I'm looking for some of
that dark tint window stuff to put on the windows of the "new" car I
bought for Management last week.
It all started so
innocently. Most of these things do. Trapper invited me along over to Dick
Wahlstrom's the other morning since I hadn't been over there yet. The two had
some serious planning to do, the spring trout season is fast approaching so Big
Plans must be firmed up, dates set, boats prepared, you know the drill. We got
over there and Dick and son Randy were having morning coffee, Dick put on
another pot so Trapper and I could indulge also. After the coffee conference,
Dick took Trapper 'n me on a tour of his homestead. He's got some really
interesting stuff; old tractors, cars and such tucked in different buildings on
the place. Some of the farm buildings are really old, his father had a sawmill
and the garage and house are constructed of square timbers. Dick pointed out a
small log house the family lived in while building the newer house.
We were in one building and
as we walked past a silver colored car, Dick asked, "Do you want to buy a
You know me, always looking
for a deal on my newspaperman's budget, I said, "Sure!" I'm thinking,
"it isn't a Ford, but with Management's luck with vehicles, sometimes it
doesn't pay to be fussy."
"How much?" I
Dick said, "I'm not
sure Eileen will let me sell it, but I want $300 for it. I've spent $800 trying
to find the overnight electrical drain on the battery and the folks at the shop
can't find it. I just want to get rid of it."
It sounded like a good deal
to me. It looked in pretty good shape and had the venerable 3.8 V-6. We kinda
left it at that, I had to get permission from Management and he had to get the
OK from his management type person.
Management said yes when I
told her about the car. It would get much better mileage than the Rolling
Playhouse and had a lot less rust so it was an easy sell. Trapper took me back
over to Dick's the next morning to see how he was faring with his management
He had an interesting story
to relate. He'd had, as Trapper describes it, one of those reminders that he
was still married. It seems that he got in spring cleanup mode after we left
the day before and cleaned out the garage and little log house, now used for
storage. He'd hauled a couple of bucket loads to his refuse pile down the road
with the old Oliver 88 loader tractor. A couple of the items he'd hauled out
were old wooden chairs, one a broken rocking chair. They'd been in the storage
house for about 20 years. When Dick's parents passed away, wife Eileen had
taken the chairs and stored them in the shed for future restoration? As Dick
says, "they were in pretty tough shape. The rocker was folded over on the
one. I was hoping she'd forgotten about them."
Eileen works at the Yellow
Rose so when she got home from work, Dick proudly showed her the cleanup he'd
"I showed her the
garage and then we went over to the log house. We walked in and she didn't look
at anything else, she just looked in the corner where the chairs had been and
said, 'Where are my chairs?' I'm lucky I took the time to set them aside before
I dumped the bucket load on the junk pile! Now I'm going to have to go down and
bring them back."
He also must have done some
fast talking to amend for his little escapade, he'd gotten her to agree to sell
the Buick. We trekked out to the shed to see if it would run. He put the
battery cable back on and it started right up. We backed it out and I looked it
over in the sunlight. It was a Park Avenue, had a couple of dings and rust on
the rocker panels but the interior and the rest of it looked pretty good.
Underhood it was clean and there was little engine noise.
We went in the house, I
wrote out the check and he signed the title. We got it home and I went to work
on finding the electrical drain. After some time, I think I got it figured out,
at least the battery holds up fine over a 24 hour period so that's good enough.
Anyway, my GM friends
assure me that a 3.8 V-6 is just barely broken in at 206,345 miles so it should
last a long time, or at least until the next deer decides to run out in front
of Management. The Big Kids are already taking bets. Hopefully the bovine TB
deer kill efforts are successful in cutting the odds there. At least it should
give me time to find some parts and cherry out the Crown Victoria.
As you can see, if you've
got some of that dark tint window stuff, I need it. It isn't right for a Ford
guy to be seen driving around in a Buick.
