Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gone fishin'

The Rolfsrud blog will go on vacation for the next few days while Stan joins the newspaper managers for their annual Ice Out business event in Ontario. Every spring, for the past couple of decades, he's flown in to Lake Outukamamoan to be among the season's first fishermen. The idea is to have enough water available so the float plane can land, but still enough crystal-clear ice available for cocktails. The Canadian pilots haven't missed the timing ... yet.

Lake Trout are in season and they are generally fished in 20 feet of water from off of a rock, while tending a campfire, telling tales and eating man food. Walleye, northern, etc are nearby, awaiting their opening day. Sometimes they accidentally jump into a boat, but are promptly thrown back -- after being admired, of course.

The camp is a former wilderness fishing lodge and now boasts a ton of amenities (solar electricity, flush toilets) which is good because comfort is important when you're pushing 60.

By popular request, we'll feature some recent photos of dead fish in a future post.

This is the last year you can enter Canada without a passport, so we may have to break down and get one.

See? It's like the Statue of Liberty

Spring projects are well underway at the Chicago Lofts, with a bedroom canopy and antique door getting screwed into place, primed, and ready for paint. The door, from Bombay, India, and believed by a Tucson dealer to be 100 years old, won't get painted, of course, but the new MDF building block mounting walls will be blended with the hall color. (Click on it for a closer look.)

In the bedroom, the high ceiling is being brought down by a bed canopy. The design was inspired by our trip to New York where we observed the distinctive windows over the great lady's forehead. This bedroom is for a great lady, doesn't have any windows in it, so it seemed like just the thing. We pasted anaglypta on the under side of the canopy (we don't do mirrors) for something to look up at. There is a 100 watt light bulb on a dimmer that shines through the window openings and casts square shadows on the bedroom walls, suggesting a bank of windows. Cool.

We're going to paint the walls a light true green and install some crown moulding to clean up the ceiling break. The comforter and pillowcases have already been purchased. The king bed is a Victorian reproduction.

We'll post the final result here when we get it done.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nickels & Dimes at Tarnow's Resort

Popsicle…. ......5 cents
Fudgsicle..........5 cents
Dreamsicle.......5 cents
Drumstick.......10 cents
Ice Cream Sandwich.....10 cents
Bubble Up.............10 oz,10 cents
Sunny Sky............10 oz,10 cents

Hires Rootbeer
.....8 oz, 10 cents
Coke… 6 oz, but don’t buy because it rots your teeth
Baby Ruth............. 5 cents
Nut Goodie............10 cents
Mr. Goodbar...........5 cents
Planter’s peanuts, bag, 5 cents
Almond Joy...........10 cents
Mounds...................10 cents
Salted Nut Roll ...5 cents
Bazooka Bubble Gum with comic.. . 1 cent
Lucky Strike, Pall Mall candy cigarettes, 5 cents a pack

The convenience store at the Tarnow's Resort is no longer in this Lake Andrew cottage. The store and office is now located in a building much closer to our old house. This change would have saved us quite a few barefoot steps for our daily trip down the gravel resort road to buy cool treats during hot summers in the 50s.

Another part of those summers was Paul and Helen Tarnowski's nephew, Tom Lempka, or Tommy Lambchop is we cleverly nicked-named our summer playmate, in honor of the Shari Lewis puppet. Tom would be dropped off at the resort by his father, Roman, in his black and white '55 Ford. Shortly, Tom would call "Eee---Ahhh---Key" through the trees to signal his arrival and his availability for good times.

Tom now lives in Alexandria with his wife, according to Karen Westby. I copied his photo off of her Class of 1967 web site.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eight toothers for the one-year old

Just thought you'd like to see the very latest on Emily's dental situation. (You may click to enlarge the photo above) Emily Kathleen will be one year old May 1 and she is chompin' on crackers as if she's afraid her gramma will take the last one.

She has eight teeth in or coming in now. Tried to get a photo with all of them showing, but our girl just wasn't working with us this morning.

Grandma and Grandpa get her one day a week now. We're going to bed early tonight, right after the Twins game. We're exhausted.

Yet ANOTHER Rolfsrud at Harvard

Yesterday Briggs Rolfsrud Siitari learned that she has been accepted at the Harvard Graduate School to obtain her Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration.

Briggs has been an admissions counselor at the College of St. Catherine since her graduation from there in 2005.

She and husband Bill will move to Boston in September.

