By Jim O'Leary An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site. Feb. 10, 2001
I don't have much home town news this week unless you count the concert by the St. Olaf Choir from Northfield last night. They outnumber the St. Mary's Parish Choir but they hold hands while singing, boys as well as girls.
They did the Shaker hymn, "The Lord of the Dance" and Fr. Schutte's hymn, "Here I am, Lord" along with their other wonderful stuff. They were all "Minnesota Nice" and I would trade them for the Notre Dame Football Team any day.
In answer to the question "Do you know any Lutherans?" I used to say "Some of my best friends are Lutherans but I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one." Now I say "Boy, would I ever like my daughter to marry one!"
I still wouldn't want her to marry a Mormon but I'll take a Lutheran any day. After all, utherans are just reformed Catholics.
I had a mystery cleared up by my trip to the Waverly camp-out in Mission, Texas last week where were gathered Chuck and Marion Gagnon, Jim and Shirley Rogers, and Jerry and Ann May.
They toasted Jeanne and me numerous times and we wallowed in nostalgia to the point of recalling old grievances. I apologized to Gagnon for hitting him with a sucker punch one time and then he apologized to me and thereby cleared up a dark mystery.
At Christmas of 1935, we still lived in South Dakota and I had just turned four. My family bought me a "Radio Flyer" wagon, a red one.
We always opened our presents after midnight Mass and my brother Paul took me out for a ride in the dark that very night.
Later, Helen Burns and I used it to haul rocks and we sometimes pretended the rocks were puppies.
She was so realistic about it that when she bashed me in the nose with a rock and I ran inside and bled my heart out into the kitchen sink, she followed me into the house and told my mother that the puppy had done it.
That red wagon accompanied my father on the J. F. Anderson Lumber Company truck to Waverly. It was, of course, my most valuable possession.
The very day of its arrival, Don Smith and Chuck Gagnon, both aged four, befriended me. That very week, the wagon turned up missing and Paul and I went all over Waverly looking for it.
Only last week did I find out that Chuck and Don, my lifelong friends, had buried it forever.
Right now on the Waverly e-mail list, I have the names and e-mail addresses of various O'Learys, John Althoff, Bern Althoff, Dick Mattson, Berni Reardon, Harvey and Margaret Kutz, Tom Painschab, Tim Painschab, Joe Lachermeier, Virginia Padden, Linda Moll, Richard Sheppard, Lori Jolicouer, Teresa Tuckenhagen, Susan Tuckenhagen, Barbara Reeves and Bill Parks.
You should all be receiving this message. I would like to connect you with one another. Of course I won't give out your e-mail addresses to anyone without your explicit permission.
I also would like to know if you don't want to be on this list and get pestered with more unsolicited e-mail, this time from me. No hard feelings if you beg off.
More than anything, I would like to solicit news of Waverly folks from you, just as my mother did when she compiled the news items every week for years for the old Waverly Star.
I would also like to expand the list from the names above, so if you have any e-mail addresses of Waverlyites or Minnesotans, please send them on to me.
Which reminds me: Did any of you see The National Geographic issue in January of "In Search of Lake Wobegon" by Garrison Keillor, with great photos of small towns just like Waverly.
He reports he got a chilly reception in Freeport, which really surprised me.
The local paper says that Minnesota has given us two national treasures: Garrison Keillor and the St. Olaf College Choir. I am sure about the choir.
Sometimes I am not so sure about Prairie Home Companion. But it has been a good week here, and our children really are all above average, even the normal ones.
Let's hear from you! I will reprint anything you send me and waft it off into cyberspace for the benefit of all Waverlyites and Waverlyite Wannabes.
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