History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Law enforcement nervous about Wetterling resolution?

I considered this futile. (APM image)
Remember that character in the movie "Rambo II" who was in a command position but did not seem sympathetic? He wasn't overjoyed when hearing that rescued POWs were on their way back. His character represented a microcosm of the Viet Nam war, of course. The meme built up through the years is that we didn't really want to win the war. The pressures of the Cold War held us back: politics, expediency and the like. So, this commander at the U.S. base didn't share the elation of the others, when word came of this obviously good news that POWs were rescued and en route.
Plausible? Someone must have thought so. So, I'm connecting this subject to the resolution of the Jacob Wetterling investigation. Solving the case would seem obviously good news.
I wrote a long time ago that authorities might show hesitance pushing this matter to conclusion. The conclusion would be coming 27 years into this high-profile investigation. People (like me) turned gray wondering if there might ever be a ray of hope. That little boy seemed suspended in time: eleven years old. The investigation also seemed suspended, hopeless. And yet the wheels were turning feverishly.
Why might key public servants hold back on pushing this investigation to its end? Just like that fictional commander from "Rambo II," extraneous considerations could hover and cause hesitance. I have written before that resolution could open the door to lawsuits from people who were interrogated in a heavy-handed way. Law enforcement was under intense pressure to show it was making progress.
How do we define "progress?" Do we define it as actually leading to what the public obviously wanted: pinning down the guilty party, charging him etc.? But law enforcement might have a different attitude, one of just pushing certain buttons to follow procedures that might seem headed in the right direction, even though skepticism was called for.
Think of that wanted poster that was distributed all over. Every day when I'm at McDonald's, I'll probably see at least one guy come in the door that bears some resemblance to one of those drawings. They were like comic book drawings. I had a college art instructor who would describe it as "visual shorthand." People got paid to develop that poster and distribute it, complete with the hyperbolic words "we MUST FIND these men." Turns out one of the two drawings did look like the guilty party. But what about the other? Who was the origin of that? It was based upon an innocent party. Innocent parties were regularly dredged up in the investigation.
The dubious John Sanner
The sheer horror of this crime made wrongful accusations especially toxic. Law enforcement went so far as to declare a "person of interest," equated in the public's mind with "suspect," who was innocent. And now just as I predicted, there is a lawsuit that will cause sleepless nights for certain people, maybe including Sheriff John Sanner
  
So many futile leads
The Wetterling investigation has been called "massive and flailing." I have to wonder if, at a certain point, people in law enforcement approached it like they just appreciated being able to put in their eight-hour days and make a nice living. Were they privately convinced that countless of their leads or tips were pointless? Such a strange crime: a child just vanishes. Miraculously, the offender spent those 27 years relatively free of law enforcement contact. He was a suspect early-on. He covered his tracks well enough.
So law enforcement went on this massive search, certainly costing a great deal. Law enforcement had its agenda and obligations. Book authors and bloggers had no such blinders. John Walsh used the power of his nationally broadcast show to steer us in the right direction. The FBI was involved in this case. Nevertheless, it came down to a particular blogger and the attention she received on Walsh's show. Neither is compensated for law enforcement services. Yet they became the heroes. 
 
