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Living History: Fire sparks romance, victims engaged

Jeniann Morlock and William Mondry, both 19, got engaged minutes after escaping an apartment fire Aug. 26, 2008. File photo.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 28, 2008 Pioneer Journal

• Fire sparks romance: victims engaged

A fire Tuesday afternoon ignited both a back porch blaze and the next stage in the romance of a Wadena couple.

Jeniann Morlock and William Mondry, both 19, escaped an apartment fire above Borealis bookstore in downtown Wadena and got engaged within a matter of minutes.

The couple was watching a movie with a friend when Mondry saw white smoke coming from underneath the door to the back porch stairwell of their apartment. It was around 2:10 p.m. and Mondry was about to leave for work. They tried to put the flames out with water before exiting through the front door adjacent to the bookstore, Mondry said.

Their friend continued to try to put out the fire with handfuls of dirt, Morlock said. She called the fire department on her cell phone.

As the couple watched the fire department put out the blaze, Mondry introduced Morlock as his fiancee, which was a surprise to her. He's been saving money little by little for a ring and planned on popping the question before fall set in, he said.

A slightly bemused Morlock said, "I guess" when asked later if her answer was yes.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 30, 1978 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena carriers won't honor strike

Local residents worried about the threat of a nationwide postal strike may breathe somewhat easier knowing that Wadena's three city and three rural carriers probably won't honor a shutdown.

According to Warren Gaslin, a supervisor at the Wadena post office, the local carriers "would never go on strike. They didn't last time."

Gaslin was referring to the postal shutdown last month that ended when the unions and the US Postal Service reached a tentative agreement on July 21. The pact, calling for a 19.5 percent wage and cost of living increase over three years, was rejected by the unions.

On Monday morning, Aug. 28, the Postal Service agreed to bargain some more with its unions, delaying for at least 15 days the threat of a national postal strike.

75 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 26, 1943 Pioneer Journal

• Early turkey raisers must ask Uncle Sam

The War Food Administration acted today to assure that turkeys promised to American servicemen overseas for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day dinners arrive in sufficient quantity and on time. Food distribution Order 71, effective Aug. 2, prohibits the sale, purchase or processing of live or dressed turkeys except as authorized by designated governmental agencies. The order will be lifted as soon as US Military overseas requirements - calling for about 10,000,000 pounds of 1943 crop turkeys - are met.

The purpose of the embargo, WFA officials explained, is to catch the "early bird" - those marketed during August or September - so that deliveries overseas can be made on time.