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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Are you ready for some Christmas? I can hardly believe it is less than two weeks until Christmas. The weather says January, but the calen- dar says December. After three fairly good snow- storms my back yard looks more like mid to late winter than mid December. I also don't mind telling you I really am not excited about it. Well one thing is for sure if you are anywhere in the upper midwest it will probably be a white Christmas. I don't know what it is but it seems I really have a problem getting into the Christmas spirit. I guess most of us get all wrapped up in the commercial spirit rather than the true mean- ing of Christmas. I guess that is understandable when almost every commercial on television is enticing you to buy, buy, buy. Of course there are newspapers with glossy inserts touting all kinds of gift ideas. Also everywhere you go to shop, including on line stores, are out to get a chunk of your Ben Franklins or some other dead presidents. I guess just about every- one gets caught up in the glitz and scurry of the sea- son. For me the spirit really doesn't kick in until our boys start to show up. Of course going to church on Christmas eve really brings out the ,Spirit in me,lf it were not for the true meaning of Christmas the rest of the glitz and festivities would not mean much either. Favre era over? Monday night the Vikings played their game against the New York Giants. This was a historic game in more ways than one. First of all the game was played at Ford Field in Detroit as a result of the Metrodome roof failing and collapsing from the heavy snow fall and wind from the fifth worse snow storm in history in Minnesota. It has been a bizarre season to say the least. First the fiasco of Favre teammates going to Mississippi to beg him to return to Minnesota with all kinds of press coverage of him getting on the plane and flying into Minnesota during the pre-season. I contend it was all a big publicity stunt. At any rate, Favre picked up another cool 15 or 20 million to lead the Vikings to a pos- sible Super Bowl. Only problem was his premier wide receiver, Sidney Rice, would not start the season due to late spring surgery on his hip. Also Percy Harvin, an all purpose receiver, came up with a Migraine problem. As the season wore on it became evident that Coach Childress was 'not going to finish the season. Step in Leslie Frazier three weeks ago leading the Vikes to two wins giving the Viking faith- ful some slim hope of mak- ing the playoffs. But this game with the Giants took ' the "Viking faithful" Out of their misery at-least for this year. Well I think I know what my New Years resolution for next year will be... Have a great week and do good! Westbrook Walnut Grove Superintendent Loy Woelber shows a new I Pad that the school would like to put in the hands of WWG students. The Westbrook Education Foundation is promoting a drive to raise funds to finance the project. See letter at right for details. Subscri to the, Sentinel Tribune .. "Stories from the Batt Cave" Crandall's Christmas Letter 2010 My name is Crandall. I'm AI Batt's neighbor and this is my first annual Christmas let- ter. AI talked me into writing it. With him as a neighbor, I get a lot of corn from one wiseacre. I get out of breath listening to him. I grew up here by the many Elmer Greens growing next door. No, I don't mean evergreens. Elmer Greens. Elmer had 16 kids. I used to go to the Woods and cut a Christmas tree each year--until Mr. Woods called the Sheriff. I'm drinking a mocha dinero excesso cost-a-latte to give me the energy to tighten the nuts on last year's fruitcake. The cat has been using it as a scratching post. Fruitcakes have no expira- tion dates. I have finally gotten used to writing 2010 on my checks and such, so that must mean that it is nearly 2011. I started clearing snow in July. There wasn't any snow, but there was no competi- tion either. I still live on the road less graveled, rve realized that I'm older than I have ever been as gravity has become stron- ger and my nappetite is grow- ing along with it. When I was a boy, I never thought I could wait until Christmas, but I always did. I have the Christmas tree up. Actually, I never got around to taking it down. I should write a book on time management. I got a deer this year. I hit it with my sister Cruella's Buick. The sad thing is that her insurance company wouldn't pay for the processing. I don't know why she's been paying those premi- ums. Ma and Pa are still speaking to one another. They stopped listening years ago. Ma listens just enough to what Pa is say- ing so that she can finish his sentences. Ma is still chewing tobacco, She can't seem to quit. Pa doesn't mind her chewing but he wishes she'd stop spitting on his good shoes. She never misses. I've grown a goatee. My niece Cretia calls my facial hair a mul- let that doesn't know its place. Aunt Creola sent me a check for $500. There was a note includ- ed that said when CD rates hit 20 percent, she would sign the check. I'm still doing my own cooking. Well, not all of it. If I don't grill, George will. George Foreman does most of my cooking for me. This is the time of the year when I will have this discussion with one of my brothers, "What is this thing you gave me?" "1 don't know what it is." 