Memorial Day Remembered

From the Sauk Centre Journal archives:

Monday, May 28, 2007. Memorial Day. Ducks have been in town for some time now. I haven't encountered any genuinely addled ducks yet, but they've started to pair off.

'Ducks over grass' in Sauk Centre
Ducks over grass. May 4, 2007.

Sauk Centre's post office has had a little extra decoration in the lobby lately: part of the "Star Wars" stamp promotion.

"Star Wars" C-3P0 and R2-D2 in Sauk Centre
"I'm sorry, the master is rather busy just now." April, 2007.

We heard sad news this morning. Alexandria police got calls at about 4:30 Sunday morning, reporting that someone was driving around "impaired" (my guess is that the callers said either "drunk" or "stoned") and had a weapon. The guy decided to lead a chase through Alexandria before getting on I-94. Police ended the chase with stop sticks, apparently between Osakis and Sauk Centre, and tried to talk with the driver. As the news piece said, "shots were fired" and the driver is dead. The two police officers involved are on paid administrative leave until things get sorted out, as usual when this sort of thing happens.

I'm glad we have folks who are willing to keep services like fire and police departments running, holiday or not.

Here in Sauk Centre, there's something of a puzzle. The computer model I made, based on mid-May gas prices, conclusively demonstrated that we'll be paying over $124 per gallon by the end of the year. Now, I may have to take another look at that prediction. The cost of gasoline reached $3.299 per gallon by May 17, stayed there, and went down to $3.199 today.

Memorial Day gas prices in Sauk Centre
Gas prices going down on Memorial Day!?. May 28, 2007.

Finally, here's a look at Memorial Day in Sauk Centre.

Memorial Day at the lake, Sauk Centre
Some folks took it easy at Sauk Centre's campground by Sauk Lake. May 28, 2007.

Memorial Day at the playground, Sauk Centre
The playground in Sauk Lake Park (Sinclair Lewis Park, officially), and the fast food places near Main, may have been the most hectic spots in town. May 28, 2007.

Memorial Day traffic, Sauk Centre
Flags and traffic on Sinclair Lewis Avenue. May 28, 2007.

Sunday, May 27, 2007. Memorial Day weekend. We're about half-way through this year's Memorial Day weekend. Some towns and cities have traditional Memorial Day parades, with a dwindling turnout of WWII veterans marching. Vets from the Vietnam era made another Rolling Thunder ride on their motorcycles from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Memorial. Sauk Centre doesn't make a very big deal out of Memorial Day, apart from flags lining the downtown streets.

On the other hand, folks around here celebrate this day and honor all who served
in this nation's military in what may be one of the best ways possible.

Down by the lake this afternoon, I saw families relaxing: adults on the grass,often in the shade, kids bouncing off the playground equipment.

At the other end of town, people were picking up Happy Meals from a fast-foodplace, shopping at Wal-Mart, or continuing their drive northward into lakecountry.

All over town, rummage and garage sales brought householders with too much stuff and folks with a perceived need for stuff together. More than just a part of the area's economy, these sales are a summer social event of sorts.

By spending the day by the lake, shopping, slurping sodas, or rummage sale-ing,these folks show that the sacrifices were worth it. Despite attacks and threatsover the generations, there is still a prosperous, growing, and free USA.

I plan to be back late Monday evening with another entry, and a few photos that don't have a thing to do with Memorial Day.
Monday, May 30, 2005. Memorial Day. For me, a high point of the weekend was the fun of grilling four meals over a span of three days. That, and having time with my family.
Today was a beautiful day for garage sales, grilling, and playing outside. My son came inside this afternoon, drenched from a close encounter with a squirt gun.

One more thing. To all who serve and have served in the United States armed forces: thanks for making this sort of weekend, and the incredible freedom and opportunity we enjoy here, possible. I hope that folks remember, "freedom is never free."

Sunday, May 29, 2005. It's the day before Memorial Day. Flags have lined the downtown streets at least since Friday, and another wave of poppy people blossomed. This crop was from the American Legion. I think the first ones were with the VFW. The poppy person who poppied me at the post office had presented poppies for both groups.

There won't be a Memorial Day parade this year. The Sauk Herald said that the flag carriers are getting up in years, and there aren't younger volunteers. Maybe next year. There will be a service, starting at Greenwood Cemetery.

I've been getting out as little as possible this weekend, enjoying my family and this opportunity to grill meals for three days in a row. I launched Easy Griller yesterday, a few pages about grilling for people like me who don't want fixing a meal to get complicated.

Besides a nice meal, grilling gives me a good look at the back yard. We've got more of a yard than a lawn, and this week's rain has the grass just about ready for harvesting again. Mourning doves are back in our yard, nesting in one of the disheveled lilac bushes. Something was making a racket in a tree. My daughter spotted the source: a mourning dove, looking like a gob of feathers, wagging its head and squawking like a grackle.