Friday's Weekend Column
by James Glaser
This is the time of year in Northern Minnesota that every small town has their special event. Northome has a Bear Festival in August. Some towns have fishing tournaments, while others have Old Tractor Days. Every county in Minnesota and there are eighty two counties, has their County Fair.
This weekend I will drive my 1957 A-100 Golden Anniversary International pickup down to the old car show in Bemidji and probably over to the Centennial celebration for the City of Kelliher.
The old car show is a lot of fun and you get to see how much progress people have made on their project car or truck over the last year. People that finally finish and have a showroom beauty to drive around soon buy something else so they can work on that.
Kelliher, a town of 300 people is about 15 miles west of here and their school shares sports teams with our high school. They will have things to eat, cooked in a "Depression Era Kitchen." As in all small towns up here there will be a street dance right near the Municipal Liquor Store, with fire works after dark. Some group will probably be selling Lutefisk and Lefse, which I will pass on while hoards of those that still dream of the "old country" will eat their fill.
These festivals are a shot in the arm for local economies and are a time of year that people can come "Home" and be sure that many of the friends you have growing up are there for a visit too.
It is kind of funny, but after a while living up here, people just assume that you have lived here all your life and ask if you have heard from so and so or have you see him or her. You have no idea of who they are talking about, but just go along with them, because you don't want to explain that you moved here eighteen years ago for the twentieth time.
Small town America is still the best place to raise your children. Schools have small classes, like ten in a class room. Kids learn all about town life and farm life too. In small towns the population seems to stay pretty stable, so chances are you will be going to school with the same kids for twelve years and friendships that last that long, tend to last a life time even if you all move away. That small town and the life there keeps bringing you back so you can keep in touch with those friends you made in school.
People move away, but it is surprising how many of those people retire back to that same small town and pick up their friendships right where they let off all those years ago. I guess it is called, having roots.
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