A love story

Thumbs Up: Here’s a heartwarming story from Mary Kilpo of Alexandria that begins back in October of 2019 when she and her husband loaded the back of their truck with brush to bring to the dump. Sadly, her husband passed away just a few months later, in March 2020. Mary had to move to a smaller, more affordable place and didn't drive the truck for a while. In July, she noticed something unusual – a tomato plant was growing in the bed of the truck, taking root from that brush she and her husband hauled away. It even had a couple of tomatoes on it. She is going to hospice meetings and told others who were there that her husband would always say, "You and me kid." Someone who goes to the meetings made her a beautiful sign containing those words and it’s given her some comfort.

A tomato plant grew from brush that Mary Kilpo and her late husband hauled away months before his death. She received a sign through the hospice program with a quote her husband often told her, "You and me kid." (Echo Press staff photo)
A tomato plant grew from brush that Mary Kilpo and her late husband hauled away months before his death. She received a sign through the hospice program with a quote her husband often told her, "You and me kid." (Echo Press staff photo)

Pickleball project

Thumbs Up: The new pickleball courts that opened in Alexandria City Park this week are already getting rave reviews. The first foursome of players hit the courts minutes after the finishing touches were made. “The city did a wonderful job – they made a lot of people happy today and for years to come,” said a local pickleball enthusiast. The city’s park director, Bill Thoennes, was the key leader for the project and worked closely with pickleball players to get the project going. By approving the $110,000 project, the city council recognized that the courts will create recreational opportunities for all ages, draw people from throughout the region and benefit the city through pickleball tournaments and events.

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Fooled by conspiracy theory

Thumbs Down: The depths of deception seem to have no bounds. There is a growing group out there (way out there) who believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory that claims Satanists and pedophiles run the government and COVID-19 is a plot to steal the election. Such claptrap isn’t even worth the ink of printing except for the fact that some political candidates actually believe it’s real. The Star Tribune reported this week that as many as 77 congressional candidates and at least two dozen candidates for state legislatures across the country have been linked to the QAnon theory, which emerged in late 2017. The Tribune’s story noted that In some cases, Minnesota candidates have used official social media pages for their campaigns to post slogans in support of QAnon. The “movement” calls to round up elected officials, journalists and other members of the so-called “Deep State” for imprisonment or execution. Enough said.

Recycling made easier

Thumbs Up: Here’s a thumbs up for all the new blue recycling barrels downtown and also the new recycling containers at Big Ole Park provided through Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management. “Kudos to Nathan Reinbold and his staff at Douglas Pope Recycling!” said a grateful reader. “They are making it easy for people to deposit their trash/recycling!”

Broadway speeders

Thumbs Down: An Alexandria resident says he’s sick and tired of cars driving down Broadway at 40-45 mph. It’s particularly troublesome on the 600 block, he said. “I saw a semi that had to be going 45 mph,” he said. “Drivers are just going too fast. Police should be pulling them over. Alexandria isn’t pedestrian friendly to begin with and the high speeds make it worse.”

Acts of unkindness

Thumbs Down: Under the category of “random acts of unkindness” – someone stole a Love Thy Neighbor sign from an Alexandria family’s yard. Yes, that’s right. Someone removed a sign promoting love and kindness. The culprits also took a political sign and spray-painted another. “What kind of a community are we becoming?” the family said in an email to the newspaper. “We are respectful of other people’s opinions and expect the same.”

Saving lives

Thumbs Up: It’s easy to take for granted our emergency responders and local medical staff that save so many lives. Steve Peterson of Forest Lake was visiting his father-in-law in Osakis when he suffered a serious heart attack. “Because of the quick work of my wife and all these dedicated healthcare professionals, I am doing well with no heart damage,” Peterson said. He gives a shout out to Osakis First Responders, North Ambulance, Alomere Health’s Emergency Room, Lifelink III air ambulance and St. Cloud CentraCare.

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to aedenloff@echopress.com or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.