Brute’s Bleat January 3, 2018

By Harold Brutlag


The Messenger lost a familiar face last week when Linda Ordorff decided to retire at that end of the year. She was my last hire while I was publishing the newspaper and one of the best. She was recommended to me by Julie Gutknecht, another valued employee at the time. Hiring people has never been my cup of tea, but I was fortunate to get the quality of people, like Linda, who fit nicely into the weekly routine. A friend of mine urged me to hire the best applicant I could afford when hiring and Linda, without a doubt, fit into that category. She has been a pleasure to work with and has helped me clean up this column each week for the past 30 years correcting misspelled words and grammar. I wish her well in her retirement and many more trips to the Dakotas with her husband Richard to hunt prairie dogs!
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Apparently bikers fit into a determined group regardless of the temperature. I came to that conclusion when a fellow on his bicycle were headed east on Hwy. 55 about 3 p.m. on Saturday when it was still about -5 degrees. He must have had a great pair of gloves to keep his fingers from freezing. I stopped at H & H Sport Shop Thursday afternoon and a angler was picking up some minnows for fishing crappies on Rock Lake where he said they were biting. There was a vehicle driving across Ramsey Lake Saturday heading north from the south access and numerous vehicles on Buffalo Lake as well as lots of fish houses and shelters in different spots on that lake. I’m getting itchy to get out and if the weather predictions for Jan. 2 are accurate I’ll give it a try.  The ice was measured at 11 inches on Maple Lake after the cold snap last week. The downside of Christmas at our house was that my letter to Santa for an ATV must have got lost or I’m sure he would have dropped one off! Last Thursday I got a call from Daryl Hennen that we should make an effort to hunt the final weekend or fish on Saturday, Dec. 30th as the lumber yard was closed that day. On Friday night I called him back and suggested a couple of games of cribbage at an indoor location would be more appropriate.     .     .    The pheasant grapevine tells us Bob Latour finished out the season with a 3-bird late December limit. While attending Don Kloss’ funeral I visited with the family and found out both Jim (Don and Marion’s youngest) and Jennifer of Boise, ID get back to Minnesota for pheasant hunting with Doug and Dave and their families. Jim said his wife got a double (harvesting two birds when the birds flushed simultaneously) a year ago on David’s section of land near Moorhead. They’re also Messenger subscribers and enjoy reading the newspaper and my column. After we moved into the Messenger building on Division St. West Don and Marion were regular hikers as they headed west on the sidewalk.
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I didn’t stay up to watch the crystal ball fall at midnight in Times Square in New York, but from watching how warmly the spectators were dressed prior to midnight it must have been darn cold. That’s one thing that’s not on my bucket list!   .    .    .    The Vikings get a day off next Sunday after defeating the Chicago Bears 23-10 and will have home field advantage on Jan. 14. There have been lots of peaks and valleys since they took the field in 1961 in Bloomington. The excitement of the Super Bowl in Minneapolis in February will help January go by faster than normal.  Already into 2018 we wish continued prosperity for local businesses and farmers in the new year. Throw in an answer for the control of aquatic invasive species threatening our lakes and rivers. Find an alterative to giving your boat a shampoo before launching. Let Mother Nature provide the correct climate for a good pheasant and ruffed grouse hatch in the spring. Give local fly-fishing people a great panfish spawning season; it’s been a while. Keep our politicians and others on the straight and narrow; that will be a toughie. That’s enough on my wish list for this issue.
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There hasn’t been enough slush on the streets for good chunk kicking which suits me fine. The extreme cold might cause a broken foot.  I was so impressed with the relighting of  the Grain Belt beer sign in Minneapolis that I cracked open a Grain Belt Nordeast can on New Year’s Day.
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The snowman below (329 Division St. E.)  was built before Christmas holidays when the residents found enough sticky snow. I live on North Linden Ave. and see the snowman each day when I go uptown. I should stop at The Costume Shoppe and get him a top hat!

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