According to family press agent Steve Rolfsrud, Bill should be able to transfer within the KPMG accounting firm to their Boston office.

Steve has been recruited to help Bill drive the U-Haul truck to Boston in September. Briggs is the daughter of Steve and Nancy Rolfsrud. She has a brother, Ford, and a sister, Breck.

Congratulations Briggs! Hurry back, and be careful out amongst those East Coast types.

And just exactly who was the other Rolfsrud at Harvard you ask? Why, our cousin Arnold, of course, back in the 60s. Dad's nephew. Speaking of Arnold, just for fun, Google "Rolfsrud" sometime and you will see a ton of references to Arnold and Metha's daughter, Erika Rolfsrud, an actress who kept our family moniker as her stage name.

Among many other things, she's appeared on Broadway, the Lincoln Center, as well as TV's Law and Order and Third Watch. (Gotta watch those credits to make sure they spell Rolfsrud correctly.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's the thought, the thought

Martin and Eldora Trousil's youngest child, Merle, grew up to work on the railroad. You're reminded of that when you look across the road from our old place and see the lovely rustic fencing with the antique railroad tie accents inserted every so often. What you don't see is the mustard-yellow farmhouse. It's gone.
Before there were Martin Trousils in that farmhouse, there were Frank Hochstetters. Frank got polio and we never saw them again, but before the dear family left, my big sister Becky Rolfsrud had an idea to surprise little Ruthie Hochstetter with a visit from the Easter Bunny. Somebody got into a homemade bunny costume and four or five of us kids trooped over there early Easter Sunday circa 1952. But we were too shy to make an actual appearance at the farmhouse door, so we left the Easter Basket, filled with eggs and goodies for Ruthie, on the top step, banged on the door and ran.
Peeking from the corner of the house we could see that, in all our excitement, we had left the handle of the basket blocking the door. Too late. The door swung open and Ruthie's goodies scattered helter-skelter all over her yard.
Mrs. Hochstetter scrambled to recover the eggs, calling out thank yous from her knees to the hidden donors. We were not only shy, but now too embarassed to acknowledge her.
We argued all the way home. I think the Easter Bunny got most of the blame.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ugly tree no stranger to danger

This tree never looked like much. Don't even know what kind it is. Don't care. It was never good for climbing. The limbs were all wrong. Ugly. You can see where the new owners of the Rolfsrud homestead have just let the suckers grow up around it.
The yard light is still in front of it, but it appears that the power supply has gone modern and underground, judging by the gray meter next to it.
I took this picture on Friday.
There used to be a galvanized woven-wire fence line near the tree, dividing the back yard from the pasture on our old place. The fence is gone.
On the far side of the fence was where Topsy, the Elmo Hegg's pony, spent a summer with us in 1958. They were building Jefferson High School in Alexandria for the baby boomers that year and the Heggs, who lived near the construction, wanted Topsy to have a peaceful summer.
We gladly saddled and rode Topsy around and around the bridal path past this tree all summer long.
Even our neighbor, Winifred Hapke, put on her old jodpers to give Topsy a spin. Her old fart husband Al didn't think much of it and just kept on mowing his yard with his green self-propelled reel mower, surely the only one of its kind in Lake Mary Township. You could putt on his lawn, but nobody had any golf clubs. Al taught clarinet lessons and on quiet afternoons you could hear the Flight of the Bumblebee through the trees.
Brother Steve Rolfsrud was about three years old, I think, when a nasty snapping turtle approached his barefoot big toe under this tree. Our family spaniel mix, Nicky, barked and created such havoc that nothing bad happened until Dad arrived with a crowbar and killed the snapper. Looking at the condition of Steve's appendages today, don't know if it would have made much difference if the turtle had succeeded.
Black and white Nicky was a hero and truly loved. Then one day she got hit by a car and limped around on three pegs until we put her down.
Grade school classmate Alan Norling's Dad fought in Korea with a German Shepherd. He got to the keep the dog. Its name was Lucky -- but it wasn't for us. Lucky had an attitude about kitties. One day Mrs. Norling parked the car near the tree and let Lucky get out. Big mistake. Lucky spotted one of our kitties. The kitty made a beeline for this tree. Lucky won. Mrs. Norling apologized for the dead kitty.
The Norlings lived on the north shore of Lake Andrew. I saw my first television show there. The Pinky Lee Show. I remember elephants and a circus tent.
Iver Gulbranson admired Dad a lot. Iver worked for the phone company. Dad didn't have a telephone in his creative writing studio (see photo below) but he thought an intercom to the house might be nice. Iver volunteered to set Dad up and one Saturday Iver and I stretched the war surplus commo cable from the house to the studio, using the telephone pole seen in the photo. Big ol' Iver had spikes on his boots and jacked himself up that shaky pole. Damndest thing I'd seen. Before you know it, there was an intercom from the house to the studio and now Dad could tell us what to do, remotely.
For many years there was a mailbox attached to this tree. It contained clothes pins to service the nearby clothes line, which was heavily used until mother purchased an electric clothes dryer from Dudley Gawthrop of Dud's Electric. Think about it. Would you ever buy an electrical appliance from a man named Dud?
But then again, just who would ever buy an Edsel?
Next to this tree there is a walnut tree. I have a photo of it too, my friends. There are stories that go with it. Just not now.