The Rassier matter, in court
Now the Stearns County Sheriff's Department has to defend against the predicted lawsuit from this gentleman named Dan Rassier
Law enforcement now has the huge embarrassment of revealing to the public, pursuant to law, just how extensive its investigation was, how many tips had to be filed etc.
This new fuss is caused by the resolution of the case, the desired goal all along. And yet, to use the words of John Mitchell of Watergate, law enforcement has its "tit in a wringer" and instead of feeling euphoric, is scared (s--tless) and on the defensive. Oh they'll deny that. It's no picnic having lawyers swarm around, like that Anfinson guy of the Minnesota Newspaper Association who has worked to try to get a 9-1-1 recording released. And then there's the attorney for Rassier with whom I share best wishes and good luck.
Sheriff Sanner is on the hot seat. Is it true that Patty Wetterling, allegedly coached by the sheriff's department, wrote a letter to Rassier asking him to confess? To a crime of this magnitude of evil? Has she since apologized to Rassier, the elementary music teacher? Patty wore a wire at one point to accost Rassier.
Investigators got a search warrant in 2010 to dig on the Rassiers' property. I remember checking an online comment board at the time. There was a picture showing all the heavy equipment at the scene, all the commotion. Yes, all of this cost taxpayers' money. Someone wrote: "They had better be sure this is the guy." Hmmm.
Rassier
was "guilty" of being an adult living with his parents, and that was the whole problem. It's a more commonly seen living arrangement today. Amazingly, Sanner was quoted in a September 24 news article saying he had no regrets about the investigative efforts toward Rassier. As a public servant, he should always regret when an innocent private citizen is hassled or abused. Sanner argued that suspicion vs. Rassier was justified based on "the way he answered questions." He would not elaborate, which would have been a nice favor for readers who had no knowledge of the background. So he just sort of smears Rassier with this ad hominem statement.
Rassier
must have just "seemed guilty," in Sanner's view. But now that we know of the man's total innocence, isn't it time to stop talking like that? Isn't it in fact time to be generous and gentle with the innocent elementary music teacher? Sanner further justified the suspicion on the basis that Rassier was "there alone that night." Really? Is Rassier to be faulted for those two facts? Being at that location and being alone? He was on his own property. Does he not have the right to be on his own property and to be home alone? And yet Sanner cites this as a basis for suspicion.
"Shame on us if we don't do what we did," the sheriff was quoted saying.
No, shame on you anyway, Mr. Sanner. I'm sure you are justifiably embarrassed over how the whole Wetterling matter deteriorated into a whole bunch of people technically fulfilling their obligations, until eventually a couple parties motivated by pure zeal got involved and pushed the case to resolution. Sheriff Sanner, you are stupid and cold-hearted.
 
What attitude to take re. the guilty party?
We have read some scorn directed at the guilty person, Danny Heinrich. People are incensed that he won't say why he did it. Well, isn't it obvious? Heinrich had compulsions that an ordinary person would not understand, like that Sandusky guy out in Pennsylvania. There is no point venting scorn at these people. They simply must be segregated off so they don't harm anyone. They are pathetic, misdirected souls, created by God for unfathomable reasons. But scorn?
Let me elaborate this way: let's say a person steals $1,000 and gets away with it. That person can at least gain pleasure from spending the $1,000. In cases like Heinrich and Sandusky, normal people cannot conceive of any pleasure gained from the crime - it wouldn't cross our minds to commit it. We would obviously be revulsed at the thought. So we're punishing someone for doing something that normal people would not even conceive of? Heinrich must simply be put away. Condemning him is pointless.
What if Heinrich hadn't been into child porn? He might never have been arrested. His punishment won't even be for the Wetterling crime. It will be for the child porn. After 20 years he'll stay confined but it will be in a situation that is not defined as punishment - it's defined as treatment. I hope the treatment helps him - he had a very troubled background.
 
Holding law enforcement accountable
I'm not sure I'd want to be Rassier's lawyer because it's rather an uphill battle going after law enforcement. Efforts at holding law enforcement accountable seem to be breaking through and making progress. A police officer in the Twin Cities has been charged with a needless death.
We pray that this type of aggressive law enforcement will not come to Morris MN. But you never know. Us U.S. citizens have elected an all-out bully as president. We read Saturday of a judge who is apparently a slumlord in St. Cloud.
We have a retired judge here in Morris who once made an unbelievable comment at a public meeting that included the epitome of a racist term, for which Mayor Carol Wilcox issued a public apology in the newspaper.
We cannot assume that our public servants all carry themselves in an exemplary manner. And to think they're worried about me because I haven't always worn my seat belt in the past!
I'd be happy sometime to share the quote word for word from the retired judge. I imagine there'd be some people at UMM a little concerned or agitated. One more traffic stop and I could do this (share the quote). But of course, Mom and I always put on our seat belts automatically now. Maybe they'll catch me making a lane change without signalling, like that Sandra Bland down in Texas who lost her life because of it.
I'm pleased to know that my personal character is higher, apparently, than that of many people in our law enforcement/judicial system.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Watch Truman Carlson's great grand nephew on TV Sat.

