Sunday, August 31, 2008


On this day in 1966, Robert Johnson was born to Janet and Tom Johnson. Happy Birthday, Bob.

Shirley stated her husband was out on the combine by seven and the day would be long. She also said he loved to combine.

It this part of the United States, summer ends abrupt. No matter when summer starts. Everything from farm crops to wild rice and flowers in the ditches just seem to say, "Hurry to maturity, winter is coming!"

In many of the lakes in this area, wild rice sprouts each spring and matures to be harvested by the local tribes in the fall. The men canoe through the rice beds and beat the rice into their canoe while the other person paddles.

The rice beds are full of sounds and on a still morning, one can hear the ducks and grebes as well as the Canada geese who are fattening up for their flight south. Somewhere near, loons communicate.

One almost always sees a heron, who grunks at the idea of humans being so close to them. The take flight and tell you off as they move from one part of the rice bed to another. The pelicans seem to have left; the geese are training in small groups to fly south. The loons are loosing their blue black suits, trading them in for chestnut traveling feathers.

A good estimate of the size of the rice bed is about a mile and a half long and a half mile wide. To fish one long side takes about an hour. In the spring, the process will start again. The lake forage which is dying out will come back; the pickerel weed and the pond lilies will once again welcome the spring.

Die hard retirees will stay well into October, weekenders will close on Labor Day, winterize their cabins and trailers and store their boats or drag them home. Soon the Johnson's will do just that.

Our saving grace is the small lakes in Minnesota closer to Fargo, where on a crisp morning we will be on some lake looking for some fish to stretching the season a little bit longer just one fish at a time.

But for now, all the rods and reels are cleaned and restrung. The tackle box has been inventoried and lures are given to people who need to start a collection.

Hurray spring!


Saturday, August 30, 2008


Old Trunks wonders if Grandma ever got advertising in her mail box beyond the Montgomery Wards or Sears Roebuck catalogs. She wonders what she did with them. She wonders if she pondered.

An envelope of coupons and advertisements came to our box recently. There must be twenty slicks in the envelope.

The first one I pulled out was for a church advertising their spirit-filled events. The church is located at the intersection of Faith and Life. It is the first time I have seen something like this, how about you? There is no email address! I wonder what Grandma would say.

The next is an advertisement for a buffet type establishment in Fargo. No where on the coupon does it say it is going out of business. Better not go hungry and find the doors locked and the steam table cold!

How about address labels? Grandma would have liked these but she and her friends wrote everything in pencil so they could erase and send the card on to someone else.

Life insurance: $15, 000 guaranteed. No prices listed.

Earth friendly checks meaning all checks printed on recycled paper. You can make a difference by having checks with the Ribbon of Hope, wildlife, humane society, or defenders of wolves. BUT WAIT, there is another advertisement, with this company, you can get a picture of a Ford truck that looks just like mine! But tell me this, how many checks do you write?

Need your car service?


The last straw, no pun intended, is a Presidential Straw Poll. It says Specials Delivery, the company that makes this packet, will award $1,000 in cash and gift certificates to voters selected randomly from those entered by September 3. One needs to send in the ballot in order to qualify. It goes on to ask who all reads the ads in the envelope and wants to know if there is any one else they should send the information to in the future.

Then, of course, their are ads for

Loose meat sandwiches

I wonder if next month another church will advertise; Grandma is turning over in her grave.

Happy anniversary Brian and Michelle


Friday, August 29, 2008


Old Trunks was talking about Ella, (Ellen) Evanson Johnson in a post titled, FOUR MISSING DAUGHTERS. If you missed it, it was about a mother who had five pregnancies in four years with one child living, and proceeded to have three more, for a total of eight.

Here is mother sitting on the table next to Mae's mother. The picture appears to be taken when mother was about six. Nineteen twenty two plus six equals 1928. Ella Johnson was born in 1880, that makes her 48 or so in this picture. It is possible someone wanted a picture of Ella, who celebrated her birthday on the third of August.

When looking at old pictures of family and friends, look closely at the back ground. Most of you have the option of making the photo or parts of the photo bigger to gain detail.

The picture offered today does just that. We know when we look at the picture, the subjects are tan, in this part of the country, that means summer. When we look at the calendar, we can see the month is greater than four letters. We can see the first Saturday is 4. When using perpetual calendars to date photos, in this case, the picture was taken in August of 1928 because the perpetual calendar states it to be so.

We can see the walls were papered and that someone in the house was a Christian, as there is a picture of Jesus on the cross although her funeral was held at Green's Funeral Chapel. A few seashells and a mustache cup on a chest of drawers covered by a cloth is pictured.

These were poor folks. The house pictured was in Excel Township. If you look very closely at the back ground in the photo of mother at twelve holding the dog, you can see a railroad car. Obviously the house was a shack. It is possible the two barrels were set to catch the rain off the roof. The water pump stands open and the geese and chickens peck away. It is not known if the garage-like building actually held a car.

It was the thirties yet even the other picture of mother and Ella does not offer anything to make me think there was much cash flow.

As for Excel Township of Marshall County, the only map Old Trunks has in 1909 and we know from the obituary the family didn't move there until 1915. However the township map does offer where the railroad passed giving us a general idea of where they lived.

For those of us who had running water in the house, it is hard to understand the concept of carrying water bucket by bucket and heating it to wash, cook, and bathe. We are aware our ancestors did not use resources as we do today. We know they had gardens for vegetables and chickens to cook.

On the oldest picture of mother and of Mae's mother, mother was 14. Look again and the changes from just 8 years of Ella Johnson. From 48 to 56, she aged out like a very, very old woman. Yet, she lived another thirty years.
Shivering thought, isn't it?

