Who are we? We are our stories.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cerchio Ghisallo

The Passing of an Outlaw

Keith finally died. Normally one would not speak ill of the dead, but this one is too good, this was Keith. One of his shirttail relatives has a dossier on Keith which she has been saving for this day to write a book. The title of the book is to be 'It Takes a Community To Raise a Thief'. One could quibble with the title, but everyone knew how he lived. He didn't even fake a real job, everyone, particularly law enforcement, knew that he was a thief by trade, a real professional. He must have been good at it, because he was seldom jailed for any length of time, except for one time when he inadvertently committed a crime that turned out to be a federal offense and he did some prison time. He left behind a bunch of children with assorted women and a number of small buildings scattered around the county were he kept his "stuff". Yeah, he will be missed.

Memorial services for Keith Leslie Register, of Albert Lea, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea. Friends may visit with family one hour before services at the funeral home. Interment will be in Alden Cemetery at a later date. Keith was born on July 10, 1929. He passed away peacefully at Parkview Care Center in Wells on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. He was 82 years old. Keith enjoyed auctions, spending time with and receiving recent photos of his grandchildren, and he lived life to its fullest.
He is survived by his children: Dottie (Steve) Honsey, Kenn (Lori) Register, Gene (Jamie) Register, David (Kathy) Register, Gary Register and special friend, Carmen, Joni Cline, Gail (Daniel) Thorpe, Brian (Amy) Nielsen, Bruce (Jennie) Nielsen and Alan Nielsen and his special friend Tetyana; brothers: Alan (Louise) Peterson and Ross (Fran) Peterson; aunt, Mary Jean Pagenkopf; 23 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Vivian Cadwell; brother, Richard Peterson; and sister-in-law, Denise.
He will be sadly missed by many friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Hogkill Blues

Charlie Paar's from Austin, Minnesota, 20 miles up the road from Albert Lea. Both towns were historically meatpacking towns. Albert Lea's Wilson Packing is long gone, Austin still has Hormel. Both plants had bad strikes, and both towns had the National Guard. This is for Cheri Register and all the others who's fathers worked the kill.

Charlie Paar: One man, one Guitar, one foot in the grave. If you are around any of these places check him out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Book Exchange and Joe

When Lorna's relatives stop over, besides coffee, cookies and family gossip, there is often a book exchange. The photo above is the results. Because I don't generally read novels, I don't participate. Nevertheless, I really enjoy being part of a family of avid readers. So yesterday while the women exchanged books, Fritz and I adjourned to the Growlery, to talk smart and drink toasts to the late Joe Koevnig, a man that neither of us ever met. Fritz and I both only knew Joe through his widow, Maude, who lived next door until her passing. By reputation among the old Oakwooders who knew him, Joe was a little rough, but a likable and gregarious man who smoked and drank too much, and was most famous for his extremely foul language. He was also the owner of a couple of my fly rods, my willow creel and that fine hat that hangs on the peg in the Growlery corner. Everything I've ever heard about Joe has been good. So ... "Here's to Joe".  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Miscellaneous For Sat 1/7/12

Yesterday I mentioned that on my little bicycle jaunt around town I stopped at the local hardware store (casual bicycling in January in Minnesota!). I was there to pick up a handful of 5/16-18 x 3/4" carriage bolts. These are the size that fit the threaded plastic knobs I purchased from Amazon. They make a nice chain retainer for a frame without the wheelset. I throw in a big washer on the inside, not that it's necessary, but I think it looks better.

I've been looking for curtains the screen the view from the prying eyes of bicycle thieves. Nothing seemed right, or it cost money. Chuck Schmidt had a half price Christmas special on T-shirts, so I bought one with the Galmozzi logo. The backside has "Galmossi" in large letters across the shoulders. Very cool. Looking for a place to hang it, I draped it over the window. I think I have found my curtains.

Another Adam Turman picture to go with the one that I received for Christmas.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Day Shot

The jet-stream is all screwed up. It was warm yesterday, pushing 50F. It's a strange year, minimal snow and high temperatures. I haven't even taken the Coldnago out, though last week I got her road worthy just in case. 

I was online with a group of bicyclists and told them it was too nice and I was logging off to ride my bike. One of them requested pictures of the high points of my ride. Sorry, nothing strange or exotic. I was certainly tempted to take out the Galmozzi for a maiden voyage, but it was wet enough on the street that fenders were nice. I just looped around the lake and stopped at the hardware store for some carriage bolts, then continued on to Nancy's Cafe for a noon breakfast. 

As I was eating, someone came in and I looked up from my newspaper. It was an Oakwooder who was thrown in jail for theft. Apparently he is on a work release program. He stole money from his own family and a friend. A lot of money. The little weasel had a position staked out at the end of the counter so I had to walk by him to get out. I weighed my options as I read the Variety section and I came to the conclusion that I never wanted to to talk to him again. Actually, I didn't like talking to him before the shit hit the fan. He greeted me like he was a lonely man abandoned by everyone that knew him. I joined that group. 

Back on the bike I headed for home, but I was hailed by an old friend. We sat in his living room overlooking the lake shootin' the shit for a couple of hours 'til Lorna called looking for me and I had to ride on home. Another day shot. In the long run this retirement thing is really working out.

