Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

Photo Challenge
Nostalgia

What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

The word that was suggested for the one-word prompt recently was nostalgia. It was a photo challenge, but the photos I’m using here are not current. The beautiful lake named Lake Poinsett in northeastern South Dakota is where I will take you on my nostalgia trip. I was born in 1940 and grew up witnessing many changes at the lake. With this post, I hope to take a short trip back down memory lane and recall different things about Lake Poinsett. It has seen dramatic changes in usage, population, residences, year around homes, food, drink, bait and tackle places and a multitude of water level changes.

We lived on a farm less than a mile south of the lake, our parents were Frank and Frances Olson. A lot of time was spent either fishing or swimming in our lives. Our great uncle Simon Hoel built a stone house on the hill just east of the park in 1885, part of it still stands. My grandfather Andrew Olson helped him farm the land.

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Simon Hoel Olson home 1880’s

 

Tall, virgin prairie grass grew for a mile along the south shore of the lake. Simon and my grandfather cut hay from it for forty years. There is a beautiful state park on that land today, trees and campgrounds everywhere.

A few tall original cottonwood trees were growing along the shoreline but through the centuries ice knocked most of them down. A wagon trail can still be seen in places, it went to the east boundary fence and on for another mile to the Hendrickson farm, what is now Runia’s farm. There were no homes or cabins on any of that land.

Just to the west of the State Park property, there was a very lively, noisy dance hall named Smith’s place. It flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a very lively dance hall, where many big name bands played as they traveled through this area. We knew Charlie Smith the owner and his family very well. Their daughter babysat the three Olson boys on occasion.Karlton, Harlan, and Leland. My brother Harlan was a banker, writer, and collector of artifacts who helped start the Museum at the state park entrance. Harlan loved every minute of it, even the many volunteer hours. He passed away on March 8, 2016. I can see him searching for artifacts on old Heavenly terrain now. I would imagine there are some very nice artifacts to be found near those streets of gold.

Smith’s dance hall and the property was all sold to the Methodist Church, they may have become the first church to have a beer license. The original dance hall building where Lawrence Welk played still stands, in the same place on that stretch of shoreline. Today it is used for meetings and as a dining hall, that says something for old-time construction.

Arlington Beach, the next place west was run by a lady named Ann Oburn. This picture is of the Lake Poinsett water slide in the 1920’s. I think it was located at Arlington Beach, as far as I can tell from looking at the Hills and the trees in the background. I will be glad to edit this story and change the location if it is wrong. Ann Oburn had a few rental cabins, cafe and bait house.

Bud Mueller from Estelline gave boat rides at Arlington Beach in the 1940’s. This was his fancy boat.

In the nineteen forties or early fifties it was purchased by Russ Weiland and his wife who operated it for many years. Russ was possibly the original Evinrude Johnson dealer in this part of the country. His daughter and son-in-law relocated Weiland Marine, which is now on Highway 81.

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West from there were only two or three houses until you got to the little hill top farm with the goats. I think Madsens lived there. There were only two cabins between there and Mundt’s Resort. Mundt’s had several small cabins that they rented out. There was a farm between Mundt’s resort and what is now Pier 81.

There was another dance hall that later became Wieland Marine on Highway 81 just north of the corner by the Poinsett Cemetery, it closed after the War. It was near a gas station, some called Hilltop, others Ann’s Place.  She served lunches and usually had a lively crowd, Ann and Clyde served beverages to those with the most discriminating tastes. The place later became Ole’s repair shop. It was Gene’s repair until Weiland Marine bought it.

Ernie Edwards moved a building to the lake and started Edwards resort, possibly in the late 40s early 50s. Edwards served good food and had a bar and live music.
Edwards Resort had dances through the 50s 60s and 70s mainly Country Western and Rock and Roll music. They usually had very good crowds. I believe it was sometime in the 1960’s a truck driver must have gone to sleep at the wheel and he tipped his semi over in Edwards parking lot wrecking cars and almost taking out the gas pumps. I can’t imagine the call that fellow had to make to his company explaining he just wrecked a few dozen cars while tipping over at a crowded dance. I was there that night I recall there was a lot of commotion. It was a miracle that no one was even hurt, many people were outside.

