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.

Oct. 4, 2004

May she rest in peace

I just lost another high school classmate, Margaret Decker, who was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery last month, next to her brother, Wilfie. I hear she left behind some wonderful children and grandchildren – no surprise there.

I hadn’t seen Margaret in almost 50 years. We graduated together in 1949, from St. Mary’s High School in Waverly.

Margaret Decker Loebertmann was more mature than the rest of us. Although she was used to hard work, both on the farm and in school, she was still a happy, sociable sort of person.

She always had an opinion on things, unlike many girls of her time, and her opinions were invariably sensible. She wasn’t one to go wild, but she was a lot of fun.

None of the classmates dated her. In fact, none of the boys in our class of 13 ever dated any of the girls in the class because, after 12 years of going to school together, it would have been like dating your own sister.

Going without ever seeing her again is another reason I regret leaving Minnesota. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.

The Mumfords’ 50 years

Another thing I miss are all the anniversaries. The four children of Don and Ardelle Mumford, Judy, Bruce, Glen and Diane, just celebrated the 50th anniversary of their parents’ marriage. They hosted friends and family for the celebration at the Presbyterian Church in Howard Lake, with many people from Waverly in attendance.

Don Mumford was one of the nicest kids ever to grow up in Waverly. It was Don who organized the baseball games by the railroad tracks, and Don who so generously shared his toys with us when we were younger.

In his back yard, we built roads and, with the help of their garden hose, made rivers. There were lots of trucks to play with, naturally. The Mumfords ran Mumford Dray and Transfer, a Waverly institution for many years.

What I remember most was the uncommon kindness of the Mumford family to the O’Leary family, especially in the declining years of my parents. My mother thought nothing of hitching rides to Buffalo to see her cousin, Anna Reynolds, or to Minneapolis, in one of the Mumford trucks.

As my parents grew older, not only did the Mumfords deliver the coal, but they watched over my parents as if they were relatives. When it came time for my mother to move to Minneapolis from Buffalo, where she was living at the time, it was Don Mumford who moved her, at no charge.

Don and Ardelle now live in Dassel, but Waverly will always claim them.

Road rage

My good friend Vince Donndelinger sent me this true story. He thought I might use it in the Waverly Star, which he reads online at his home in Massachusetts.

Vince grew up in New Trier, Minnesota, and attended Nazareth Hall and the St. Paul Seminary with me, before he went into the Navy as an officer, and then on to his Ph.D. and a teaching career.

I think he could have sent his story to “The Readers Digest” as an anecdote for “Life in These United States” and made some money with it, but here it is in “The Waverly Star.”

“Some time ago, I ran a business selling storm doors and windows, when those products were popular because of the energy crisis.

One evening, when it was getting dark, I was driving slowly down a street. Looking on my right side to find the house of a new customer, I had to go slow in order to find the house number on the mail box, or on the house, itself.

Well, a car was following me too close, and I wished he would just pass me so I could continue my slow ride.

But no, that driver just stayed close behind me. That irritated me, so I decided to turn right onto the next street, just so the car would continue without me.

Well, I turned and was surprised to see that I was still being followed by that car, for it turned onto the same street. So, I decided to turn into the next driveway, and then that car should continue on the street, and I would be free of it.

No, the car turned behind me into the same driveway.

Well, I became angry, got out of my vehicle, and walked up to the driver who had followed me.

‘Why didn’t you go your own way, and go around me on the streets we were on?’ I asked.

‘I live here,’ he said.”

Famous last words

– That should be enough gas to make it across Nevada.

– It was fresh just last week.

– These are the safe kind of mushrooms.

– Clip the red wire first.

– It’s pretty much grounded.

– The boss won’t mind.

– Aren’t these bear cubs cute?

– Relax, they wouldn’t be stupid enough to make him a manager.

– You just need a fork to get it out of the toaster.

– Hey Tyson, why does your voice sound like a little girl?

– That Sumo wrestler is too fat to catch me.

– Seatbelts? Who needs seatbelts?

– That “MOM” tatoo makes that biker look like a sissy.

– California’s governor is a girly-man.

The root of poverty

Men pray to the Almighty to relieve poverty. But poverty comes not from God’s love. It is blasphemy of the worst kind to say that. Poverty comes from injustice to his fellow man. – From “Confession of Faith” by Leo Tolstoy.


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