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Ortonville, Minnesota
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November 24, 1998     The Ortonville Independent
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November 24, 1998
 

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Editorial comment I GUEST EDITORIAL... Thanksgiving...the one day when there are no strangers by Brad Stutzman I suppose if Thanksgiving hadn't already been here for more than 370 years, somebody wquld have found it necessary to invent it. At least, I hope so. Thanksgiving is a gathering in--and a reaching out--in a way that makes the two seem nothing like a paradox at all. It knits up the raveled sleeves of far-flung family and invites friends to break bread, with no pretense or obligation beyond the generous spirit of the day. Other holidays do this too, I know. But not like Thanksgiving. The summer is long gone. We pause, before the Christmas rush. Finding truth, not in parades or pageantry, but in the words of the poet who said: It is not what we give, but what we share. For the gift, without the Giver, is bare. He who gives of his alms feeds three-himself, his hungry neighbor, and Me. This is a holiday which has not fallen victim to its own success. Its traditions and its myths, its hold upon our hearts, has nothing to do with commerce. Adults do not scan their mailing lists, adding some names and deleting others, as they try to recall who sent them a Thanksgiving card the previous year. There are no benevolent, bearded turkeys sliding down the chimney, stuffing a child's stocking with Mortal Kom ba! toys. You can t take care of it with a check or fax it in. ,Be, cause Thanksgiving isn't about buying and getting. It s about sharing, freely and openly, and simply because,you want to. Andif that isn t the only way to share, it s certainly the best. Thanksgiving comes quietly. Without trumpets or bells. Between the jack-o-lanterns and the tinsel. Subtle as the seasons. Quiet as the leaves that are now green, now gold, now gone. Thanksgiving is a flannel shirt and a rumpled pair of corduroys. It's earth tones of clay reds and football browns and tree bark greys. Where new branches are grafted in with the old to make the tree strong. The tree must be strong, when leaves turn and daylight escapes too soon. It's a picture album that grows constantly. Where children dream of grandparents and grandparents dream of children and oldmen speak with affection of dogs long since dead. It's a holiday of rich, intoxicating smells and hearty, rib-sticking food. When you re glad for dirty dishes because they mean you're eating well. It's a full belly and a full house, and there's always room for one mor. Always room for more, be it another guest at the table or a fat s!ice of pie. It beckons the stranger and says: 'Come, there are no strangers today." It's a quiet moment and a cup of coffee, when the table is cleared. It's a conversation, among old friends and new. It's someone sleeping in front of the TV. It's plans and memories, become one, over the bonds of family and friendship and food. It's those thousands of snapshots in the picture album of trees. Their limbs stretch ever up, ever out, with branch grafted to branch on a trunk where the roots run deep. It's our personal histories, written in cranberry- stained tablecloths. Where blood is thicker than water and gravy thicker than blood. Where old men remember dogs. -Reprinted with permission of Brad Stutzman, Round Rock Leader, Round Rock, Texas onversations WITH THE ' and00 By Jim Van Der Pol  q against government regulation is sim- plistic. But what about the Democrats? Aren't these folks that talk a lot about family farms and even sponsor rallies and press events to educate the public about the "plight of the farmer"? Surely they haven't sold out anyone! Oh yes they have! Remember that the number of farms has shrunk drastically in the-'50 .gr 60.ye that mocratic farm pro- gran.. Iave  in place. While com- modity dollars flowed to the largest farms, a commitment to a level play- ing field for all was not to be found. The recent Democratic policy has been the fitting of a program or one kind or another of handout to virtually any kind of human need that can be named. The other Democratic policy from so long ago now that it is hard to recall, was far grittier and closer to where the rubber meets the road. It was a staunch and I would have Most farmers are Republicans, says Alan Guebert in his Farm and Food File column. He quotes the late con- gressman Ed Madigan of Illinois on the subject: "...I tell them what most want to hear. I will keep the government out of your business. They clap and I get 80 or 90 percent of the farm vote every election." This a most obvious example of ahow theRepublicans sell out agricul- rarebit, goeson.eea'y eksctionand it is a line that cannot be completely -bought into by anyone who has stopped to consider the other problem agriculture has, such as overproduc- tion, too much dependence upon weak foreign economies and real environ- mental problems such as loss of diver- sity and erosion. And then there are decreasing real yields (yields minus chemicals, fertilizer and biotechnolo- gy), and the stress on social fabric brought on by super accelerated changes in agriculture. The talk perform "Grease" Area schools to Lyons, mornings at 320-748-7233 and afternoons at 320-325-5244. DATES TO REMEMBER: November 22-28 - National Family Week November 26-27 -Courthouse closed in observance of Thanksgiving November 30 Afterschool Cloverbuds session at Beardsley Elementary School (3:15-4:30 p.m.) December 5 - 4-H Mystery trip. For more information or to sign up call the Extension Office. The students of Clinton, Graeeville, Beardsley and Ortonville will combine