FROM MY BACKYARD
By Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisher
The signs were all over the place.
“Blow ‘em away Vikings,” .... “Vikings Pride,” .... and, “We are Proud of You.”
They were hanging in store windows, in homes, were painted on cars and banners waved in the breeze, proclaiming the hometown team as “Our Heroes.”
It’s what I’ve always dreamed about ... namely living in a town so filled with community pride and spirit that the local folks would hang signs all over town when their team was in the state championship.
Thoughts of my favorite movie, “Hooisers,” quickly came to mind. “
They loved their home town in the movie, proclaiming their pride all over town.
It was like that in Minneota.
Driving around the community before the big game there was so much pride you could almost taste it.
In the coffee places the usual talk of how many bushels we’re getting to an acre or how much moisture there is in the corn turned to football.
“Can the boys do it? We’re playing Adrian and we don’t have a bigger rivalry than that.”
“It will probably be close,” or, “Minneota by a touchdown,” or, “There will be a two touchdown difference,” was the kind of banter playing out over and over again in Minneota.
“You going to the game?”
It’s that kind of pride and commitment to the community that brought me here.
Some folks have said, “You sure came to the right town at the right time, because of the great surge in our athletic teams, and the fact you love sports the way you do.”
Well, I’ve got news for you!
It was no accident.
I have to believe the Good Lord made it happen just the way he wanted.
Last Friday night when I arrived in front of the school for the welcome home to both the football team and the volleyball team I felt something I hadn’t expected to feel.
It was, again, like a scene out of the movie, “Hooisers,” and it was just about the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
The fans waited patiently for the team to arrive home. Then, when a motorcade, complete with fire trucks and police cars brought them by the school, the whole place erupted.
The kids were hanging out the windows, taking it all in. As fans, we were caught up in the moment. It was at that point I finally realized I live in this town, and I am publisher of the newspaper in the town that had just won a state championship.
Not much has changed from the fictional days in Hooisers when Hickory won a state basketball championship.
People still show their pride, the kids still walk in as if they were walking on clouds and there is so much community spirit you practically have to scrape it off the walls.
It was during the welcome home that I, too, felt as though I was part of this community, part of this effort and part of all of you.
It felt so very good as I thought about being a member of this really unique group of people who all claim one thing ... “We are from Minneota, and couldn’t be prouder.”
And before I leave, let me say that NONE of this in any way diminishes what the Minneota Viking Girls Volleyball team accomplished.
I felt as much pride the day they took second as I did on Friday. The biggest difference was we were all whisked away from volleyball right into the jaws of a football playoff.
The girls’ volleyball team was the first to make me feel really welcome.
I won’t forget the day I went to practice to take their pictures and they all gathered around me and we talked for a while.
That was a special moment for me as well.
So Thank You Minneota for giving me a chance to be part of this fantastic community.
I will forever be grateful.
LAUGH A LITTLE: Two buddies Bob and Earl were two of the biggest baseball fans in America.
Their entire adult lives, Bob and Earl discussed baseball history in the winter, and they poured over every box score during the season. They went to 60 games a year. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven.
One summer night, Bob passed away in his sleep after watching the Yankee victory earlier in the evening. He died happy. A few nights later, his buddy Earl awoke to the sound of Bob's voice from beyond.
"Bob, is that you?" Earl asked.
"Of course it’s me," Bob replied.
"This is unbelievable!" Earl exclaimed. "So tell me, is there baseball in heaven?"
"Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?"
"Tell me the good news first."
"Well, the good news is that yes there is baseball in heaven, Earl."
"Oh, that is wonderful! So what could possibly be the bad news?"
"You're pitching tomorrow night."
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Everyone has a photographic memory … some just don’t have film.”
Ole Pappy said that alot. Guess he knew a lot of those people without film.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Notice to all my current, past and future patients:
I will be retiring from my medical practice in three months.
February 28, 2010, will be the last day of providing care in the Ivanhoe Clinic for Dr. Nealy, Dawn Bucher, Dr NP and myself. It will also be my last day treating patients in any hospital, emergency room or nursing home.
Until then, my practice will not change and Tim and Dawn and myself will be available as they have been before.
