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Writing again. Weeds, 1/11/12

February 7, 2012 - Randy Krzmarzick
So, I’m going to write an Occasional Column. I used to write stuff years ago. That was with a pen and paper. Some of you may remember pen and paper. They seem archaic in this day of virtual keyboards. But pen and paper were a great leap forward for those of us who grew up etching on stones.

After I quit writing stuff down years ago, I kept on creating sentences in my head. That went on for some time, and soon the empty spaces in my head filled up. Imagine, if you will, a septic tank being completely filled and, then the outlet to the drain field being plugged, and then you keep putting stuff in it. That’s what was happening to my head. Words were beginning to ooze out various orifices. It was rather unsightly.

Thankfully, Editor Kevin ran into me one day. He tried to be polite but couldn’t help but notice the participial phrase dangling from my nostril. After averting his glance for a time, he finally pointed it out. I was so embarrassed. Being the humanitarian that he is, Kevin offered me a Kleenex and a column.

I’m from over by Sleepy Eye. Some of you New Ulmers may have heard of Sleepy Eye. It is west of New Ulm. Since the state of Minnesota is actually tipped to the right, and all traffic flows to the east, few of you have ever been this way. New Ulmers have heard rumors of Sleepy Eye, and know that it is on this side of the Pacific Ocean. There’s something called “Comfrey” over here, too, but I don’t want to throw too much at you at one time.

I even live west of Sleepy Eye. It is not the end of the world, that’s about a quarter mile further. As a matter of fact, when the kids were younger, we put up a fence right there on the edge of the end of the world. Through the years, several head of livestock had fallen off, and we didn’t want one of the kids following them.

Years ago, a copy of Horace Greeley’s famous exhortation, “Go west, young man!” reached New Ulm. A group of adventurers were inspired to put forth in a wagon train out of the city. There was great excitement and anticipation, but the journey took its toll. Just as landjaeger supplies were running low and tensions had begun to rise, the weary band reached Essig. They found out Carl’s Corner had Schell’s Beer and thought it prudent to stop there. I think they’re still there.

More recently when Walmart opened, a whole new generation of New Ulmers came up out of the valley, looked to the west, and wondered what was out there. Again, a group of able-bodied young men assembled and after a series of meetings at Smiley’s Tavern, decided to journey to the west. Having heard of the fate met by those earlier explorers, they put in an ample supply of landjaegers. Unfortunately, they took the frontage road past Walmart and proceeded to have a big pileup where the road ends. A few of them carried on by foot and got to Essig. I think they’re still there.

Now, we folks over here by Sleepy Eye do have one little bone to pick with New Ulmers. If you will reach over in the drawer there, and take out your map of Brown County…what’s that? Oh, you don’t HAVE a map of Brown County? Funny, huh? Well, if you HAD a map of Brown County, you would see that Sleepy Eye is smack-dab, on-the-nuts in the center of said county. Years ago, some misguided souls decided that New Ulm should be the county seat.

Apparently, maps hadn’t been invented yet. Or it’s possible those knuckleheads couldn’t get the map unfolded. Either way, they made the mistake of putting the county seat on the edge of Brown County. We’ve had to live with that blunder for a century and a half, now, and it really doesn’t upset us anymore, and we’ve made our peace with it. But. WHY ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH WOULD THE COUNTY SEAT BE WAY THE SAM-HECK OVER THERE INSTEAD OF HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTY WHERE IT BELONGS?!?!?

Anyway, we’re willing to let this go, but are going to have to insist on the immediate transfer of the county seat to Sleepy Eye. We hope this can be a peaceful transition. Marly Helget’s related to about half the people over; I’m sure they’d help move boxes. For now, the Courthouse is going to go in the old Moorman’s building just west of town. We’re going to use the old Palace building to serve as a temporary jail, till a new one is constructed on the Snow Farm. And, yes, we can get one built a LOT cheaper than the old one; I priced it at Overson’s and they’ve got some winter specials. This is only fair, since New Ulm’s wrongfully held the county seat for the last 150 years. We promise to revisit the issue in another 150 years.


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