7 thoughts on “Share the Love

  1. I love that I can be to work in five minutes AND I don’t have to pay for parking! I love that my neighbors have taken my clothes off the clothesline when I wasn’t home & it started to rain. I love that if I want to borrow a cup of sugar, any one of my neighbors will give it to me or that I can be at Coborn’s in less than five minutes to buy some. I love that when I walk into a business or the Court House, or the hospital or City Hall, people often call me by name. We know each other – sometimes, it’s not so good (sorry – sometimes I get impatient at stoplights & honk), but mostly, it’s really good.

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  2. I love that there is a portion of the community that volunteers to orchestrate festivals, charity work, and good deeds. There is a solid core of people who do things for others and do not need recognition to do it. I love the idea that graduates would like to come back here to live – I dislike the fact that there are very few opportunities to do so. I love the high school and the active faith cultures. I love 65 degree PERFECT fall days by the river. The list goes on: The Flying Aces, the craft fair, the charming quaint downtown, the Falls Theater, Summer baseball – townball, St Gabe’s, The Black & White. I miss Dicks Broiler, Victors, Scott Welter greeting me at the Falls Theater and Pine Edge Inn. There are a lot of things to love in Little Falls – I think some people forget that. It is considerably easier to complain than it is to see the good.

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  3. Where to start with what I love about Little Falls?

    Our city is pretty. Seriously. It’s on the Mississippi River, which has a gazillion moods and is always fascinating to look at, particularly at the dam. We’re fortunate to have plenty of access to the river with our public parks. And we have trees, lots and lots of trees.

    There is a well-developed artistic community in Little Falls. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. It means there IS creativity here, although we need to do a better job of tapping it for community-wide problems and economic development.

    Because Little Falls is a rural community that has long seen a high degree of poverty, we’re very self-reliant and resourceful. If you need something done, like having a small piece of metal welded or assistance modifying a trailer or piece of equipment, it doesn’t take long to find someone who can do it for you. And they won’t usually charge an arm and a leg for the work because they understand how broke most people are. (We shouldn’t be as broke as we are and people should be able to ask a fair price for the work they do, but we’re all very good at making do with the situation at hand.)

    Little Falls is a relatively safe and quiet place to raise children.

    This should come as no surprise coming from me, but there is AMAZING wealth of history in this community. I’ve worked solidly in county history for the past 18 years and I have never run out of new things to learn about the history of the community. Fascinating people have lived in Little Falls, some of whom have stayed and had a great effect on the city, some who have moved on to do great things outside the community.

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  4. It’s been a long time since I lived there, but let me tell you what I miss. I miss the smell of pine – walking through Pine Grove and/or Lindbergh parks. I miss the feeling of mist on my face as the water rushes over the dam in the spring. I miss biking to the river with a friend or family member and talking for hours as the mighty Mississippi rolls by. All-in-all… beautiful memories, and it speaks to the character of friendships made there that so many with whom I graduated have connected via facebook and share similar values.

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  5. Memories.

    Pine Grove Park has a few memories…while on a school picnic, we were told not to go near the house because someone was living there (Dewey-Radke house). There wasn’t a zoo at that time, only buffalo and elk. The playground, at that time, was not in the best of condition…rusty bolts & screws, a support post for the swing was either broke off or pulled out its’ ground mount, so when you were swinging in the forward motion, it actually raised off the ground until you were going back, then it made a thumping noise when it hit the ground. The higher you would go, the louder the thump.

    I recall going to the bowling alley when it was on the same block as the Buckman hotel, when it still was a hotel, to watch my Mom and my aunt bowl. South of the bowling alley was a gas station…this one has some memories, some good, one bad. Directly across the street to the west was the Clark gas station, and south of there was the Pine Edge Inn. (I used to ride my bike as fast as I could go, down those hills toward the river…such fun!) East of the Buckman hotel was the police station and fire dept. (Only one firetruck that I remember). Across the alley was a TV/Radio repair shop…don’t recall the name. The next block had a building that the housed the phone company…Northwestern Bell?