their talents in a joint production of the Broadway musical, "Grease", early next year. The production will be directed by Bridget Lyons from C-G-B who has negotiated the amateur rights for the play. About 50 students have signed up for the auditions. The production will be presented on April 9, I0 and 11 in the Clinton ElementarpSehool. Anyone interested in helping with the play is urged_to contact Bridget A Cor,00nity Choir p00clpat ,411 are welcome! The choir m'll prae#ce at q:O0 p.m. on Nov. 291h at Rl'.d" E00lish Lutheran 0 thought unshakeable insistence upon economic justice. That attitude built the strong labor organizations of the 30's and 40's. It was carried into the party by generation after generation of determined never say die immigrants and various small home grown move- ments such as the populists who talked about pushing the eastern boot of eco- nomic slavery off the neck of the western farmer, but never, never about accepting charity from that quarter. What happened? I don't know. Maybe it is easier to fall back on writ- ing a check than insisting upon what is right. I know that in the recent elec- tion, I would have liked Mr. Humphrey to explain why in his years as attorney general he pursued tobac- co (and rightly so) for the befit of the state's treasury and even made threatening noises at Ticketmaster about its exclusive control of concerts and events in the,Twin Cities, but riever once; that I know of; did any- thing more effective than join a study, group to bring the force of law down on concentration in the meat packing industry. I wish that were not so. I can think of very little indeed that would be a more significant "farm program" for this farm than assured access to live- stock markets. And certainly this access would do a great deal to bring about the diverse and well distributed system of ownership and use of farm assets that the Democrats keep saying they favor. A good balanced farm solution is going to need to include things from both parties plus a great deal from out- side the political arena completely. This is because rural America is unique and so is agriculture. Urban solutions don't fit here and neither do simple capitalist prescriptions for business success. Our economy revolves around a biological system and that demands of us a more flexi- ble, thoughtful and certainly less doc- trinaire approach. The Red River Valley farmers know that now. We in western Minnesota are coming to the same crossroads. We don't need more simplistic and hypocritical nonsense from the two parties. From the Republicans we need their healthy skepticism of regulations and belief in the strengths of the indi- vidual. From the Democrats we need that stubborn insistence upon economic justice. And we need less charity, which is w Freedom to Farm is, at least in part. Following a bitter divorce from my husband (he left me for another woman), all I have left is my 7 year old son. He's a wonderful child and so helpful. At night he always comforts me if I'm crying. His little arms reach out to hold me and he assures me everything will be OK. He has bolstered my morale and makes sure I get off to work each morning. The only thing he has asked for in the last year has been a bed of his own. When my husband left, he took most of the furniture, which forced me to .share my son's bed. I've since acquired an old couch, but his bed is so much warmer and comfortable. I feel bad I've put such a strain on him and suppose it i time for him to sleep alone again. I'd be willing to move his bed into my bedroom and give him the new one, if you're willing to help. Ms. E T.... Monitor-Index, Moberly, Me Dear Ms. T.: You're making a grave mistake by depending far too heavily on your 7 year old son. If anything, you should be reassuring him that every thing will be OK. You can begin immediately by assuming separate sleeping arrangements. My forthcoming check for a bed will remedy that. Remember Morn, your little boy is just that-not the head of the house and not your husband. Never lose sight of that fact. Dear Mr. Ross: I'm an unfortunate girl, who at age 19 was told to be the sufferer of a bipolar disorder. I have very few friends, seeing as I chase them all away with my mood swings. I take medication for my disease, but it seems to aggravate my problems by causing me to gain weight and making me so tired. One thing that brings joy to my life is shopping. I shop with money I don't have, because I want so much to escape-to be someone else, beautiful and loved. Then later, I have to come down to earth and face these bills. It's all overwhelming and I pray that someone can help me. If you could even donate $50! Ms. D. S .... The Dispatch, Columbus, OH Dear Ms. S.: Sending any amount of money toward your shopping spree debt would be llke throwing money down a deep, dark well. It just won't help you, because you'll only continue to shop, creating a greater amount of debt. I suggest you work toward rmding a better balance through medication. You have a chemical imbalance and it is treatable. Please take the time and patience to learn which drug(s) will work best for you. Dear Mr. Ross: Sixteen years ago I got a girl pregnant. My parents, as well as her parents, were devastated. We were never allowed contact again. I'm now 31 and have learned I have a son who is 16, who doesn't have a clue I exist. Three years ago I married. Within the last month my wife and I learned we couldn't have children. She has no knowledge that I have a son. I deeply feel the need to go visit him. He has a step-father, who helped raise him from the time he was 5. If only I could afford to fly my son to see me (he lives 1,200 miles away) or fly me and my wife over to meet him. I'm so confused what direction should I go in? Mr. L. N .... Pennysaver, Skaneateles, NY