Noah Carlson of the Trojans (image from "Scout")
You might see a little extra bounce in Truman Carlson's step these days. You know Truman, the long-time biology teacher at Morris High School. My goodness, how many students did he have through the years? He was also athletic director at one time. Sports is a big part of his background. He's in his richly deserved retirement now.
The venerable Truman is still close to sports because of a significant family connection. It's with his great grand nephew. Quite a stellar athlete, that individual is. Noah Carlson of Rushford-Peterson is a five-time state track and field champion. Right now the focus is on football where Noah is ascending nicely with his teammates.
This past Saturday, the Rushford-Peterson boys were on the field at the shiny new U.S. Bank Stadium. Noah rushed for 236 yards in this state semi-final success. The Trojans of R-P owned this game, scoring 49 points in the first 24 minutes! The final score was 49-0 over Browerville/Eagle Valley. Davin Thompson coaches the Trojans. The Browerville/Eagle Valley coach is Wayne Petermeier. Hey, that name sounds familiar.
The Tigers of Browerville/Eagle Valley may have been humbled at the end, but they overachieved toward the end of the season to reach this impressive height. They were just 5-3 entering the post-season. Petermeier wasn't sure if his team was going to win a post-season game. He knew his team had to be "perfect" against R-P, he said, and that of course was an elusive goal.
Rushford-Peterson is now seeking its fourth state football championship. The previous crown came in 2006. I remember when our Morris Area Tigers with coach Jerry Witt made the long trip to R-P in southeastern Minnesota for a playoff game. We won. That was in our climb to Prep Bowl. What tremendous personnel we had then. We had a thrilling passing game.
Good as the Tigers were this past fall, we were pretty conservative with the pass. But we were named the Minnesota High School Football Team of the Year. I'm still a little bothered by that award - the credibility behind it, guys. No doubt, Rushford-Peterson has just as good a program. Truman would love to chat with you about it.
R-P will now face top-ranked Minneapolis North in the Class 'A' Prep Bowl at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, back at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Noah Carlson is a senior who obviously has the attention of college athletic programs. He has over 2,600 yards rushing and 46 touchdowns this season. Will he do football or track and field in college? At present it's not certain.
R-P has been dealt one loss: it came in the last game of the regular season to Goodhue. Spokesmen for R-P said the loss was like a wakeup call and may have had positive effects. R-P sports a 12-1 record. In the most recent win, the Trojans marched for a touchdown on their first possession. Carlson scored on a run from the four. Then on their next possession, Carlson capped it all with a 24-yard scoring scamper. The rout was on. Early in the second quarter, Carlson made it 28-0 with a 13-yard touchdown run. Carlson made it 42-0 with 1:30 left in the first half, this time covering 60 yards of real estate in a thrilling run. Parents of the reserve players had fun in the second half, watching as the reserve Trojan players took over.
On a sad note, Truman's wife Edna passed away not long ago. She's beaming down from heaven, assuredly. I went to high school with Dave Carlson, son of Truman and Edna. Dave was two years older than me. At that time, grades 10-12 were in the high school building which was still new. Dave was a trombone player. I remember how Dave and the trombone section were featured in the introduction to "El Cumbanchero." The band director was John Woell who commanded the school marching band in the last grand chapter of its history.
Let's get back to the subject of the current award being celebrated at our school: "Minnesota High School Football Team of the Year." It bothered me as soon as I read about it. How could one school be singled out from 140 "nominees." Public relations for the Vikings, who co-sponsored the award? Consider all the losing teams who submitted entries that must have required time. You can argue that MACA had an unfair advantage because we share our top-notch football facility with a college. I wouldn't care that much except that we got $10,000 as part of the award. I was concerned enough that I sent an email to Dave Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). The name of the award suggests that the MSHSL at least has its imprimatur on it. Who else would I send the email to? Here's the email I sent:
 
