Guest Column: Wabasha remains a popular destination

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019

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Guest Column by Bob Hanson

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At the campus of Cornell College — an Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York — a yearly event takes place for the school graduates and staff to meet each other. Following is the conversation at last year’s event:

“Hi, my name is Paige. I’m on the staff.”

“Hi, my name is Anna, I’m an alumnus. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Minnesota. How about you?”

“I’m from Minnesota, too.”

“What part of Minnesota?”

“Albert Lea.”

“Wow, me too.”

“I rode the bus to school in Albert Lea.”

“Unbelievable, me too.”

“Where did you live?”

“Clarks Grove.”

“You’re kidding, me too.”

“What street did you live on?”

“I lived on Independence Street.”

“This is too much. So did I.”

“My mom was the Lutheran pastor for Central and North Freeborn Lutheran Church. Her name is Rev. Linda Gunderson.”

“My dad was the pastor for Central and North Freeborn Lutheran Church. His name was Rev. Timothy Bauer.”

About this time, not a word was spoken by either as this was just too much to digest. Suddenly, at the same time, both of them said, “We’ve lived in the same house. You’ve slept in my bedroom!”

And now readers, you know the updated version of “The Tale of Two Cities.” It’s called “The Tale of Two Ladies.”

Paige was in Minnesota for a few days. Genie and I met her at Slippery’s in Wabasha for lunch and then on to Lark Toys in Kellogg.

For the younger movie-goers, Wabasha was where the movies  of “Grumpy Old Men” were filmed. The movies, plus the National Eagle Center, have made Wabasha a destination on a lot of bucket lists. The town was packed. We waited about 45 minutes to get a seat by the Mississippi River to eat lunch. Since 2000, Slippery’s has had to close three times because of high water on the Mississippi, flooding the lower-level area.

As usual on a fall-colored, pretty leaves day, Lark Toys is humming. It served about 150 ice cream cones at a $3 minimum on the day we were there. Did all of us have an ice cream cone? Do you have any other stupid questions?

Regarding the conversation between Paige and Anna, when it happens, the day of staff meeting alumnus, this column will be all fact. In other words, the rest is “true.”

Bob Hanson is a retired Aid Association for Lutherans agent, who is currently working on his master’s degree in volunteering and writes columns for the NRHEG Star Eagle.