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June 9, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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June 9, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Vi ew=p 0 int Wednesday, June 9, 2004 BETWEEN By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune THE LINES From the freezer to frying pan When in Minnesota one must be prepared for almost anything when it comes to weather. After one of the coldest wettest Mays in recent history, now we get record breaking hot temperatures. I must say I prefer hot to cold, although I really hate the humidity. It would be nice if we could get most of our humidity during the winter when we could really use it. I guess I really get tired of get- ting shocks every time I touch something after walking across the room. I don't recall having to deal with so much static electricity when I was younger, although I do recall shuffling across the carpet sneak- ing up on some unsuspecting soul and giving them a shock of their life on the ear. However now static electricity is not much of a problem with juicy dew points in the sixty and seventy range and the day- time highs up into the nineties. Like I said be prepared. Small town nice? I guess all good things must come to an end. For years no one except big city visitors ever locked the doors on their cars or houses much. Oh yeah we some times locked our doors when we went on vacation. The whole thing about locking doors reminded me of a story I read in a magazine recently. It went something like this. A lady was going to visit a friend in the country. The friend at the last minute had to run into town for a minute, but she knew her friend was coming and she wanted her to be able to get into the house. So she left a note on the door which said,The key is under the door mat, unlock the door and make yourself at home. When the lady returned home her friend asked her "why did you bother locking the door? I digress, yes small towns are nice and I can't think of a better place to live and work and raise families. But I think it is time for all of us to take a few precautions. Don't be an easy mark, thieves are always looking for an easy mark So don't make it easy, take your stuff with you and lock your cars if you can't. Reagan's legacy President Ronald Reagan who had been battling Alzheimers for the past dozen years or so finally succumbed to complications of the disease this week. I guess I understand a little what his family is going through, It is tough for any family to have to watch a loved one just disappear before your eyes For me I will always remember the leadership of president Reagan during the end of the cold war era. It is one of the most pro- found change to mankind I have seen in the last fifty years. How he handled the business of negotiat- ing with the Soviet Union will be a lasting legacy for President Reagan, Have a great week! Senator Vickerman votes against selling wine in grocery stores For the 4th consecutive year, legislators have voted down an attempt to sell wine in grocery stores. State Senator Jim Vickerman (DFL-1acy) said he voted against the proposal. 'The wine for dinner bill was defeated in committee, but then someone tried to amend it to the omnibus liquor bill during debate -on the floor," Sen. Vickerman said. "It was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 51 to 15." While the amendment on the floor was a scaled-down version of the wine for dinner bill in that it would only allow the sale of Minnesota-made wines to be sold in grocery stores. Sen. Vickerman said there are many reasons to vote against it. For example: liquor stores are better trained than gro- cery stores to handle and control this controlled substance; a U of M study of 7 states that allow wine sales in grocery stores saw a dra- matic rise in "wine consumption and when people consume more alcohol liquor-related problems always go up; and municipal bever- age operations would lose valuable revenue. This would be particular- ly difficult in a time of state cuts to local funding. '1?his is something District 22 has always told me not to support," Sen. Vickerman said. "It wasn't a good idea in the past, and it's not a good idea now." Anyone with comments or questions about the sale of wine in liquor stores can contact Sen. Vickerman at 226 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-1606, sen.jim.vickerman@ 651-296-5650. Reagan 'embodied the values that made America the shin- ing city on the hill' First District Congressman Gil Gutknecht issued the following statement regarding the death of former President Ronald Reagan: "President Reagan embodied the values that made America the shining city on the hill . . . faith, family, freedom and personal responsibility. Born to humble beginnings, he never lost the com- mon touch. Few public officials had more empathy for the common peo- ple. He could make us laugh or cry depending on what the situation called for. Most of all, he made us proud. Proud to be Americans. Ronald Reagan came into office during a great malaise. He made us believe again in ourselves; in our capacity to achieve great things. He ignored his critics and the cynics. He shouldered on with