Mr. Stead - The Morris Area Chokio Alberta football team was honored in Oct. as the Minnesota High School Football Team of the Year. Most importantly the school gets $10,000. The Minnesota Vikings co-sponsor the award. A representative of the Vikings, Brett Taber, was quoted in the Morris paper (10/22) saying the "marching band" was a factor in getting the award. Morris Area High School does not have a marching band. I would like to suggest that the $10,000 could have been given to a program or a fund that would benefit all public high schools, not just one chosen from among 140 "nominated" schools in the state. Did Morris submit erroneous info, i.e. the marching band? It wouldn't be important except that $10,000 was at stake. Also, football at the NFL level has nothing in common with high school football. The Vikings are professional entertainment. Morris might have an unreasonable advantage in sharing a top-notch stadium with the local college. Many small towns wouldn't have this opportunity. Thanks for your attention.
  

I appreciated that Mr. Stead, a busy guy, read my email and responded to it, albeit in a brief way:
 
Mr. Williams,

 The MSHSL is not connected to the award you identify.
 Dave Stead
 
I'm not sure the Morris paper handled this in such a sharp way. And BTW the Morris paper was a minimal 20 pages on the week leading into Black Friday. Maybe we all just assume that we shop in Alexandria for Black Friday. I think the Morris business community could put up a little more resistance. Maybe we have simply capitulated. We're not the same kind of town as I once remember. Morris was once a bubbling "people" type of place with all kinds of interesting characters around town, frequenting the pool hall etc. Looks like the Norman Rockwell America is gone. One grocery store. It's sad.
Good luck to the Rushford-Peterson boys this Saturday. Truman will not stick his neck out and predict a win, but certainly he can envision such a thing!
 
Addendum: I remember when Gary Lembcke and I were chatting in the school hallway about a baseball trade just announced, and I guess we were a little loud. Truman, just outside his classroom, reprimanded us. Then after a pause, Truman said "yeah, I know, Frank Robinson for Doyle Alexander." He was joining our conversation about this baseball trade that seemed a little lopsided! He has a heart of gold.
 
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Heaven help us once Trump presidency begins