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The thrashing machine, or, in modern spelling, threshing machine (or simply thresher), was a first invented by a Scottish engineer for use in farming. It was invented (c.1784) for the separation of grain from stalks and husks. For thousands of years, grain was separated by hand with flails, and was laborious and time consuming. A flail is two sticks joined together by a chain. One holds one stick in one's hand and swings it so the other stick beats the stalk thus removing the grain.

I was outside when I first heard the scream. I ran inside and up to my room which faced west. Off in the distance, a threshing machine was coming down the highway. The grind and scream was the sound of the metal wheels on the pavement. It was daddy on his John Deere tractor heading to the farm; in was 1956.

The oats was to be harvested by threshing. It would blow a grand straw stack for the ponies. Previously, the oats had been cut and bundled. Man power set the bundles, a few together, in an up right position to keep the moisture out.

The thresher was set up in the field where the oats had grown. The idea was to get enough people together to do the job. Along with the construction crew, most of which were farmers themselves, Grandpa Ranum was there. Men where stationed around the machine to keep the production running. One man moved the spout which blew the straw into an enormous pile, another kept the grain running into the high box on the pick ups, others put bundles into the machine, while tractors moved about the acreage to pick up bundles. One man on the tractor and others pitching bundles unto the wagon from the ground.

Once the wagon was full, it was brought to the central area to be unloaded directly into the threshing machine. When one pick up was full, it would go to town to the granary to be weighed and sold. This was the time of the year that everyone was bringing in grain, we had four pick ups for hauling. That meant the crew didn't have to wait for one to return to fill; the operation continued without interruption until dinner time when everything came to a halt and the crew was fed.

Mother cooked for days to accommodate the amount of food these men could eat. I have never seen anything like it since. A good hearty meal taken and the men were back on the job. Mother and I did dishes for what seemed like hours before getting ready for the next food run.

There would only be one big meal although they were given a morning lunch of coffee and pastries and an afternoon lunch of sandwiches, more pastry, and coffee. Water was always available and the lunches of morning and afternoon were eaten on the wing, so to speak. Mother and I would walk through the stubble of the cut oats to present the lunches, most of which were carried in white muslin dish towels.

On the second day, they were a man short. I got to drive the Massey Harris tractor pulling a wagon for the loading of bundles. It went very well until I turned to quickly and broken the tongue on the wagon. Harry Myrom, a true farmer and friend, made a new tongue out of wood he had found in the construction warehouse. I hopped back on the tractor and the process resumed.

The threshing at the Rockin' R lasted a few seasons. Daddy loved to walk in the mature grain and examine the oats. He liked to look at the fields of barley, oats, or flax in an awe struck sort of way. I had ridden on the fertilizer wagon and helped him put the nutrients into the machine that spread it. I was there for the planting.

Perhaps when I look across fields of grain, I see that beauty because I first saw it through daddy's eyes. Perhaps, as in this picture of rolling hills and color variations, Old Trunks can appreciate farmers understanding their land and what and when to plant and when to harvest.

Now, instead of using a flail, as many did in New Solum Township before threshing machines were available, men and women, and little boys climb into an air conditioned combine and do the job in considerably less time with a better ratio of grain kept. Yet, farmer families across America still see the beauty of the crop.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008



Man spends night in haystack. He started from Helena to Great Falls, Montana, in an automobile. The machine got stuck in a mud hole. He applied to a settler for a bed an supper but was told that he could find a bed in the haystack and could get a drink from the pump. When he did not appear at home, they sent out a search party. They found Mr. Hill and his chauffeur sound asleep in the hay.

A haystack is accomplished using a treshing machine which blows the straw or hay into a stack while separating the grain. Gust Opseth traveled about this time of year with his machinery for the trashing.

Have you every laid on the top of a freshly blown straw stack? The straw is golden and even on a chilly day in October, the sun warms you. The stack on our farm was for the ponies and the stallion, Torpedo who liked to climb to the top. The trashing machine does not get all the oats off the straw and he must have found good pickings at the top.

One would never allow big horses to eat that many oats but for ponies, all they do is fatten up for winter and have healthy colts in the spring.

Recently, on a day trip off the highways, we found those golden bales shimmering in the afternoon sun. Shirley told me in an email that little bales were a thing of the past, except for flax straw, which was baled and used around the foundation of houses for insulation. She went on to say people don't bank their houses like that anymore.

Have you ever seen a house banked with bales? It was a common site for decades in Minnesota. People with trailer houses did it as well. Outside dog houses were stuffed with straw which acted like an insulation as well. Our collie/shepard mix would stand by and whine, excited about making a tunnel in the straw, as did your beagle in Kansas. Look again at the big bales, Shirley told me their dog dug into the middle of one for shelter!

It is a melancholy time of the year for Tom and I. The grains are being harvested. Along the ditches of our two and a half hour drive to the lake, signs of summer ending appear. The sumac is beginning to turn red. The young geese are making small flights. In Maplewood State Park, as you look across from a viewing pull off, you can see the maple trees are a different color than the oaks. It is a subtle change, but a change, nevertheless. In this part of the country, which had a late spring, summer hurried itself along to make certain the maturity happened before the first frost.

We are hopeful we have a long fall. Fishing soon will be small lakes around Fargo on the Minnesota side. Please, Mr. Weatherman, don't make us have to wear a long, down coat until October.

We just may have to find a straw stack or bale to burrow into.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today is the anniversary of Mary Jane Johnson's birthday. I knew her as Grandma Mae, she was the second wife of Phillip Lundberg. She was born on August 26, 1901 in Ada, MN. She grew up in Akeley where her dad, Martinus Goldberg Johnson was working as a lumberjack. Her mother, Ella Evanson was a homemaker.

Mary Jane adored her parents, as did my mother, Ella. Most of the pictures of mother where taken with Ella Evanson on their farm in Excel Township. Do you ever wonder just what people did for their children's birthdays around 1900?