Sunday was a pretty good
day. It started out sunshiny so it was not a surprise to see a big Tractor
blitzing a field just south of Roseau on the way to church in the afore
mentioned Buick. After church, it was a trip to the Roseau Diner where I
partook of the famous buffet while Management had a burger and a miniature
mountain of hash browns. The little girls made short order of several Mickey
We left there for an event
at the Warroad Lost River Sportsman Club range northwest of Warroad. On the
way, it started snowing. Snow in May, another sign Al Gore simply doesn't know
what he's talking about. Anyway, we got there to find a whole lot of activities
going on even with a little snowstorm. The Old Rocket's dad, Doug Lindner,
escorted the family around a neat little shooting course bobcatted out of the
forest. He lent me a .22 and some ammo and I tried with marginal success to hit
silhouettes of animals and birds at different levels and distances. It was fun
After that, we took the
little girls over to the BB and air rifle range where they spent the next hour
or so with Kim Krueger the patient, shooting at balloons and targets. I was
able to borrow a pistol and ammo from Management's boss, Rick Corneliusen, and
spent an equivalent amount of time blasting away at targets and playing cards
assisted by Paul King.
The trap range was busy for
part of the time and across the way I could hear shooters banging away at the
rifle range. It was a good family event. We stayed until Management got wet and
cold, then headed towards home.
On the way back home, we
stopped at Hasso Rothenbacher's Red Line Dyno where he had a customer's neat little
Dodge Aspen on his Dyno. We got there at just the right time to watch him do a
dyno run. The Aspen is powered by a punched out 360 displacing 423 cubic inches;
it was putting well over 450 horses to the rollers. Pretty impressive. Expect
to see an article on this enterprise in the near future.
As usual, it was an
interesting week here at Roseen's Corner. Trapper had to do his whole herd TB
test so they've been busy with that. I got involved a little, pushing cows into
the pens and on one day, working with the Lady Trapper LaRae to cajole a bunch
of cows that definitely wanted no part of being penned up again back into the
corral. I'm still not certain how we did it, but it got done. I'm sure everyone
that's worked with cattle has had a moment, or probably several, like that.
The upshot of the testing
is that the herd is under quarantine until some suspect cows are tested.
Unfortunately, they have to be killed for the post-mortem testing as it is
called. Being a beef farmer in this area has become very complicated due to the
bovine TB situation.
It's been a little
difficult doing things because every time I get close to Trapper he grabs my
arm and twists it up behind my back. He wants me to go with him over near Nestor Falls
for some trout fishing on the east end of the big lake. I suppose I'll have to
go with him, food procurement, you know. I've put in for Saturday off at the
Blue Star so expect to see the Canadian side of the lake for a couple of days.
Hopefully some trout, too. Management is researching trout recipes so I'd
better bring some back.
I don't remember having snow on fishing opener
like last Saturday in my 50+ years although I've seen some cold ones. Trapper
says we'll have to dress for the trip like we did for the snowmobile trip to
the Angle. I believe him. The coldest I ever was in my life was in 1969 when
some friends convinced Dad we should go to Kabetogama for fishing opener. At
5:00 AM on a clear, cold morning in May wearing my winter coat, I thought I was
going to freeze to death. Fortunately, one of our friends brought a Honda Trail
55 along. Us kids had more fun driving that around the campground than we did fishing
on the lake since fishing was cold and slow.
Last Saturday night,
Management and I had a treat along with many of the other area people. Trapper
and the Missus were going to the last performance of the Northern Lights series
and Trapper mentioned to me that he thought I'd like it. I'd visited David and
Eleanor Johnson earlier in the day and they talked about going, too. By the
way, Eleanor is recuperating well from knee replacement surgery, still using
the cane but she looks ready to chase David around the garden again.
Anyway, after we took the
little girls on a bike ride, stopping at the creek where they tried to fill the
waterway with rocks, Management decided we could go to the concert. We fed them
and got into the Buick where Management found out Valeri had run the passenger's
seat full ahead and the back button didn't work. She rode into Roseau with her forehead nearly resting on
the windshield. Guess I'll have to see if Dick'll warranty that...but we did
make it to town OK.
The group was "Riders
in the Sky." It was a great concert. They have their own genre. Lots of
comedy and singing, yodeling and instrumental. It was billed as a quartet
although seldom were all 4 singing at one time. There was a fiddler, an
accordion player (Belly Steinway), a Rhythm guitar, and a Bass fiddle. The
rhythm guitar was really rhythm, seldom did one hear any sound except rhythm
from it. The comedy was great, at one point, Management laughed so hard she
The group has been together
for 30 years and did many of the old, familiar cowboy songs. They integrated Roseau into the act at
many points and were rewarded with a standing ovation at the end.