Whither our nation under Trump?
The great big band singer Helen Forrest had an autobiography called "I Had the Craziest Dream." That title pops up in my mind as I consider the presidential campaign and its outcome. A prediction early-on of Donald Trump's success would have been met with laughter. A couple of Trump's rivals were incredulous in an outward way about Trump's chances. We heard "Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee."
Trump would have seemed equally plausible as the Democratic nominee. He had a record of seeming sympathetic to Democratic Party values. And why not? The guy was associated with New York City.
Now that Trump has won, I personally am quite scared of what is to come, once the guy actually takes the oath. He has no background for this. Being a businessman has nothing in common with holding the reins of government. Being a businessman just means you have mastered the art of screwing people. The purpose of government is to provide services. It's to do the kind of things that cannot be accomplished in the private sector. Government spends money to help people. We saw the system break down in Flint MI.
Trump of course wants to sound aggressive with "national defense." I suppose the leaders of the Empire of Japan were like that too. Trump wants to increase defense spending, perhaps dramatically. We no longer need to have the kind of heavy military designed to defeat the Wermacht. We have no industrial enemies compared to what we faced in the mid-20th Century, thank goodness. Our military of today is designed more for the pinprick type of intervention. I'm not sure how the Middle East can ever be stabilized. We destabilized it with the invasion and subsequent vacuum in Iraq.
If only we had more women in power. Women have a natural nurturing instinct that counters the inclination toward war. The 20th Century was marked by war after war. The "good war" of World War II was followed by unspeakable tragic ventures into sinkhole engagements, taking tens of thousands of lives.
And now we have a new macho, chest-thumping president so skilled at insulting anyone who gets in his way, and he wants to increase military spending. We must do this, he tells us, so "no one will want to push us around." That is chip-on-shoulder rhetoric. Women in power would encourage such a different complexion. Heaven help us all once Trump actually assumes power.
The scariest part might be how he is now seeking to surround himself with the most extreme right wing types. Those people can talk a good political game, getting their "base" of support to eat out of their hand, but my God, what if they actually end up at the levers of government? What might they try to pull off? Considering the personalities, the new administration might end up disintegrating into conflict and back-biting. How dangerous might that become, when such highly-motivated, narcissistic people begin trying to gag each other?
If the nuclear buttons cannot be guarded properly, our very human civilization will be imperiled.
How did this come about? Why did we elect this buffoon Mr. Trump? Many theories have been offered and hashed over. I have needed some time to arrive at my own theory. I do now have one. I suggest that people often vote on impulse. How can Minnesota elect both Paul Wellstone and Michele Bachmann? Rationality must not enter in. We have an impulse to choose a "cool" candidate, the non-boring candidate. People liked Wellstone's TV commercials. Eventually we'd elect Jesse Ventura.
We had been allowing Donald Trump into our living rooms with his TV shows. A sense of familiarity grew. Ronald Reagan had a TV background that probably influenced us in a subtle way. But such is not the basis that should be formed for making us vote.
Hillary Clinton seemed like an old stale product. But if Hillary won (which she actually did via the popular vote), she would have a much more steady hand with the transition now, because she is so much more well-versed with how government works.
My impulse theory is connected to the whole phenomenon of our limited attention span. Our tech toys and conveniences have whittled down our attention span to where it's actually dangerous. Distracted driving kills people. When I was young, boredom was a constant impediment for our well-being and happiness. Boredom today has been completely wiped out. In its place we have a restlessness and impulsivity that can contradict good judgment.
Donald Trump seemed "different" and thus interesting. But different does not equate with insightful or effective. I am predicting now that dire times lie ahead for our United States of America. Of course I could be wrong. Beginning on Day 1 of the Trump presidency, we are all going to be in trouble, I assert. Maybe the U.S. will disintegrate. Lee Greenwood won't even be able to save us (LOL). Maybe we'll be Balkanized. Foreign nations could try to turn the screws on us. Saluting the flag is not going to help. World War Two happened only once. And it was not really a "good war."
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 12, 2016

MACA girls win marathon battle vs. Holy Angels

Another private school, but this time a different result. Holy Angels apparently did not have divine power behind them Friday (11/11). Holy Angels fell at the hands of our Morris Area Chokio Alberta Tigers in state volleyball consolations.
We overcame the deflating effect we might have felt from losing to Concordia Academy of Roseville. Consolation-level play saw our orange and black crew return to the winning form that has been their habit under coach Kristi Fehr.
The Tigers downed Holy Angels 3-2 at Xcel Energy Center. They are getting set to play Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the state fifth place match as I type this, Saturday mid-morning.
The match vs. Holy Angels was a marathon affair. It truly tested the mettle and stamina of the competing teams. Here are the scores with the MACA numbers first: 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-27 and 15-12. You can just imagine the atmosphere of excitement. Four Tigers each had one serving ace: Karly Fehr, Brooke Gillespie, Ashley Solvie and Koral Tolifson. Karly Fehr was certainly busy in a five-game match like this, and her set assist total was 56.
Gillespie was at the fore in hitting with her 21 kills. Jenna Howden had 18 kills and Ashley Solvie had 13. Three other Tigers were factors: Nicole Solvie (7), Jenna Larsen (5) and Karly Fehr (3). Karly Fehr and Nicole Solvie each went up for an ace block. On the defensive side, Riley Decker was a cog as always, digging up the ball 37 times. This list also includes Karly Fehr (14), Cassidy Fehr (10), Gillespie (20), Ashley Solvie (6), Koral Tolifson (6) and Jenna Larsen (6).
Holy Angels' Emma Benz had 54 set assists. Ellie Koontz pounded 24 kills. Katie Mackey and Sophie Vass each had two ace blocks. Mackenzie Downs was team-best in digs with 34.
 
