Those three little words that you see in the summer

Published 5:18pm Saturday, August 11, 2012

As summer works its way toward fall I’m sure that a lot of folks, including myself are looking forward to cooler temperatures. I know that as Minnesotans we have certain “whining rights” when it come so the weather, but as long as we choose to live here we will always have something to start a conversation with. How many times this summer have you heard this one? Is it warm enough for you? Another great question is: Are you staying cool? Then there is the I don’t mind the heat, but it’s the humidity that I don’t like — now that’s a great ice breaker (pun intended).

I spend a fair amount of time traveling north during the summer and occasionally I will take a moment to look back on my younger days and reflect on those times.

On one such trip I noticed a sign that had three words on it, and it reminded me of what has often been referred to as those three little words. On this day those three little words read “Road Work Ahead” and they can be seen on just about every road that you travel. I spent last weekend driving through Iowa to Galena, Ill., for a wedding where I am sure those three original little words were spoken. While I was able to see the new three words time and time again it made me wonder if there is any significance to the No. 3 when making a road sign.

Let’s face it — there is prepare to stop followed by left (or right) lane closed, reduced speed ahead and on it goes. For many years we Minnesotans have gone under the assumption that we were the only ones suffering from constructionitis when in all actuality our neighbors are in the same boat as us.

As we venture further on toward the end of summer and move on to fall, I can’t help but feel that summer has gone by all too fast. There were quite a few days when the temperatures made it pretty hard to want to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Looking back to my younger days (again) I have to wonder how I ever survived without air conditioning. I can remember going to the Northside Creamery (dairy bar) on a hot summer day for an ice cream treat and occasionally a worker would walk out of the cooler and I’d feel that rush of cold air and think wow, I wish I could take that home.

We actually did manage to survive those days without air conditioning and I think that having experienced those times actually makes us appreciate what we have today, and not just take it for granted. I don’t really know how old I was when I quit calling a refrigerator an ice box, but I can remember what one looked like because my grandpa and grandma had one.

The Albert Lea Ice House was a place where you could buy ice by the block. I think that it sat at about the same place that Godfather’s is today. I have an ice pick that came from the Albert Lea Ice House with its name inscribed on the handle. I can still see my grandpa shoveling coal into the furnace and when the “coal man” came he would dump the coal down a coal chute that emptied into a coal bin in the basement.

We have come a long way since those days that some of us refer to as “the good old days.” But those times weren’t always easy, and everything wasn’t there at the tip of your fingers. We had no TV, internet, smartphones or iPods, just movies and the radio. At the movies you’d see newsreels of the most important events of the week, and I can still see my grandpa sitting in his chair on Saturday night listening to “Gunsmoke” on the radio. I was at my grandparent’s house when I first heard the song, “How Much is That Doggy in the Window?”

It’s funny how some things stick in your mind. Yes, times were harder and day-to-day living was a lot more work but those days were also a lot simpler and I believe that in a lot of ways that’s what made them the good old days.

Deer licenses now on sale; lottery applications due Sept. 6

Deer hunting licenses are now available for purchase. Hunters who want an either-sex deer or special hunt permit for the coming season must apply by Sept. 6, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters should carefully review the list of lottery areas because many of these permit areas have not been lottery areas for a significant period of time. Currently, 58 of the state’s 127 permit areas are lottery areas.

Many of these areas, focused in the northwest, north central and a portion of northeast Minnesota, were designated lottery areas in response to hunter desire to see higher deer populations.

People can purchase a deer license and apply for the lottery or a special hunt at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or online. Lottery winners will be notified in October.

Hunters can apply for lottery deer areas and special hunts using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful applicants still can only take one deer. In the case of special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in which case they must adhere to the bag limits established by each special hunt.

Lottery deer areas in 2012 are permit areas 103, 108, 110, 118, 119, 122, 169, 171, 172, 183, 184, 197, 199, 234, 235, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 258, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

DNR encourages hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying. Current and up-to-date information is available online at

Until next time, enjoy the outdoors and take a little time to teach a kid about fishing and he’ll be hooked for life.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.


Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune each Sunday.