For those of you doing genealogy, you know what a night mare it is when you have marriages followed by divorces or deaths and remarriages. How do you classify a person who is not a blood relation for historical purposes when you have known them as grandma or grandma? How far back do you try trace these roots when they aren't blood relatives? You set them up and name them as step. Because in your eyes, they are a part of the nurture, or if older, part of someones life. Such as it is with Mae and her mother and what my mother thought of them.

In a pile of unfiled newspaper clippings from a storm through microfiche, I did, indeed find an obituary for Ella Evenson Johnson. Let's look at it for the facts:

We know that in the era of the mid fifties, the women's married name was still used as the headline, in this case, Mrs. M Johnson.

Born: 3 August 1880 in Maple, Fillimore County, MN
Died: 27 May 1956 in Thief River Falls, MN
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls, MN
Married: December 12, 1894 (Yes, 14 and a little bit) in Ada, MN

Came to Excel Township in 1915, Marshall County
Moved to Town of the North in 1940, Pennington County

Children surviving:
Mrs. Phillip Lundberg, (Mae) 26 Aug 1901-16 DEC 1967
Myrtle 15 Dec 1905-14 MAR 1963
Harry 4 FEB 1909-22 DEC 1977
Edward 5 DEC 1898-23 AUG 1977

The obituary states she is preceded in death by four daughters. We know from looking at a photo of Martinus, Ella, and two boys and two girls when Mae was about 12, those for listed daughters would have to have been born before 1898.

How can we find out about them? We can trace death certificates through the Minnesota Historical Society, where we can find, Mae, Myrtle, Edward, and Harry by using the last name EVANSON to search, and pick out the ones who died in Pennington County.

If Ella was married to Martinus in 1894 and Edward was the oldest, born in 1898, then we have a few years to work with Edward. We have 1898, 1901, 1905, and 1909 so there may have been children born between but nothing is listed that makes sense for an Evanson. Let's go back to the death certificate list and look for Evanson with the county of Norman for Halstad where she may have married Johnson and Ada, also in Norman County where Mae was born. Nothing there, the records do not date back far enough.

What shall we try next? Do you think Pennington County Historical Society would have it? Based on the possible age, could one look at JOHNSON and check for youngsters? No young children buried.

What next on the search for these four daughters? We find in the 1900 census of the United States, in Norman County, MN, Martin, Ellen, and Edward are living in the household of Rakel Ostroot, who is 45. Martin is listed as the son-in-law. It lists Ellen, (Ella) as being 19 and married four years. It states she has had 5 children and one is living, who would be Edward. That makes us believe her children either died in childbirth or shortly there after. Who was Rakel Ostroot? Had she remarried and lost another husband after Evanson?

During this time, the deaths were randomly registered. The best way to follow completely through would be to go to the Norman County Courthouse and physically look through the books from 1894-1897.

Great memories of Mae and her family

Monday, August 25, 2008


According to the latest pole, potatoes and beans are the NEW trend in dieting.

According to AOL, "Potatoes get a bad rap as little more than a waist-thickening waste of calories. But amazing new research puts spuds squarely at the center of the latest weight loss buzz, along with other unfairly maligned carbs such as corn and rice. The reason: All these foods contain resistant starch, a unique kind of fiber you'll be hearing a lot more about. In fact, experts agree that it's one of the most exciting nutrition breakthroughs they've seen in years. "Resistant starch has the potential to become the next hot nutrition trend," says Leslie Bonci, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association's Guide to Better Digestion. Indeed, more than 160 studies have examined this little known nutrient's remarkable health and weight loss benefits".

For all of you in diet land, this is totally against what you may have been told. I didn't see any where that it says drizzle them with butter and mash them with whipping cream but it is interesting, and let me tell you why.

My mother weighed the same for decades. She had to have her potatoes once a day. There was no getting around it. Since sizes have changed over the years and a 16 is now a 6, it isn't relevant. Yet, without knowing this NEW break through, Mother knew that she was hungry if she didn't have her potatoes.

The article goes on to say, "It shuts down hunger hormones. Animal studies have found that resistant starch prompts the body to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones. A meal with resistant starch triggers a hormonal response to shut off hunger, so you eat less. Research shows that you don't reap this benefit from other sources of fiber."

Old Trunks realizes that some diagnosis do not allow carbs found in potatoes. She wonders if that will change too, or if diabetes, for example, plan their daily intake to include potatoes.

Interesting, isn't it?

Boil that tator!


Sunday, August 24, 2008


Today, in Barnesville, MN, the Potato Days Festival continues. It is a time to enjoy potatoes in all forms, including potato wrestling. That makes Old Trunks wonders if you ever watched your grand mother peel a potato which she grew in her garden.

Recently, Shilpa was trying to decide what to do with a large beet. It reminded me of how my grand parents waited until the vegetables were fully grown before harvesting them. They wanted to get the most food out of it.

After Grandma died, Grandpa continued to plant beets for mother. She would ask if the beets were ready and he always said no. She wanted ping-pong sized beets for pickling; he wanted them to come to full growth for the most food out of one beet.

When we go to the market and see those little potatoes, you can rest assured it wasn't the size my grand mother peeled.

She would sit at the table with a little pan of water to rinse the potatoes before she pared the skins so thin you could see through the peelings. She would take the eyes out with a swirl of the tip of her knife. In her younger life the parings were put in a slop pail and carried out to the chickens which rummaged for their food. My other grandmother was just as careful and she did feed the peels to the chickens along with the apple peelings.

Grandma Mae always had apples and oranges to serve as snacks. For some reason, she felt the apple should be peeled and cut in sections. It took me years to get the knack of peeling an apple completely and having one long piece when finished.

As for oranges, she also peeled them for me, and sectioned them on the dotted line. At home, the oranges were cut in fourths and served with the skin on.

