon we’d hear that whistle, and after that it would be the cries of “Over the Top, Boys!” and we may both possibly die. I could see the absolute fear stamped on Joey’s face.

“P-peter?” he stammered. “Yeah Joey?” I was beginning to shake also. “It was nice meeting you,” he smiled and reached out to .....
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At Home in the Woods- Abby's World

Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

The Lanesboro library was our first stop. She found the children's section immediately, picked out a book with an elephant on the front cover sitting in a bathtub drinking tea. She sat at one of the small chairs and began to turn the pages. I picked ..... 
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Notes From a Country Kitchen

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

One of these Days

One of these days, I'll be free  to do everything that pleases ME!  I'll eat popcorn with a spoon  Or, lie down to rest at half-past no ..... 
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Township Roads- The annual 4-H hayride

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Soon after we got our new fifty-two-year-old tractor, I threatened our sons with a hayride. I suggested that they could invite all their friends over and we would hitch the Farmall to our sheep trailer and go for a hayride over the pasture and throug ..... 
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Journal Writiing Project-Andy Wolter

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I was sitting in the computer lab, idly tapping the keys, trying to generate ideas for an article I had to write. I had procrastinated for days thinking up a decent topic to write about. Now I had two days left to write, revise and edit a piece on so ..... 
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Notes From a Country Kitchen

Fri, Oct 25th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Last month at Circle we had roll call and the question was "What job do you hate the most?" I believe almost everyone, including our Pastor, said it was washing windows. I remember years ago it was hard to get the men folks to help get the st ..... 
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Prairie Notes-On the Road

Fri, Oct 25th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Turn down any country road in Fillmore county. Choose one that you have driven often in the past, though it may have been awhile since you passed that way. If you happen to choose that road early in the morning, say 6:30 or 7:00, or later in the afte ..... 
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Journal Writing Project-Jamie Howe

Fri, Oct 25th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

When you open those glorious high school doors for the first time as a freshman, you feel it. You feel the power, the responsibility, the status, the freedom, and you feel the real life as a teenager. Or should I say, the artificial life you lead for ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Mon, Oct 21st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Fall is my time of the year, pretty leaves, nuts on the ground, smell of burning leaves and weather . . . sometimes raining, sometimes beautiful , and sometimes really windy. We see all the big combines harvesting the corn and beans, neighbors gettin ..... 
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