It’s them Adams folks again

Published 7:26 am Thursday, September 17, 2009

By the time the Mower County Veterans Services van returned from a trip to the VA Medical Clinic in Minneapolis, I knew everything there was to know about Adams.

George Struthers told me.

He was one of the veterans who made the trip.  George, it seemed, knew something about everybody in Adams and during the trip he shared that information with me.

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It was all good and that disappointed me. My reservoir of material about them Adams folks was running on empty, and I needed more.

I subscribed to the Monitor Review newspaper as a means of keeping track of them Adams folks.

Over the last couple of weeks, the newspaper has been no help.

On the front page of a recent edition, there was a picture of two suspicious-looking men apparently holding two women hostage and demanding a ransom written on a large sign.

Upon closer examination, it was a photo of Marvin and Bobby Smith and their wives, Lita and Diane, holding up a sign declaring Blue Top Farms the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2009 outstanding conservationists award-winners.

More good news there.

The Monitor Review is now owned by two sisters.  They write a weekly column titled “As we see it … Sue and Maureen.”  Because they buy ink by the barrel, they can print the news and raise hell as the First Amendment intended a free press to do.

There should be some juicy items there, I thought.

Well, again my expectations went unfulfilled.

One column was devoted to dealing with maturing children who leave home.  Another one examined a church birthday.

It was of course Little Cedar Lutheran Church’s 150th anniversary held last weekend.

I arrived last Saturday afternoon at Little Cedar cemetery located west of Adams certain that among the dearly departed buried in the cemetery there was a scoundrel or two.  Had to be.  No cemetery anywhere is without its nere-do-wells.

Joyce Halver greeted me and gave me a cemetery walk guide.  The event held on a perfect late-summer day attracted a large crowd and the media. Several people mistook me as a reporter.  That happened a lot over the last 24 years.

Jim and Shirley Schroeder led me to the grave of Lars Ellingson where Robert Hanson narrated the man’s life story.

Nothing embarrassing in the Ellingson family.

The Schroeders next sent me to hear Larry Nerison narrate the life of church pioneer Ole A. Bergene.

He did a good job, but again the story was without anything embarrassing.

My next stop was to hear Wayne Robertson and Earl Orvik tell the story of Andrew Torgerson.  They portrayed Oscar and Nordene, sons of a renowned Adams banker.

They were funny, but non-controversial.

If I was to find anything outrageous about the Adams folks, the cemetery walk was not the place.

Kay Lewison narrated the story of Little Cedar’s Ida Anderson, the Adams and Marshall churches organist and pianist for an amazing 48 years.

Again, my search for anything tantalizing failed.

On the way home I mused about my apparent obsession with them Adams folks.

The Little Cedar Lutheran Church sesquicentennial celebration was a reminder that quite ordinary people can carve an extraordinary legacy for their ancestors’ roots and the quality of community life they so enjoy today.

“Maybe, I should have gone to the St. John’s church supper at Johnsburg instead?” I wondered.

It’s been seven months since Saint Thomas died last February and the loveable man provided so much good humor and good feelings that made life better.

The Smith brothers, Weasel and Little Cedar’s historic celebration, don’t entirely make up for the absence of one special man. I need help.  Send your jokes, stories, tales — they don’t have to be true — about them Adams folks to me today.

Happy anniversary Little Cedar!