By Kristen Miller
For three consecutive years, Dassel landmarks have made the pages of three different calendars in 2006 the Mushroom Building, in 2007 Saints Field, and the Veterans Memorial for 2008.
In 2006, the Minnesota Places calendar featured Dassel’s own Mushroom Building for June.
Photos from all over Minnesota were taken by Greg Ryan and Sally Byer for this calendar.
Dassel Museum Director Julie Lindquist was visiting a Barnes and Noble Bookstore one day in 2006, when she saw this calender.
Flipping through the months, to her surprise, she found the Mushroom Building.
“It was such a surprise,” Lindquist said, not knowing the photographers who had visited the building.
Other Minnesota places featured along with the Mushroom Building were the historic river town of Hastings, ferry boats on the St. Croix River in Stillwater, and the Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior.
In 2007, Dassel-Cokato Saints player Cole Flick took a photo of Saints Field while the DC Saints were practicing.
Flick submitted it for the annual Minnesota Twins calendar and is the field for the month of March.
The Howard Lake Memorial Ballpark, where the Orphans play, is also pictured in the Twins calendar for September.
Dean Gayner of Dassel received the 2008 American Legion Department of Minnesota calendar, which features Minnesota’s war and veterans memorials.
This is the organization’s top fundraising tool and was produced by Minnesota Legion staff.
The Dassel Veterans Memorial is the month of February’s featured memorial.
“I think it’s quite a surprise to us,” Gayner said, not knowing who took the photo or how the Minnesota Legion knew about it.
Al Zdon, editor of the Minnesota Legionnaire newspaper, took the photo after hearing about the recent dedication of the memorial.
Throughout the year, Zdon is notified of memorial dedications, which he marks on the wall.
In June or July, Zdon maps out the different memorials around the state, visits them, and takes photos.
“What I thought was interesting was the ‘It is the Veteran’ poem. I’ve seen it other places, but it was the first time I saw it on a monument,” Zdon said.
It was important for Zdon to capture the poem so people could read “who made America,” he said.
The poem on the memorial reads:
“It is the veteran, not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion. It is the veteran, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician who has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran who salutes the flag. Lest we forget.”
Other Minnesota memorials selected for the calendar are the World War II Memorial at the Minnesota State Capitol, St. Cloud’s Veterans Memorial, and the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery located in Little Falls.
Year after year, the calendar gets more popular, Zdon said.
This year, the calendar was sent to 40,000 people. Money is raised for all Legion programs through voluntary donations.
If anyone is interested in having the Minnesota Legion calendar sent to them, call the American Legion, Department of Minnesota toll free at (866) 259-9163.