Outside Looking In

Carving a niche

One of the more personable and successful coaches that I had the pleasure of covering for many years as a sports reporter and editor at the West Central Tribune in Willmar was Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City boys track coach Jerry Ness.
I had not seen nor heard from him in well over a decade until I got a call from his sister in Minneota, Judy Hagen, that he is staying busy in retirement as a wood carver and writer now living with his wife, Geraldine, in Nome, ND.
"It's colder here, though," Ness said, when I asked if it was the same spelling as the city in Alaska. "True story. For the fun of it, I check the weather in Nome, Alaska and Nome, North Dakota, and it's colder here nine out of 10 days."
Ness tells many stories now that he has been retired since 2011 following an illustrious 37-year coaching career that produced a state team title in 1992 and four individual state champions. An avid hunter and fisherman, Ness is a freelance write who has some of his work published in a magazine in Bismarck called "Dakota Country."
He also has become a proficient wood carver, although he doesn't sell any of his work.
"Just a hobby," he said. "Our grandchildren will probably get all of them some day."
Ness will be bringing his talents to Minneota on Thursday, May 5, to tell some stories and show some of his work at 2 p.m. at the Opera Hall.
Ness was a taxidermist for 50 years, specializing in birds and fish, and learned to carve Styrofoam bodies for fish that would be mounted. It was that carving prowess that led him to tackle wood carving. Many of his carving are cartoonish Norwegians in various walks of life.
"It's been a lot of trial and error," he laughed. "I'm an old Norwegian farm boy so that's why some of my carvings are old Norwegians."
Jerry and Geraldine moved to North Dakota several years ago to be near their three children and eight grandchildren that all live in that state.
"I never knew my grandfathers," he said. "They died before I was born. We wanted to make sure our grandchildren got to know their grandparents."
Come and visit with Jerry on May 5. You won't regret it.

Spring Play
The Minneota High School play will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30 and May 1.
Directed by Aubree Cheadle, the play this spring is called "The Internet is Distract — Oh Look, a Kitten!" by Ian McWethy.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Garage sale
The Minneota City-wide Garage Sale is coming up soon, so it's time to gather up all the things that have been cluttering up your garage, basement, attic, closet, shed or anywhere else, place a sign in your yard and make a little extra money.
The city-wide garage sale is being held Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.
One business has committed to being included in the event. One More Tim Thrift Store will be opening early on Saturday and holding many in-store specials. If any other businesses will be holding a sale, please let the Mascot know as soon as possible.
Those residents wishing to advertise your sale in the upcoming issues of the Mascot, can do so by stopping in or calling the Mascot office. The deadline for the ad is Monday, April 25 to get it into the April 28 issue, and Monday, May 2 to get it into the May 6 issue.
The city-wide garage sale is generally held the first weekend in May, rain or shine.

May 7 busy
Minneota is going to be bustling with activity again on Saturday, May 7.
That's the day of the city-wide garage sale (also on Friday, May 6), the Spring Blowout at Bethel Fellowship Church from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Minneota High School Prom that evening.
The Spring Blowout is an annual event, similar to North Pole Extravaganza in November, in which there will be a craft/vendors show, silent auction to benefit the Minneota Speech team, and a Sloppy Joe lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or while they last) with proceeds benefitting the Hope Lutheran Church Group.
With Sunday, May 8 being Mother's Day, this is a good chance to purchase something special for mom while also supporting locally.
"Nothing like cramming as many things in a weekend as possible," joked one local woman.

Contact Us

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

Phone:(507) 872-6492