Woodworking: Letter writer: I swear it wasn’t meOne of my favorite upper Midwestern chroniclers is Garrison Keillor. He hits the nail on the head with deadly accuracy, and he’s been doing it since we arrived in Minnesota 40 years ago.
By: Dave Wood, columnist, River Falls Journal
One of my favorite upper Midwestern chroniclers is Garrison Keillor. He hits the nail on the head with deadly accuracy, and he’s been doing it since we arrived in Minnesota 40 years ago.
Some of my favorite pieces by Keillor arrived back then in the form of vignettes he contributed to the editorial page of the old Minneapolis Tribune.
His stories from then stick to my memory like old wads of chewing gum under church pews.
One I’ll never forget is his diatribe against the swimming instructor at the downtown YMCA where little Garry was sent each week for instruction.
Turns out our scribe was afraid of the water and even more of the instructor who was a sadistic bully.
Another depicted Keillor as one of the last cigarette smokers in America. He and his cohorts are holed up in a Rocky Mountain cave as government helicopters close in on them.
But I guess my favorite involved his memories of reading the Tribune editorial page as a child and remembering the letters to the editor. One constant in that section, he recalled, went something like this:
I want to make it perfectly clear that the scurrilous and ill-informed letter you published last Sunday, and signed by someone named P. Nelson of Minneapolis, is not me.
Think something like that couldn’t happen in real life?
Recently a friend brought me his latest copy of The Country Today, the excellent rural weekly published by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
We both like the paper because it’s fun to read all the auction news and what’s going on today on Wisconsin’s farm.
After reading about the couple who have a gourd farm in southern Wisconsin, I turned to the Letters to the Editor page.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
A long letter from a reader applauding Governor Scott Walker’s speaking before “an exuberant” crowd of dairy farmers who think Walker is the best thing since sliced bread.
Now I’m all for anyone who can help dairy farmers out of the mire before all cows migrate to California.
But I was less pleased with what followed in which the writer implied that most of our problems are caused by unions, which should be derailed. And I was even less pleased when I read the last lines:
Foregoing union derailment, Walker’s reforms will make Wisconsin the top dairy state again.
So it looks to me that I’ll have to compose a letter and send it on to Eau Claire:
To the editor, The Country Today:
Although it is true I once lived in Eau Claire on Graham Avenue when I was five years old, I want to make it perfectly clear that the scurrilous and ill-informed letter you published last week about the Wisconsin dairy industry and unions was not me.
Dave would like to hear from you. Phone him at 715-426-9554.