This is not the last of them

Perhaps it was high atop the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota that So-sie's suspicions were first raised. Yes, there was something vaguely indigenous about her son Zachary's appearance, particularly when juxtaposed with the granite visage of the legendary Native American. When So-sie returned home, she studied her husband Bill, and the same odd feeling overtook her. That was summers ago. She quietly put her thoughts aside.

But now, after a spring trip to Ohio to see relatives and to memorialize her late mother-in-law Betty, everything makes perfect sense. Her husband, she has now learned, is part Mohican, and so, of course, her son. Not enough blood to earn shares in a casino, but just enough for the husband to annoy the wife with smug references to "my people."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dad's Lake Andrew writing studio

This is the creative writing studio Dad built in 1957 to get away from the noise of the children he had created. Actually, the writing studio is only the diminutive wing on the right hand side of the present building. Friday Kathleen and I barged in to the place; it had just been vacated by a bunch of young men who had been to a stag party the night before. Apparently they had been told to clean up when they left because the place was neat as a pin. It is used as a guest house now. The owner, Mr. Fernholtz, lives in the main house.

In the center of the building is the stone fireplace Dad and his helper built when Dad should have been writing books.

The photo shows a section of what was once the exterior chimney face that rose at least 15 feet. They have smoothed, tuck-pointed and polished the intricate, hand-fitted stonework and it is a gem. Step down to the other side of the fireplace and you are in the original building that Tony Helgeson's carpenters built with hand tools. The girls baked bars for the men one day, but used tablespoons instead of teaspoons to measure the baking powder.

The fireplace has been fitted with a new mantel and a gas insert, but you can still see the array of beautiful stones Dad brought back from North Dakota. (Click and zoom into this high-def photo.) He lectured at all-school lyceums about Extraordinary North Dakotans and scoured the hills for interesting stones, bringing them home in the maroon 1949 Dodge.

Dad wrote a number of books here, including Boy from Johnny Butte, while seated near the green vodka bottle in the photograph below.

Linda's dream come true

Growing up in the 1950s, it was Linda Rolfsrud Letnes' dream to someday live in a real trailer house. Everything new and close to where you needed it. Cozy.

Little did she know that with a bit of patience, her dream would bear fruit, right in her own back yard. Above is Cottage Grove, Linda's childhood neighbor, where the groves of cottages have been magically transformed into groves of, well, trailer houses. Funseekers cram into these cozy summer homes on Lake Andrew, living it up, with nary a thought to the wistful little girl who once dreamed of trading up to a real trailer house.

Lots are going fast. . .

Where do you suppose this gorgeous, mammoth lakeside manor is located? Beside Lake Minnetonka? White Bear Lake? On the North Shore Drive perhaps? Not even close. This proud edifice is located on prestigious Trousil Drive on the east shore of Lake Andrew. Yup. In the cornfield near the spot Harvey Carlson dumped his mink manure and about a half mile from the Rolfsrud homestead. Look closely at the widows walk/smoking deck on the rooftop. You should be able to see Kluver's corn crib from up there.

For those Rolfsruds yearning to return to their lakeside roots, Pospisal Drive, below, appears more affordable and more Norwegian. And remember, the very first developer on Lake Andrew of any note was the late Buzz Sonstegaard, the sire of Nancy Rolfsrud. So there, you richies.

Yes, these homesites are tempting, but just stay the course, Linda. Remember, the Wexford comes with grandchildren.

