Edna still remembers

Edna Orwick, at 95, has a memory concerning East End residents that helped make my day. “Swedetown,”, as we once called it, has expanded closer to the lake of recent years and many of those Scandinavian families I know are still represented there. When Edna boarded the handi-van, I got her name and age, and asked her about members of my old construction gang around the paper mill years ago. Our contractor was Paul A. Laurence from Minneapolis (believed Swedish himself) and he employed such skilled people as Harry Christiansen, Leif Willer, and Fred Erickson among his supervisors. Edna remembered all I worked with as a youth. My father, Tony, was Paul’s cement expert for years and I was “at home” with all those workmen that Edna also knew around her home neighbourhood.
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It’s been said the quickest way to end bad habits is to raise prices! Let’s see whether that works for coffee?
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I’ve been receiving daily attention from Shannon Curtis, the denturist at the back of the old high school, who has decided it’s time for me to break in new choppers, having worn down my last ones! So pass me that steak again, please! I never before met such an enthusiastic professional but Mrs. Curtis, being his efficient receptionist, could be partially responsible.
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I never miss the monthly dance at Rainycrest, where friendly Bob Wepruk, local singer and guitarist, performs with his popular orchestra. The other night, despite the absence of vocalist Jackie Grynol, the oldsters proved nimble as ever as “Me Oh My-O, we’ll have big fun on de buyo” and other once popular tunes got everyone up on their feet!” Right up to the climax via “The Wabash Cannonball!”
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Incidentally, some of the ladies around Rainycrest can demonstrate affection very well, indeed. Upon learning I am responsible for this column, several decided to prove they care by bestowing kisses, to which I do not object. No doubt they have been following the adventures of my squirrel friend, “Nutty,” and perhaps sympathizing over his matrimonial problems. But “Nutty” and “Bridey” undoubtedly will settle their differences so long as their peanuts last.
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Leesa Wickstrom, usually the happiest waitress at McDonald’s here, was feeling badly about loss of a colt at her farm! It was born prematurely after the mare may have fallen!
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Mrs. and Mrs. Gerry Guimond earn admiration from their singing for funerals. She reports singing from three up to seven hymns sometimes.
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Annie Lahti, long my River Road neighbour, reports her son, Ralph, has greatly increased their land holdings with the addition of two neighbouring farms to that of his late father, Arnie. John Stuart’s large acreage, as well as that of Ralph’s uncle, Bill Mutz, now are being put to good use by Ralph. That’s very close to my own former farm (within three miles of town limits and totalling more than 1,000 acres).
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As well as meeting Olive Eisenhower (Ward), I recently met another high school classmate, Betty Cox, after seeing few from that wartime class. Maybe we should arrange a high school reunion if this idea were to receive any response. Let’s see now, I hate to suggest that would take us back over half-a-century and probably be difficult to arrange, but better late than never.
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A pair of Emo girls are leading the hockey scoring for Rainy River Community College across the river. Hannah Firth recently collected a hat trick and she reports Sarah O’Sullivan is now standing second in girls’ U.S. national scoring!
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My handi-van driver, Diane Cousineau, reports a new big van is being added to that growing fleet!
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Theresa Bolen, my former news partner at the Times back in the 1980s, is practising photography at Wal-Mart these days and making new friends with her camera—and there never was a more dependable associate. Meanwhile, her husband, Jack, is very much involved with his prospecting for gold around Mine Centre, which was big in the news recently.
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It’s great to have all our students back in school following their exams, which hopefully will help ready them to become physicians, technicians, and the experts of tomorrow!
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Stan Ward was pleased to report a grandson was already away to Dryden on a hockey trip at the age of five!
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If Max Clement, the Atikokan trapper and retired boxer, reads this, he will remember Harold “Bo” Armstrong, another boxer he knew. Bo joined me for coffee with his memories, including that of the late “Toolie” Kawulia, who became a recreation director here. Bo was the son of Harold Sr., the assistant chief of town police under Louis Camirand, after both had served with the RCMP in their youths. Both also would be dismayed to learn the old town police system has been replaced by the OPP.

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