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Observations from the archives: 1963, Welcome Wagon calls on new families

1913, 100 years ago: The approaches to the new bridge between Lake Carlos and L'Homme Dieu have washed out, and a number of people were there with their teams hauling stones into the opening in an effort to save the bridge from also being washed out.

1913, 100 years ago: The approaches to the new bridge between Lake Carlos and L'Homme Dieu have washed out, and a number of people were there with their teams hauling stones into the opening in an effort to save the bridge from also being washed out. The lake level rose until the water began to flow over the approaches.

1963, 50 years ago: The former National Guard Company A of Alexandria became Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 136th Infantry. The change in the designation took place because of the changes in the entire United States Army. Both active duty and guard units will be reorganized. Captain Jerome Motzko, a former member of the local company who has been serving in the Sauk Centre guard, took command of the new headquarters company. Also on hand was Fred Foslien, who has had a part in obtaining the proposed addition to the guard armory. The enlargement will be completed sometime this fall, providing much needed space for classrooms, offices and a supply room. Also in 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Bloom announced the grand opening of the Sunset Drive-In Theatre's 14th season in Alexandria. Opening the season will be a double feature with Jerry Lewis starring in "Ladies Man" and Tommy Sands starring in "Love in a Goldfish Bowl."

1988, 25 years ago: Juanita Fisher, president of the Alexandria Douglas County Resort Association, reported that despite the "economic sparks" provided by small "ma and pa resorts," they are struggling to stay afloat. In 1967, there were 4,000 ma and pa operations in Minnesota. In 1988, there were only about 1,250 left. In Douglas County there were 68 small resorts in operation.

2003, 10 years ago: Gary and Jennifer Brever are the owners of Ploughshare Farm, a 24-acre organic farm near Leaf Valley with 10 acres in production. Brever grows approximately 50 kinds of vegetables with more than 100 varieties of crops in all. The farm is organic, meaning all the produce is free of pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals. It also offers Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which is a way for small farmers to directly market their produce to the community and for the community to directly support its local farmers. Brever, who also teaches English as a second language classes at Fresh Water Community Education in Long Prairie during the winter months, said, "I want to be a good steward of my acreage." His wife, Jennifer, also works part-time at The Grain Bin. The couple has two sons aged 2 and 4 and are expecting their third child.

Just for fun - 50 years ago in 1963: The Welcome Wagon remembers special family occasions, carrying on our community's traditional hospitality. Welcome Wagon calls on new families with friendly greetings from our religious, civic and business leaders. If you have a new neighbor, call the Welcome Wagon! The Academy Awards program will be aired on KXRA Radio. Nominated songs are "Days of Wine and Roses," "Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty," and "Walk on the Wild Side," among others.

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

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The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
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