(I am a few days early with my usual Monday posting … but it looks busy ahead so I’ll do it now)


Dad took us to the Memorial Day services at the local cemetery every year. I remember standing there, listening to the speakers, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and seeing all the people. Then, as band director for Pillager schools, I led the band for many Memorial Day Services there, where patriotic hymns were played, guest speakers from the local military installation (Fort Ripley) spoke, and a student would read IN FLANDERS FIELD. All these years of Memorial Day Services have shown me that Memorial Day is a very special way for us to pay tribute to all those who have served in uniform – and it is so very vital to remember what these people accomplished.

We hear of the famous – the generals who made the decisions, the celebrities who served in some capacity – and we all have a GI JOE or GI JILL that we know suited up for a stint of time in our country’s military force.

Thanks to all of them – thanks in so many ways, and with as much gratitude as we can give them. SONY DSC


(My dad and son in law …. )


I find professional football overblown and overhyped. Of all the major sports, the Super Bowl is the only championship game that is situated with no thought at all to the participating teams – and that is a crime to the hometown fans of those teams. Hosting the 2018 Super Bowl is more of the same.

It was announced this week that Minneapolis will host the Super Bowl in 2018. All I can say is this: Big Hairy Deal. We (I should say “they”, because I’m not there and don’t want to be….) are building a new billion dollar stadium that will be all of 3 years old when that event will take place. There will be approximately 65,000 people attending the game with several million more watching. Millions of dollars will be pumped into the state economy…. But wait, what?

The state’s economy? More like the economy of the Minneapolis merchants…. I don’t expect many – if any – of those dollars trickling down to outstate Minnesota at all. My little town, my little county – they will putter along up to and past the 2018 super bowl and financially see absolutely no bump at all once its all over… the buildup to the day, the sidebar stories in the media (WILL PRINCE WRITE A SONG ABOUT THE GAME?), the merchandising with clever slogans about freezing something off while sitting at the game …. All this will be no more than a blister of business for the metro area –

Attendance at the game? I, and so many Minnesotans like me who are paying for that new stadium (willingly or not) will have about as much chance of sitting in the stands (much less the luxury boxed) as I have of scuba diving with Jessica Alba, uniting to defeat some underwater leviathan beast that is about to destroy Tokyo – the ordinary Minnesotan is more or less ignored in this whole affair.

So a big gaping YAWN to the Super Bowl. I’ll watch, I suppose, but I will still carry the thought that the average fan in Minnesota and of the participating teams’ fans are the ones who are just plain out of luck.




We are up at our lake place for the weekend. We have a nice little park model in a lake association. We have made some good friends here. We enjoy the ‘getaway’ of it all, even though we are only 15 minutes from home. Our cat is with us, who strolls around the place gladly, occasionally stopping for a nap.

We relax and take it all in. The birds attend our bird feeder: goldfinches, red-wing blackbirds, sparrows, woodpeckers of all sorts. We grill some good food. We go fishing, or just cruise in our pontoon to enjoy the sunsets –

One of the many joys of living in Minnesota…..