Tuesday, October 04, 2011

They say history repeats itself, repeats itself, repeats itself...

Churchs Ferry’s most successful industry was the Northewestern Ironworks which was begun in April 1895. At that time Samuel Hann, who had been working near Cando, set up business in the former Nelson blacksmith shop. Hann and his partner David Hough of Minneapolis erected their first building just east of the intersection of Church Ave. and 3rd. ST. In March 1897 the iron works started advertising its services statewide. For a few years the business and the number of employees continued to expand. By April 1900 the Devils Lake paper wrote a description of the business that stated, “An institution like this would be a great credit to a city much larger than Churchs Ferry”. The business expanded again in 1901 adding 30 feet on the north side of the building and again in 1903 adding a second story. The company’s most significant contribution to the area was the structures for 14 bridges required by Ramsey County in 1904. In 1905 the company produced steel cells for a jail at Starkweather. Late in 1906 Hann decided to move his business to Devils Lake. Faced with losing this important industry, Churchs Ferry residents responded with punitive measures. On Nov. 12th the village board president swore out a warrant for Hann’s arrest charging him with violating an ordinance requiring the removal of machinery standing in the alley by his building. Brought to trial before the local justice, Hann’s Devils Lake lawyer fought and won. Thus after 10 years Churchs Ferry lost what was its most important industrial enterprise.
Now after 10 years, the City of Churchs Ferry has decided to repeat history with gardendwellers FARM as the object of its attention. I predict the outcome will be somewhat the same, but this time maybe the citizens of Churchs Ferry can ensure that it will never happen again.
'"Democracy must be more than two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner."
James Bovard

Monday, October 03, 2011

Finally Fall!
It's always amazing to me how fast the leaves can turn their subtle shades of fall gold and orange.  This year it has come all too fast and none too fast at the same time.

I couldn't wait for fall this year.  Not because that's when we usually take our yearly vacation - which we will miss this year - or because that's when nature finally slows to a crawl, but because for me October is the time for a new beginning.

Last Wednesday evening was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah.  The start of the Jewish High Holy Days and the Jewish New Year.  It was a day of prayer and repentence for me and I felt joy after relieving myself of those burdens.  I am certain this new year will be one of great joy, new adventures and a few challenges for us.  What's a life without some challenges?

My first challenge is that my computer has decided the 'shift' key on the right side of the keyboard no longer should be functional.  This makes any capital letter typed with the right hand a challenge, not to mention question marks, exclamation points and dollar signs.  Good thing I'm not one to have a lot of dollar signs, question marks or exclamations in my life1 -- oops I meant "!"

Challenge number two: patience.  When I was young I had a book about a pussy cat named "Perserverance".  Now, when I become impatient that I am not getting things done as quickly as I would like, or there seem to be roadblocks that prevent me from doing all that I need to do, I think of Perserverance and remember to have patience as well.  This and a third "P" word - Planning, will hopefully get me through the mountain of tasks that need to be completed before Jack Frost paints us all his monochromatic color scheme for a few months.

Challenge number three: good posture.  As many of you are aware, we have been without a septic system since June here in Churchs Ferry.  As a result, we have been using the restrooms in the classroom or the outhouses which both are serviced by their own holding tanks.  That means late night trips in the dark to use the lou.  Early - like 6 AM early - about a week and a half ago my warm shoes met the frosty steps and that was quickly followed by my bum meeting the edge of the steps.  While I'm pretty sure I broke my pelivs, I am reluctant to go to the doctor.  As I keep telling my well meaning family members, "broken bones are NOT like birthdays - you do not need to commemorate the occassion with a picture".  In other words, a doctor would not put my bum in a cast, and since I am allergic to most pain killers the most he would give me would be exactly what I am taking for it now - over the counter medicine.  So, here I sit, with really good posture, so as not to lean the back of my pelvis against the chair.  Yes, it's swollen - like I need my bum to be any bigger than it is - and yes, it is colorful, kind of like a tie dyed patch on a nude colored pair of pants.  Who needs tattoos1 - oops there we go again "?"

But none of these challenges is insurmountable, none a thing so big that a smile from my loving husband (you remember him, tall dark and handsome right?) or my son, or a goofy look from the little black dog can't erase, none so overwhelming that the cry in the sky from the hawk we rescued from the bird netting as he swoops on a field mouse or the sight of the sunrise on these fresh fall mornings won't vanquish.  Oh, yeah, and with a little Planning, Patience, and Perserverance - I'll face them all.