What Old Trunks does not have in common with her grand mother's is a slop pail or chickens. I do peel close, not for the sake of waste, rather because the nutrients are right under the skin.

What's under your skin today? Hope it is energy.

Happy Birthday, Shilpa!


Saturday, August 23, 2008


When mother died in 2002 one of the things I looked for was her address book. She had kept a fine set of addresses for many years and often, it lay on the table, especially during the holidays. It was not to be found; for some reason, she tossed it. Old Trunks wanted it because she wanted to write to the people in the book and tell them she had deceased. We relied on Christmas card envelopes to reach the people we would not have otherwise known about.

Address books evolve. I suppose there was one in the Anderson household in 1962, where else would we have gotten the information to send Christmas cards that year? We were after all, past the point where one could write the name and 'city' and expect the postal workers to know who was who.

Ella had one at the nursing home, which went home with her daughter. I am certain in read like a history in itself. Names continued to be added and there probably were dates of births and anniversaries for each name. Old Trunks is not certain of this but it does make sense, doesn't it?

The answer may be to always write in pencil and have the ability to erase when someone moved. Erase, until there may even be a hole in the paper, that is what my grand mother did.

Yet, we are in an electronic age where were may know more email addresses than we know physical addresses. This morning, someone sent me a new e-mail address, instead of keyboarding FMO, I am now keyboarding MOU. Do I need to remember this? Probably not, the computer takes care of it for me. Are all physical addresses and email addresses stored on the computer? Yes. Do I keep abreast with the big honkin' address book, mostly. Do I keep the address book in my purse up to date? Yes. Although it is not likely I will pick up post cards at a out of town market and send a card, I do have addresses and stamps. Why? Because it is a throw back in time to when post cards were always sent to family when one was on vacation.

Old Trunks is posting about address books today because I have been updating. In the course of just a couple of months, we have numerous changes. The only document, which is posted on the fridge, which is updated at each change, is a computer generated list of family members including our children and brothers and sisters. It is the master list of all.

Beyond up dating the master list and the physical address books, there is that other thing, the cell phone, which allows us, with one press of the button to call anyone within the phone. Change numbers, change email addresses, add numbers and addresses. It is the electronic age!

The land line phone rang last night, it was an old co-worker, he is moving to the east coast. He wanted to be sure I had his number. I looked this morning, indeed I did, from some time ago.

I looked at the numbers I had stored on the phone. Not many, perhaps 25 including things like Woodtick Theater and the motel in Thief River Falls. I am wondering how many my children have. According to the friendships listed on FACEBOOK, I am guessing 150 or greater. When I first got the phone, one of the clerks in the store was deleted people. By the time we had left, she had deleted more than 50. Random calls, we decided.

Old Trunks leaves you with this thought. How many phone and address lists do you have and how do you store them? Do you update? What if you lost your master cell list? What do you do then?

Who do you call? Not ghost busters.

A pleasant day to all.


Friday, August 22, 2008


Halvor and Ingeborg (Brattland) Halvorson

My grandparents, Halvor Hellem, and Ingeborg Brattland, were born in Norway and Ingeborg immigrated to the United States when she was 13 years of age. She lived in Waseca, Min­nesota where she met and married Halvor Hellem, the name later changed to Halvorson. Grandfather was called to service during the Civil War, but he arrived at camp three days after the war ended. He told of walking across the Gettysburg Battlefield.

There were Indian uprisings in southern Minnesota and several times the) came to the home when grandmother was alone. Naturally she was frightened. Language was a barrier, but through sign language she understood they wanted food, and they were satisfied when she showed them she was baking bread.

Grandfather died at age 85. and grandmother lived to be 92.
My dad, John Halvorson came from Waseca, Minnesota with his parents and eight brothers and sisters to New Solum Township in 1882.

He filed on three forties of land in Section 30 in New Solum Township. Then he went to Norman County where he and his oldest brother had rented land. While there he married Gina Rustad of Hendrum, Minnesota.
In 1886, he and his wife came back to live on the homestead where four of the eleven children were born.

In 1893 he worked in an elevator in Perley, Minnesota where the family stayed until the fall of 1896 when they moved to the home of Anders Rustad, my mothers parents, for the winter.

Dad came back in the fall of 1896 to New Solum and bought the northwest quarter of Section 31 which was tax foreclosed land for 511 dollars and moved his family in 1897 into a log house 11x19 feet where they lived the first winter. In the spring, he added an 8 x 11 addition.

The following winter he hauled logs from the tamarac woods near Thief Lake to a saw mill nearby, having them sawed into lumber for a barn.
The Soo Line built the railroad from Thief River Falls to Kenmare. North Dakota in 1905 and as the railroad went through the middle of his land, he was paid 60 dollars per acre for the right-of-way and 200 dollars damage to his building site.

In the fall of 1905, the present house was built where the youngest son. Glenn resides.

He worked at the Spoulding elevator in Viking for many years. He was one of the men instrumental in starting the creamery. Prior to this time, the cream was shipped by rail or hauled by team to Thief River Falls.
He served as town clerk for many years, also of school board and was a member of the board of Marshall County Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Newfolden.

He died June 6, 1942 at the age of 82 years. His wife died March 28, 1948 at the age of 79. They were laid to rest in Beth­lehem Cemetery of New Solum.

Submitted by Ida Gustafson

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Hotel West 314 Main ave Just in from the corner where the Times is now. The hotels of TRF were featured in a blog on or about the 27th of January. Thanks to Dave, we have a picture of what the Hotel West looks like. I don't know if you can see it on the picture, but the S on the West is written backwards, why do you think that is?

Old Trunks and Worn Shoes recieved an email from someone formerly from Thief River Falls recently. We learn his family, too, had roots in New Solum Township. I haven't given Dave time to agree to let me publish his letter--he can make me walk across the swamps near Rosewood.