Friday, April 20, 2007

We love great grandma

Kathleen and Stan visited Grandma Bev at Knute Nelson Home in Alexandria today. She's still in a lot of pain from her fall. She's had wonderful attention from friends and relatives and appreciates the kindness, though she's unable presently to respond in any way. There are a ton cards in the room, we spotted this one on her dresser from Hunter and Blake, Becky Rolfsrud Jerdee's grandchildren. (Becky is married to Al Jerdee, Amy and Dave Underwood are the parents of these two cuties).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My old pal Paul

Many of you remember Paul Donley, who belonged to our church in Alexandria, along with his many brothers and sisters. I think there was a Donley in each of our grades. All the girls played drums in the high school band. Anyway, Paul has retired from a career as a school administrator and returned to Alex. Here he is looking over the Alexandria Golf Course with the course superintendent.
They've cut down a lot of big old poplar trees this year because they are too big and old and dying. Hmm. They were only recently planted in the early 1960s. I'm older than they are and I am still standing... sorta.
Paul is one year my senior and I got to know him when we played together every day on the Alexandria basketball team. Paul was paired with me in practice and was a great mentor.

Darn, we miss all the excitement

The following actual notice came from our homeowner's association office at Saddlebrooke in Tucson.

HOA#1 NEWSFLASH - REPORT OF INCIDENT (4/17/07)This newsflash will report the status of an incident experienced early this morning, April 17, in HOA#1. It was discovered that two young men in a vehicle had driven onto the golf course (hole #16) early this morning, causing moderate damage.
The vehicle then drove onto Ridgeview in a reckless manner, causing serious safety concerns to walkers. The HOA#1 patrol quickly tracked the vehicle and immediately alerted the Sheriff's Department. One individual was taken to hospital with injuries sustained from the driving, and the other was later apprehended and taken into custody.

Based upon the behavior experienced during and after the incident, it was strongly suspected that the two individuals were under the influence of a substance. At least one individual appeared to be familiar to the deputy sheriff. For those residents who witnessed the vehicle at that time and were placed in harm's way, please be assured that this incident has come to a safe conclusion.

We are grateful to the sheriff's department for its quick response, and for the diligence of HOA#1 patrol employee Gloria Eby.

This incident stresses the commitment of patrol and the sheriff's department to respond to all suspicious activity, and the need for residents to alert us to such activity without reservation.

(Mug shots courtesy Pinal County Sheriff's Dept. Please remember that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An email from the editor. . .

I just met a young coach in the Shakopee school system. He came down here to be interviewed by Brian Hall. Nice young man, vaguely familiar looking too. And polite. Coaches tennis, boys' tennis, I believe. Ford's his name, if I recall. Not sure if it was his first or last name. I'm sure he comes from a good family ...

Pat Minelli
Shakopee Valley News

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood. . .

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?...
It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?...
I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.

A sunny, warm Sunday afternoon brought all the active adults out of their villas today.
Across the way, do-it-yourselfer Bud Osmondson was making determined use of a skil saw to construct a basement wine cellar. When the adult beverages came out for the traditional tarmac party and organizers tried to wave him in, Bud couldn't be bothered, he just kept cutting lumber.
We call them tarmac parties in this neighborhood. Actually they are just driveway beer parties, but we have two retired air traffic controllers on the cul de sac (both fired and rehired by Ronald Reagan, years ago, I think) so out of deference, we call them tarmac parties. Which is real special to them, we're sure, because they don't seem to get much deference anywhere else.

Here's a photo of one of them. In it Tom Story appears to be ordering his wife, Sandy, to do a good job scrubbing the lawn furniture. This is pure fiction and an amazing lack of good judgment on his part. Meek Mr. Tom, who does taxes out of his home, always has a hot dinner ready promptly when his working spouse comes home.

And Mr. John, the other ex-traffic controller, kept glancing down Abbey Point while sipping his tarmac beer tonight. While John had finished the cleaning in the back yard, there were still other items not yet checked off, and Mary was due home soon.

Gardener Joe Daly was down on his knees today, showing off his industrious side to the tarmac party. This life-long California resident retired to Shakopee, Minnesota. That aside, he is other wise remarkably intelligent, savvy and world-wise. His brillance, however, does not always extend to horticultural pursuits. Today he declared an expensive, hopeful, fall planting to be officially defeated by a Minnesota winter -- once again.

