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Getting, giving an education

In the last two weeks many churches were here with a program and to sing Christmas songs. There were bingo games, chapel services, a singalong and the anticipated Lions Club program with a gift for each resident.

The Lions have been coming for longer than I dare guess. They were here in 1969, when I started the activities department program, needed to keep residents alert and occupied, with something to look forward to. There is more to living happily than being fed and kept warm.

I saw many attractive Christmas cards being made by the craft group, salvaged from cards already received that were trimmed up and used again. There was also a Polka Party and root beer floats.

This week it will be Evelyn Christopherson who shares her story with us.

Evelyn was born 80 years ago to Adolph and Elfreda Edin. Her father was a farmer, and as Evelyn had only one younger brother, it became her job to help out with chores. She graduated from high school in Staples.

Evelyn followed the example of many other young people from the farm if they were to get an education. They found a family in town who needed help for their room and board. She worked for Mary White.

Evelyn's first school was one in Nimrod. She had pupils in all eight grades. The next few years found her teaching in the Oak Grove school system. What with the grades all in one room, younger students had listened to the lesson being taught several times before they had to tackle it. This made them easy to teach.

Evelyn's first date with Lewis Christopherson was to a class play in Staples. They have two boys and a girl.

They lived on a farm in the Nimrod area when Lewis had a hard heart attack and died suddenly, leaving Evelyn with three small children. She found nothing but hard times ahead. Her folks made it possible for her to manage through the next years, until her children were older. Her father farmed Lewis's land.

Looking back, by practicing thrift she made it and so did the kids. They all survived in good shape. Yes, the future looked like a long lonely road sometimes to Evelyn, but she never found anyone she wanted to risk sharing it with. Visions of that young husband kept getting in the way.

Evelyn will stay under our big roof until she gets the word to tackle it back home.

My thanks to those who took time to let me know they liked the Wadena Schooner article. They pointed out that it was the SS Merrimack, not the Schooner Wadena, which was the first ironclad ship. Actually, neither the Merrimack or Wadena was the first ironclad. Friar Tuck called his ship, the H.S. Warrior in 1860, the first ironclad. It had a hull sheeted in 4 1/2-inch iron.

I was taking Evelyn Christopherson's picture and asked the lady next to her, "Would you like to have your picture taken too?"

Drawing back in alarm, she said "Oh, no, I've got diabetes!