Mitchell Johnson and the
whole board of the Northern Lights Concert Association are to be commended for
giving the community such an opportunity to experience good entertainment.
Mitchell gave special mention to Jim Provance for his work in setting up the
performances each time they have a group come in. Jim handled lights and sound
for this performance as well. Good work
on the part of all.
Fixed the Buick's seat
adjustment button the next morning by manually bumping the innards of the
switch so the seat is permanently in the full back position and removed the guts
so Valeri can't run it ahead. No warranty needed.
Another week in the great
north. See you next week!
I'm sure you're all breathlessly waiting to hear about the
fishing trip to the east end of the Big
Lake. It did happen as
Trapper promised. It was an eye opener for me in many ways.
I didn't realize how close knit this whole area is. It is a
big area. For years, there's been a tradition that Trapper and buddy Dick
Wahlstrom will go together to Whitefish
Bay for the trout opener.
This year was an exception, for some reason Dick will be going up a little
later. Everyone in the Big Lake Community proper noticed this glaring
discrepancy. As we came through the door of the Ranch House restaurant in
Baudette, the first person Trapper greeted asked, "Where's Dick?" It
was a common theme of any conversation, repeated often throughout the trip. The
waitress, the resort owner, always the same, "Where's Dick?" The only
ones who didn't ask, "Where's Dick?" were the Customs officers, and
they looked like they were only a couple of years out of high school so I guess
they can be excused.
Del and Neil
Santos were just a couple of minutes behind us at the Ranch House, headed for
the same destination. We saw them often throughout the trip, they are Whitefish Bay regulars. Fishing was good. The
weather didn't always cooperate, on Saturday we had to wait out a couple of
fast moving rain showers, running for protection in protected coves or
sheltered docks. Like a good guide, Trapper let me catch the most fish. The
biggest we caught was a 30 inch, 12 pound trout. I did find out you can't
believe Trapper when he estimates fish weight, he told me my first fish was
just a little 4 pounder, it scaled 7 pounds back at the landing.
I can't reveal the setup we used, "Top secret!"
Trapper tells me. We did lots of "catch and release" on Sunday since
we could only keep one trout per person per day, possession limit is 2.
We stayed at Nestor
Falls. Since it was the
Canadian Walleye opener, one would expect lots of activity. There wasn't much,
the thought is that high fuel prices on both sides of the border are keeping
fishermen closer to home. The biggest activity in town was watching the
Pelicans taking advantage of the walleye spawn to feed in a little pool amongst
the fast running water at the foot of the falls.
The trip helped me understand a little more of how inclusive
the Lake of the Woods community is. The
proprietor of the Motel was a young guy, he guides as well as manages the
motel, boat landing and campground. When he found out we were from Roseau, he said, "You're just locals from the other
side of the Lake!" The friendly feeling
was amplified by every person we met, they all took the time to talk a little
bit and get acquainted.
Back home Sunday night, my mother and sister came up for a
day-nighter. My sister is a Historical Society Director in the home area and
had a meeting in Warren.
She brought Mom up to see Roseen's Corner and Mom wasn't disappointed even
though Trapper and the Missus didn't have any long milk handy to feed her. Ah,
well, there's always next time. To make up for that disappointment, I barbecued
some of the trout for lunch on Monday and she really liked that.
Unfortunately, I found out that we have another entry in
SOTY, the "Slob of the Year" Contest. It seems that someone took a
chain, wrapped it around one of the spruce trees in the median of the parking
lot at the Point about 7 feet up and yanked on it with a pickup or an SUV.
Predictably, it broke off. Chief Cudaback would like anyone having information
about the misdeed to contact him.
Another week in the great north, see you next week!
They say if you hang around
the wrong bunch too long, it's going to wear off on you. That might be a
partial explanation for what happened this last week. We acquired a horse. I
guess I have to thank all my horse friends for that one.