'q'hen why did you give it to me?" "Because you gave it to me last year." I don't believe that visions of sugarplums dance in heads. I think there are visions of two- ply toilet paper doing the South Dakota sidestep instead. I put on elbow pads and a helmet, and went shopping. This year, I decided to be practical and give everyone toilet paper for Christmas. They'll spend all day unwrapping the gifts. I wrapped them in the crime scene tape I got after my snowmobile got away from me and went through the bank's window. I guess the sled wanted to meet its owner. I hope the toilet paper will be as big a hit as last year's gift. I bought my family a giant container of margarine. They spread it amongst themselves. It's Christmas--a time when you can never have too much butter or butter wannabe. They ate so much margarine, they couldn't keep their socks from sliding down. My hopes of being a free-range chocolate bunny rancher melted in the Dog Days of summer.. rm too poor to have mistletoe (lip lilac). I have athlete's foot instead. That may be why I've been a single fellow for some years now. I'm saving up for a marriage license. Maybe one day I'll meet one of the women of my dreams. I'm a catch. I'm a potential lottery winner. The holidays have me looking down. That's because people tend to drop cash this time of year. I tried to borrow money from my brother Cranford for an appendix transplant but it's difficult to get somebody (even Cranford) to fall for that two years in a row. Now for the mandatory sappy part, Tornadoes, floods, hail- storms, and a winter storm of epic proportions. I hope 2011 brings kinder weather. I know that possessions don't make a person happy, but neither does having them repossessed. So this Christmas, help the less fortunate. Not all the gifts go under the tree. Thank you for being a gift to me. I hope that happiness is crammed into your dangling footwear. Merry Christmas from your pal, Crandall AI Batt 2010 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ WWG School district celebrating 21 years of being Chargers! Happy Holidays from the Westbrook Education Foundation to all of our alumni and community friends. The WWG school district is cel- ebrating its 21st year of being Chargers! Like many other school districts in our state, shrinking state budgets and rising costs make it a challenge to continue to offer our students the same or better educa- tional opportunities. However, at this time, the WWG school's fund balance is in the top 10% per pupil in the State and we are still holding on to all programs. We peaked 6 years ago at 595 students and today stand at 460 in K-I2. We continue to look at ways to remain a unique rural district that offers a great edu- cation. For those of you who have con- tributed in the past to our Westbrook Education Foundation, we are very grateful. Your past donations have made it possible for us to provide our district with the extra's that a school normally cannot fmd funds for. Past donations have been used for the purchase of a tuba, grand piano, sound system, stage cur- tains, computers, fitness center improvements, industrial- arts equipmentr a greenhouse, several classroom smart boards as well as toprovide for scholarships to sev- eral individuals to further their education. We need your support! To keep our tax exempt status as a 501(C) (3) public charity foundation, we need the support of many donors. We won't be able to keep our cur- rent status if only a few donors contribute. Please consider making a small donation to the Westbrook Education Foundation today in the amount of $20, $35, $50 or more, to help us provide even more edu- cational opportunities for our stu- dents. Last month our Foundation's Board of Directors were given a presentation on the uses and bene- fits to the students of one of the latest technologies, the new com- puter 1-pad. We feel the urgency to help keep pace with our students and their technological needs. We agreed that it is time to make a push for a mobile lab of 25 hand held computers. We need all of you to help make this successful! This can be accomplished for $400-$500 a unit. A typical class size would need 25 units. Any sup- port that you can give would be greatly appreciated! Perhaps your employer has a matching gift poli- cy. If you have other specific requests, please note them on your check. We appreciate all you do in sup- porting your school and communi- ty. The Westbrook area continues to be a great place to live, raise a family, work, socialize, retire, and make lasting memories! Happy Holidays to all of you, Westbrook Education Foundation Please check out our school on our website atwww.wwgschools@ mntm.org Board members that have served longer First I would like to thank all who were involved in putting the nice article about my 20 year award in the Sentinel-Tribune last week. Second, and more importantly, I would like to set the record straight. There are currently three board members that have served longer than I and have received similar recognition at previous MSBA conferences over the years without all the fanfare and hoopla that I am getting. They are Gene Kronback, Bruce Jorgenson and Kerry Knakmuhs. I believe this longevi- ty is an indication of how well the marriage of the Westbrook and Walnut Grove School systems has been working. In districts that experience controversy and prob- lerns, the turnover of both board and administration is quite preva- lent. I have been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of very good people over the years. After being congratulated by a resident of a neighboring district, I informed him that I was still fourth on the board's seniority list. He replied; "If you don't get some new blood in there, the WWG School Board will soon be holding their meetings at Peterson Estates." He obviously did not realize that we alternate meeting sites between Westhrook and Walnut Grove or he would have added "and Country View" to the end of his statement. I assume (hope) he was speaking in jest, but there is much truth in what he said. Some of us are getting a little "long of tooth" as the saying goes. In conclusion, I would urge those of you of the younger gener- ation to strongly consider running for the school board in the near future. The filing period for the next election will be in the summer of 2012. That gives you about a year and a half to decide. THINK ABOUT IT! Marvin Kleven Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Splelman Jessica Nodlng (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Office & Production Marketing Specialist 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, and Murray ..$38,00 per year, Elsewhere in Minnesota $42.00 per year, Out of me state $48,00 per year, Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office, If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly, "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5,00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2,00. Any request for a back copy must include $3,00. 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