Kittson County Historical Society

Kittson profiles and photos from the past and present

This is a blog posting that I made on my brother dane II's blog site, The national party Times ( Dane allows me to ramble on about whatever comes to mind, and from time to time I find it a great release for what plagues my mind:

As I get older, I find my mood tends to swing more and more to the nostalgic. More "personal history" keeps popping up in my weekly newspaper column, I have gotten very involved with the Kittson County Historical Society and the museum, and I just tend to reminisce a lot more than I used to.

I am not sure if this is a good thing, or just another sign that I am sliding into the "Senior" generation. More likely the latter. The thoughts that occupy my mind today are directed at things like ending a career for more leisure, staying on top of social security (which is financed by Libertarians like Dane, of course), and managing my cash to make it all possible. I haven't got to the point of worrying about Depends yet, I think that comes much later in the process.

But in the course of all of this I tend to recall the days of my youth, growing up in Karlstad at a time where kids had more freedom to roam and get into minor trouble without their parents directing them to remain dirt and germ free.

Things have changed. Not that I would like to go back to those times, the present has a lot of positives, but there aspects that I do miss. Today, parents do have a lot more to worry about than did mine. However, at least some of their worry, I believe, is misdirected. For instance, my folks worried very little about the germs I came in contact with on a daily basis, they bathed us every Friday whether we needed it or not, and food labels did not even contain ingredients.

And somehow we not only survived, but remained fairly healthy as well.

We had the run of the town as kids, and roamed wherever the day took us. When I was five years old, I walked across town to the movie theater each night, then walked home in the dark once the movie was over. No one would dare allow a child to do that today. But it was a more innocent time, people were less mobile, and all the nuts lived in the big city, so it was okay.

We have, out of necessity, become more protective of our children, and even ourselves, and we have had to give up a lot. Although my children got a little taste of that freedom, my grandchildren will never know it at all.

I feel a sense of loss in all of this.

Views: 26

Comment by Glenn Browne on April 27, 2009 at 8:29pm
I can relate to your comments and feeling Dan but I would like to suggest that we have not lost something, since we lived it. It might be closer to the mark to say our children and grandchildren are the ones that lost something as those times are gone forever. But, having never had it, they can hardly miss it.

You used the word nostalgia.

I think nostalgia is what draws senior people to historical societies and museums where we can find other people of similar age to reminisce about the good old days. As one gets older our siblings and peers that shared our times move away, get sick, or too old to share our comfortable memmories with. In the end they die, we die, and the memories are gone for ever.

I once went on a week long wilderness canoe trip along the English River, back in the late 60's, in Northwestern Ontairo. I went alone and traveled 75 miles and never saw another person or sign of civilization. It was some of the best northern country I have ever canoed through. It was a trip of a life time but I quit after three days. I quit because I realized I would never have anyone I could share the memories with. I took lots of photos but no one else would appreicate them like I would. Great times are best when they can be shared and that can be said about life in general.

We live better when we have others to share our memories with. I think the worst part of growing older is every day there are less and less people who we can share the past with. Nostalgia reminds us the clock is ticking.

I think writting down your feelings and posting them on a blog is a great way of facing nostalgia head on.
Maybe we should erase the Kittson County Historical Society heading on this page and simply call it nostalgia. Keep on typing. I think you are on the right track.
Comment by Beverly Ryan Niebruegge on June 6, 2009 at 2:06pm
This is all very interesting. I can certainly relate to this time frame, and I wish my grandchildren could experience it for a time. I have a great need to document all the information I have so my children and grandchildren will understand where we have all been and what it was like. It is really overwhelming to me. As I can, I will be posting some pictures -- my Mother grew up in Kittson County, and she had many pictures.

Dan, I had a Aunt Alma Nordine Johnson -- and later Peterson. Are you by any chance related to her? She had a sister, Mable Nordine Larson, who was a very close friend of my Mother. I will have to look at pictures, etc. to get other names --

More later --


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