Dear Mr. N.: Before you begin contemplating flight arrangements, I suggest you tell your wife about your son, first. Then I'd try to establish a relationship with your son. Only then would I begin planning a reunion. I'm sending you a box of stationery and stamps. Perhaps a few letters and phone calls would be a good way to start. Based on how things turn out, I'!! consider financially helping you with airfare. There are many lives on the line here, so tread carefully. Editor's note: check your local radio station for Percy Ross' call of the day and visit his web site at www. thanksamillior cent Write Percy Ross, c/o the Ortonville Independent, PO Box 39000-B, Minneapolis, MN 55439. Include your phone number. All letters are read. Only a few are answered in this column; others may be acknowledged privately. Letters00to the editor Dear Editor: Because I believe in The Salvation Army's mission and community commitment, I voluntarily serve as The Salvation Army's service unit chair in Big Stone County. In Ortonville, where The Salvation Army does not have uniformed personnel or a corps community center building, local volunteers, like myself, have formed a committee to represent the Army. Each year, we are able tO provide assistance to people in need year round, not just during Christmas. With the season of joy and happiness in full swing, my number one wish is to encourage everyone who can to share a gift with others less fortunate. The sight of Salvation Army kettles and bellringers may remind us to be thankful for what we have and to think of others who may not have as much. When we think of those in need, we may picture those who are homeless, addicted to drugs; living in desolate situations, or living in poverty. Regardless of their situation, they need your help. Please help by supporting The Salvation Army this season. By giving to The Salvation Army this holiday season, you will have contributed to several vital community programs, including summer camping, disaster services, nursing home visitation, and Christmas gift distribution to those in need. Please know that The Salvation Army works efficiently to put your donations to work and that your contributions help provide a hand-up, not just a hand-out to someone who seeks The Salvation Army's assistance. Thank you for your past and continued support. With your help, The Salvation Army is able to make a difference for life. Sincerely, LeRoy (Bud) Knippen Salvation Army Big Stone County Service Unit Chairperson ONCE AGAIN... MANY THANKS Recent new and renewal sub- scribers to The Independent which we gratefully acknowledge with thanks for your loyalty: JoAnu Schmidt Jeanne Beyer Bob Brown Lloyd Sievers Laura Knodel Clarence Longbem-y Arddle Engebretson Marilyn Karels Marholz Richard Hassleu Kathryn Gilsdorf Jackie Nornes Kim Tbomason Patty Haukos Mark Thompson Progressive Collision & Glass Center from Sandy Berg of LIFETOUCH Therapeutic Massage you att of my ellents, p, lends and Berg, I A Gift Certificate for a Mossa.qe makes a great Christmas giffl ) LIFETOUCH Therapeutic Massage Milbank, South Dakota Phone (605) 432-5002 Dan Petersen, Jr. Anne Johnson 1)emais Redford Scott Bohlman Big Stone Colony Fehr Land Ltd KCGN Jim Farrell Dr. Curt WLehmeier KMSD AFC Propane Forma Feed Oflke Keith Olson, DDS Mid-America Bus Systems Banner Associates, Inc. Alan Bergquist Mark A. Hanson Hilda Painter Chet Messmer Gordon Hippen Md Reinke Merv Redfldd Richard Heek Tami Panlson Toby Reiffenborger Gary Kards Robert Carlson Cleo Sealey Andrea Mills Page 4 00iNDEPENDENT The OrtonvlD Independent (U.S.P.S. 412-41 JEANETrE Publisher JAMES Managing Effdor SUZETI'E Editor, SARA J. Ad and Pdntlng .OBERfFOU00 Rant Manage r ARLEN; WIES Omee Manager TAMMII Corn RYAN Reporter/Ad MIKE Photographer BILL DWYER & Pressmen KRISTA NANC Collator oeoo Tues., Nov. 24, 1998 SUBSCRIPI:ION I $25.00per year in Parle, Traverse Minnesota, Grant and in South Dakota. counties in Minnesota Dakota. All others, $33.00 I Postmaster: Send The Ortonville Ortonvtlle, Big Stone, Lacc Roberts in Sou Februery .............. lS.00 March ................ 22.119 Aprll ................. 20.111 May ................... 18.73 June .................. 16t6S July .................... 14.S7 AL.L February ........... 9.00 March .................. 6.61 Apdl ................ 24.19 May ..................... .1.77 June ................... 1g.$$ July .................. 16.93 Februury .............. 33.00 March ................. 30.25 April ................... 7.$0 May .................... 24.75 June ................... 22.00 July .................. 11).25 "PUBLISHERJ LIABILITY f The Publisher shall not slight changes or that do not lessm advertisement. The for other errors or connection with an strictly limited to advertisement in any or the advertisementlEADUNE S Church notes - [spay Correspondence Pictures - 5 p.m. Fdday News - Friday aftan'K)o Classified ads - Fdda, (Any a brought ca.fy.) OFRCE HOtS A & Thursday: 8 a.m.-12:30 I ': 8 a.m.-12 noon Letters to the community issues are Letter writers should Independent reserves and/or condense letters paper also reserves publish letters which it might be held Letters should printed or typed n address and tele Addresses and not be published. Letter wdters are themselves to one Please keep letter over 350 words AID vs. The Odonvitle If an individual zation charges for event, for an item or for be considered newspaper. would cease to exist paper receives for single paper sales is  paper used in paper cost in.s. cost of ink and a crops and products to the and Without any particular business busthess. ADS: We reserve amgm' other our readers. editor are her own those of other expressed in items rm may own views, but are general interest. Call 320-83"3761 to claaalfied Tuesday, NoV-