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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Wed, May 31st, 2000
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Contest Runner-upBy Jenna Larson

Monday, May 29, 2000

Editors Note: The judges found Grandpa to be a succinct and well-crafted character sketch of somebody who obviously means a great deal to the author. The vivid imagery and heartfelt description made one of the judges comment, that she would like to meet Grandpa. Jenna Larson is an 8th grader at Kingsland Middle School. She is the daughter of Mark and Deb Larson of Spring Valley.

He is simple, yet worldly. He is small, but larger than life. He is my grandpa.

He lives one-fourth of a mile from the white farmhouse he was born in. Geographically he hasnt gone very far. Yet he can tell you what Alaska and Montana have to offer as well as the finer points in Fillmore County. He also knows the best places from here to there to have coffee and a treat. He is interested in world trade, politics, state and local news, athletic events from the eighth grade basketball teams to the Rich Boys Sport, as he puts the World Cup Boat Race.

My grandpa is larger than life because he looks forward to every minute of every day with a positive attitude. He sees the best in everything and everyone. We all know that no one is perfect, but Grandpa thinks his nine grandchildren are flawless. When someone runs into Grandpa it is always the same wave. He does a quick nod and his arm goes up with his pointer finger standing straight up.

In the fall of 1995, the Kingsland football team had a winning season. It was also a bitter cold fall. Friday nights consisted of cold howling winds, rain and snow blowing sideways in the football field lights. He did have one problem though; all of his warm clothes were farm clothes. He found an old snowmobile suit that was too small for him. He didnt put it on until he got to the game. My grandma and I sat in the warm pick-up watching him. He pulled and tugged and struggled until he finally just fell over. We sat there and laughed so hard we couldnt get out of the pickup to help him.

Grandpa has taught many valuable lessons through action and humor. My mom remembers having to go to the funeral of a great aunt. The funeral was held on a hot sticky summer afternoon. None of the kids wanted to go, and were whining and complaining. Grandpas final words on the subject were Youre going to go, and youre going to enjoy it. How can you enjoy a funeral?

There are times I want to know what Grandpa thinks on a certain topic. He knows everything. If he doesnt have the answer, he knows where to get it or who to talk to.

When I have free time I head south to the farm. I have been taught different chores. I have picked rock since second grade. Its a mindless job. Anyone can do it, but Grandpa says I am the best rock picker in Fillmore County. I also enjoy milking with him. He talks to me non-stop and asks me questions about friends, school, sports, anything that comes to mind.

There are many days I sit in school and wonder whats going on at the farm. I know on those particular days when my mind is wondering, the lessons I could be learning from Grandpa will take me further then the lesson that cant keep my mind occupied.

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