Right on schedule, wheeling down the tarmac in the bright sunlight, came the newest Stonebrooke resident, early bird Gavin Cole Isaacs, the fledge of Derek and Alanna. He showed up a month ahead of schedule. He's healthy now, but still very tiny and when he cries he sounds like a little nestling.
His mother is an elementary schoolteacher in Farmington and her water broke unceremoniously during class, giving her a story worth telling for years to come.
New father Derek was not much help, far away at work. Alanna checked herself in to the Shakopee hospital. Derek showed up just in time to say "push."

His telephonic advice to her that morning had been to maybe skip her exercise class that day.
The tarmac crowd looked over the baby and pronounced him neighborhood worthy and encouraged the new family to come back soon.

Bella, their slightly displaced poodle, seems to be taking the new situation in stride.

Kathleen showed up just in time to see the gathering and admire the baby. Earlier she had left on a mission to Target to purchase Liptor and a Baby Car seat.
Not a combination of purchases a retail clerk might expect to see every day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Life-long pals laugh it up at the Latte'

Kathleen's childhood chum and life-long friend, M'liss Switzer, is a world traveler, author, poker maven, raquetball champ, ski bum, dulcimer player and dog breeder, so when they get together, there is a lot to talk about. Yesterday, lunch at Cafe Latte' lasted six hours, as well as a 45 minute long-goodbye in front of her house.
Fortunately, Kathleen wasn't all talked out. When she got home, her mother-in-law wanted to talk to her. So she called Mom at Knute Nelson and was able to comfort her with an explanation of how tiny bone fractures heal naturally. This explanation thanks to an earlier e-mail from family orthopedist So-sie Shearer. (The body makes natural glue on the broken edges, I think she said.) Mother continues to tell Stan he should be grateful for his wife.
(Photo by the lady at the next table)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


This is the cat that Mother loves so much. I am not clear on this, but I think its name is Kitty. I think the last name is Cat.
As in, come here, Kitty Cat. But I don't know.

She worries about it escaping the house and thinks about Kitty a lot. When you send a card, mention her Kitty. She likes that.
Lorlee Bartos saw Mom's cat, above, and it inspired her to write:
I have an identical cat -- named Grey Ghost -- he has some darker gray tabby ghostings -- hence the name.
He was the first of my many cats not named for inventors.
I've had Isaac Newton, Madame Curie, Cyrus McCormick, Eli Whitney (who had to be renamed to Eliza). Finding women inventors is harder than male -- so my current female is "Hypathia" who was a genius mathematician back in Alexandria, Egypt -- who was so smart she drew the envy of the men who skinned her alive.
And now I also have Yo de Mama -- the outside kitty who gifted me with all of these just 4 days after I had put down 17 year old Madame Curie with the vow not to have more cats. Out from under the house she walked with her brood. And outside with her is Wild Bill -- name is descriptive who is a sibling to Grey Ghost and Hypathia. He got trapped and neutered but got loose before he could be tamed. [4 kittens loose in the house at 2 am when they either opened the cage or I didn't shut it properly]
So some of you have grandkids -- I have cats.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mom's at Knute now

Mother (pictured above with grandson Alexander Rolfsrud) has been transferred to Knute Nelson Home in Alexandria, after five days at Douglas County Hospital. She says she is getting good care there, but is still in a lot of pain from her fall.

Please write her a note at

Beverly Rolfsrud

Knute Nelson Home, Room 142
420 12th Ave. E
Alexandria, MN 56308

Knute Nelson was a Norwegian U.S. Senator from Minnesota. The only thing I can remember about him was that he died on a railroad train coming back from Washington. Dad wrote a pamphlet or a book or something about him once.

Knute was also the boy in Gopher Tails for Papa who put gopher tails in the collection plate.

No one names their sons Knute any more. Why is that?
Here's his biography:

NELSON, Knute, a Representative and a Senator from Minnesota; born in Voss, Norway, February 2, 1843; immigrated to the United States in 1849 with his mother, settled in Chicago, Ill.; moved to Wisconsin in 1850; attended the common schools and Albion Academy, Albion, Wis.; taught school; served as a private and noncommissioned officer with the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War; wounded and taken prisoner at Port Hudson, La., 1863; at the close of the war he returned to Albion College and completed the course; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1867 and commenced practice in Cambridge, Wis.; member, Wisconsin assembly 1868-1869; moved to Alexandria, Douglas County, Minn., in 1871; county attorney 1872-1874; member, State senate 1874-1878; presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1880; member of the board of regents of the University of Minnesota 1882-1893; elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1889); was not a candidate for renomination in 1888; elected Governor of Minnesota in 1892; reelected in 1894 and served until January 31, 1895, when he resigned, preparatory to becoming Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1895; reelected in 1901, 1907, 1912, and 1918 and served from March 4, 1895, until his death; died on a train near Timonium, Md., April 28, 1923, while en route to his home; interment in Kinkead Cemetery, Alexandria, Minn.