Beginning in March, the Clinic business office will continue to stay open for payment, receipts, etc., I will continue to keep my license as long as I am qualified — hopefully for life. I will be available to help in renewing prescriptions, and answering any questions you may have about past diagnosis and treatment. I will also be available for second opinions.
If anyone has a medical problem at an inconvenient time and I am at home, I will make every effort to see you in my home examination room.
There will be no medical service charges for any patient contact I have after Feb. 28.
I am in the process of trying to sell my clinic to a new Doctor of Medicine, preferable a Board Certified Family Physician who will live in Ivanhoe or Lincoln Co. If this can be done, the clinic may not have to close.
Richard D. Mulder,
Pa finds the right town — Minneota
FROM MY SIDE OF THE FENCE
By Jeff Meyer, Publisher
Pelican Rapids Press
What would be the best way to describe my Pa?
First of all, he’s my step-dad, and he introduced me to the newspaper business when I was in the ninth grade.
Growing up under his roof, I always said there was no way I’d be in the newspaper business. “Why would anyone what to do this?” I asked.
Back then, we lived above the newspaper.
He worked almost 24-7, and our home phone was the same as the newspapers.
We’d get phone calls at 7 am to place a classified ad.
It was nothing to start up the printer at 10 at night or go develop a roll of film in the darkroom.
Much worse, he’d make me do it.
He was born with ink under his fingernails. His dad was a newspaper man and so was his grandfather.
So the ink was already pretty deep.
Long story short, he was publishing a newspaper in Wisconsin when budget cuts came and his position was one that got cut.
When Pelican Rapids had their run last year at the basketball tournament, I asked him for help.
To cover all angles, of course he abliged. We had three photographers ... Kelley, me and Pa.
We were going to capture the moment at every angle. “I think we accomplished it.”
Byron, my Pa, Instantly fell in love with Pelican Rapids. He seem to suddenly know the kids by name and became a true Viking, as he saw the fans pride spill out onto the court.
And I could see envy in his eyes.
At that instant I told him, “You need a town of your own.”
Not that he couldn’t be a part of mine. He looked at me, with his eye brows frowning and a confused look on his face.
I said, “You need to run a newspaper so you can embrace the town and the school.”
Then, for Byron all the stars began to move as they began to fall into place.
Today he’s the publisher of the Minneota Mascot.
It’s a small little town in Southwestern, Minnesota., with a population of around 1,300.
He started his new venture in July of this year and instantly fell in love with his new community ... Minneota.
Everyone embraced his changes at the newspaper and his writing style.
All the town folks knew instantly he was a sports fanatic.
And, as luck would have it, Minneota is very gifted in the athletic department.
So talented, in fact, they sent two teams to state this year.
And it just so happens Minneota’s nickname is, get this, The Vikings.
Their volleyball and football teams both competed for state titles.
The volleyball team took second in state a couple weeks ago and the football team just captured the state championship.
And so, my Pa, Byron, still has Viking pride. Only this time it’s Minneota Viking pride.
Right now he is like a kid in the candy store.
Sports are his first love. And to have two teams in the big show, well, pretty much put him in a daze, I’m sure.
He’s dazed with excitement and dazed with Viking pride.
He knows as well as we do, it doesn’t come along very often.
So we have to cherish those moments.
As I think back to our accomplishments in Pelican Rapids and how it brought our town together, I have to believe the same thing is going on in Minneota for my Pa.
I couldn’t be happier for him.
OUT & ABOUT
By Gayle VanVooren, Mascot Editor
1. Wake Up!! ... Decide to have a good day. 'This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.'
2. Dress Up !! ... The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. 'The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.' I Samuel 16:7
3. Shut Up!! ... Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. He who guards his lips guards his soul.' Proverbs 13:3
4. Stand Up!! ... for what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything. 'Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good...' Galatians 6:9-10
5. Look Up !! . . to the Lord. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me'. Philippians 4:13
6. Reach Up !! ... for something higher. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.' Proverbs 3:5-6
7. Lift Up !! ... your Prayers. Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.'
Editor’s note - In this very troubling world and even more troubling time in our history, it is time to determine who we are, what we stand for, and take action in our lives. The time for sitting idly by has long passed.
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