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Local Columns

Living with Babe’s memory

The 1993 film, “The Sandlot” is a humorous coming-of-age story about a group of boys learning life lessons playing pickup baseball games on a sandlot in Los Angeles. Through a series of misjudgments, a Babe Ruth autographed ball ends up in the yard of a fierce dog. That night, Babe appears ...

Books: Still a window to world in our modern age

Last weekend I found the time to stop at the Marshall Lyon County Library’s book sale, something that always brings back memories. When I was a kid and a teenager, one box was never enough to hold all the bargain books I’d purchase. I didn’t have just one favorite table. I liked almost ...

On the Porch

The social news or gossip columns in the old newspapers are always fascinating to read. A special section in the newspaper was devoted to the social media of the day. The whereabouts of local people and events were often featured in these columns. Here are a few from The News Messenger of Lyon ...

The Vietnam War — Jim Keul — of MEDCAPS, colonels and carwashes

We’ve been learning about Jim Keul and his Vietnam service after graduating from Tracy High School and St. John’s University with an Army ROTC commission. Jim trained as a Medical Service Corps officer and served at the Fort Monmouth, New Jersey hospital before receiving reassignment ...

The lantern man

Tim Swartz looks like an ordinary Midwestern guy. But appearances can be deceiving because Tim is a magician when it comes to gas lanterns. Tim grew up on an acreage at New Carlisle, Indiana. His life changed in sixth grade when he befriended a pair of schoolmates who lived on a neighboring ...

Being grateful

Maybe it was because of my winter coat, or maybe it was because of...? On a rather cold day, I decided to get out and take a walk. I had “chickened out” the past few days because of the outside temperatures, but I really needed some fresh air. We Minnesotans know that during cold spells ...