April snow never lasts. . .

Today's snow won't last long. It will melt before you know it and we will take benefit from its moisture. Even the little hobbits, normally fastidious housekeepers, have not bothered to sweep it.

Reports of Daniel Neilson's death were greatly exaggerated

"Oh!" mother smiled with elation from her hospital bed, "It's Danny!"
It was great hearing Mom say it that way because, at once, it proved she was still sharp as a tack and capable of joy.
Mother was flat on her back after a nasty fall that was causing her great pain. Family members were coming by to see her last Saturday, filing in, not sure what to expect. Mom was happy to see everyone, including Danny.

At age 68, Dan Neilson is one of the newer members of Mom's extended family.

Dan is Kathleen Rolfsrud's older brother. Kathleen lost her younger brother, James John, to a heart attack about 13 years ago. Kathleen's older sister, Mary Lou Brewer, (photo) lives in Durango, Colorado, with her husband, David.
Dan retired from Brown & Bigelow four years ago. He worked there 35 years and earned a pension. We're not exactly sure what he did there, but early on it involved a forklift, because an accident with one fractured his pelvis. Kathleen was truly amazed by all the friends Dan had made who took time to see him during his hospital stay.

Midtown Dan
Dan is a bachelor who lived with his mother, Florence, until she went into a nursing home and died last year at age 99. We sold their St. Paul house and now Dan lives in the Chicago Lofts at Midtown in the renovated Sears building in Minneapolis, on the 10th floor. He's hardly ever home.
That's because Dan has places to go and people to see. He visits coffee shops, restaurants, parks, churches, malls, ball fields, uptown and downtown where he makes friends easily with his unassuming, gentle manner.

He has never had a car, he travels by city limousine, knows all the routes, has a bus pass and knows how to get anywhere he wants to go. His new home is 10 stories above the City Transit Center, so, you might say, his world is at his feet.

Naturally, he's quite well-known with the regulars and the vendors at the Midtown Global Market downstairs. And he's popular with the guards, who will often find donuts and treats at their work stations. He loves handing out calendars and ball schedules as an ambassador for his Minnesota Twins. His generosity extends to Africa, where's he's "adopted" a young girl, to his church, to his neighbors, street musicians, to anybody who needs a lift. Stan and Kathleen have had to coach him how to get off of "sucker lists" where his name and address and phone number result in constant pleas from professional beggers.

No truth to the rumor
His change of address resulted in some changes in his haunts. Formerly a regular at the "Artist's Grind" coffee shop on University Ave in St. Paul, he doesn't get there much any more. That has resulted in a rumor that Dan has died. Dan chuckles about it and says he'll just have to get over there sometime and stomp that out.

Dan is a devout Roman Catholic. His prayer book has been thumbed almost beyond recognition. He observes Holy Days, Days of Obligation, goes to confession, never misses mass. His loft connects by heated skyway to the massive Abbott-Northwestern-Children's Hospital complex and he has discovered the chapel over there and is acquainted with the priest. That's a good thing, because a blizzard wouldn't otherwise keep Dan from venturing outdoors to Mass.

He's also discovered the cafeteria over there. It's about three indoor blocks away, but he says he needs the exercise. We're also happy that he has located the emergency room. Dan has never had a heart attack, but he's had a double bypass and a heart valve replacement. So we worry about him, but know that good help is close by, should he ever need it. Some of Dan's neighbors are doctors who practice at the hospitals.

Mother and Dan connected again when he came to Thanksgiving Dinner last year.

Ironically, Dan's roots go way back to Alexandria. He and Jim and his father fished the lakes during summers decades ago. Forada was a favorite. Recently Dan and Kathleen had a warm reunion with the woman who ran the Forada cottages (photo, left).

They fished long and hard back then, hoping to catch and freeze enough sunfish to feed the entire neighborhood in St. Paul. That genuine spirit of generosity may have been his father's greatest gift, because it lives on in Dan today.