Outside Looking In

Running with pickles

It's interesting to peruse the back issues of the Mascot, especially when I am compiling articles for the 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago column we run on Page 4 each week.
In the older issues, the majority of the men's names are listed with initials, as in J.B. Gislason, O.G. Anderson, etc.. A married woman's first name rarely was listed in the paper unless it was for her obituary. Otherwise, her name was always referred to as Mrs. John L. Doe. A single young lady's name always had Miss attached to it.
Minneota was always referred to as a village instead of a town, city or community. The school board was always referred to as the Board of Education.
Recently, I got a good laugh out of an article that appeared in the March 29, 1946 issue. The headline read: “Three boys set out to see world armed with Bible, flashlight and pickles".
As soon as I noticed that headline, I had to read on.
The story tells that three young boys between the ages of 10 and 12, whose names are not revealed, decided to skip school with a plan of seeing the world. Sounds to me like at Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn adventure.
The boys, armed only with a Bible, a flashlight, a jar of pickles and 50 cents among them, decided to take a plunge in the Yellow Medicine River before heading west, one of the boys father told the Mascot.
Apparently, it must have been a mild March day in order for them to swim and have their clothes dry out.
After their brief swim, the boys’ plan was to make it to Canby by evening, and then would head to North Dakota the next day. Not exactly seeing the world, but it was a start.
The boys, with their thumbs stretched out, "hitched" a ride to Taunton with a passerby. Once in Taunton, they were able to hitch another ride to Porter.
While walking in Porter, the boys ran into a familiar face. Mrs. C.M. Hanson, who was a former resident of Minneota, inquired as to what the boys were up to since she likely figured out they should have been in school.
After speaking with the boys, Mrs. Hanson found out their plan. Figuring the boys were probably hungry since they only had a jar of pickles with them, she invited them to her home for supper. She then called the parents of one of the boys, telling them of the boys' plan to see the world and that it might be in their best interest to come and pick them up.
While the boys were eating supper, the parents arrived and took them back to Minneota.
Since this incident occurred 75 years ago and the boys were between 10 and 12 years old, it's very possible one or all three are still with us. It would fun to learn the names of the boys and if they still live in the Minneota area. It would also be interesting to know exactly what their plans were when their money and the pickles ran out, where they planned to sleep each night, how far they intended to travel, and so on.
Maybe that's why they also had a Bible in their possession.
I asked several people about it in town, but so far no one was familiar with the story, although they all were curious to find out who the boys were.
If anyone knows their identity, call me at 320-894-6007 or email me at scott@thomabooks.com.

Wrench found
A few weeks ago, a customer came into the Mascot with an item she had found on Monroe Street. It was a 16-inch long NAPA 1-1/4" open-end wrench. The wrench has initials etched in one end. To claim, call or stop into the Mascot office and indicate what initials are on it.

Final cookie sales
The local Girl Scouts will be selling cookies on Saturday from 7-10 a.m. at AgPlus in Minneota, and Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at Minneota City Hall. These are the final two days for the cookie sales, so stock up!

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492