Skip to main content

New year brings promises of what?

Welcome to 2020. It seems like yesterday that my sons were 9 and 6, and my wife and I opted to forego our traditional night out to stay home and usher in 2000 with them. What a night it was.
As midnight neared, they stood on our couch, arms extended high in the air, holding balls from their ball pit. We counted down the seconds, and at the moment, they dropped the balls.
Read the rest of this column in the Jan. 2 Advance.

A January column revisited, three decades later

I'm going to cheat a bit this week. You will be reading this on Jan. 2, 2020. I'm writing it on Dec. 21, 2019. By the time it is published, I will have flown to Los Angeles and back for Christmas with our California offspring, hopefully with sufficient identification to get me on the plane.

Emotionally draining front pages

Recently, I was visiting with a friend, Don McGuire, who enjoys history as much as I do. I told him that this past year it has, at times, been emotionally draining to read the front pages of previous Algona newspapers.

A simple reminder: go be kind

I hope that everyone reading this had a Merry Christmas. As we look ahead to a new year, I realize it's been a long time since we have reminded everyone to Go Be Kind as we go about our daily lives.
A favorite quote of mine is from Robin Williams: "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about – be kind always."
Read the complete column in the Jan. 2 Kossuth County Advance.

A memorable Christmas — gifts to mom and the boys

There was snow on the ground, and it was a very cold, but bright, sunny day in mid-December 1941. Mom told us kids that we were going somewhere special.
Dad and Mom loaded Don (age 3), Julian (age 5) and me (age 6) into our Model A Ford and drove about 45 miles to Fort Dodge. We seldom traveled more than a few miles from home, so that seemed like a long trip.
Read the rest of Jim's Christmas memory in the Dec. 26 Advance.

New event, new digs for SPAC

Stinson Prairie Arts Council (SPAC) is looking forward to an exciting 2020, filled with fine art exhibits, events and opening the doors to the Carnegie Centre for the Arts.
In 2019, we hosted an artist show and photography show for adults and a high school show for students. This year, SPAC members plan to add a show for the younger artist.
Read more in the Dec. 26 Kossuth County Advance.

of beloved childhood dolls and a teddy bear

I loaned my children to the Historical Society a couple of weeks ago. But don't worry, I brought them home last week.
The children, Margaret Ann, Jeannie, Me and Mimi, and Sister, survived nicely without me for the week they were on display at the museum. They were propped up prettily in my dad's wicker pram, which moved from our attic to the museum years ago.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the Dec. 19 Kossuth County Advance.

Noe's calling

Noe Villareal couldn't contain his emotions. He was overjoyed at the turnout for the annual Tacos for Tots, a fundraiser for the C.A.R.E. Team in Algona. It was held the same night as the Algona Area Chamber of Commerce live greeting card windows and lighted parade Monday evening, Dec. 2.
Read the rest of On the Side in the Dec. 12 Advance.

Shopping local for Health Care makes a difference

Are the presents all bought? Stocked up on baking supplies for the Christmas cookies?
We are in the season of shopping, as we prepare for the holidays. We all know that shopping locally, whenever possible, helps support our neighborhood retailers and businesses. Did you know that shopping locally for your health care makes a difference too?
Read more of this column in the Dec. 12 Kossuth County Advance.

Family disrespected at funeral procession

On Veterans Day of this year, I had the honor of being a casket bearer for Mr. Ray Uthof of Fenton. Ray was a 90-year-old World War II veteran with three bronze campaign stars. He was also a lifetime resident of Fenton and a good friend.
Read more in the Dec. 12 Kossuth County Advance.

Wind turbines in migratory bird path

On the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 2, I came upon a dead juvenile trumpeter swan lying on a gravel road one mile northeast of Ledyard that parallels the new high-voltage power lines that connect to the electrical substation three miles east of Ledyard. It appeared to have been killed by flying into the electric lines during the night.
Read more in the Dec. 12 Kossuth County Advance.

Wrong to chide dems for caucus efforts

One political party in the United States actually believes in Democracy with a capital "D." The other claims to support it, then undermines it at every turn through gerrymandering, purging of voter rolls, disinformation and outright corruption; i.e., illegally extorting foreign governments to aid one's political campaign.
To chide them for their efforts seems unduly cynical (On the Side, Dec. 5).
Read more in the Dec. 12 Kossuth County Advance.

Caucus, virtually

Call me skeptical about the Iowa Democratic Party's plans to conduct virtual caucuses the first Monday in February.
The idea is to be more inclusive and who is going to argue against that? Shift workers, snowbirds, officials of junior varsity basketball games and people who are otherwise busy the first weekend of the month, generally miss a chance to caucus. Finding ways to allow them to participate is laudable.
Read the full column in the Dec. 5 Kossuth County Advance.

Thanksgiving dinner and other assorted trivia

When you read this, Thanksgiving will be over. However, I'm writing this a week before the feast since I'll be kinda busy the week of. Why, you say? So glad you asked. I'm doing Thanksgiving for a cast of thousands. Okay, 10, but for me, that's a cast of thousands.

Support a star educator at WB-M

The West Bend-Mallard Achievement Foundation will once again head up a project called Support a Star Educator to provide teachers with supplies and tools for their classes. It will save money that the school would otherwise need to draw from the general fund.

of ivy scarlett and dog obedience class 101

Ivy Scarlett is driving me crazy.
She's decided to stay out all night, sleeping in her doghouse, which doubles as my garage, instead of in the house, keeping me company. She has a wing chair out there to sleep on, but she prefers the puffy, down-filled bed beside the chair.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the Nov. 21 Kossuth County Advance.

Subscribe to Opinions