Jim O'Leary

Waverly Star

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.

  April 14, 2003

Fishing and hunting husband for sale . . .

The following news story appeared on the Associated Press wire:

A woman in Isanti, Minn., got fed up with her husband's absenteeism. He was a fishing and hunting nut.

She ran the following ad on his birthday:

"Husband for sale cheap. Comes complete with hunting and fishing equipment. Also, one pair of jeans, two shirts, a Lab retriever, and 25 pounds of deer meat. Not home much between September and January or April through October. Will consider trade."

The poor man probably read too much of Chris Schultz. Week after week in his column in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Montrose Herald Journal, Chris consistently makes hunting and fishing seem so attractive that it would be worth it to put a wife up for sale if need be.

Few locations in Minnesota are more than a few miles from a lake, a creek, or a part of one of the three great river systems flowing contrary to one another toward far off seas.

There are so many lakes that 99 are called Long Lake, 91 Mud Lake, 76 Rice Lake, 43 Bass Lake, and so on.

Even within Minneapolis there are 21 fine lakes. We are surrounded by fish.

The morning after we graduated from high school, Eddie Paul and I, whom had both stayed up all night, went out after crappies.

That was before Chris Schultz was born.

Growing up in Minnesota

In a book I found at Half Price Books edited by Chester G. Anderson, 10 Minnesota writers remember their childhoods.

I think the best essay was by Harrison E. Salisbury who grew up in Minneapolis, went to "The U," won Pulitzer prizes, and was the associate editor of The New York Times until he retired in 1972.

I called the University of Minnesota "The U" because that's what everybody in three states calls it.

Even though Minnesota is famous for 100 wonderful colleges, there is only one "U."

I am always proud to tell people I went to the "U," but to be honest, that was only for a few classes in Spanish and political science.

Here's what Harrison Salisbury says about "da U":

"What I think of as the Minnesota contribution to my growing up is the spirit which I acquired at the University of Minnesota, and this, I think, was not to be found at the other neighboring universities and the neighboring states of that day.

"It was a spirit of independence and even crotchety-thinking. A heels-dug-in-attitude toward the world, not accepting beliefs or doctrines or movements simply on their credentials, but subjecting them to a skeptical kind of scrutiny.

"I suppose it was and is a kind of 'aginism.' A little like that old 'I'm from Missouri' attitude. But in Minnesota it took a more social form. It was not so individualistic as the Missouri image.

"The Minnesota way was more thoughtful, the long hard look, the deliberately provoked argument to see what each side had to say, the determined search not for just two sides of a question but a third or even a fourth side; an independence from political cliches and a determination not to be bound by the past or by any stereotype of the future.

"I learned at the 'U' a tendency to call things by their right names . . .

"Anyway, after graduating, I took the night coach to Chicago ($8 one-way) for a job there with The Chicago Tribune.

I had grown up in Minnesota. Leaving Minnesota, but never really leaving it, after all, for what is in one's life stays there to the end of one's days."

Seventy years ago to the day

In the April 14, 1933, issue of The Waverly Star, we find some revealing advertisements to point out the differences between then and now. Here's an ad for the Waverly Dray and Transfer, owned and operated by the Mumford family:

"For quick service, call 62. Owing to the low prices in the stock market for our former patrons, we will haul your stock at the following prices:

"25 cents a hundred for pick up. Any farmer having a full load or over we will haul for 20 cents per hundred."

And in The Waverly Community Store, A.S. Mellon, prop., tomato soup, good quality, was going for 5 cents a can.

More bargains next week . . .


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