On the west side of the Lake, there was a resort called Sportsmans Lodge owned by Nessen’s, the Hawley family was there too, it burned down. It was a very long large building with a restaurant, I believe they also had cabins and rooms in the lodge that they rented out.

What is now Lakeview Resort was a small resort opened by Ole Mikelmier. It later became Fish Haven, home of the famous Carp Sandwich. They had a secret BBQ sauce, It brought out the best in a big chunk of carp. From Lakeview North, there were two or three homes.

The Grape Farm had no homes until the first one was built right on the point in the 1950s. From there North to Saarinen’s the state purchased part of the shoreline and later sold Lots to private owners. That closed it for skinny dipping. From Saarinen’s Point North there were a few homes because it was close to the highway.

Nitteberg’s Resort was just east of the Stonebridge. That highway washed out west of the bridge in the spring of 1969 as flood waters from over a hundred inches of snow came in from the river and Dry Lake.

Nittebergs must have had a couple dozen summer cabins that they rented out along with boats and bait. They also had some carnival rides in the summer months and afternoon roller skating in the dance hall. The dance hall was built over the lake at one time, but ice damage made them move it back to shore. It was a family run business.The brothers John and Clair ran the bar and maintained most jukeboxes, pinball and other game machines in a large area, their sisters operated the cafe.

The Dance Hall was very busy and a lively location during the 50’s and 60’s and into the 70’s. There was all types of music, old time music was the most popular for many years, until Rock and Roll moved in. There were many big-name bands playing at Nittebergs Resort in the early years, the Model T and Model A days. Lawrence Welk who was from Strasburg N D played there in his younger days. Miron Florin from Rosholt South Dakota managed the Welk music when Lawrence stepped down.

Leo Fortin’s Orchestra was a regular at Nitteberg’s Stone Bridge Resort for many years.

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Leo Fortin

They had Thursday night dances in the fifties. I recall our football coach at Castlewood kept telling us “you guys have a good football team but just think how much better you would be if you didn’t spend all night at the dance on Thursday night.” I guess he had a good point there.

We danced a lot to Big Tiny Little’s Band who played with The Lawrence Welk Orchestra. He was born in Worthington Minnesota and was a regular there in the 50s and 60s.

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Dry Lake was north of The Stone Bridge. In the dryer years, it was full of muskrat houses. The Game Warden Ed White with his Smokey the Bear Hat would fire a shotgun to open the trapping season. From what I have heard it was like the Boomer Sooner land rush in Oklahoma. Trappers made a mad dash to claim as many muskrat houses as they could.

The County’s had a bounty on pocket gophers at one time. It was rumored that some entrepreneurial muskrat Trappers took the front paws from their muskrats and turned them in to claim pocket gopher bounty in the spring.

When you went east from Nittebergs cabins, there were only one or two houses, the one right below the hill was named ‘The Mouse Turd Inn.” The west side of that hill was real steep, just a dirt trail going straight up, many Model A’s some Model T’s, later newer cars had drivers who challenged each other to make it to the top. The dust really flew! I think some got sideways on occasion and rolled back down the hill.

The resort on top of the hill was known as Jim Bagley’s place. A long wooden staircase went down the hill to the lake. They also had a café, fishing equipment, and bait. The name was changed to the Hilltop Resort later when owned by Louie Morales and his family. Louie rented out boats at Thomas Lake one summer when perch fishing was hot.

Just down the hill, east of the hilltop resort, there were three or four homes before you got to Hammer’s pasture and to the outlet of Lake Poinsett, that led to Stark’s Bridge where flood gates were installed. There have been several fish winterkill years when oxygen in the lake got so low most of the fish died. Dead fish in windrows around the lake at one time. The worst spring brought out the National Guard with front-end loaders, trucks and lots of shovels.

The Bakke farm and Cemetery took up most of the east shore. Two homes were on the hill overlooking Prestrude’s Landing. Lots were developed and cabins built to the south of the boat landing in the 1950’s. Goulds opened a beer and bait place there in the late forties but it didn’t last. The next mile of shoreline was only recently developed by the Hansen family. Going south from the Hansen development to Hendricksons or now Runia’s there were two cabins.