"It has been a long time since I have heard your name! Sam Krankkala sent me your Blog. I am very impress to see you perseverance in digging up the past. I have a trunk full of stuff from both parents. By the way are still living. Dad just turned 95 and my Mother will be 96 in Sept. She lives by her self and goes shopping two to three times a week. Dad is in a nursing home next to my Mother in Coon Rapids MN. It will be there 70th wedding anniversary in Dec.Dads Mother came from Viking and her maiden name was Halvorson. It was her father Halvor Halvorson that had the Hotel West. I am not sure for how long. The Halvorsons from Viking had a sir name of Hellem when they first move into New Solom twnship. The old maps show Hellem marked on them.My father was the only child that my Grandmother had so many of the items she kept are next to new. I have a book on the Geneology of the Brattland ,Olson, Newton, Halvorsons families that was written in 1942. It is interesting reading of there travels immigrating to this Country".
Halver Halverson was an early settler in New Solum County and will blog about that tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Those of us who lived in Thief River Falls in the fifties and sixties remember three drugstores:

Ekeren's on Third Street right by the pool hall entrance where the guys hung out and watched the girls and the cars go by and other things we may never know. How much time they actually spent in the pool hall itself is not known. They lined up and leaned againest the pillars and in between.

Ekeren's had Mabel who was a salesperson and she make little Dick's at the soda fountain. She was the grand dame.

Another drugstore, which came later, was J and B Drugs. It was on Third Street, on the same side of the block as S&L, only a block farther east. They had a gift shop in the basement. They gave green stamps.

And then there was Parkins Corner Drug on the corner of Second Street and LaBree Avenue South. Everyone knew Jim Parkins. When Jim owned the store, there was a lunch counter which served the very best egg salad sandwiches.

Now what you probably didn't know is that JB cut rate drugstore opened for in August of 1940 in its new quarters in the attractive Odd Fellows building on the corner of the Second and LaBree under the proprietorship Johnson and Baumann. This store is affiliated with Walgreen Co. of Chicago. The news store, completely remodeled front, presents an attractive appearance, and is equipped with the latest display type of fixtures. The store offers a large tobacco section.
The manager of the storm will be Jim Parkins.

Opening specials included:

Baby Brownie camera, coat 69 cents
Eastman camera, $1.70.
Eastman Browning Jr., 620, $1.70.

127 film --17 cents
120 film -- 20 cents
620 film --20 cents
116 and 616 film--25 cents

Popular brands
13 cent s pack

It appears Ekeren's, J and B, and Parkins are all gone. Where do children get their Little Dick's and egg salad sandwiches?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Old Trunks wishes to dedicate this blog to Nenna. Who is she? Where is she?

Maria Therese was born on this day in 1972. She is the first cousin to my children. Her mother, and Rachel, Bud, and Ryen's father Bob are brother and sister. Bob also celebrates his birthday this day.
Nenna celebrates her birthday somewhere in Africa today. She is a member of the Doctors without Borders program on tour for a year. She is, like all the grand children of Lloyd and Ella, in an honorable profession.
Happy Birthday, Nenna!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Old Trunks promised to up date on the Vitamin C week at the lake. I have been back to the post to see just which experiments were in my mind. If you go back and read it, it doesn't claim to do anything for memory!

The initial plan was to take 4-500mg a day. I packed half of that, Vitamin C doesn't claim math skills either! One with coffee in the morning and one before I went to bed at night.

You may or may not know that I have arthritic hands. You may know that I really do like to fish for bass using top water lures in the slop, which in this case means reeds/weeds/cat tails/bull rushes, and lily pads, all mixed together which means pulling that fish up and over or in some cases through the junk with a hope he is still on the hook at boat side.

This is northern Minnesota. One can not compare a five pound bass here with a bass in the south. A five pound bass here is considered to be twelve years old. Twelve years it has avoided the hook.

With that in mind, think about casting steady for six hours. A cast and retrieve is less than a minute. We are talking about 350 casts +/- in that amount of time with a seven foot nine inch rod for a short person.

Amazingly the day of fishing did not end because of my hands, except the last day when I had a four plus pounded stuck in bull rushes on the Leech River and getting it into the boat meant a lot of hard work and some finesse coaching from Tom. My hands stung. I had to stop because the strength was gone for that sort of presentation. I switched to a lighter rod and went to worms pitching side arm.

So from a stand point of arthritic hands, yes, I believe there was a big difference.

As for toxic, it is hard to know the answer. Perhaps the best way to answer that is to say once I was awake, I had the energy needed to fish hard. Although I caught many fish during the day, I also set the hook and poked Tom several times during the night, although Vitamin C has no claims for remembering what you dream as some of the B complex claim.

Consider a week of experimenting. Might be surprised at such a simple solution.


Sunday, August 17, 2008


Have you ever thought about how in the late 1800's and early 1900's the life expectancy was 47? The old death certificates list infection as common cause of death. With the invention of antibiotics, better nutrition, and hygiene at least three decades have been added to our life span.

Even though the new drugs of the forties saved countless lives previously lost to pneumonia and strep, we have created monster strains of drugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

For those of us who were born in the mid forties, no matter what the illness, a shot of penicillin, that wonder drug, was in order. The first question we asked when going to the doctor was, "Do I have to have a shot?" Our parents, who felt helpless before antibiotics, now felt there was a line of defense when their children were ill. No one knew the over use would lead to the release of the beast.

When my children were little, good ol Dr. Lessenden did not give drugs unless they were needed. He taught us, as parents, the three day rule. And most of the time, the viral symptoms would follow, for which antibiotics were of no value. There was always a clause: If you feel they are too sick, do bring them in.

