Weekly Columns
Rubbing elbows with the peasants PDF Print E-mail

OUT & ABOUT

By Gayle Van Vooren, Editor

Slip on your peasant clothing, grab your tankard, and head to the field. So, where are we going? To the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, of course.
This is quite a fair - festival - step back in time - riveting experience. It caught me by surprise, as so many visitors were also dressed in the Elizabethan and other garb out of history books. It would have been better to have strapped on some jewels, add a flash of silk, or go barefoot in a cotton dress.
This Festival is literally in a field near Shakopee. But the stages, market places, and ambiance of the place takes one back to the days of yore. And by the end of a long day, we smelled like the days or yore - for we had acquired dirt in the most unusual places.
Puke N’ Snot are back in business, after the death of the original Snot a couple years ago. They are as bawdy and raucous as ever - a show that children should not attend. Their adult humor is on the edge of too much - and yet they were riveting at the same time.
We also witnessed the Jousting that is shown several times a day, cheering on our favorite as each turn was made. The Danger Committee was just plain exciting, as they tossed daggers through the air, and finally split a cucumber on the arm of a man while he spun on a cylinder.
The Sisters of the Sahara gave a splendid performance of belly dancing - the crowd cheering them on. And performers throughout the festival kept the large crowd very interested with magic acts, juggling, puppets and singing. There was something going on every where we looked.
The vendors had a great sampling of merchandise to buy. The gals I was with were entranced with all of the jewelry, and yes, we brought a little home with us. There was pottery of every color imaginable, clothing from the days of Knights and Ladies to purchase, leather goods, swords and knives, silks, candles and perfumes.
The day we went was touted as the Royal Ale festival, which meant that beer was in abundance. It doesn’t matter if we had any or not - for most were holding a tankard of ale during the festival.
One does not go hungry at the Renaissance Festival. We tried many of the items that were on the menu, and a favorite was the deep-fat-fried green beans. They had a special coating on them that made them delicious. We also enjoyed cheese curds, chicken on a stick, gyros, meat pies and fresh squeezed lemonade. The food was fresh, very tasty and tables were scattered here and there for resting pleasure.
The Festival is open every weekend through October 4, with a Friday festival thrown in on October 2.  This is the place to go for 16 stages of live entertainment, 275 marketplace merchants selling their wares, and food and drink fit for a King - plus street entertainment that catches one’s fancy.
Just go to www.renaissancefest. for more information. And if you do go, don’t plan to wear something good. A day of rubbing elbows with the peasants is a very dirty affair.

 
The 57 cent church PDF Print E-mail

ODDS AND ENDS

By Jon Guttormsson

A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was 'too crowded.'
'I can't go to Sunday School,' she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.
Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her  in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.
Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: 'This is to help the little church grow bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.'
For two years she had saved for this offering of love.
When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.
He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.
But the story does not end there...
A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.
When told that the church could not pay so much, he

offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 — a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century).
Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.
When you are in the city of Philadelphia , look up Temple Baptist Church) , with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.
Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, 'Acres of Diamonds'.

 
All we have to worry about are deer crossings PDF Print E-mail
You know the drill.
You’re driving along minding your own business when suddenly a deer pops out in front of your car.
Then there’s another, and another. My wife says where there is one, there’s more.
You slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the deer, then you breathe a sigh of relief when you pass them without a collision.
“I don’t know how I missed them,” you tell your friends later.
Well, Minneota native Stefan Sontag had an experience like that recently.
Only it was a bit more unusual.
You see, Stefan is at Camp Buehring Kuwait, in the service.
Stefan wrote his family, “It’s nice being out on the road doing missions because the time flies by.  We are stationed in Kuwait, but our missions are all throughout Iraq. We have been putting plenty of miles on our trucks and each mission brings something new to the table. It’s also nice to see lots of the bases throughout Iraq.”
But one night he and his mates saw a most unusual site.
Instead of “deer” crossing in front of them as they drove at night, their lights revealed three camels crossing the road.
Certainly some of the fellows had to rub their eyes in disbelief.
It’s not easy for fellows from the Midwest to even imagine a camel crossing in front of your vehicle at night.
But there they were, in all their glory, crossing the road as if they owned it, and in no particular hurry.
We know how to deal with deer crossing in front of us, but camels, well, now that’s another matter.
Then again, we’re talking Kuwait here ... not Taunton, Minnesota.
By-the-way, Stefan said in his letter that when he first arrived in Kuwait, “It was a huge shock. It was only 8 a.m. and already pushing 100 degrees outside and we landed in a sand storm.  It was definitely an interesting welcome to Kuwait.”
But they were kind and gave the men at Camp Buehring  a whole week to get acclimated to the new environment.  
“Each day it seems to get right around 120 degrees outside,” said Stefan Sontag.

