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Living History - Dec. 28 edition

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 27, 2007 Pioneer Journal

• Neighbors answer honking horn after horse incident

The Sunday before Labor Day, Wadena-Deer Creek teacher John Keranen headed out for one last horse ride before starting the 2007-08 school year.

He stopped in the house and told his wife, Sharon, not to expect him back for another hour or hour and a half, he said. She was downstairs playing the piano.

Keranen went out to the round pen on his rural Menahga farm where he started to mount his horse. He put his foot in the stirrup and the next thing he remembered was flying toward the saddle horn.

"My right leg kind of bent all the way back and I knew I had broken something," he recalled.

The horse kept bucking and he hit the saddle horn probably four or five more times, he said, He wasn't in control to get off the horse.

He finally landed on his back, he said.

The 60-year-old third grade teacher had a broken pelvis along with torn ligaments and muscles. He missed months of school. Keranen had to rely on friends, family and his faith in God during his recovery over the past few months. Immediately after the accident occurred, it was helpful neighbors who answered the honk of a horn and came to the rescue.

After finding himself on the ground with the reigns in his hands, Keranen tried to stand up. His leg collapsed, he said.

He started to crawl through the pen gate towards the house. He crawled to the pickup and honked and honked the horn but nobody heard him, he said. He honked at long intervals and short intervals.

He continued honking and about a minute later his neighbors mike and Karen Rood and their son, Brandon, showed up. Brandon got Sharon from inside the house.

Since coming home, Keranen's healing has been slow but steady, he said. He is looking forward to returning to school.

The exact schedule for his return will depend on what his doctors say, he said.

The school has been very nice during his absence, he said. Keranen worked for Wadena-Deer Creek since earning his teaching degree in 1989. His students, former students and teachers sent cards during his recovery.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 28, 1977 Pioneer Journal

• Arts council, Madhatters recipients of local grants

The Minnesota State Arts board during its December meeting awarded a total of $139,925 in grants to 69 recipient organizations throughout the state.

Recipients of statewide or multi-region grants involved Wadena Area Concert Association, Wadena, $1,000 "Performance by the hartford Chamber Ballet during the 1978-79 series," and the Five Wings Arts Resources, Staples, $2,910, "Development of a regional arts newsletter."

Recipients of local or regional grants were the Wadena Area Arts Council and the Madhatters Community Theatre, $600 "production manager and artist honoraria for Christmas Festival" and the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Brainerd-Little Falls, $5,000 "Three seasonal concert programs."

Wadena Hide and Fur burglary reported

A burglary occurred at Wadena Hide and fur last week. Eight fox, valued at $360, were discovered missing and reported by an employee Dec. 23 at 8:30 a.m., Steve young, Wadena Police Department, said. Investigation is continuing, he said.