This has been a rather selfish nostalgic trip around Lake Poinsett. I’m really young to have nostalgia for the water slide or for the swimming attire. So actually I feel a lot younger by taking this trip back just a few years before my time. I thought I would like to share these memories of Lake Poinsett while I’m still able to share them. The changes at Lake Poinsett are hard to imagine if you didn’t witness them. The number of very large homes today must reflect a great prosperity in this country or something?

At night the lake and all of the country side was darker than pitch, this was in 1945, before REA, no all night yard lights, no electric lights period. We played cards with light from a kerosene lamp on the table. This country at night was a whole lot darker, the small glow in the sky to the west was Lake Norden’s lights. The smaller glow to the east was Estelline in the Sioux River bottom. You could barely make out a tiny glow for Brookings, that was a long way off. You might say nights were a bonus for ghosts and goblins in those days. On a night with no moon or stars, you best hope your lantern did not go dry.  Can you imagine going back to live in those times?

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 / LELAND OLSON HOEL / EDITbeach-bunnies

Swimming attire has gone from one extreme to the other throughout the centuries. In classical antiquity, swimming and bathing were done naked. The swimming suits here from the 1920’s seem a wee bit extreme, the weight of the wet swim suit could pull you under. Now close to 100 years later we saw, peered, peeked our way through the teeny weeny, polka dot bikini era, we are almost back to swimming in the nude again.

What goes around comes around, with nostalgia or Murphy’s Law.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Family Dinner Out

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Modern Families

Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great if we all got together and had dinner out. Of course, the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, others wanted Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with the oriental wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere, we are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”

We all finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask,  “how about ordering.” Each one wants to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I shouted, “No way José, this is not going to work, it will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately we will go Dutch. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed, waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.

Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police siren’s out in front. Pretty soon a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. The policeman asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around in the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Whoever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”

I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1914. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came all the way from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets, I heard you always liked fish, we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”

I asked, “How long can you stay,” They said, ‘until dinner is over’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well, that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to just have dinner with you and your family, to see what you all look and act like.’ “Frankly, I am shocked, It looks like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should all be eating at one table at your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a little over a 100 years or so since I left here.”

So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking all the way back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905! “I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up, I didn’t have my Derby hat so they beamed me back down, got my hat, they beamed me up again and it brought me here. I hope they get it right going back.”

Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………

Bye, bye, great-grandpa, I love you.

Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

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Fishing was usually good.

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Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !

 

 

 

 

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24 lb. Northern Pike

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36.5 lb. Carp

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The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan

 

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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.

 

 

 

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Marriage

I will have to say one fear that I finally conquered was getting married. I have had talks with myself through the years. They would go something like this. Hey self, ‘yes,’ “you sure your not gay,” ‘self, of course not, no way.’

I played high school football and had several different dates in high school. This one young lady and I had a bad case of puppy love that lasted about a year. Then a cheerleader from another town came along and that became more serious. She sent me a Dear John letter while I was in boot camp. I got to thinking later, never hit many home runs in high school, then I didn’t play baseball either. A second cheerleader was very special, she kept in touch with me while I served two years in Japan. I should have been far more considerate of her, for my future and hers.

I told myself dad beating up on my mother every other week had no bearing on me and my female relationships. My stepdad was a sex pervert who liked boys, that should’ve had nothing to do with me, he might have been an altar boy at one time.

I got sent to Japan for two years in 1960, a young lady working in our squadron coffee shop and I knew at first glance, THIS IS IT, we grew to be so close, it was as if our souls became one. In 1962 we said goodbye to each other at the train station in Tokyo. Half of me flew home the next day, the other half never made it back to the USA. We exchanged letters for a long time.

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Miki

In 1964 my back was broken in a car wreck. If you are lucky enough to get your neck broke there can be some sex after spinal cord injury. My fracture was in the thoracic-lumbar region, bowel, bladder, sex and one leg affected. I have often thought, that was my payback for being inconsiderate of my female friends and a coward when it came to marriage.

I tried living the life of a hermit for a couple years in Northern Minnesota. If you want to be a hermit, you better like lonely, that’s about all I can say about the hermit lifestyle.

