Living History: 'Ghost' spotted in Perham cemetery

20 years ago Excerpts from the Aug. 3, 1995 Pioneer Journal o Johnson is overall points leader in four-race water scooter competition Heather Johnson says her recent winnings in a women's water scooter competition weren't planned - they just kind...

20 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 3, 1995 Pioneer Journal

• Johnson is overall points leader in four-race water scooter competition

Heather Johnson says her recent winnings in a women's water scooter competition weren't planned - they just kind of happened.

She didn't plan to win because she didn't set out to be a racer. The 15-year-old entered the world of personal watercraft racing when her family received a flier about Hot Water Tour '95 in the mail.


But her unintentional status as a racer didn't hamper her performance. She won the first two races and placed second in the third, making her the overall points leader going into the fourth race, to be held Aug. 12 in Detroit Lakes.

The four-race competition, which includes timed events in Detroit Lakes, Little Pine Lake and Otter Tail Lake, had several categories. Johnson competed in the women's' runabout division, which involves racing the clock around a set of water buoys on a personal watercraft, taking care not to knock over any buoys.

When Johnson's not on the water, she's practicing other sports. last week she participated in a one-week volleyball camp in Verndale. Basketball is her favorite sport. As a ninth-grader last year, she was so good she was put on the varsity team the second half of the season.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 7, 1075 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena man elected MHECC president

The Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Commission has elected Donald C. Hamerlinck of Wadena to serve as president for the coming year.

The commission, at its Thursday, July 31, meeting, elected Emil Erickson of Virginia to serve as vice president and Mary Schertler of St. Paul to serve as secretary of the 11-member commission. Terms run until June 1976.


Hamerlinck, director of the Wadena Area Vocational-Technical Institute, served as vice president during the past year. He was appointed to the commission by Governor Wendell Anderson in 1971 and was reappointed by the governor last May for a four-year term ending in 1979. Outgoing president is Barbara Clark of Northfield.

Hamerlinck is one of three at-large members of the commission.

The MHECC is comprised of 11 members, one from each of the eight congressional districts and three at-large members. its purpose is coordination and planning of educational and related programs throughout the state.

65 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 3, 1965 Pioneer Journal

• 'Ghost' spotted in Perham cemetery

A number of motorists on Highway 10, west or Perham, had an eerie experience a week ago and had goosebumps on goosebumps at the spectacle they saw.

It all started as a motorist bounced nonchalantly down the highway and approached the cemetery on the outskirts of Perham. In the moonlight he observed a white object seemingly floating through the air close to the ground and then disappear. Somewhat startled, he slammed on all four brakes and threw out the anchor, too, to get his bus stopped. Another car had seen the same sight and it too stopped.


Again the white image came up out of the ground, swaying, dancing and floating through the air and then disappeared again.

More cars started lining the highway until they were on both shoulders about a half-mile on each side of the cemetery. Fanfare grew as the object continued its rhythmic dancing to celestial tunes. Speculation mounted. It all came back to but one answer, a ghost. Volunteers were asked to enter the silent lot to see what it was, but no one wanted to go.

Word of the weird spectacle reached Perham and the strong arm of the law was summoned and would go in with a bodyguard.

Carefully the lawman crawled upon the thing and then as is skimmed close to him, he threw a vicious tackle which would make Bronc Nagurski's flying mare look like a pony. The object and the lawman both went to the ground and out from under a white sheet came a giggling 14-year-old kid, who was given Hail Columbia and a chance to see if he could sit down.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 8, 1935 Pioneer Journal

• Davis first woman school board head

Friday the school board held an organizational meeting, following the recent election. Mrs. T.L. Davis was chosen as president, Whitney Murray as clerk and Hugh Parker as treasurer. Mrs. Davis is the first woman to hold the position of president of the school board.


• Cinch bug reported in Meadow Township

The ugly head of the cinch bug, which has not been seen in this vicinity for several years, is making its appearance again. Miles Rowe, county agent, reported Wednesday that the bugs are quite prevalent on the Ray Sweeney farm and an expert from the state entomologist's office is expected to arrive in Wadena today to make further investigation.

The cinch bug is a great hazard for corn, moving from the grain fields, where they are hatched, after the grain is cut and attacking the corn. They suck the sap from the corn stalk until the plant is so weakened it topples over.

Years ago the cinch bug were relatively common here but then disappeared and the pest has not been reported for several years.

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