It isn't just any horse. Management's
niece Amy is one of those horse people. She talked her parents into buying a
horse for her years ago and spent her teen years training, mucking after,
riding and showing a pretty Appaloosa named Amber. Along the line, through an
unusual set of circumstances, she gained another horse. Now in college, she
can't afford 2 horses so, over the course of several months, a deal was made
for the three little girls to assume the responsibility for Amber's care and
training. As you might figure, Management and myself figure prominently in the
The time was set for
picking up the horse. Since my customary towing vehicle ended its life in Management's
short flight across a ditch last November, I had to resurrect one of my older
SuperCab Fords. I'd gotten the ancient F-250 4x4 running to plow Trapper's yard
as mentioned in a previous Angle column, but it needed some work before doing
the 600 mile trip. The Y-pipe was hanging on one side and the muffler had
fallen off so my week's mornings were spent cutting out some plates to clamp
the pipe back to the manifold and welding up a new pipe between the catalytic
converter and the muffler. Fixed a leak in the rear differential and filled all
the needed fluid levels. I also used some builder's foam to fill some rust holes
above the rear wheels, but had no time to do an application of Bondo. Management
insured it and I purchased the license for it. It ran a little rough but I
figured it'd smooth out with a good workout. The only thing left was to find a
trailer to use.
A trip down to my see friend
Clayton the Percheron Man did the trick. He had no pull behind horse trailers
but a friend did so he called him up and I was in business. The trailer was in
Ross so it would be a good shakedown run from Roseen's Corner for the
I've always wondered why,
since I've seen that riding horses are pretty much a girl thing, the guys will
get involved. I think I have it pretty much figured out now. It goes like this:
she says she needs a horse, her guy translates that into, "I need to get a
new truck to pull the trailer she needs to get to haul the horse around." As
you can see, they then have a win-win situation.
While I didn't buy a new
truck, it was an excellent excuse to get the F-250 roadworthy. I made the trip
to Ross and picked up the trailer. The trailer was old and pretty much matched
the tow vehicle but it was sound. Had the wrong light hookup so took the back
roads home. As expected, the workout caused the truck to be running pretty good
by the time I got back home. I re-tightened my Y-pipe clamp and started work on
getting trailer lights. That didn't go quite so well. Too many problems so decided
to do a complete re-wire on the borrowed trailer.
Over the years, I've done
many a "midnight re-wire of the trailer lights" job and this was no
exception. I picked up the required parts before I went to work at 3 PM, got
off early and was working on the project by 10 PM. Finished up about 1 AM and
packed up. We got on the road before 6:30 AM the next morning, pretty much a
record for this family.
The trip went well. Gas
mileage, as expected, was under 8 mpg for the heavy rig. We made it to the
riding stable near Isanti sometime after 1 PM. The next few hours were spent
with Amy showing the little girls everything they needed to know about handling
the horse, cramming all she'd learned over her years of working with Amber into
a few hours. Fortunately, Management's sister Ann was recording the session on
video so we can review it. Amber the Appaloosa was very well behaved
considering 4 girls were swarming over her almost constantly for the 4 hours we
were there. Everyone including Management and me were up on the horse at one
time or another.
While at the barn, I
noticed an older couple spending time at one of the horse stalls. I walked over
there to see what was going on and was treated to the sight of a new foal. In
talking with the lady of the couple, Betty, I heard a neat story.
Betty had always wanted to
work with horses, but it was a little tough for her since she resided in St. Louis Park. Now 76,
she has an Arabian mare at the stable that was given to her by her daughter-in-law.
While she says her husband isn't totally sold on the idea, he none-the-less acquiesces.
The white mare was bred by one of the Appaloosa stallions on the farm and
foaled the day before we arrived. The little colt turned out a solid brown. Betty
has been staying at the stable all week and will be there a couple of more
days. She's had some riding lessons, interrupted by knee replacement surgery,
but is having the time of her life. A good example that it's never too late to
live your dream.
The trip home went well. We
loaded up Amber the Appaloosa and came back to Hill
City on Sunday, stayed the night and
went to a Memorial Day service at the family cemetery near Grand Rapids on Monday morning. While short,
the ceremony put on by the Veteran's organizations was very touching. It
impresses on one the debt we have to those who've lost their lives in service for
our United States.
Back home to Roseen's
Corner. Trapper has a spare corral that Amber is staying in for the present,
longer term arrangements are yet to be firmed up. In the meantime, the little
girls have a hard time falling asleep at night since they are living a dream.
See you next week!