    I remember Jetka’s Hardware store (they had everything!), Ben Franklin store, Woolworth’s Department store, all of which were on the same block. Thrifty Drug was next door to the bank…a friend of mine and I used to go “dumpster diving” behind Thrifty Drug…I believe that my dentists’ office was upstairs somewhere on this block, Dr. Olsen (Olson?)(We, as kids, got “greenware” statues of Disney characters if we were “good patients”…what do the kids get now…a toothbrush and floss?)

    Crossing the street going north, and looking to the west, there was the Hub Cafe (we really liked the big booth in the back), a Standard Gas station, JC Penney’s (we got most of our school clothes there and had fun watching the money go to the cashier upstairs via canisters on wires!), the Ripley theater (I liked this one better than the Falls theater) and KLTF radio.

    Crossing the street from KLTF going east, there was a Sinclair gas station (looking north), and Arvidson Oldsmobile and Pontiac dealership (where I bought my first new car!) on the corner south of the Sinclair station. Down the road, to the east of the Sinclair station was Von’s Supply (had a good friend who worked there). North of the Sinclair station, on the next block, was the Junior High School. (I really don’t know why they didn’t build another school there…good location…a fire station is there now, and Santa after Thanksgiving!).

    On the corner of “bank square”, on the southeast corner, was Mushell’s Drug store. Next door, was Rexall’s Drug store. I believe that Mushell’s had a soda fountain where I got acquainted with “Cherry Coke”…the best. A little past the jewelry store, was O’Meara’s Clothing Store, where my Mom worked for awhile. The Falls theater is where they used to have free matinee’s on Saturdays…fun times!

    The “mansions” were still in ownership of Laura Jane Musser…the property was “off limits”. One trasformation, which I didn’t even know happened while I was living out of town, was Maple Island Park, which used to be a large area of tall weeds and sandburrs.

    Heading back to the Hub Cafe, heading west on the next block, was victor Clothing Co. (As kids, we got our Easter outfits from there). I often made stops at Potvin’s grocery store on my walk home from school (all the candy, and my favorite…Cracker Jack’s, were in the window next to the door. Good marketing plan!) Farther west, the Post Office, where my Dad worked.

    There are many other businesses, each with their own special memories. Many different lumber yards supported my Dad’s hobbies, Boser’s store (where we had a “charge” account without using a card), about 4-5 other small grocery stores around town, Nelson’s Music shop, Hennepin Paper Mill (where my buddy and I, from grade school, built a raft and were going to “sail” it down to Blanchard dam…didn’t happen because I think his parents found the raft first!), the Airport drive-in theater (lots of non-working speakers), and the “old” 3-story Lincoln school (we climbed up the fire escape and slid down), the North End playground (where a friend and I had crossed the railroad tressel bridge, on the coldest of nights, to go ice skating…they had a nice warming house and cute girls!), Jay Bailey’s pool hall (where we played many games of Whist), and the Silver Treat tavern (there were pinball machines there, gumball and peanut machines for a penny).

    There are also the homes of my grandmother, aunts and uncles, all whom have passed on, which all have special memories. Only one has been replaced with modern housing, the rest all have new owners.

    Most of those businesses are now gone or have been replaced by a new business. The parades of long ago had more “entertainment”…now, it’s more “advertising”. Many people might think that the Dam Festival, the Arts & Crafts Fair, or the Morrison County Fair are what they like about Little Falls. As I’m one who doesn’t attend any of those, I would say that the best thing I like about Little Falls is the Giving Tree at Walmart…I always have a good feeling when I drop off things that are needed to make some child (children) happy.

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    • J. SKI – This is a great account of your memories of Little Falls. I suspect that most of us have memories like this (Yes! Rexall Drugs’ Cherry Cokes! Num!). There are a number of places on your list that are before my time, although I’m familiar with them from my work at the museum. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  6. Hey J Ski!
    Nicely done on recalling all the special places of my childhood. Can still smell the burgers from Dicks broiler. Couple of my siblings still live there, and whenever in town I head to the dam to recall a simpler life! I have plenty of photos of those parades with old cars , marching bands, and floats throwing candy! Graduated in 81.
    My last visit included ordering Long Johns at the bakery. Still love water to this day, thanks to the Mississippi and the amazing town beach! Thanks for the memories.
    Becky Carlson

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