Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 17, 2010. Happy St. Patrick's Day! And a fine one it was: only a few wisps of cloud in the sky, snow gone (for the most part), and it may be my imagination, but I think there was a bit of spring in the air.

I've heard that the Streeter girls' basketball team is going to state. And read about it in this week's Sauk Centre Herald. The headline was at the top of the front page, with a photo going across about three quarters of the paper. The Herald explains why this is such a big deal:
They did it. The Streeter girls' basketball team made it through the section
playoffs with wins over New London-Spicer and Staples-Motley last week to
advance to their first state tournament in the school's history.
That's the first paragraph of the store. There's a bit more online, and the whole thing in the print edition.

Daylight Saving Time struck again this weekend. The 'jet lag' aspect of it hit me particularly hard this time: it may have been more than just the time change. I've wondered if the 'spring forward, fall back' thing is still done because 'we've always done it this way.' I harangued about that in one of my blogs: "I'm Blaming Daylight Saving Time: or, Not," Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space (March 17, 2010).

I didn't do a thorough survey of Sauk Centre this week, but the places I did see were snow-free. Judging from past experience, there's probably still snow in a sheltered spot or three on the north side of buildings - or, outside Sauk Centre, on the north side of stream banks.

Looking east across the Sauk River. Snow, no. Water, yes. March 17, 2010.

Quite a lot of the snow is still around, disguised as water. Happily, we haven't had flooding problems yet. That I've heard of.

A mess, definitely. Toxic? Good question. March 17, 2010.

On the whole, I like the way Sauk Centre looks. It's not one of those picture-postcard museum towns, where everything looks just like it did in the 'good old days:' Which is just as well: since we're in the 21st century; and the good old days weren't all that hot.

I'd probably be more nostalgic if my memory was worse.

One lot on south Birch Street is a bit of an eyesore, even by my flexible standards. It's the place where a house burned last year. (February 10, 2010, November 25, 2009 and September 20, 2009) With the snow cover off, you can see the debris. The last I heard, one of the neighbors there wanted the mess cleaned up. She apparently was concerned about asbestos wafting over from the wreckage.

I think she may very well have a point.

There are pretty good aesthetic reasons for cleaning that lot up, too. I doubt anybody really wants the piles of stuff to be left there: the question is probably who's going to pay to get the job done.

Old-fashioned? Actually, yes. March 17, 2010.

I've written before, about the impression some folks seem to have about 'small town America:' a sort of Brigadoon, cut off from the world, where the kids are clones of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and everything is just the way it was in the late 19th century.

Well, there's something to it. Quite a few of the buildings downtown date from around 1900. And look the part, now that we've had restoration work done. They do what buildings are supposed to do: keep rain and snow out, comfortable air in, and be a reasonably safe and comfortable place
for folks to live and work.

I suppose it's the principle of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' at work. We don't have all-new buildings downtown because the ones we have get the job done. Besides, the way I see it, with late-19th-century commercial buildings and an Art Deco theater, we've got the best that the last century-plus had to offer.

And it is sort of nice to see 'the way it was.'

It'll be a while before people get nostalgic about antenna farms like the one behind Mainstreet Communications, but I think folks may: after that technology is replaced by whatever comes next. And others will heave a sigh of relief that the things are gone, at last.

Me? I rather like the look of them.

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