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Marilyn Hagerty: Catalogs were for more than shopping

Dear Gladys Hallstrom,

I just wanted to tell you I feel bad about the impending closing of J.C. Penney in your town of Thief River Falls. I wish you could keep it open, especially with Digi-Key looking to expand by 1,000 employees. And you say there is nothing much for shoppers between Thief River and Canada.

So far, Penney's is staying open in Grand Forks. I don't suppose we ever will go back to the catalogs—not with most everybody able to place orders online.

Once in a while I think of the days in the "Dirty Thirties" when we would wait for the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs. We would turn the pages and wish for the dresses and sweaters we saw in there. And we would sneak peeks at the pages showing boys and men in their underwear.

As a matter of fact, that was our sex education.

And when the catalogs were old and battered, economical women would fold the pages twice and turn the catalogs into door stoppers.

Those were the good old days!

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Don Craig and his Second Wind Band are making the rounds and bringing music to people who don't get out much. Monday they were at Valley Eldercare. That's where a concert usually turns into a dance of wheelchairs.

They'll also do a short concert at 5 p.m. Thursday for the art show in the Alerus Center. Among their songs Monday were "Peanuts Polka" and "Cruising Down the River."

These musicians—new and old—get around the area too. I wonder if you ever have heard them in Thief River.

In May, the New Horizon Band from Fargo will be here for a joint concert with the Grand Forks group. Director Don Craig says his band here has 30 musicians. That's including a few who have slipped away for the winter in Arizona or Texas.

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How are your streets in Thief River, Gladys? We go bumpety, bumpety, bump here in Grand Forks. I see the street crews out fixing them, but Rome wasn't built in a day. The snowdrifts are shrinking. I think the mammoth drift up by The Ralph arena will be here until July 4.

Hope spring is making a little headway in Thief River and around your Ralph Engelstad Arena!

Best regards, Marilyn Hagerty, watching the snow drifts shrink along the Red River of the North.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

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