My cousin like a brother was driving a refrigerated truck from Sioux Falls South Dakota to Arizona and California every week. He talked me into working with him. If we had a load of meat for Tucson Arizona, we stayed at the same motel every week, it was nice and they had a pool, bar, and a small dance floor. That is where I met my wife to be, this was 1969. At that time the family was even starting to look at me with that look in their eyes, is he or isn’t he, like marriage is supposed to be for everyone? I don’t think so!

Rose Marie and I dated, parked out in the desert and talked while listening to the Martians, desert sounds, etc. We did lots of dancing, some drinking, then decided to get married, sort of a take care of each other in old age deal, that’s now where were at. She had four daughters and a grandson when we got married. After 44 years I have lost track of how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren there are.

My life has been under constant change living with a spinal injury. I lose more ability to do things almost daily. It is an effort anymore just to do daily things that everyone takes for granted. Life is still good and it will go on as long as the creator has something for us to do. We may as well make the most each new day that we are given.

An older brother said one time, “married men live longer,” ‘no,’ “it just seems longer.” He said it as a joke but I do believe married man might live a little longer.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

The Apostle’s Creed

I just finished watching the funeral ceremony for George H. W. Bush. I heard “the end of an era” mentioned once or twice. With Brian Mulroney and Senator Alan Simpson speaking there had to be a flavor of, end of an era. They both knew and appreciated President Bush. It does seem like the end of an era as this great man was both President and Patriot. The youngest Navy pilot, enlisting in the Navy in World War II before attending college. He spent his entire life in service to his country along with being the president.

I would hope everyone in this country learns from President George H. W. Bush’s life of service. It was all based on and grew out of a life that was well lived, a life of faith and love for his fellow man.

Toward the end of the funeral ceremony, all the living presidents were sitting side-by-side in the front pew of the church, across from the Bush family members. The part of the service started where the Apostles Creed was recited. I noticed the current president’s lips were not moving.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Arrow

 

Arrow

Stone-tipped projectile weapons found in Africa are believed to be 71000 years old. Otzi, the oldest natural mummy was killed by an arrow.

In the 12th century, the crossbow came into existence and it changed battles and warfare considerably. It put fear into the hearts of noblemen who were always protected by heavy armor. A bolt or arrow fired from the crossbow could penetrate armor.

In the 16th century, the widespread use of gunpowder was supposed to make the bow and arrow obsolete.

Modern archers have numerous styles of bows and arrows for hunting and target shooting. If you are handicapped today and unable to use regular archery equipment, you can apply for a crossbow permit for hunting. Crossbows shoot a short Arrow called a bolt they will go through a deer or elk.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Grandpa’s Pull-Ups

Grandpa’s Pull-Ups

If you are like me and have arm weakness from a spinal cord injury, you may do as I do and ask your spouse or caregiver to pull up your briefs and pants several times a day. I have finally discovered a way to regain some of my independence. I can still stand up with a walker. This could also work standing in front of a wheelchair.

I have exercise pulleys on a door to keep my arm strength and motion range alive. I still have a weakness when it comes to pulling up my pants all the way. I solved the problem by poking a hole in the waistband in the back of a brief. I run a piece of 1/4 X 40-inch nylon rope through the hole, then double the rope and tie a slip knot at the end.

I stand under my exercise pulley and insert the wooden handle on one end of the rope through the double slip knot loop. Image result for ROPE knots

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I then pull down on the other end of the rope which pulls the brief or pants up, slip the wooden handle back out of the double loop, pull the slip knot loose and remove the 40-inch rope from the back of the brief or pair of pants. With briefs, a hole in the waistband is no problem but with a pair of pants, you could fashion a buttonhole in the center of the back waistband to protect the material.

This is not a perfect solution but I have found that it works and gets the job done instead of bothering my wife constantly to pull my britches up. If you come to our house to visit there still is a chance that you might accidentally get mooned. With a spinal cord injury, many Simple Things become impossible and everything takes longer to do.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlock It

Bronze Heart Lock and Key Couples Necklace - Real Working Lock Pendant - Couples Jewelry - Jewelry Set

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #76 – Unlock

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

 

Unlock

I did not yet know the science of the rocket;
but I did hold the key to her locket.

