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Living History

5 years ago

Excerpts from the July 29, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Pettit reunites with Mickey Rooney

Wadena banker Alan Pettit reunited with his old Army pingpong buddy Mickey Rooney on Saturday in Staples. The two men met while they were stationed in France in 1944 during World War II. They played a number of pingpong matches with each other. Besides a love for pingpong, they had another thing in common, Pettit said.

"He was short, and I was short," Pettit said.

• County looks into taking over landfill

Wadena County is looking into taking over operation of the demolition landfill and transfer station from Waste Management. The idea behind county operation of the transfer station is that the county can offer more options at a reasonable price, Solid Waste Director Deana Skov said.

• City without a bus stop

Wadena will not be among the bus stops on two Greyhound routes taken over by Jefferson Lines. Greyhound Bus will abandon more than 50 stops by Aug. 18, including Wadena.

• Farmstead Antiques opens

Nell and Don Lillquist opened Farmstead Antiques in a barn north of Wadena. The couple holds square dances in the haymow above.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the July 29, 1999 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena men beaten and robbed

Charges are pending against three men in connection with the assault and robbery of Greg Ostlund and Jeff Graupmann, both of Wadena, at around 3 a.m. July 24 on County Road 23, according to Sheriff Mike Carr. According to the report, Ostlund and Graupmann were walking on CR 23, about two miles south of Bluegrass, after their vehicle was disabled when they asked a southbound vehicle for a ride. The three men inside the vehicle said they were headed in a different direction, according to the report, but later returned and knocked Ostlund down, hit and kicked him. He lost his billfold, which was later found minus the less than $130 he had inside. Graupmann escaped the suspects, but became entangled in a barbed wire fence and suffered several cuts that required stitches.

• Deer Creek Fire Hall gets face lift

The city of Deer Creek is honoring the heroic past of its nearly 100-year-old fire hall with its renovation into a historical marker and museum this year at the town's centennial celebration on Aug. 21.

• Fix retires from WCHS board

Two years after he retired from the grocery store business, Larry Fix announced his retirement from the Wadena County Historical Society Board. He was introduced to the WCHS in 1970 after coming to Wadena in 1967 in response to an ad for the sale of a grocery store. Fix eventually became the owner of a chain of Larry's Foods throughout north central Minnesota.

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 2, 1984 Pioneer Journal

• Bluffton youth dies in pickup rollover

Danny Geiser, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Webb Geiser of Bluffton, died as the result of a one-vehicle rollover on Otter Tail County Road 46 at 10 p.m. July 28, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department. The pickup missed a curve and rolled over. There were three people in the pickup and three in the box of the vehicle, including Geiser, authorities said. Released in good condition Sunday from Tri-County Hospital were Ricky Anderson, 16, Tod Bounds, 18, and Steve Tabery, 18.

• Zosel dies at 90

Long-time Wadena businessman and Zosel's Our Owner Hardware Store owner Robert Zosel died July 26 at Tri-County Hospital after a brief illness. In a tribute to Zosel Dick Hess quoted an interview during the 1981 centennial when Zosel said, "I'd rather be in the hardware store than anywhere else."

• City supports Commercial Hotel renovation

The Wadena City Council passed a resolution supporting a Fargo-Moorhead firm's plan to renovate the Commercial Hotel owned by Lucille Kvamme into a 30-unit one-bedroom apartment building.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the July 30, 1969 Pioneer Journal

• Waldahl is 'Alone' in Vietnam

Stars and Stripes published "Alone," a poem written by Sp4 Lane Waldahl, of Aldrich, who is serving with a transportation company in Vietnam. Waldahl wrote the poem when he could not sleep one humid night. It read:

"Here I am in Vietnam all alone,/ Wishing I was with my folks back home./ I was sent here 8 months ago,/ And now only have 6 more to go./ I read in the papers of protests and riots,/ These kids are too scared to come over here and try it./ They don't know what it's like to see a GI crying,/ Because one of his buddies is lying there dying./ I have seen America in all of its lust,/ And Vietnam in its muss./ So folks say a little prayer for me,/ And maybe someday we'll all be free./ I may be over here all alone,/ But very, very soon I'll be back home."

60 years ago

Excerpts from the July 28, 1949 Pioneer Journal

• Polio rumors not true

Contrary to rumors, there were no polio cases in Wadena County, according to local physicians and the Minnesota Department of Health. There was one case in Cass County and two in Otter Tail County.

• 'Beautiful Blond' plays at Cozy

The alliteratively titled "Beautiful Blond from Bashful Bend," which mixed elements of a western, a comedy and a musical, was to be the feature attraction at the Cozy Theatre on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The movie starred Betty Grable and included Cesar Romero, Rudy Vallee and Elga San Juan.