The Decorah Nespapers
October 20, 2016
  • I can paint all day, but I’ll never be a Picasso

      Is it just me or are there now “professional” photographers just about everywhere these days trying to parlay their talent into a lucrative career?

    Put another, old-fashioned way, it’s hard to swing a dead cat without hitting a photographer no matter where you live. Unlike the past when small communities such as ours supported a handful of photographers and photo studios, it’s changed radically since the advent of digital cameras and all the features they offer to help turn a mediocre photo into a cherished memory.

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  • RIP to an American hero we could count on

        When golfing legend Arnold Palmer died this past weekend, he took a chunk of me with him. That may sound rather schmaltzy, but it’s absolutely true. I think a lot of people in America and around the world would say the same thing.

    “Arnie,” as he was affectionately known, was considered the king of golf during his glory years, and he wore that crown until the day he drew his final breath. But to me, Elvis Presley will always be the “king” – period. A better word to describe Arnold Palmer is “gentleman” and he was just that.

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  • Bison burst Iowa bubble, UNI and ISU reeling

        It’s still quite early in the season, but local football fans have already received indicators of how the respective seasons of their favorite teams might play out.

    Again, after just two or three games it’s foolhardy to try and accurately predict what the final records might be, but nonetheless with one quarter of the season in the books we know more about our gridiron gangs than we did a month ago.

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  • Assessing our needs
        Education is an ever-evolving process that requires a school district to constantly analyze and evaluate how to best serve the needs of its students. With major changes occurring on a continual basis, if a district and its educators are not open to suggestions and constructive criticism, then it is the students, parents, the community and the nation who ultimately suffer the consequences of stagnation.
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  • A 4th of July that I’ll remember forever and a day

       It was the late 1950s or early 1960s and I’d been invited to join my Uncle George, Aunt Irene and cousin Nick (just one year older than me) on a trip to Cleveland, Ohio to spend the 4th of July with George’s younger brother Chris and his family.

    It was a long drive from Tuscola, Ill. but we survived it with no major skirmishes or shouting matches. That was due primarily to Uncle George who ran a tight ship and did not tolerate any horseplay or excessively loud behavior from his son, nephew … or anyone for that matter.

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  • So explain it: What exactly is ‘the Decorah way?’

        It’s a subject that’s been bouncing around in my head for quite a while, and I can’t keep my thoughts bottled up anymore. I know my cynicism might offend some ultra-loyalists, but that’s OK. It won’t be the first time.

    Could someone please explain to me what “the Decorah way” actually means? A rather ambiguous expression to say the least, and one that’s been -- and remains -- a puzzlement to me.

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  • Another day, another massacre; firefighters hot
    I awoke Tuesday morning in a bit of a funk – make that stressed out – because Tuesdays are when I write this column and when I don’t have a solid “idea,” it can make me a tad anxious. I don’t get catatonic – or at least I haven’t yet – but there are times when it takes awhile to suck it up, put one foot in front of the other, quit whining and get on with it.
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  • He was easily The Greatest ... and pretty too

        It’s at times like these I wish I could write at a level the subject matter deserves. However, in all honesty, I’m not sure there’s any columnist alive who could really do justice to the man … but I owe it to him to try. So I must.

    If I fall short in my effort, I apologize in advance. One thing I do know that gives me great comfort is that he wouldn’t have judged my words harshly. Instead, he would have truly appreciated my sincere attempt to do him justice. That was his nature, his true self, and I loved him for it – we all loved him for it.

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  • Time for Dr. Kildare to turn in thermometer -- stat
        As a youth – not far removed from the days when people communicated by drums and smoke signals – I can distinctly remember the advent of color television. We were in awe -- our mouths agape in unbridled wonder when we first witnessed the NCB peacock standing proudly in living color. It was a wonder to behold.
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  • 50th Fest needs support
        It would be difficult, if not impossible, to accurately describe what Nordic Fest has meant to Decorah. To say that it has had a huge, positive impact on the community’s reputation as one of the best “small” towns in the Midwest is a colossal understatement.
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  • Geez, couldn’t you have taken Kanye?

        Dear God: What the heck is going on? I know it’s all part of your heavenly plan and my strong faith tells me to trust in your divine wisdom, but some moves on your part of late have me confused, sad and, at times, downright angry.

    I mean you took comedic genius Robin Williams home to be with you just a short time ago, and recently you decided to have David Bowie and Merle Haggard join your heavenly host … and now Prince? What gives?

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  • Screw ups and bad luck ... that’s turkey hunting
        I sure can’t call it my happy place. Not by any stretch. But it’s not really an unhappy place either. After all, sitting under a majestic old cottonwood tree on a beautiful spring morning in Iowa is never an unhappy occurrence. Warmed by the rising sun as I listen to the woods wake up, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.
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  • We’ve worked too hard to settle for something less
       Although local residents have been aware of it for a long, long time, in recent years the Decorah Community School District has been repeatedly recognized as one of the finest “overall” school systems in the entire state of Iowa and the Midwest region. For that matter, there’s no question the Decorah District ranks well above the curve on a national level.
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  • With their hearts broken, Panthers still walk with pride

        It was over, period. Nothing shy of a miracle or an act of God was going to change the outcome. So I retired to the bedroom, threw on my “sleeping” sweats and tried to do a little reading as the final moments of the contest played out on my Toshiba. And then it happened.

    The entire state of Iowa, as well as thousands of basketball fans throughout the United States, remain in a profound state of shock as I write this. It still upsets me no end.

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  • Accepting the challenge separates winners from losers
         It’s a column I wish I didn’t have to write, but it needs to be said. While my words are meant for everyone who takes the time to read this column, they are especially directed at Emily Busta, the perky, enthusiastic Turkey Valley basketball player who missed a crucial free throw in the waning seconds of the Class 1A state championship game last Friday night against Springville.
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