Season for ‘jellow yackets?’

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club meeting

“I can’t remember why I came into this room.”

“Go back to where you were and you’ll remember.”

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“I can’t remember where I was.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: It’s better to tell your money where to go than to ask where it went.

This candy tastes waxy

Tom Benson of Hartland said that when his father, Harold Benson, who barbered in Geneva and Clarks Grove, moved to senior housing, in Albert Lea, he was known as the “Candyman.” At dinner’s conclusion, Harold passed out small candies to fellow diners. Harold didn’t like idle chatter while he was eating, so he removed his hearing aids and placed them on the table. A lady grabbed the candies Harold had given her and tossed them into her purse before visiting Texas for a few weeks. One day in the Lone Star State, she dumped the candies out of her purse and discovered that two of the candies were Harold’s hearing aids.

A fair wage

Richard Markos of La Crescent told me that when he was a boy working in his father’s clothing store, he was paid 21.50 a week. Twenty-one meals and fifty cents.

We’re windy

My mother told me that if I became lost, I should stay in one place. I was born in Hartland and I’m still in Hartland. I don’t think that I’m lost but I should be OK if I am. There is a wind farm in my neighborhood. As windy as I am, I’m probably responsible for its location. The wind turbines have been planted and it looks like a good crop. Windpower is nothing new. When I was growing up, most farms had a windmill, albeit much smaller than today’s turbines, that pumped water. Wind and solar power were commonly used. Laundry hung on clotheslines allowed wind and solar power to work. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Days of yesteryear

We played baseball, the Hartland nine battling teams from other towns for the top of the hardball hierarchy. We had coaches, but they didn’t know a pitcher’s win-loss record, ERA, or WHIP. The players didn’t either. What we knew was that we wanted a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

It sounds good to me

Sharon Blair of Albert Lea told me that her Norwegian grandfather had difficulty pronouncing the sounds of “y” and “j.” This caused him to call a wasp, the yellow jacket, the “jello yacket.”

From the mailbox

Rod Searle of Waseca sent a photo of a sign erected by the Branxton Lions Club that read, “Drive carefully. We have two cemeteries. No hospitals.”

Karen Paquin of Charles City sent this, “There are four things you cannot recover in life: The stone after it is thrown, the word after it is said, the occasion after it is missed, and the time after it is gone.”


The auto technician told me that my car’s catalytic converter was no longer converting catalytics. My car went into the shop and I left with a loaner in need of fuel. It was pouring rain as I pulled into the gas station. I parked under the canopy and began to pump gas. I was dry. That changed. The canopy gave way to the weight of the torrential downpour. The dam had failed. The water poured down in buckets — on top of me. I was thoroughly soaked. My drive to a speaking engagement was accompanied by the sound of a heater fan acting as a clothes dryer.