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Living History - April 5 edition

15 years ago

Excerpts from the April 3, 2003 Pioneer Journal

• Woman retires after 38 years at cash register

Friday was Laura Waln's last day at a grocery store cash register, a place she has been for nearly 39 years.

Waln, 81, spent her last day at Fix's Family Foods helping customers check out with their groceries.

She began working in the Red Owl store when it was new in 1964 and she worked there for 26 years. She was hired by Don Anderson.

"I still have a can of Red Owl chili powder," Waln said.

She kept it just to bring out and remember every once in a while. Waln doesn't remember what the cash registers were like when she started at Red Owl, but she knows they were a lot different from the scanner that she uses today, and groceries were a lot less expensive.

Waln and her husband, Sam Sr., still live in the house they built after they married in 1945. After working a variety of jobs, she started the job at Red Owl.

Waln worked at Red Owl until it closed. Then Fix's Manager Ray Beyer approached her at a bingo game about coming to work at what was then Larry's and now is Fix's Family Foods.

"I will miss all of the good employees and the bosses," Waln said.

Waln will still be busy after she retires, though. She will have cataract surgery in April, and she has her great-grandchildren who like to come stay with her. Waln and her husband, a WWII veteran, will get to spend some more time together.

Waln got to celebrate her retirement by going to Grand Casino in Mille Lacs.

There were 47 people on the bus to help her celebrate.

Waln has been working three days a week and it will be hard for her to give up the time she spent there.

"I enjoy every morning I come to work," she said.

30 years ago

Excerpts from the March 31, 1988 Pioneer Journal

• Jury finds local clinic, doctor not negligent

A Wadena County District Court jury returned a non-negligent verdict against a Fergus Falls surgeon, Wadena doctor and Wadena Medical Center, P.A. on a malpractice suit brought by a Menahga man.

Gustave Edward Peterson, Menahga, had filed suit against Dr. George Fortier, Fergus Falls, Dr. Leland Reichelt, Wadena, and the Wadena Medical Center, P.A.

Jury members heard six days of testimony and deliberated for two hours Tuesday afternoon before returning the not-negligent verdict against all parties.

In their two-page decision, the jury said Fortier was not negligent in surgery performed on Peterson and Reichelt was not negligent in assisting with the operation. They also found Reichelt not negligent for not diagnosing a problem caused by several surgical clips which remained after the surgery wound was closed.

The jury awarded Peterson no financial settlement in their decision.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the April 7, 1938 Pioneer Journal

• Flames destroy popular Aldrich dance pavilion

The River Inn dance pavilion in Aldrich burned to the ground early Sunday morning. The building was in flames before the fire was noticed.

It was thought that the blaze started from an overheated stove as the managers had cleaned up after the dance Saturday night and threw the refuse into the stoves.

The River Inn was one of the largest dance floors in the county and had been drawing large crowds. More than 200 tickets were sold a week ago and the night of the fire, the pavilion had been packed.

Plans are already under consideration to rebuild the structure.