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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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One moment, please... Yeah, that'll happen when pumpkins fly!


Fri, Dec 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

Admittedly, I am a city boy. But, I am a city boy who loves living in small town America - smack dab in the middle of Fillmore County. My wife grew up in Elgin, Minn., another small town, so she's use to many things you don't experience in a city of 100,000+ people - such as Rochester. She grew up on a farm, my mother grew up on a farm near Worthington, and all of my ancestors had something to do with farm life.

Me, on the other hand? I lived the first 25 years of my life in the sanitized bubble of Rochester, Minn., graduating from Mayo Senior High School with a class of 472 students. Do you know how many of those students lived on a farm? None, to my knowledge.

So, my exposure to farm life was limited. Our school did organize field trips to the Olmsted County Historical Society to see how people once churned butter, scrubbed their scratchy, wool underwear on a washboard, and dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder. When was the last time you wore scratchy, wool underwear? Please keep that to yourself.

And, my fourth grade teacher did bring three of her goats to school one day. That entire school year revolved around goats. We used goat soap at the sink in our classroom. I vaguely recall drinking goat milk and eating goat cheese, along with writing a fictitious story about my pet goat - if I had one. I think his name was Goatie. Not sure anymore.

I am, however, pretty confident there will be some peculiar grins by some of our loyal readers who know the lay of the land better than I, but I suspect I'm not alone.

I am a city boy who desperately wants to absorb as much of the rural experience as humanly possible.

In mid-November, Dave Sikkink, of rural Preston, offered to me an opportunity to ride in a combine. This was a big deal for me. Do you know how many times someone has offered me the opportunity to ride in a combine while growing up in Rochester? How about during my entire life? None. I had never been in a combine until recently.

So, I met with Dave out at a piece of land just West of Harmony. Full of rows of un-harve .....
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Another one from Flaherty - The Dance

Tue, Dec 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

When I walked into the Owls, Archie called me over to the table and informed me that the Owls were going to have a dance - whether they wanted to or not.

"Well, if you don't want a dance, why are you having one?"

"We don't have anyth ..... 
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One moment, please... Tourism involves everyone

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several months, I've had the pleasure of sitting in on a number of meetings along with experiencing what I consider to be significant influences on the future of each individual community collectively recognized as the sum of our parts ..... 
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What it looks like when Congress does its job

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

If you've ever wondered what members of Congress do to earn their keep, the current health-care debate on Capitol Hill should give you a good idea. This complex legislation, placed on the congressional agenda by President Obama but shaped by the int ..... 
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Daily newspapers, once the backbone of the free press, on life support

Fri, Nov 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Are daily newspapers, including the New York Times and many others large and small around the county, going to survive in this digital age? I still prefer paging through and reading a newspaper that is physically in my hands. However, in this electr ..... 
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Whatever their tone, we need town hall meetings

Fri, Nov 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan ..... 
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My biggest fan

Fri, Nov 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I seem to have one dedicated reader. He sends me anonymous letters that brighten my day. I would like to respond, but he has no return address or name attribution in his letters mailed from Rochester. He appears, from the state of the handwriting, t ..... 
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Great white birds and hope for a troubled world

Fri, Nov 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

To brighten an overcast, cold and windy November, try a short trip to the eastern edge of Houston County along the Mississippi River where you may join hundreds of people observing the spectacular tundra swan migration. The best places to watch the ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Nov 6th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

On some occasions, I have a variety of subjects to cover in my weekly column. This week, there happens to be two thoughts relating to Harmony, Lanesboro, Preston and Rus ..... 
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