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Observations from the archives, 2003: Zeithamer to tour Costa Rica

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By Rachel Barduson, Echo Press columnist

1913, 100 years ago: The telephone company is putting up a new cable for wires on Sixth Avenue. This will relieve the strain on the poles that are becoming overloaded with cross-arms and wires. It is also the beginning of the installation of a new, more up-to-date telephone system. In the Personals and Locals column: Peterson’s Drug advertised several products. Stop that cough: Use Spauldings Cough Cure. Guaranteed. We carry a complete line of Parkers Jack Knife Fountain Pens, both self-filling and non-leakable. If you have kidney trouble you should use Nyals Kidney Pills. Guaranteed. Ansco Camera, a means of education and a source of enjoyment. Obtain a catalog and prices at Peterson’s Drug Store.

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1963, 50 years ago: A picture feature by John C. Obert, editor of the Park Region Echo, will appear in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune’s Picture magazine, November 10. The feature, which will appear under the heading “My Love Affair With Main Street,” tells of Obert’s devotion to his home town. Also pictured are Ray Wallentine, Richard Dyke, Keith Wallace, C.B. Rykken, Mrs. John Maetzold, Roger Perry and several others from Alexandria. Members of Obert’s family are also pictured.

1988, 25 years ago: Big plans are under way to build a new park in Forada. The proposed park is located south of the Forada Fire Department on a vacant plot of land 100 feet wide and 250 feet long, owned by the city. The total cost of the park project is estimated at $12,000. Carol Ley of Forada is the chief organizer of the project, writing grant applications to the Wedum Foundation, and a new state program, “Celebrate Minnesota 1990.” As part of the U.S. Olympic Festival, the state program provides $1 for every $3 raised for projects that beautify or improve a community.

2003, 10 years ago: Art Engelbrecht, 85, is pictured standing near the recently erected monument on his land, which was dedicated October 25 as the Art Engelbrecht Wildlife Management Area. Engelbrecht’s 313 acres of land, located east of Forada with parcels on both sides of County Road 77, is open to the public for activities like hunting deer, pheasants and wild turkey. In other news, the National FFA organization selected 22-year-old Josh Zeithamer of the Alexandria FFA Chapter as the 2003 American Star in Agribusiness, one of the highest honors the agricultural education organization can bestow. He was one of four finalists to receive $1,000 from the National FFA Foundation to participate in an international tour to Costa Rica. As the winner, Zeithamer also received an additional $1,000 award. Zeithamer started an Alexandria-based company, Bio Builder, Inc., that manufactures and distributes an environmentally-friendly, phosphate-free fertilizer and provides other agronomic services.

Just for fun – 1988, 25 years ago: Alexandria’s “City of White Lights” holiday promotion will kick off with an all-city lighting ceremony on November 25. The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce reported that 50,000 tiny white lights have been sold to businesses and retailers throughout the city. They will be placed outside or inside to be part of the overall white-lighting promotion for this year. On lighting day, Santa Claus will be standing near Big Ole, where he will throw the lighting switch at about 5:10 p.m. Seconds later, through a computerized lighting program at Alexandria Light and Power, the decorations above intersections in the city will be lit. Businesses are asked to listen to any of the local radio stations for an official countdown, and turn on their white lights at that same time.

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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.

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