Outside Looking In

Carve Away

I have always enjoyed Halloween and look forward to seeing all the various displays in people's yards, although the number of those decorating has significantly decreased over the years.
To get into the spirt of things (pardon the pun), the Mascot will host a pumpkin carving contest with age categories for prizes beginning soon. Contestants will be required to take a photo of the person that carved the pumpkin and email it to us. We will then select judges to determine the winners. The photos will be put in our front window, as well as in an edition of the paper.
Look for more details in an upcoming issue of the Mascot.
My parents always went "all out" at Halloween, decorating the entire house. My mother painted pumpkins with different faces on each one and placed them on the front porch and steps.
My parents would dress up as they passed out candy and would always keep track of how many kids showed up for candy each year. The number almost always exceeded 100 despite living in a small town. Of course, part of the reason was my parents gave out homemade frosted pumpkin cookies, a full-size candy bar or a caramel apple; allowing each kid to pick which one they wanted. That was back when most of the homeowners would give homemade treats before the needle and razor blade era.
Some of the neighborhood kids could be seen running home and coming back with a different mask on as if they were incognito just so they could get a second or third treat.
I've tried to follow tradition by decorating my house as much as time allows. I made an entire cemetery with tombstones out of thick foam panels that I display each year. I included a silly epitaph on each one such as "The Mummy. He went from riches to rags" or "Frankenstein. He got a charge out of life" or "Wicked Witch. Her bones went snap, crackle and pop." Some of the slogans I found online and some I made up.
I built a little lighted fence around the cemetery with a sign that says "Mystery Cemetery. Where the 'plots' thicken."
I also made a "ring of ghosts" holding hands around my birch tree with orange lights inside to give the impression of a fire.
I used to get over 150 trick-or-treaters 10 years ago when I moved into my current home, but only had around 40 last year. Part of the reason is that none of the other neighbors keep their lights on and vehicles often don't turn down this street just for one house. Another reason is several churches here in Willmar host Trunk-or-Treat, as St. Edward's does in Minneota.
Get your carving tools ready, pick out a nice pumpkin and join our carving contest.

Deer signs
Have you noticed that many of the yellow deer crossing signs are no longer posted?
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has begun removing most of them on state highways because studies have shown that people ignore the signs and do not slow down, while the number of deer-vehicle collisions has not decreased despite signs posted.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that there were 2,000 deer-vehicle collisions across the state last year, but State Farm Insurance gathered its own information based on insurance claims and estimated the number is actually closer to 40,000 animal-vehicle collisions, with deer the majority.
With funding from MnDOT, Ron Moen, a wildlife biologist with the Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is taking part in a study of the locations of deer-vehicle accidents and develop recommendations to reduce these incidents.

Contact Us

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

Phone:(507) 872-6492