unstoppable optimism. He consigned communism to the ash heap of history. As Margaret Thatcher said, "He won the Cold War without firing a shot." He changed our party. He changed the way America sees itself. And, in the end, he changed the world. Borrowing from the song, I said to my wife Mary when he left office, "He was a long time coming. . he will be a long time gone. I thank God for giving us such men." 00;TcR T00E oL'uNIFq00 00'nLkFrr00... AI Bart... =Stories from the Batt Cave" The Big Fish It was a monster. I was working in Northem Wisconsin. I was staying in a ledge that provided good food and entertain- ing company. It was one of those places that made me feel at home. I would sit at my table and look at the fish mounted on the walls. There was one fish that demanded my attention It was a muskie of tremendous size. A patron noticed my interest. "Quite a fish, ain't she?' he said. I looked at the man. He had on an ugly green hat. It was fes, tooned with a good number of fishing flies and lures. He had a beard a few days old and appeared to have a pinch of something between his cheek and gum. "It is that," I replied. "How much do you think it weighed?' "1 figure about 75 pounds. It was a world record when I caught it 19 years ago almost to the day. I never had such a fight with my wife as I did with that fish. I was going to put it on the wall of my cabin, but I decided to put it up down here where others could enjoy it. Well, rve gotta go. Enjoy looking at the fish. You'll never see another like it." I'm not much of a fisherman, but it was a remarkably fine pisca- torial catch. I found myself star- ing_at it, trying to imagine it alive. J ne mailman entered the estab- lishment; bringing the mail. "A fair-sized fish, eh?' he said. "rd say." "You probably weren't around here when I caught that fellow. It was big news. All the newspa- pers carded a story about it. I even did a thing on the TV news. That fish was the biggest thing to ever hit this area. I considered giving up the post office to become a professional fisherman, but I thought I owed something to the people on my route. I don't go a day without wondering how all the fame and fortune I would be receiving as a pro fisherman would have changed me. Well, back to work. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, you know." He left behind a confused fish watcher. The owner of the lodge stopped by my table and inquired as to he quality of the meal provided me. "It's very good, thank you," I answered. "1 couldn't help noticing you looking at my fish." "Oh, it was you who caught it?" "Yup. About 20 years ago. I quit fishing right after I landed that baby. I knew rd never be able to top it.' Another man entered the lodge and sat near me. I said to him, "Pardon me, but I am a stranger to these parts and was wondering if you could tell me how you managed to catch that huge muskie on the wall?" "What? Who told you I caught that fish?" He then spent the next hour telling me how it took him a half- hour to land the lunker. He left to go fishing. He told me that his life had become an unending quest to top the catch on the wall. His seat was taken wearing a "Sexy shirt. He grunted in my "Who says it doesn't school?" he growled. 'What?" I said. "1 skipped school one daY fishing. I knew my Dad going to give me a licking, loved fishing. It was that hooked that beauty. I fish home and showed it to father. The old man tried . mad at me, but he just bring himself to do it. hog on the wall saved getting a whipping. Of my teacher punished me in, school, but it was worth it. J might be the caught.' It was like the great white whale. After he left, I motioned waitress that I wanted She brought it with a smile. "Quite a fish," I said. "1 suppose you were the one caught it?" "Caught it?" she said. part of an old beer sign. looked so real that the owner decided to keep it discarded the sign. It's a real conversation I told her that I would for dinner. I didn't have to ask catch of the day would be. I knew I had been it. --,@AI Batt 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 : SP00K UP We welcome your participa- tion, whether in letters or com- mentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sen- Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507- 274-6137. We require submis- sions be exclusive to us in our market area. All must include writers name, address, and day time telephone number. Letters should be brief, up to 250 words, other submissions should be no longer than 500 words. Original items can not be returned unless the writer would pick them up at the office or send self addressed stamped envelope. No items will be kept longer than 30 days. We reserve the right to refuse publi- cation of any submitted letters or stories. 0100. l00ff.., Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Tom Merchant Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman (ISSN 875O-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production Carolyn Van Loh assignment reporter Ted Herder Walnut Grove news correspondent Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, Lyon, Murray and Nobles $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. 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