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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Saturday May 18th 2024

All in the Family

By Peter Molenaar

Misfits and “free thinking” types should take Cedar Avenue to Hiawatha, west to Highway 94 to 394/12 all the way to Willmar, Minnesota. There you will find a sanctuary. Actually, this particular Unitarian church was founded by my Grandpa Peter Molenaar. I journeyed there recently to attend a reunion.

The first encounter was with a second cousin. Mega-factory pig farms had put him out of the hog business years ago. Skeptical with regard to the emerging market for free range pork, Jay has taken to selling John Deere Tractors.

Mary Anne, now at 90 years of age, was next on the scene. Taking both her hands, I bowed my head while apologizing for having disrupted one of her Bible lessons. The gift of her last hug will not be forgotten.

In came first cousin Steve who had been an accountant in a polyethylene injection molding company. These days he is a “hired hand” on the 450 acre corn and soybean farm his wife owns. Between the two of us, it was determined that the existence of God is not proven in the ”˜doctrine of first cause.”'

The entire gathering then reconvened upstairs for the service. Prominently displayed was a banner which expressed the Golden Rule in the words of six religions. Afterwards, it was the potluck lunch which was truly glorious.

Dining to my left was a childhood friend who is now a beef farmer. To my right sat a Fond du Lac Finn with “Finndian” (mixed blood) connections. Across from us sat Steve who casually inquired as to whether I was still a Communist! Yes, well, thank goodness I know the meaning of ”˜contrite.”'

I admitted that history had not been kind to us Reds and apologized for the associated ”˜negativities.”' I did request, however, that folks examine the context in which certain events had occurred”¦and proceeded to admit that should the polar ice caps melt, we would then face a situation that no Communist could cope with”¦in which case we would be forced to rely on the Koch brothers for guidance”¦ At which point I received hugs from every direction.

Then, upon returning home, the guys at Smith Foundry informed me that Dennis had died. For nearly two decades, he and I had ground iron castings from the same bin.

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