A comment on my reflection in the window of Nancy's Cafe:
"Trivers recalls walking down a city street with an attractive young woman, “trying to amuse her,” when he spots “an old man on the other side of her, white hair, ugly, face falling apart, walking poorly, indeed shambling.” Trivers abruptly realizes he is seeing his reflection in a store window: “Real me is seen as ugly me by self-­deceived me.” - Robert Trivers

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Follow Up to Chris Rasmussen

From Everett Jensen, the owner of the gas station.  I remember a dog. Must have been another station. Anyway, we are seeking truth here, not facts. ;-) :
"Fritz sent me the link to your blog and the story about Chris. I tried to answer via the blog and couldn't make it work so I will e-mail.
I really enjoyed it and it sure brought back memories. Chris was a real Dane and had come here when he was about 18. He worked on farms and tried it for himself, but he was one who needed to work for someone else. He was as reliable as the come and honest. He never had much. In fact it was in his late years that he finally got running water into the house. I gave him a new water heater at that time. I was out on a farm service call the morning he died. I came back into town as Jesse Jackson was loading him into his old ambulance.I think it was about 1967. The story was well written, there was no dog. The spelling was Rassmussen. His wife was a sister to James J. Jensen out by the north church.
The old chair in the office had been donated by the Creamery by Lyle Anderson. Chris spent some time in it as well as most of us. I gave the chair to Jack and as far as I know he still has it. Jack worked for me at the same time as Chris and I know he has some fond memories of him too.
The station was a hangout for a lot of young guys in the 60's and 70's. What a good bunch. I don't think there was a bad apple in the bunch and they all turned out good.
Another story that came to mind was the day that Chris told me his brother ( he hadn't seen him in years) was in the hospital in the cities and very ill. I said let me take you up there. He said no he didn't need to go as his brother was a alcoholic and lived as a bum on the street in Mpls. J insisted and he said he would take the bus. Next day when he came to work he said that he had got to the hospital just as they rolled the body out of the room. I said funeral and he said he didn't care to go. Just let them bury him."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chris Rasmusson

An off-blog exchange on lighting made me think of Chris.

In The Grove, the little town where I grew up, we had one gas station which was a general hangout - guys sitting on broken stools and stacked oil cases smoking Chesterfields, drinking Coca-Cola from 6 ounce bottles, swearing and spitting, telling lies about their lives and lovers. Chris was an employee. A really old employee. He did not own the gas station, he came with the business when Ev bought it, along with the old brown dog that laid by the door in the sunshine.

Every time Chris turned on the lights at dusk, every damned time, he said, "Let der be light, *click*, and der wuss." I think he'd been doing it for so long, for him it was part of turning on a lightswitch. One morning when the first customer, Wyman Hanson pulled up, Chris didn't come out to pump the gas, check the oil and wash the windshield. Now Chris was old and not one to hurry, but eventually Wyman became impatient and went in the see what the hell the hold up was. Chris was sitting there alone, sleeping, slumped in his chair behind the counter. Looking closer, Wyman noticed the cigarette had burned all the way down between his fingers. Old Chris, deader than a Danish mackerel. 

If I happen to have a guest that knew Chris, I still tend to quote Genesis when I flick the light switch. "And der wuss."

(Jeez, it's been so long, now I'm not certain it was "Rasmusson".)

The Growlery: Adding "Stuff"

The 1972 Galmozzi. Angelo Galmozzi didn't date or number his frames. I accepted the fact that this was a '72 because the seller thought it was. It. Ain't. It is possibly up to ten years older. The pictures of another 1972 and late 1960s Galmozzis have the bottom cable guides brazed on, no head badge and other subtle differences. So the carefully selected components are quite likely the wrong date. One way of looking at this is that that probably saved me a little money.

Really discerning eyes will note that I did find World Championship bar tape, and I rerouted the brake cables to the traditional Italian right-hand front brake setup.

The fishing books and equipment are a bit of a red herring; that is, I don't actually fish much, but I enjoy reading about it, particularly the fly fishing books. 

Bags and baskets. A folding table for company, which is as close to a workbench as I have out there right now.

The print I received from my daughter. And some old inherited rods and reels - the oldest pushing the century mark.
A magazine rack the Old Man made when he ran away from Ma and was living at the cabin by Geneva Lake.  It is a very inefficient use of space, but the size is about right ... and I had it. Which is sometimes the driver.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


It's New Years Day, a day to make resolutions for the upcoming year, to change our lives for the better, and to reaffirm our bad habits. I try to keep my resolutions within the scope of reality, not to over reach. For instance, two years ago I resolved to eat more mustard. I took a pretty good run at that one early, but eventually lapsed back into my old butter and mayonnaise habits. Last year I resolved to drink more Stouts and Porters. I'm proud to say that I've done pretty well at that one, though I did backslide a little into the Ale world, particularly the IPAs, after my sidekick, The Judge went south for the winter season. Then the local liquor store started carrying MooJoos Oatmeal Milk Stout and I was back on the road to redemption again. I plan on attacking the Stouts with renewed vigor this year, but I don't have any other new resolutions. Any suggestions are welcome. And keep that self-improvement stuff to yourself. That usually only involves things that make it better for the people around you. I'm only interested in things that will make my life better. ;-)

Thanks to Gabriel for Woody Gutherie's New Year's resolutions.
 # 20. DREAM GOOD. # 26. DANCE BETTER.  Yep.

Res. no.1: Use more bar graphs and pie charts on the blog.