Weather Forecast


Olson an outdoorsman, shop owner

Easter was observed at Fair Oaks Lodge on Saturday by the 7th Day Adventist Church's fine program and on Easter Sunday by a Protestant group. Other programs who have given us an enjoyable time are John Keranen's third-grade reading class from WDC. It was smiles all around. An hour with the friendly Gypsy Cowboy's music happened one afternoon. We thank the 4-H clubs for bringing their annual program to us again this year.

A new activities event is called "The Price Is Right." A groceries item is held up for the residents to guess on the price now along with what it would have been worth 10 years ago.

There were many surprises. A follow-up will be a trip soon through some grocery store by those able to go to see for themselves , then come back to report findings to the rest.

Jack Olson was born in Wadena 70 years ago to Prosper and Tracy Olson. Prosper was a professional over-the road trucker, driving big semi trucks from coast to coast long before microwave ovens and hydraulic seats were a part of their equipment. Prosper enjoyed trucking but regretted time spent away from family, possibly the reason he never wanted his sons to follow suit.

Jack's interest in cars goes back almost as far as he can remember. He followed this interest up by going to a trade school in Fargo where he graduated in car bodywork. He never got over the challenge to make beat up or damaged cars look like new again.

Finding employment was not a problem. Jack has worked in Wadena, in Owatonna where he had his own shop for six years, in Minneapolis for 21, a couple of years in Alaska, and several other places. None of these places at that time featured safety precautions, like masks when they used paint. Jack escaped most of these problems.

A hitch of four years in the Army, spent in Germany, accounts for a part of what Jack did, as well as four years in the National Guard. Those two years he spent in Alaska was working with Sitka pine. He cut down big trees, sawed lumber, made pallets, all of which combined to make Minnesota look better and better, where there was more than six hours of daylight part of the time.

Jack married Sharon Brill when he was 23. They had two sons. Sharon was postmistress in Motley for more than 10 years.

Many years ago Jack became interested in trap shooting wherever they lived. A real plus was when Sharon became enthused as well. Together, they have shot in many competitions, for practice and fun. It is not unusual for them to shoot up a couple of hundred shells in an afternoon. Sometimes they refill the casings with powder.

In the world of trap shooting, Jack's record is up with the best, like 23 and 24 hits out of 25 shells. He has trophies to prove it. Jack is a member of the Knob Hill Sportsman's Club. A medium-severe stroke cruelly brought those interests to a screeching halt.

Jack has hunted and fished in many places including Alaska and Hawaii. He has been among those giving black powder demonstrations at the Old Wadena site.

Sitting inside, in a wheelchair, is hardly Jack's cup of tea. Thank goodness, he and Sharon have all of those great times to relive and talk about when Sharon comes to visit, like the time their john boat overbalanced, dumping Jack and his friends in icy water before it was even time to shoot.

This is Jack's favorite time of year. Everything waking up, buds on trees starting to swell, birds singing a different song. Even people walk faster come spring. It is the best time to be out in the woods or on a lake. Nature smells so great.

Do you think folks will like my story? They will, huh. Well, tell 'em to take an extra sniff for me while they're out there.