I would wonder about the direction we really need to go, leaving the medication for true bacterial infections that need the pharmacy. Is Lactoferrin, sold as a supplement in natural food stores, an answer to keep friendly bacteria in our intestines. Beyond breast milk, where the natural product exists and keeps babies in wellness, we don't hear much about it.

What about the studies in Japan, where doctors give babies lactoferrin for ear infections? The good bacteria surrounds and kills the bad bacteria. Instead of RX doing the job. I am wondering too, if people with immune system degeneration and folks on chemo would benefit.

We know that our intestines are a bed for natural floral and fauna and when we take antibiotics, which don't know the difference between good and bad bacteria, every thing is killed off. We are told to re-balance our gut by taking yogurt with our pills. What if we could skip the yogurt and work on getting ourselves well without the need to re-fortify.

I am reminded of a time when one of my children was ill. It wasn't the medicine he didn't want, it was the yogurt!


Saturday, August 16, 2008


We all know we need protein our diet for cell growth, repair, immune cells, muscle and production of hormones.

We all know:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey

Sounds like sloppy cottage cheese to me, how about you? We know whey is derived from milk. But unlike milk, there is no fat or lactose. There are several potent disease fighting properties.

Whey is considered highly effective against salmonella and strep. It is loaded with natural antioxidants. The levels of glutathione decreases as we age, therefore, we are more prone to infection.

Would whey extended life in humans as it has in laboratory animals? Do you want to live until 100, (in wellness)? Then perhaps whey is your way.

Look for it in the sports supplement section of your health food store, even if you are a couch potato!

Not WHEY, how about Neem?

Old Trunks has learned there are several remedies practiced in India what are not common to her.

The latest discovery is Neem. Neem has been used for 4,500 years and is part of the Ancient Ayurvedic healing system along with other herbs previously mentioned. It is so versatile that it is called the "village pharmacy" in India. Recent studies confirm it is used in greater than 60 products and is, indeed, a powerful medicine.

It is said it can be used externally, internally, as a diet supplement. In a paste to treat acne and eczema and is great for winter itch, (dry skin in North Dakota). It is antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. It is mouth wash and toothpaste. People in India broke off a branch and used it as a tooth brush only to discover the merits and effectiveness of gum disease.

The earliest Sanskrit medical writings refer to the benefits of neem fruit, neem seeds, neem oil, neem root and neem bark, hence its extensive use in traditional medicine. Now, let's see if I can find a picture of it!

Whey neem? I don't know how much it weighs.


Friday, August 15, 2008


Gugulipid is considered a cholesterol lowing drug in India. Studies IN INDIA also report it can raise HDL and lower bad blood lipid levels, called triglycerides. Claims state cholesterol levels dropped 37% and triglyceride's dropped 30% over four weeks. Why eat Cheerios that drop cholesterol only 4%.

Old Trunks knows someone who can not take the pharmacy items like Lipitor. Niacin, a natural complex, isn't tolerated either. Another product at the drug store in the supplement aisle is red yeast rice is not tolerated either. Perhaps my person would benefit from gugulipids.

A small, thorny tree that grows throughout India seems an unlikely contender as a remedy in the fight against heart disease. Yet, the mukul tree (Commiphora mukul) is fast gaining a reputation for this very purpose in the scientific community, following a series of studies that have revealed its effectiveness in this area.
The gum of the mukul tree is used to produce standardized extracts called gugulipids, and it is these extracts that researchers have discovered are responsible for its heart-protective benefits. This is something Ayurvedic (ancient Indian) medical practitioners have known about for centuries, as they have long prized gugulipids for their ability to promote arterial health and prevent blockages.

Other sources claim to be cholesterol lowering also. Have you heard about

Beta-1,3 Glucan


Chromium picolinate
A study done at Bemidji University stated the group of athletics who took 200 mcg. daily built muscle mass. Over weight volunteers in San Antonio lost weight and gained muscle without exercise or diet change.

Creatine Monohydrate

Curry powder, used in Indian cooking and is a potent antioxidant. It is used to treat RA; does that mean that East Indian's do not have RA?

Cynarin or Artichike Concentrate


Looks like a lot of products come from tree bark. Wonder if the bark of the tree on the bern has any value in lowering cholesterol? It is, after all, closer than the rain forest.

Oh the tonics that we will try!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Spin the wheel....what shall we stop on next as we tromp through all the supplements available on today's market. dddddddddrrrrrr! YOHIMBE!

A friend in Texas has multiple medical problems. He is crusty old fart that I have known for some time. He is one of those know it all males who struts like a rooster, unfortunately for him, he can't rooster without help. Unable to take pharmacy drugs, he says Yohimbe saved his marriage to his sixth wife or is she the seventh?

This herb must be flying off the shelves. It is touted as the herb that makes men sexier and stronger. Hey, it even states it can build muscle.

The product is extracted from tree bark in West Africa and used as an aphrodisiac by natural healers. What is Viagra made from? Is it the FDA approved version. The FDA version cautions about a drop in blood pressure and states it should not be used by those with heart or those taking anti depressants. I would wonder if just eating a snack of bark might be considered.

As for body building, does it increase the level of testosterone? I would beg to differ. Paying attention to your heart health is a better way to stay strong the healthy.

My Texas friend says he isn't cute anymore. Childhood years in the California sun caused greater than 20 cancer spots on his face. He looks like a pinto in his pictures. His sixth wife made him cut off his pony tail. And like most men in the late sixties, muscle mass has left and being a skinny little fellow in the beginning-- well, to quote him--"Is now a bag of bones on Yohimbe. You gotta love men that are truthful.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Let's go off the standard vitamin search and unto some that we may not know much about. Well, Old Trunks doesn't know about. Put this into a research frame of mind.

