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August 25, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Viewpoint Wednesday, August 25,2004 Page BETWEEN THE By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune LINES ITILB Yl14EGLO6E, ) COMPETE FOR SOMETII 6EEJ'TJ4OHEELF.,. .. :::: ..... .... :- ] What Summer? Where has the summer gone. Already the days are growing noticeably shorter. Volleyball and football practice has started and the last two months have disappeared. Well I still have several plants that have not found their place in my flower beds, and I still have several plants that need dividing. The weather has been very good for such things but my schedule has been very bad for such things. The swimming season has been cut short due to several leaks in the pool. I talked with our street crew this morning, they are busy working on the pool to repair the leaks. It seems most of the fittings that shoot the water into the pool had corroded to the point they were leaking behind the pool wall. That along with a couple other problems are being fixed. Hopefully they will solve the problems so swimmers can enjoy a full season next sum- mer. We can also be thankful our local crews are willing to take on the job. If the pool company were to do it, it would cost over $30,000 to fix. I am not sure how much it will be for our guys to do the work but I know it will be a whole lot less than thirty grand. I guess with the cool weath- er we have had lately the pool would probably have been closed several of those days anyway. Things not to say to a cop 1. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer. (OK in Texas) 2. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector was- n't plugged in. 3. Aren't you the guy from the Village People? 4. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job7 5. Are you Andy or Barney? 6. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condi- tion to be a police officer. 7. You're not gonna check the trunk, are you? 8. I pay your salary! 9. Gee, Officer! That's terrif- ic. The last officer only gave me a warning, too! 10. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does. 11. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around. That's how far ahead of me they are. 12. When the officer says "Gee son .... Your eyes look red, have you been drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with, "Gee officer your eyes look glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?" Have a great week! Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accurately and consistently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its read- ers, advertisers and community in general while stimulating the professional development of its employees. SPEAK UP : We welcome your participation, whether in letters or commentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sentrib@rrc- net.org. Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507-274-6137. We require submissions be exclusive to us in our market area. All must include writ- ers 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 publication of any submitted letters or stories mlX00EMENT CONT00TS !! AI BAH... 00Stories from the Batt Cave" The Great Tree House Fire It was a day like most days-- about the same as the day before, yet completely different from any other. I was in the office in my home, talking on the phone. My wife was in the kitchen whipping up the evening meal. We called it supper. She was teaching noo- dles how to dance. I was in the midst of a phone conversation with a man I didn't know who lived over 100 miles from me when my wife came running in, exclaiming, "Fire!" "What?" I said. "What?" said the man on the other end of the line. "The tree house is on fire!" said my wife. I looked out the window. "The tree house is on fire?" said the man's voice on the telephone. We didn't have a tree house, but some of the neighborhood kids had one. They had used their carpentry abilities to build one on a tree bordering our property. It was a well-built structure. I was a bit envious of their skills. The only thing ! had ever built was a bird house. I put a window in the bird house. A bad idea. The birds kept flying into it. But I d grass. / saw the blaze in a tall cotton- wood tree in our backyard. The flames were licking the sky. I promised to call the man back and hung up the phone. I called the fire department and then I ran outside, rm not sure why I ran outside, but that is what we do. We see a fire, an airplane or any of a number of other things and we run outside. It's the small town way. The flames were lap- ping even higher in the tree. I could see that they were coming from the tree house that the boys from town had put together in the cottonwood. There was a group that had constructed it, but then they had a falling out. Actually, I don't think any of them really fell out. They had a minor disagree- ment that had not been resolved to the satisfaction of any of the parties involved. As I neared the fire, I saw a man in my yard. He was a man well-known to me. He was yelling towards the flames. "Michael! Michael!" There were tears in his eyes and in his voice. Michael was his son and one of the architects of the tree house. I joined the distraught father. We looked helplessly into the flames, hoping that we would see no sign of a human form engulfed in them. The local volunteer fire depart- ment arrived quickly. They drove into my backyard, near the burn- ing tree. The firemen hit the flames with water and after a Drier battle; the fire gave up the fight. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was determined that there were no boys in the area. We were all thankful that no one was hurt and that we were blessed to have such good folks as the volunteer fireman to protect us. We all are protected by guardian angels. In small towns, they are our volunteer firemen. Some time later, Michael was found walking down a highway. The story came out. No one had been playing with matches. The boys had put a camp stove in their tree house. They had attempted to use gasoline as fuel for the stove. This was a poor fuel choice. Michael was the occupant of the tree house the fire began. He had acciden- tally kicked over the stove. He then panicked, jumped out of tree and ran for it. Panicking makes sense when you are a Boys do things like that because they are sure they are going blamed for whatever it is that did. Boys get this way because they are blamed for most every- thing that they do. Michael and ran. He hid in a cornfield about a mile away from the fire. He remained hidden until he knew that he could hide no more Everyone was happy to see Michael.. He was frightened, unharmed, other than the his eyebrows had been singed off. Michael was a good bey. Michael was sorry about the age to the tree. Michael has grown up to be a good man, a good husband and J good father. We all hugged our children a tie harder that night. We were worried that we had lost someone. If our hearts could sing, there would have been a cardiac choir heralding Michael's return. We need to treat our loved ones like we have just found safe and sound. -AI Batt 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 SnoEowl@aol.com Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Tom Merchant Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production Carolyn Van Loh assignment reporter Teri 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 ,i Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office i "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $6.00 extra to have it mailedout of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mail- ing single copies is almost $1.50. Any request for a back copy i must include $2.00.Newstand price is 75 cants per copy. Copyright 2003 Sentinel Tribune a Lyon Sioux Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183 CALL WESTBROOK OFRCE 507-274-6136 FAX 507-274-6137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 i i E-mail sentrib@rrcnet.org OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT THE OLESON'S MERCANTILE WALNUT GROVE Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. DEADLINES Local news Noon School news 2:00 p.m. MonemT. Articles and other news 12:00 p.m. MKI. All Peach Ads 9:00 a.m. Sentinel Ads, & Classified Ads 4:00 p.m. Moncm WESTIBROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNE OFFICE HOURS Monday, Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 P. 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