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.

July 7, 2001

Just in case you thought the Mumfords were strictly Howard Lake folks, Jimmy Kemp reminds us:

"My best friend in Waverly was Donald Mumford. His mother owned Mumford Dray and Transfer, and operated it alone after she was widowed at a tragically young age.

"Mrs. Mumford was one of the best ladies Waverly ever saw. She used to give me birthday parties after I lost my mother, and she invited all the kids in town. He had an older brother, Gordon, a really nice guy.

"Don was three years older than me and big and strong for his age. He was easy-going and friendly, and kind and always did the right thing. He seemed to have his whole life planned out.

"Don had all the new toys in the world, and let everybody play with them in his backyard. It was a great friendship and I admired and looked up to him at all times. He organized baseball games and we played where the ball park still is to this day.

"Sometimes, Buck Rogers, Zip Zeller, Toby Zeller, the Jandro twins, Penny Copeland, Sore Fingers La Noue, John Althoff, and the younger kids like Harry Larson, Don Smith, Bobby Decker, Jackie Daigle, Eddie Paul, and myself would join in. It was a challenge for the younger kids because we would have to face pretty fast pitching.

"I remember that Don Mumford, who was a left-handed hitter, belted the longest home run ever by a Waverly kid, far out into the lake. It stopped the ball game, and was the talk of the Waverly kids for weeks after - and to think - he wasn't even a Catholic kid.

"I haven't seen Don for 62 years, but I hear he did very well in business in Howard Lake. Of all the home runs in my memory, his is still the best."

FYI, Don Mumford has relocated his business and his residence to Meeker County, where he now lives in Dassel. He still visits his Waverly friends.

In so far as not being "a Catholic kid," neither was Jimmy Kemp. Perhaps my memory fails me, but Waverly as a community never seemed to care what religion you were, so long as you could hit home runs.

I can verify what Jim Kemp says about the Mumfords. I even got to play with the same toys Jim did in Don's backyard, including Karo syrup cans we used for houses, since they were in the shape of log cabins.

The Mumfords were always very kind to my parents, and especially good to my mother after my father got sick and retired from the J. F. Anderson Lumber Company.

With their trucks, they moved my mother first to Buffalo, and then to Minneapolis after my father died. They wouldn't let her pay them one red cent.

Many is the time I hitched an early morning ride myself with a Mumford Dray and Transfer truck into the city - a run they made every day.

From the pastor's desk

(From Fr. Bob Wiley of St. Mary's Church, Waverly. This comes from his Sunday bulletin.)

"A guy complained, 'Hey, I have gone to Mass now for 30 years and must have heard 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can't remember a single one. So, I think I'm wasting my time by listening to sermons, and the priest is wasting his time by giving them.'

"Another guy answered him saying, 'Well, I've been married for 30 years now and in that time, my wife has cooked 32,000 meals. For the life of me, I can't remember a single one, but they all nourished me.

If I hadn't eaten, I would have been physically dead. If I hadn't gone to Mass, I would have been spiritually dead.'"

Another Waverlyite in the diaspora

I have the best job in the world, because I get to hear from people like Franny McCalpin Adickes, who wrote from Isle, Minn., up there by Lake Mille Lacs.

I am not sure I remember Franny, but I do remember her sister, Barbara McCalpin, who graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1955.

Larry and Irene Antil are Franny's aunt and uncle, but she doesn't get to see them as often as she would like. She says:

"We live on a farm, but don't do any farming. My husband, Ray, drives semi coast-to-coast. We have seven children, and another one of them just graduated, so I only have one left still going to high school next year.

"We are really lucky to have our children home with us, especially since Ray is on the road quite a bit.

"How far do you live from Dan Antil? And from Tim and Tom Painschab?

"Please keep the column going. I like hearing about Waverly."

Thanks, Fran. I live in the same city as Tim and Tom and their families, and we really enjoy getting together with them.

We have been to their houses for everything from Vikings games to Christmas parties. Two weeks ago, we were with all of the Corpus Christi Painschabs when Tim Painschab, Jr., had his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony.

I was very honored when they asked me to give the invocation for the ceremony, even though they already had a Presbyterian pastor and a Baptist pastor in attendance. Waverly came first!

Tom and Cheryl Painschab and their son, Kris, left for Minnesota on June 28 to visit the Reardons and the Painschabs, most especially Tom's mother, Jeanne Reardon Painschab.

Your cousin Dan Antil lives in Pflugerville, Texas and I would love to see him again. Pflugerville is just north of Austin.

He plans to come down here to visit Tim and Tom Painschab, catch some fish, and eat some seaweed (Ooops. I mean seafood. The beaches are clogged with seaweed these days.)

Ray and Fran Adickes live at 10611 270th Av. - Isle, MN 56342

Copycat journalism

An alert reader pointed out that I sound like Dave Barry on a bad day.

He was the same person who said that JOL stands for "Jihad On-Line."

Apparently he doesn't appreciate my political views, which strike him as "shrill, liberal, arrogant, violent, and warlike."

I have to remind him that my writing strategy is the same as Mr. Pearson's, whose Punch Line column appears in this very paper. "Search and swipe" he calls it.

So my thoughts are all swiped from somewhere and not my own. They call it derivative journalism.

Don't blame me for being a liberal. I got it from the Sisters of St. Joseph, and what sounds liberal to some people, sounds like the nuns' version of Christianity to me.

I am at best only a hitchhiker, getting free rides from such great minds as Dave Barry.

Shoot the messenger!

A journalist friend named Gary MacEoin sent me this. It's a concept only someone like Dave Barry could understand. The point of view of the various papers helps explain all sorts of things.

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country, but don't understand the Washington Post.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who is running the country.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, so long as they do something scandalous.

9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country or that anyone is running it.

10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country.

And then there is this one . . .

11. The Howard Lake-Waverly Herald is read by people whose very occupation on the land makes them certain about who it is that really runs the world.

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