Let me give you a little tour of my town and, perhaps, you'll understand why I worked so hard for it during the recent election!
by Charlie Leck
Today's is a photographic blog -- a little tour of my town. (By the way, whenever I use this phrase, "my town," the emphasis should always be upon the second word (town) and not on the the first. If you try it both ways you'll see the big difference.
Back in '96 I wrote a book that I called My Town. It's a collection of essays I wrote about living here in this lovely place. I wrote about the birds...
"One awesome sight breaks into my contemplation. Dazzlingly bright gold finches are out in the heavy weather. Instinctively they understand how to use the full force of the wind. They fly here and there -- wherever they choose to go! People are off the lakes and golf courses. Police have barricaded those downtown streets that run beside the tall, glass skyscrapers and pedestrians are not allowed to walk near them. We keep an ear bent toward the radio for some unexpected warning about imminent danger. Yet, in my yard, the finches, swallows, jays, sparrows, blackbirds and cardinals continue on their merry way. Their understanding of aerodynamics has not been approached by the folks at NASA or Boeing or any other research facility. It is one of those wonders of the universe that I might have missed had I not looked out just now."I wrote about Mary, the town clerk...
And, I wrote about the weather in winter...
"Mary may be the most important person in Independence. The elected officials, with their changing ideas and ideals, come and go. The workmen, who plow the snow and mend the pot-holes, change with regularity. Mary, however, is at the center of order in the community. Without what she does, things would break apart. She is the City Clerk. It's not a fitting title. Chief Operating Officer would be more appropriate.
"Government is an ordering institution -- it provides the community with structure and a sense of organization. Without government, at any level, there would be turmoil and anarchy!
"Here in Independence, Mary is the government. The town's council-persons create chaos through the legislative process. Mary takes that discord and, with file folders and loose-leaf binders, she gives it all order. The council spends money and allocates funds. Mary writes the checks. The mayor and the council propose law, which by its language is distorted and senseless. Mary's pencil rearranges and repunctuates motions and resolutions and makes them intelligible. If someone needs a particular map or plat, Mary is the only one in town who can immediately produce it."
"But, today it is very cold! So, I sit here in my library before a warming fire and look out at the blistering, blustering day. Oh, for a little store or cafe in the center of town with a pot belly stove and men sitting around a glowing fire, warming their toes and telling delightful lies about the triumphs of their youths. That's the kind of thing that could make this Minnesota winter bearable."Today, though, I'll just let these photographs tell you the story of my town.
Our friends, the Albers' house on Turner Road
Sunset over Lake Robina on County Road 92 North
Entrance to Maple Ponds, a small residential community
Our local "watering hole," the Ox Yoke Inn