It was meant to unlock her heart;
Woe is me, I never became that smart.

The cozy encounters left me to wonder,
and the chase often times later ponder.

Instead of out of this universe untold bliss,
I always settled for the French kiss.

Historic Gathering of 40- and 50-year SCI Survivors

Since I am a spinal cord injury Survivor starting into year 55 I felt like I should put the story of these Brave SCI survivors on my blog site to share with the rest of the world. I have written a book about my 50 plus years and I will post the link to that book also and hope you find it interesting reading. Here is the link to my book.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1980400830/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

 

http://www.newmobility.com/2015/08/gathering-of-sci-survivors/

NaNoWRIMO

 

National Novel Writing Month or ‘NaNoWriMo’ is rapidly approaching, it begins on November 1st. Gabriela Pereira and Word Nerds Unite are big supporters of NaNoWriMo. A good place for writers to exchange ideas and protocols is with them.

I have written a Blog called ‘My Mixed Blog’ for the past 3 years. It has several hundred short stories now.  One story two years ago was a “who done it, a mystery,” I would like to say ‘Thriller.’ A couple of my blog readers continued to ask me what happens next? I ran this story through my mental collating process from many different angles.

I joined NaNoWriMo on November 1, of 2017. I made the decision to turn my short story into my first and possibly the last novel when gastric juices started to overflow on week two.

The 50,000 required words seemed like an impossible task for me. The end of November was rapidly approaching and I was stuck in the minuscule 40,000 range. I did not want to stand back and toss words into my word stew, just for the sake of more numbers. Consequently, I missed the deadline at the end of the month. After I finally got the required number of words in December it read like one of the best novels I had ever seen. It pumped up my ego to the stupid point, so I hurried to get it published. I used a self-publishing tool and completed the process at warp speed. Being a completely green newbie I forgot about editing, proofreading, etc. I soon learned people had trouble reading my style of writing as if it was from a planet far from Earth.

That is the reason to join NaNoWriMo and learn much from other writers.
I have to admit November 1, 2018, is rapidly approaching. I thought I had a pot full of story ideas ready to boil over on the front burner. I couldn’t even stir them down with my magic quill. It ended up there was nothing on the front burner just an empty, dead, cold pan on the back of the stove with no sign of Fire under it.

At this point, my cup does not Runneth over had my WIC is not even touching the oil. It’s not so much burn out as it fizzles out, my energy level is too low to measure.

I wish the best of luck to everyone at NaNoWriMo 2018.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

 

Dream Interpretations

Could a quick nap last forever?

I have had sleep apnea for 18 years and use a CPAP machine but I still don’t get enough oxygen, consequently, I’m tired most of the day, being tired I doze off sitting in my recliner or sitting here at the computer.

When I go to sleep sitting in the chair like this my head tilts forward and this cuts off the oxygen to my brain which lowers blood oxygen even more. I’m not sure how this works but I have all kinds of dreams while I’m having these naps. I seem to go into REM sleep within minutes causing all kinds of short nightmares and dreams. Lately, I tend to have the same reoccurring dream. I have a destination that I’m always having trouble getting to, people are causing me to have travel problems. I always end up stranded somewhere wondering why I can’t reach my destination. This makes me get very angry at those in my dreams that are creating these roadblocks for me. Lately, I have wondered if my dream destination is death? Are these some type of angels causing me not to get where I want to go?

Today was a very cloudy rainy day, on days like that is when I always do my best sleeping. I was sitting here at my computer having many short dreams, all trying to get somewhere. I would wake up, type a little, then nod off again. I was having absolutely no results. I was mad at first but then I just kept on sleeping usually these events cause me to get mad enough where I wake up. Today I did not wake up I was lost in my REM Dreamland at the computer. The ringing of the telephone woke me up. I could not move my hands or arms so I could not answer the phone right away. It kept on ringing but I could not move my arms to push the answer button, I kept trying to wiggle my arms and hands until I reached the phone. It was our youngest daughter calling. I told her “I was sure glad she called!”

I would like to hear an answer from someone who interprets dreams.

http://www.lelandolson.com/