Hearts of Gold

Today, at Super One Foods in Lakeside, there was an older guy wearing a Marines cap, so I asked him where he served. He said sixty years ago on this day in Korea, December of ’51, they had been in their bunker, which was warmed by an oil stove. Someone mistakenly threw gas on it, and everything went up in a blaze, his Christmas presents under his cot, his camera, some guys died. Another “even got a silver heart.” Probably for running back into the fire to save people.

So when I walk by these modest, quiet homes, and wonder who lives there, I’ll know many of them are old-time Duluthians who served their country in wars people easily forgot. And while I may be angered by the hypocrisy, failure of diplomacy, fear or greed that may cause them, I am equally amazed and humbled by the courage and selflessness of those who serve. Sometimes they just want their stories to be heard.



about 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I had a good Lakeside neighbor experience today, too -- in line at the post office, which I am hoping can somehow remain open -- a man told me he lived here for 84 years, and we discussed how much fun it would be to try to get a bar or restaurant/bar in the area that served liquor (real liquor!). I told him my idea for "Myrtle's" named after Mrs. Marshall, with a big portrait of her in a gold frame over the bar; he said Bob's old burger place (now State Farm) served 3.2 beer (didn't know that). I said that since I have now lived here 11 years, I was starting to feel like I belong. He thought that was funny ... different kind of encounter -- but good ... people do like to tell their stories.


about 11 years ago

Francene, you know that Myrtle was a leading force behind keeping that part of town dry?  Is that the joke?


Herzog, I was very moved by this story, too, thanks for sharing.  I grew up in that part of town and, especially the last decade or so, I have often paused to consider those little shoe box sized houses and how happy and grateful people were to have them, what great neighbors they were and how much they did (uncomplaining) for our community.


about 11 years ago

I've found the people with the most intense experiences actually don't want their stories to be heard... they'd rather forget about what happened. They don't want to talk about it.


about 11 years ago

Yes, Wildgoose, I did hear that about Myrtle, and the hardware people laughed, but not a lot, when I asked if they were putting a bar named Myrtle's in the building where the fitness place near Marshall's is now...love Marshall Hardware.  Just thought they could diversify!

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