Football: Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 43, Tigers 20
We may have the best football program in the state but we won't be in Prep Bowl. The Tigers had their season end Friday at Alexandria. The opponent was Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. Plagued by turnovers, we fell to DGF in a 43-20 final. It was the Class AAA state opening game. We certainly had a hard time holding on to the football, quite uncharacteristic. Our turnover total was five. Ouch.
For a while there was hope. We drove 97 yards to score, thus answering an early DGF score. That 97-yard march was set up by a Toby Sayles interception. He topped that off by starring on the drive, as he rushed for 60 yards. His eight-yard carry produced the score, and the conversion was good on a pass from Sayles to Jacob Zosel. So we're up 8-7, but the success would not be a prelude, alas.
Ben Beyer came to the fore again for DGF. It was Beyer who scored the game's first touchdown in big play fashion: a 66-yard run. Our pass coverage broke down to open the door for DGF's second score. Ethan Edeen threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Beyer. Now the Rebels of DGF were off on a scoring run. It buried the Tigers. It was a run to the tune of 29-0. The late Don Meredith would have sung "turn out the lights, the party's over."
Our turnovers were divided up as follows: three fumbles and two interceptions. The second interception was returned 47 yards for a touchdown by Steven Taves in the third quarter. Yes, we gave the Rebels opportunities, but give the Rebels credit for their 247 rushing yards, 167 of which were in the first half.
Our final won-lost mark is 9-2, quite good although I'm not sure it makes us "the best football program in the state" as determined by the Minnesota Vikings. Who cares what the Vikings think? That's professional entertainment. A representative of the Vikings, commenting on our award, cited our "marching band." But do we have a marching band? Did someone lie in the application for the award? Some might say "oh, marching band, pep band, what's the difference?" Well, there is a difference and it's not a quibble.
Jacob Zosel rushed for 107 yards against the Rebels. BTW what is the nickname "Rebels" based on? I hope it's not the Confederacy of the U.S. Civil War. Ryan Dietz carried the football 15 times for 75 yards. Sayles' rushing yardage was 43, on ten carries. Other rushing yards were produced by Joel Ruiz, Zach Hughes and Jaret Johnson.
Our passing game was typically minimal: Sayles completed three of five attempts for 31 yards and had two picks. Hughes completed his only pass attempt for 19 yards. The catches were by Metzger and Alex Daugherty. Sayles and Zosel each made an interception.
DGF's Garrett Scheel rumbled for 111 yards in the Rebels' running game. Edeen completed six of eleven pass attempts for 145 yards and had two picks. Spencer Ewen had four catches for 79 yards. Brandon Ciak and Dylan Taves had the DGF interceptions.
Lots of nice memories are left behind, in the wake of our winning football season of 2016.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tigers shine at SCSU field, topping Albany 36-16

