Time for more secession talk

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I have a nest in the basement where I spent much of my time over the years, a small room in the corner where I composed my first “opinion” for the Herald. Then I was a news clerk. My first story was about having Mower County secede from the state and here it is again, 11 years later.

Is it time for Mower County to secede and become its own state?

There could be a contest to rename this new state. Open it up to all residents of Mower County. Engrave the new name on license plates that could read at the bottom, “The land free of lakes.”

The new state could name the robin, once again, as the state bird — as it was before some legislature changed it to the loon. When’s the last time anyone sighted a loon on any water around here?

Robins on the other hand are one of the first birds to return in spring, our first sign of hope. Hope that winter has finally released its grip on weary depressed residents who now long for warmer days as well as early morning songs of the birds to wake them—not the sound of a city snowplow ringing its disturbing warning bell as it backs up to make another run on the packed snow, pushing it further back on boulevards and filling driveways.

At least robins nest here. We get to see the parent birds fetch worms to feed their young, taking turns like some “advanced” species have not yet mastered.

We know loons go up north in the spring and obviously they must fly over Southern Minnesota to get there, but unlikely over Mower County. What if the needed make an emergency landing? Tactically they’d be in harm’s way in their attempt to set down and take off from East Side Lake. The lagoon is out. In fact it might be a good idea for the city to look at extending the lagoon as it plans its “central park.”

Have you ever watched geese approach the lagoon — the maneuvers they make to keep from crashing into the side of the hill at the west end of the lagoon?

With the robin in place as the new state bird, we could also look at changing the state fish, nothing against the walleye. Again when’s the last time anyone’s seen a walleye around here, aside from that old one cramped in the little aquarium at the Mower County Fair who looks about as happy as the lead Canadian honker approaching the lagoon.

And the bullhead. While revered in Iowa, that doesn’t mean this new state that borders Iowa could not share in the joy of bullheads as the state fish.

The pink and white lady’s slipper, Minnesota’s state flower, is not a common sight in Mower County either, unlike ragweed. But if we were successful in seceding, would it be wise to have a new state flower with “weed” in the name.

Another flower often mistaken for a weed is edible and the bright yellow flowers can turn into nice summer wine. And don’t we all love to blow the white fluffy seeds into the wind, true poetry in motion—so let the dandelion be our state flower.

Then we could tear down the courthouse and rebuild the old courthouse that would serve as the “new” state house without building a new expensive dome. We had the old dome wisely salvaged at the fairgrounds for just such an occasion.

Hand in hand they could carry the dome down to the new “old courthouse” and there, with the same crane that launched the Spamtown Belle in East Side Lake and then lifted it out the next day after it sank, could raise the old dome back up from whence it came. The courthouse people could fit somewhere in the new arena.

A fairground sign will need to be posted for those who come from across the Midwest to see the old courthouse dome. We would instruct them to continue on 12th Ave. SW north, turn right at Bob’s Gun and Ammo Shop, go east to the second stop light, turn left, go two blocks north and at the next block look to your right, above George Washington’s head and lo and behold….