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It is something of a ritual every holiday season for local newspapers and Chambers of Commerce to remind folks to Shop Local. You know the mantra -- when you shop local, more of your money is reinvested in your community, which helps other local businesses, which creates greater diversity and helps the community maintain its unique appeal. Additionally, there's less travel thus less pollution. Better customer service, more support for the hometown charities, schools and extra-curriculars. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Don't get me wrong, these are valid and pertinent points.
If you have an e-mail account, you have received some sort of bizarre request, be it for your bank number so that a wealthy Nigerian businessman, who has a terminal illness, can distribute his wealth to charity. It could be that you must forward this important yet little-known emergency medical tip to 10 people to save at least one life. Or it could be warning that free samples in the mail such as lotions, perfumes, diapers and the like are poisonous and the government is afraid that this might be another terrorist act.
One of the advantages of working at a community newspaper is that you have access to the town's history. It is a tantalizing distraction to page through the back issues of the paper, recognizing names and faces and reliving all of the moments that are captured on paper. It is also calming to be able to compare notes on how we're faring in comparison to the "good old days." There is one particular front page that I have copied off and keep handy. It is from the March 20, 1969 Morris Tribune.
And so, here we are, on the verge of the Stevens County Fair. Surely, I can't be the only who was surprised to wake up last week and discover it was August. I'm not sure why it seems as though time has skipped by this summer. There were all the usual milestones: the last day of school, the Kiwanis weekly talent shows in the park, the start and end of the baseball and softball seasons, Prairie Pioneer Days, Summer Station Day, Crazy Days, Hort Night, the LTD Ride and more reunions than you can keep track of.
A woman stopped by the office earlier this week to renew her subscription.
Let's say it all together, "Thank you and welcome home!" Ok, now say it 550 more times, once for each of the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery who are returning home this weekend after serving a year of active duty in the Middle East. Welcome back to civilian life. We hope that you are as successful restarting your "regular life" as you were in serving your country. Based in Kuwait, the troops provided convoy escort security throughout Iraq.
My sister-in-law can't stand to hear someone fold paper. She cringes and covers her ears. It's worse than fingernails on a chalkboard for her. My son has the same reaction when I sing along with my MP3 player. Just from the look on his face, I know that he doesn't find my rendition of a certain song soothing or enjoyable. For me, the sound that is most irritating is the phrase, "It's not my job." I hear it on a daily basis at home as I try to motivate my children to complete their chores.
Three new members will join the Board of Directors for the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce. Elections for the Chamber were held during the annual meeting on Thursday. Four, three-year terms were up for election and there were nine candidates. Sonia Meyer was re-elected along with new members Karen Berget, Dr. Randy Hamling and Mary Philiph for a three-year term. There had been a tie between Mary Philiph and Patti Wente, but Wente conceded.
I spent part of the holiday weekend on the road. I went to Park Rapids, something I have been doing with some regularity since 1982. However, I cannot recall when the trip was as awesome. I went to an open house for a friend's daughter who was graduating from high school. Perhaps because of that I was paying a bit more attention to the roadside decorations. All along the highway were balloons and signs saying, "Dan's Party" and "ConGRADulations Monica".
Interesting radio ads and mailers being recently run for Rep. Jay McNamer. They state, “He keeps his promises.” Really? How about his promise to vote for traditional marriage and only...