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Community Voices

The ‘walls’ of history

With about a week to go before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, President Donald Trump boarded Air Force One to fly to McAllen, Texas and Alamo, Texas (not to be confused with The Alamo of San Antonio) to admire Trump’s Big, Beautiful Wall. ...

The usefulness of philosophy

Although I agree with Matt Coleman’s call to elect people who will govern with grace and dignity, there was also much to disagree with in his recent op-ed (Jan. 16), “What happened to grace and dignity?” I also found it amusing that he admits he has “proudly voted Republican since ...

Who Are You?

You wouldn’t believe the looks I receive when I ask the question. And, if one could put words to the looks, the words would be: nobody has ever asked me that question, to an exclamation of puzzlement and, for some, a look of befuddlement. The question? Who are you? Tell me your ...

Our Outdoors: Today is Tomorrow

Shortly after purchasing my first boat, a used 1986 Grumman Sportsman found on the classified ad page of a regional fishing website that has long since gone under, I added a Humminbird 300 TX fishfinder to the console and snaked the black wire back to the transom of the craft. With its ...

What happened to dignity and grace?

Following is the beginning of a poem written by William Butler Yeats in 1919 just after WW I and the Spanish flu pandemic: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed ...

Former pressroom brings back memories

There’s a part of the Independent that the public rarely sees, an area that was once at the heart of everyone’s publishing efforts. The back of the building houses the press area and the former mailroom. I remember it well from the days I spent at the Independent back in the 1990s and ...

On the Porch

Many of you reading this week’s On the Porch will remember fallout shelters and the role of the Office of Civil Defense during the Cold War. The Department of Defense, Office of Civil Defense printed a lot of information regarding fallout protection from a nuclear weapon at the height of the ...

Our 1918 Pandemic – B

Last week we began learning about the impact of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in our region. We explored the origins of that outbreak, guided by John M. Barry’s history of that pandemic entitled “The Great Influenza.” Medical evidence suggests the outbreak originated in southwest Kansas; ...

Goodbye, Mom

All goodbyes are difficult, but nothing compares to bidding a final farewell. This past week my siblings and I said our last goodbyes to our mother, Anna Jean Nelson. She passed away at age 90 with my brother Les and my sister Jane at her side. Mom had been in an assisted living facility ...

Where do we find it?

Yes, I know we’re past the New Year’s celebrations and, yes, I know it’s time to look ahead but... One of my all time favorite songs is the one we usually hear only on New Year’s Eve and that’s “Auld Lang Syne.” I would suggest we listen to it regularly throughout the year ...

Telling the truth is not revisionist history

After reading the Jan. 2-3 editorial by John Coulter, I felt compelled to comment. My major disagreement with his article is the attempt to discredit and dismiss local history of the KKK as false, unimportant, destructive and hateful. He attempts to do this in three ways. First, he dismisses ...

Dealing with surprise medical bills

Since early 2020, millions of Americans have been infected by the coronavirus, often resulting in the need for significant medical care. Stories have emerged of people who were hit with surprise medical bills for the treatment they received. It’s a reminder that we all need to be ready for ...

On the Porch

The Lyon County Museum is allowed to reopen on Monday. The museum had to close on Nov. 21 due to MN Executive Order 20-99 and remain close under MN Executive Order 20-103. The museum hours for the month of January are: Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday noon-7 p.m. The holiday ...

Our 1918 pandemic – A

A reader contacted me in early November and suggested writing about the impact of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in our region. I have been reading an excellent history of that global pandemic by John M. Barry entitled “The Great Influenza” and recommend it to anyone interested in digging ...

Scoping out the sky

Winter has well and truly arrived, much to the disappointment of those (such as me) who had hoped that global warming would spare us from this season of freezing blizzards and stinging snowstorms. Winter is actually a gift. Without winter, we wouldn’t fully appreciate spring and summer. A ...

Cutting back on the decorations

Knowing that I would not be having many folks visiting me at home this year during the Christmas season due to quarantining and isolation in general, I cut back significantly on the decorations indoors. I still managed my outdoor wreaths and lights both in the front of the condo and in the ...

COVID economic factors that may prove positive

Most of us, if not all, are happy to see the end of 2020. The challenges of this past year have been compared to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in terms of its effect on public health globally, but also compared to World War II in terms of how we live and the economy that surrounds us. During the ...

Past not perfect, but our history full of welcoming people

After reading the Dec. 23 Marshall Independent article entitled, “Historian surprised to find a history of racism in her hometown”, I felt compelled to comment. As a retired career high school history teacher of 35 years at Tracy Area High School, the article is accurate about the KKK ...

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 ...

An Army nurse from Ivanhoe – C

We’ve been learning about Ivanhoe’s Norma Jean (Pederson) Johnson, a 1940 graduate of Ivanhoe High School who graduated from the St. Barnabus School of Nursing in Minneapolis in 1944 and, like many fellow nursing graduates, volunteered for military service, in her case with the Army Nurse ...