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The Return Of Ranka

While we weren’t paying attention, a quarter of a century slipped by between “then” and “now.” Turns out “now,” was every bit as delightful as “then,” had been. Jim and I hoped, but never really knew, if we’d ever see Ranka Ivelja again. We grew very fond of her when she lived with us the…
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The Nest Is Too Soon Empty

Parents are filled with deep emotion and devotion when their children graduate from high school. Thirty years ago this very week, as a Grand Forks Herald Staff Writer, I conveyed to readers the sentiments I was feeling as Dean, the youngest of our two sons, was about to graduate from East Grand Forks Senior High…
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Wise Words From A Mountain, A Lake, A Hummingbird, A Horse And A Ladybug

  I can think of many things I would say to our 2016 high school graduates – words of wisdom if you will – but I’d be hard pressed to compete with advice given by a mountain, a hummingbird, a ladybug, a horse and a lake. Back in April and in the company of very…
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A Million Dollar Smile

Before I can bring it on home to East Grand Forks, this story must begin with Lynda, one of my four favorite nieces. A couple weeks ago I had a nice long telephone chat with Lynda, who with her husband Karl, lives in Kankakee, Ill. It’s spring, so naturally this aunt/niece narrative turned to love…
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Hometown Ties That Bind

Maybe it’s the soaked-in-lye lutefisk. Or, it could be that eating salty, fermented cabbage makes a man live a long and healthy life. Gordon Smette was born to a German mother and a Norwegian father, so naturally, he was brought up on the choice cuisine of his parents. To this day, he loves both lutefisk…
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