MACA athletics is quite the attraction for the 2016 fall. Football and volleyball have vanquished one opponent after another. I'm writing this on Saturday morning, a day that will see volleyball in action for another post-season chapter. Meanwhile, football forges ahead, fresh from a Friday triumph. Our Tigers played at St. Cloud State (SCSU). The stadium is right next to the Mississippi River.
The Tigers were true to form Friday, relying much on runningback Jacob Zosel but also striking with a limited but precise passing attack. Quarterback Toby Sayles tried just three passes and completed all three in this 36-16 win. His passes gained 39 yards and he threw no interceptions.
We got our first score via the pass: Sayles passed ten yards to Camden Arndt to get the orange and black going. Our foe on this day: Albany, the Huskies. Dylan Gillespie threw to Chase Metzger for two points on the conversion. We were on our way. We scored eight points each in the first and second quarters while shutting down the Huskies.
The passing game also produced our second touchdown. And again it was Sayles passing the football to Arndt, this time covering 16 yards en route to six. Sayles threw again on the conversion, successfully, with Rohloff gathering in the ball. So the Tigers were up 16-0 at halftime.
We outscored the Huskies 14-8 in the third quarter. Sayles took off for a 43-yard scoring run. He carried the football for our next score: a run from the eight. Jacob Zosel carried for two on the conversion. Albany got on the board with a six-yard run. Alex Wolf carried the ball on that play and also carried for two on the conversion. It was ditto for Albany's second TD as Wolf carried again, from the four, and found the end zone again on the conversion.
The Tigers thrilled with a kickoff return that produced our last score. It was Metzger off to the races, bringing fans to their feet. Fans got back on I-94 for the trip home, most satisfied with this 36-16 win. It was our tenth triumph of the season against one loss.
What's next? It's the Class AAA quarter-finals. Now our foe will be Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The site will be closer this time: Alexandria. You know the route to Alex: it's the same route you probably take to do a lot of your shopping, thanks to that heap of Alexandria-oriented advertising circulars that comes with the Morris paper each week. That is, if you still see the Morris paper each week, which many people don't.
You'll have to wait until next Saturday to see a print review of the Albany game in the Morris paper. Isn't that a little crazy? We will have played our next game.
Albany ends its season with a 7-4 record.
Zosel put up fine ballcarrying stats again Friday. His 22 carries netted 147 yards. Sayles' numbers were 13 carries, 75 yards. Ryan Dietz got ten handoffs and gained 33 yards. Connor Koebernick added six yards to the mix. Arndt caught two passes for 26 yards, and Metzger made one grab for 13.
Albany's Alex Wolf rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries. Ethan Hylla had eleven carries for 63 yards. Devin Wenning and Carter Huberty each rushed for 29 yards. Hylla was four of eight in passing for 37 yards, zero interceptions.
Kickoff time for the D-G-F game will be 7 p.m. Friday in Alexandria. D-G-F climbed with a 31-20 win over Pequot Lakes in the Section 3AAA finals in Fargo. At present - Saturday morning - our focus is shifting from the gridiron to the volleyball court. Now we'll see if the very exciting MACA volleyball team can climb another rung on the post-season ladder. I'm betting they will. I'm almost getting exhausted as a writer, keeping up with all this success. A little extra coffee will get me through, plus the sheer excitement of following these teams.
 
Dude, where's my car?
We were at a main street restaurant last night (Friday) when a friend of ours, a popular and well-known person in Morris, approached us with quite the air of consternation. Think you've got problems? This friend came to the diner for a mere cup of coffee, and when he leaves he discovers his car is gone! He had left his keys in the car, quite the no-no. Now we know, lest there by any doubt, why the law encourages taking your keys!
This incident did not appear criminal in intent: it appears someone who owned an identical car left the restaurant, got in the wrong car and drove off. Not to sound pejorative, but that individual may have been an elderly man seen in the restaurant. Will he soon discover the mix-up? What if he doesn't? A couple cops came in the restaurant to consult with my friend, whose name I won't type here to save him embarrassment which could be considerable.
I sat there feeling so thankful I had no immediate crisis with which to deal. My biggest problem was discovering that the salad bar was out of pudding. I approached the waitress and she corrected this problem. Maybe I could have been arrested for driving under the influence of chocolate pudding. It was nice to see our police dong something useful and important.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Ballad of Jacob Wetterling, RIP" tells haunting story

We remember Jacob
That smiling little boy is lodged in our consciousness forever. My generation has had that endearing smile embedded in our thoughts for as long as we can remember. I was age 34 when Jacob Wetterlling disappeared. In 2016 I'm 61. The massive investigation languished for so long. We have heard that any investigation that lasts 27 years is "a failure by definition." Headlines screamed at us recently that the answers were now known. I'm sure most in my generation thought the day would never come. Jacob's picture on that "wanted poster" (with drawn pictures of two generic-appearing male suspects) would just hover indefinitely. It wasn't meant to be solved, we suspected. The mystery was just part of the tapestry of our existence.
It's like when I was young, I began to assume the Viet Nam war would go on forever. I thought the protests would go on forever. Day after day I soaked in the media reports. But then the war ended, or at least we made our clumsy withdrawal. Remember those people trying to hang on to helicopters? Remember those helicopters pushed off of ships to make more room for exasperated refugees? But the war did indeed end, or at least our involvement did, belatedly.
And now we learn that the 27-year-old Wetterling investigation has total closure. It happened overnight. Our eyes bugged out as we saw the headlines. For about two days we were mesmerized by it all. And then a strange lull seemed to set in. We withdrew from the subject. Oh, but we're not done digesting all the background of this mystery/tragedy.
This is what's going on: Wetterling case researchers, journalists and op-ed writers are taking time to get caught up with their thoughts and research. The time is over for "whodunit" books. Books of a completely different nature need to be written now.
A lot transpired over 27 years. Law enforcement went wayward which is a generous way of saying they made mistakes. There was the tragedy of focusing on a wrong suspect or POI. This tragedy led to the telling of the Wetterling story in a totally cockeyed way, by asserting that the abduction was done on foot instead of from a motor vehicle. Law enforcement ought to regret what it did to that persecuted person, a farmer/teacher. But we're shocked to see that, based on public comments from the Stearns County sheriff, not only is there no inclination to show regret or to apologize, he wants to encourage suspicions toward the guy, using vague statements. I'm astonished. 
Barney Fife, in song