Jason Davis may be here for Bug Days
(Note: Several odds and ends concerning Bug Days this weekend were discussed at the committee meeting last week. These items were written by Editor Gayle VanVooren and not by me ...)
Jason Davis of Channel 5’s “On The Road Again,” has been invited to come to the festival — a complete lineup has been sent to him and he was very impressed with what Minneota is hosting over our three-day celebration. Also noted that it was the 25th Anniversary of Boxelder Bug Days.
The Committee has also been contacted by Pioneer Public TV that they may be coming to cover the Bill Holm tribute on Saturday afternoon.
Community Center will be set up with Memorabilia from the 25 years of celebrations, books and memories from Bill Holm and Icelandic Heritage items.
Chain saw carver Chester Yackly from Watertown will be showing this creative art behind Rick’s Taxidermy on Saturday.
Stages will be set up, the bull arena staging will be coming in, bleachers, tables and portable toilets will be arriving, and crews are being assigned to help in so many areas.
The fireworks display will be exciting. Travis Prill is using a larger area to work from, and will have a 15-minute show to “wow” the crowds.
The Church Service on Sunday morning will incorporate area ministers and volunteers, with the Hope Lutheran Praise Band giving a live performance at 9 a.m., leading into the 10 a.m. community service.

LAUGH A LITTLE: A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party.  Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.  After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?""I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill." The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try. The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills. When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “ If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either.”
 
All we have to worry about are deer crossings PDF Print E-mail

camelsBy Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisher

You know the drill.
You’re driving along minding your own business when suddenly a deer pops out in front of your car.
Then there’s another, and another. My wife says where there is one, there’s more.
You slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the deer, then you breathe a sigh of relief when you pass them without a collision.
“I don’t know how I missed them,” you tell your friends later.
Well, Minneota native Stefan Sontag had an experience like that recently.
Only it was a bit more unusual.
You see, Stefan is at Camp Buehring Kuwait, in the service.
Stefan wrote his family, “It’s nice being out on the road doing missions because the time flies by.  We are stationed in Kuwait, but our missions are all throughout Iraq. We have been putting plenty of miles on our trucks and each mission brings something new to the table. It’s also nice to see lots of the bases throughout Iraq.”
But one night he and his mates saw a most unusual site.
Instead of “deer” crossing in front of them as they drove at night, their lights revealed three camels crossing the road.
Certainly some of the fellows had to rub their eyes in disbelief.
It’s not easy for fellows from the Midwest to even imagine a camel crossing in front of your vehicle at night.
But there they were, in all their glory, crossing the road as if they owned it, and in no particular hurry.
We know how to deal with deer crossing in front of us, but camels, well, now that’s another matter.
Then again, we’re talking Kuwait here ... not Taunton, Minnesota.
By-the-way, Stefan said in his letter that when he first arrived in Kuwait, “It was a huge shock. It was only 8 a.m. and already pushing 100 degrees outside and we landed in a sand storm.  It was definitely an interesting welcome to Kuwait.”
But they were kind and gave the men at Camp Buehring  a whole week to get acclimated to the new environment.  
“Each day it seems to get right around 120 degrees outside,” said Stefan Sontag.

Jason Davis may be here for Bug Days
(Note: Several odds and ends concerning Bug Days this weekend were discussed at the committee meeting last week. These items were written by Editor Gayle VanVooren and not by me ...)
Jason Davis of Channel 5’s “On The Road Again,” has been invited to come to the festival — a complete lineup has been sent to him and he was very impressed with what Minneota is hosting over our three-day celebration. Also noted that it was the 25th Anniversary of Boxelder Bug Days.
The Committee has also been contacted by Pioneer Public TV that they may be coming to cover the Bill Holm tribute on Saturday afternoon.
Community Center will be set up with Memorabilia from the 25 years of celebrations, books and memories from Bill Holm and Icelandic Heritage items.
Chain saw carver Chester Yackly from Watertown will be showing this creative art behind Rick’s Taxidermy on Saturday.
Stages will be set up, the bull arena staging will be coming in, bleachers, tables and portable toilets will be arriving, and crews are being assigned to help in so many areas.
The fireworks display will be exciting. Travis Prill is using a larger area to work from, and will have a 15-minute show to “wow” the crowds.
The Church Service on Sunday morning will incorporate area ministers and volunteers, with the Hope Lutheran Praise Band giving a live performance at 9 a.m., leading into the 10 a.m. community service.

LAUGH A LITTLE: A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party.  Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.  After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?""I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill." The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try. The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills. When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “ If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either.”

 
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