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home : columns : dave fjeld July 25, 2017

6/26/2013 8:56:00 AM
A slice of small-town life
If you're a regular walker, this column isn't for you. You've probably already experienced what I'm about to share, to the point that you may take if for granted or it's just part of your daily routine.
I'm not a regular walker. In fact, I rarely if ever take walks. Instead, my exercise amounts to working out or playing golf.
But after a recent noon hour walk in Mt. Lake, I'm beginning to think I should take walks a little more frequently.
I had some business in Mt. Lake last week and over the noon hour, I decided to walk down 3rd Ave. - Mt. Lake's "main street." It was a warm, partly cloudy day, but at a slower pace, you see things that you take for granted as you "drive" down the street: Flowers in a resident's garden, the shade of a tree, a mom on a lawnmower pulling a wagon with her daughter tagging behind on her bike, someone mowing their lawn.
These are common, everyday activities in Small Town, U.S.A. People doing what they do during an average summer day.
Why I happened to appreciate it so much, I can't say. But I did. It was fun to walk down the sidewalk and wave to passers-by; to walk into a restaurant and order an old-fashioned beef commercial; to walk across the street and buy a paper and an ice cream sandwich for dessert.
Here's another slice of life that can only be found in a small town.
As I sat reading my paper and about to enjoy my ice cream sandwich, a lady walked into the convenience store to fill up her pick-up. While her pick-up was filling, she asked if anyone was available to wash her windshield. She was an older lady and admitted she had difficulty reaching across the windshield to clean it.
No one else, other than the person manning the counter, was around, so I volunteered.
It brought me back to my childhood when such a chore once was standard "fill-er-up" service.
Indeed, there was a day when two- and four-pump gas stations had attendents. When a patron pulled up to the pump, the attendant, usually a high school student, rushed out and filled up your vehicle. They also checked your oil and tire pressure, washed your windshield and took your payment, whether it was cash, check or credit. The driver never left his seat.
As time passed, you paid extra for that service until it eventually went away. As mom-and-pop gas stations became extinct and mega-pump convenience stores took over, the gas station attendant also became little more than a slice of the good old days that many no doubt miss.
I didn't know this lady, but it felt good to help her out. It only took a couple of minutes and it took me back to a bygone era.
Former Windomite runs
Bighorn Ultra 100-miler
Shelly (Haugen) Groenke, a 1976 graduate of Windom Area High School, recently competed in the Bighorn Ultra 100-mile race in Sheridan, Wyo.
Yes, she ran 100 miles - straight.
She started at 11 a.m. on a Friday and finished at 4:21 p.m., Saturday, completing the 100 miles in 29 hours, 21 minutes.
Shelly was one of 192 who started the race and one of 124 to finish it.
In what place did she finish, you ask?
Among all women, the 55-year-old finished sixth and among women in her age group, she finished second.
Overall, Shelly and her running partner finished 56th and 57th, respectively, in the top half of all those who started and finished the race.
Shelly is the daughter of Helen Haugen of Windom and the late Howard Haugen.

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