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A life relived with Bea Schwartz

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A full load of happy Fair Oaks Lodge folks went on a ride on the most perfect evening of this week. I went out to see them off but was too late. However, to see so many empty wheel chairs left behind was more than gratifying.

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One day this week folks enjoyed a picnic lunch out under our big oak trees while on another afternoon those Motley Vagabonds were back. Another time the old depot got all the attention.

When I happened to spot four fellows with nothing to do at the moment I nabbed them for a mini-interview.

I was in time to get the story of Beatrice (Bea) Schwartz before she headed back home after a stay with us while a broken hip healed.

Bea was born in Leaf River Township in 1924 to Walter and Olive Johnson. She married Howard Schwartz in 1948 and they have five children. Howard farmed as well as worked for the city taking care of parks.

Bea made good use of her training as a bookkeeper by working in California followed by 30 years in the Department of Agriculture for Wadena County. They were housed in the Aho Building and then in the new courthouse. She remembered county agents as being easy to work for and regretted to see them go. It was in 1917 that Wadena County decided they needed a county agent and hired S.J. Tolliver.

Howard and Bea rounded out what was already a full life by taking trips both in this country and abroad. They have camped with their family in 30 national parks. Trips abroad were to England, Russia and India.

They were treated well wherever they went. They also ate the type of food served in whichever country they were in. Bea remembered India as having many big families. It was an extremely poor country.

What with both Bea and I spending our young years in Wadena, it came natural to discuss the changes. Summer Saturday evenings were especially fun. That's when pa put on a new pair of overalls, ma had a crate of eggs ready to trade for groceries, and the kids could split and go with their friends.

Pie and coffee was an important part of the program after taking in a good show at the Cozy, when all of them were family shows. Why was Jefferson Street so much narrower then? Could parking the cars parallel to the sidewalks make that much difference?

We spoke with envy of those three quality dress shops along main street. Our husbands bought their wedding suits at Stern & Field.

Since farmers have to spend most of the money they make as it is earned, when farmers quit farming and had to go elsewhere to support their families, so did their money.

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