I ended up doing more writing about the Wetterling case than I ever intended. I found the more that I wrote, the more I had new thoughts popping into my head. I guess this is a characteristic of a profound mystery. Law enforcement exhausted vast resources on the case. Many of those time-consuming efforts now look, in retrospect, to have been extraneous. I could become even more cynical and say the investigation became an excuse for many to burn up their eight-hour days. I have heard specifically about FBI efforts that clearly fell in that category: annual visits to some poor dude who just happened to live in the vicinity of the Wetterlings.
Were it not for the efforts of an unpaid blogger and a national media celebrity, the case would never have been cracked. We will see new books on the whole tragic episode, won't we?
For my part, in addition to my online journalism, I'm trying to commemorate the whole thing in song/poetry. Oh, I do this all the time. When I'm feeling comfortable writing this art, it is totally relaxing, not work at all. Occasionally I'll get a song or two professionally recorded.
My new creation, "The Ballad of Jacob Wetterling, RIP," has a melody tailor-made for it. But I doubt I'll have it recorded. It is such a depressing subject, but so was the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and Gordon Lightfoot wrote quite the song about that.
I invite you to read my haunting lyrics. Does this help provide closure?
 
"The Ballad of Jacob Wetterling, RIP"
by Brian Williams
 
Jacob never wanted to be famous
He just sought to be a little boy
In that humble town of St. Joseph
How could there be anything but joy?
 
Jacob was in tune with Minnesota
Bleeding purple Sunday afternoon
Soaking in the life there in outstate
Where the folks are genuine and true
 
God created people oh so different
Mostly we reflect what is good
Mostly we embark on each new day
With His plan of living understood
 
We know life is fickle and capricious
Something bad can happen any time
Still we know God's love is transcendent
Giving us resolve to survive
 
Poppy Bush was leading our great nation
Timberwolves were in their maiden year
Hrbek was our fav-rite first baseman
Minnesota knew how to cheer
 
It was fall and warmer than expected
Just the kind of day that lifts the soul
Jacob and his pals were insistent
Getting out and going on a stroll
 
Down the road they ambled with enjoyment
Going to secure a VHS
No one could have seen that menace coming
No one could conceive of what came next
 
Jacob never saw another sunrise
How we searched and ferreted for truth
We were all endeared by his picture
There he was preserved in his youth
 
Law enforcement made a fateful error
They named a farmer as a POI
They spun their wheels and languished so badly
Would that we could get Barney Fife
 
In the end a blogger named Joy Baker
Became the hero we were looking for
Her zeal became the key to finding answers
CNN empowered her to score
 
Law enforcement had to change its thinking
Its arm was twisted 'til there were screams
Without John Walsh and Joy they were helpless
They were treading water, so it seems
 
Finally there were answers in the headlines
We now knew who the devil's agent was
He never will serve time for the murder
'Cause he struck a deal, that's the buzz
 
Jacob never wanted to be famous
He wanted to exist like us all
He'd still be friends with Aaron and Trevor
Like that night they strolled in the fall
 
© 2016 Brian R. Williams