All of us want to be 'sharp as a tack' when we decease. From now until then, we all hope our bowl of words are there for us. Physician's offer numerous tests and if they don't find significant results, then considerations of depression, anxiety, stress, and pre-occupied are considered. What if you aren't any of them? Is that when it is time to eat memory foods or take memory supplements? Do they work?

It is worrisome to be told you are normal and call it age associated memory impairment. Maybe once we reach our middle years we have mental changes. Maybe some people have more fatty tissue which holds the cells together as well as acts as a revolving door for information to come in and go out.

It isn't the old memories that are impaired; it is the short term memories that suffer. Names and telephone numbers seem to suffer the most. Writing things down helps us to remember, (if we remember that we wrote it down).

Maybe instead of a pat on the head, people who are plagued with the thought of loosing their memory, where given phosphatidylserine for a few weeks.? Would it, as advertised really give you back enhanced memory, concentration, and be given back an average of 12 years of memory.

Are you worth $29.95 for an experiment of a couple of weeks? Time to do some in depth searching to see the other side of the story. What mixes with what!

But wait! What about pregnenolone? That is suppose to make me smarter, happier, AND reduce the inflammation of arthritis! Levels of pregnenolone are said to diminish with age.

Pregnenolone was used in the 1940's for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Once cortisone was discovered the interest in pregnenolone waned. Cortisone became the magic bullet over night, despite the side effects. Here we are 60 years later and there is still no cure for RA.

Which will come first? Pen run out of ink for making notes OR pregnenolone trial?


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mr. or Mrs. Fixit

Perhaps we should look at our bodies as a Do-it-yourself-repair shop. Mr. or Mrs. Fixit. Not to be confused with husband's who, instead of letting women vent, try to fix the problem when nothing is broken except females vent.

Thus, let me repeat, the body is a do-it-yourself-repair shop. Although we may need medicine, the orthodox method of expecting pills at visits is not always the answer. Good ol Dr. Lessenden taught me that. Some times, we just need time. I think we become more learnerd, (made up word meaning learned and learned more), through our children's maladies and our friends and family members who have diagnosis that we are able to understand through conversations and reading. We all are hop-on-the-Internet and read about it people. That is a good thing because the twelve minute doctor's appointment does not give time to ask questions that physician's used to have time to answer. Well, not my door knob doctor, anyway.

We are, and have been a product of over stimulating foods, medicine, excesses of sugar and starches. Old Trunks fed her children French fries at restaurants because they were finger foods. I still see it today.

I do not wish to eat yeast dissolved in water for breakfast, string beans and zucchini soup, raw milk, cooked celery, and more yeast dissolved in water at bed time. Yet, if someone proved to me that this sort of eating would take the arthritis from my hands, I might consider it. The thing about it hands didn't get stiff over night, and if you are arthritic, neither did yours. My method of care is to buy a lighter rod and reel to cast for bass. We could eat for a month on the price of tackle.

This blog is not about trying to get anyone to do anything, including myself. It is a reflection of a society living on over processed, insecticide sprayed, toxic matters of tea, coffee, chocolate, sweetened sodas, and medicated with stimulating drugs.

Today's wish for you, is that you are free of nagging pain, stabbing sensations, feelings of pressure, vague aches, intestinal disturbances--even though, for many this is the way of life.

In a book off the shelf in the north bedroom, which I browsed through recently, I found I had circled a thought: Energy is life itself.


Monday, August 11, 2008


History: Harlan Mellem is the son of Emil and Hilda Mellem, Emil was the brother of Nina, who became the wife of Olaf A Anderson, who had Lloyd Paul Anderson who married Ella Rye and had Robert Anderson, he married and had Rachel, Rachel married and had Jaeme.

Harlan Mellem is a first cousin three times removed of Jaeme Thomae


He is also the first cousin 3 times removed of Kelsie Hagen


In the month of August in 1956, Leona Oxley, daughter of Mrs. Beatrice Oxley of Hopkins, became the bride of Harlan Mellem, son of Mr. and Mrs. EM Mellem of this city at the Hopkins Baptist Church Saturday evening, August 11. Pastor Gordon Paulson performed the double ring ceremony before an altar of ferns, baskets of white gladioli, mums, and lighted candelabra.

The nuptial music was played by Mrs. Paul Raycroft. Marlys Quist sang, "Together with Jesus" and the Lord's Prayer."

The bride, given in marriage by her brother, Russell Oxley, was attired in a floor length gown of white lace and net over taffeta. Her fingertip veil of illusion net fell from a crown of lace. She carried a cascade bouquet of white carnations.

Mrs. Douglas Johnson was matron of honor. She wore a yellow dotted nylon dress and carried a cascade bouquet of lavender carnations. Mrs. Charles Roach and Susan Stimac were bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid, respectively. They wore identical dresses of pink dotted nylon. Their cascade bouquets were of deep rose carnations. The flower girls were Jane Stevens and Sally Stimac, nieces of the bride. Their dresses were of turquoise blue nylon over taffeta. They carried bouquets of yellow carnations. All of the attendants wore matching floral headbands.

Ervin Mellem, brother of the groom was best man. Vernon Stevens, brother-in-law of the bride, and William Hoglo, close friend of the groom, served as groomsmen and ushers. All the men in the wedding party wore dark trousers and white dinner jackets. Their boutonnieres were white carnations.

The mother of the bride chose a beige dress with blue accessories, while the groom's mother chose a navy blue dress with white accessories. They wore matching corsages.

A reception was given in the church parlors immediately following the ceremony. Mrs. Darleen Stevens, sister of the bride cut and served the wedding cake. Mrs. Juanita Stimac, sister of the bride, poured. Mrs. Lillian Oxley, sister-in-law of the bride, served the punch. In charge of the guest book was Mrs. Richard Delaney. The gift table was presided over by Mrs. Robert Rowland and Mrs. Catherine Fortier.

After a wedding trip to northern Minnesota, the couple will make their home in Hopkins.

Out of town guests included the bride's grandparents from Nevada. Others were from Minneapolis, Brainerd, LeSueur, Warren, and Thief River Falls.

I am sorry to say that Leona died in 1999. We are thinking about you Harlan.


Sunday, August 10, 2008


On a talk show recently, the host and the doctor were discussing the benefits of, among other things, Vitamin D. Our mother's and grandmother's called it the sunshine vitamin. Why? While exposed to sunshine, something magical happens and this important vitamin plays its role on organ maintenance. For those of us raised in the north, many of us were coaxed to taking cod liver oil in the winter months. uck.

Good ol Dr. Lessenden cautioned about too much of it. He stated it was better to get it from foods. For all of you that love salmon, tuna, herring (1383 IU), and catfish, you may never get rickets, osteoporosis, or other bone thinning disorders. Eggs, by the way, have 20 IU. Milk has been fortified for years with Vitamin D, previously many children had rickets. (isn't rickets a terrible word).

Other disorders which may occur due to poor levels of Vitamin D are: Vitamin D malnutrition may also be linked to an increased susceptibility to several chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, MS, chronic pain, depression, MS, TB, artery and immune disorders. Makes it sound like it is the cure all, doesn't it?

What happens if you take too much? For those of us who worship the sun, you can not become toxic from tanning. You might get skin cancer, and you may get a sun burn but after 20 minutes of exposure and body says that is enough.

We get in trouble when we take large doses because it mucks everything else up. Some of the same symptoms and illnesses that we get from too little can be the same as too much, high blood pressure, for example. I am an example of Vitamin D user during menopause: I had no hot flashes and was only ugly a few times. I did 5,000 IU daily.

As for cod liver oil, uck, mother was certain it kept children beautiful. We got out licks every day in the winter. It was served with breakfast. If I would have had a water proof pocket, I would have hidden the liquid. I wished I could have given it to the dog, but Diamond wouldn't touch it.

There have been claimed that sufficient amounts keep our teeth healthy. Now, I know a lot of really nice people with dentures, yet, I wonder, wouldn't they rather have their own teeth stuck in their jaws instead?

How many of us pay the price of indifference when it comes to nutrition?


Saturday, August 9, 2008


Yesterday's blog related to Vitamin C and MONONUCLEOSIS. The blog talked about vitamins and minerals and growing children. Expect the posts to be related over the next several days while Old Trunks gets her Vitamin D from the sun on the lake somewhere in Minnesota. As an experiment for arthritis pain, I will take one 500 milligram tablet with each meal and one before I go to bed. I do not consider it toxic, I may just have healthy urine and if I take too much, I may get diarrhea, but it is worth a shot to put the concept under the microscope, don't you think?

The use of vitamin C as an immunization supplement became popular after 1970, when a study by Pulitzer Prize-winner Linus Pauling concluded that large doses of vitamin C could ward off colds. Since then, multiple health organizations have conducted their own surveys, with results that contradict Pauling's findings."The research has gone back and forth about vitamin C," said Jayne Carey, a nurse at the health center's Nurse Specialty Clinic. "It's not going to kill a cold, and I don't know that there's hard and fast scientific data that proves it will prevent one either."Some students, Carey said, regularly come into the health center with colds they weren't able to relieve with any manner of supplement, including vitamin C, zinc and echinacea . Still, said Wolfram, it can't hurt to regularly take a modest amount of vitamin C, especially if you're deficient. That may be what you think. I am not hear to change your mind. We are, after all, not suffering from scurvy!

We do know, and should agree on that sources of Vitamin C come from citrus fruits, (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit), seeds from wild roses, (BUT DOC, I DON'T HAVE ANY FLOWERS), bell peppers and cabbage, tomato juice, and strawberries AND MORE.

One of the functions is to help form and maintain a strong cement-like material called collagen, which holds together all the cells in our body. Some sources say if your tooth brush is pink after brushing, you may be deficient, although dentists will tell old people they have a mouth disease and you will find yourself at a special dentist! BUT, if your mouth is free of diseases and your tooth brush has blood on it, and you aren't brushing that hard....perhaps!

Another source states Vitamin C plays a role in maintaining normal vision. Does that mean that if one is deficient they get cataracts? An eye surgeon would argue this point as he puts in manufactured lens.

It is said that a healthy person needs an in take of 75-90 milligrams of Vitamin C daily to sufficiently nourish the body.

36 calves liver
90 Turnip greens

After a meal of calves liver and turnip greens, then I am nourished, right? Other sources state a greater amount of milligrams, hopefully all from foods. Look at the products you buy, has Vitamin C been added? When the bottle states 100% daily allowance for C, what does that mean? If I am scurvy like, does that mean I will be efficient after 40 glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice? Remember to squeeze the sweetest oranges, they have the most.

But what if I don't live in a place that has oranges? What if I am in a snow bank in North Dakota? We don't have orange trees here, only snow balls. (If they are yellow, don't eat them).

Are you saying you can get it from other sources? Yes, but what if, like mother and grand mother, you cook it to death before you eat it and the nutrients are all gone? Are you saying, drink the water the veggies are cooked in? You are probably right, even if it tastes worse than liver!

Now, if my sweet Thomas bruises NOT from the medication to keep his blood from clotting, rather because of Vitamin C deficiency, then should he be taking supplements? Or more vitamin C products? What if same said Sweet Thomas has an acid reflex problem; will 40 glasses of orange juice set that off?

Does Vitamin C detox? Could one take it instead of applying detox pads to their feet? Does Vitamin C really play a part as a complement while taking antibiotics? Is Vitamin C the good Christian ready to soothe the aching brow for people with infections and virus?

Report of Vitamin C intake to follow.