Owen Wisconsin 54460, and the strife you've caused !! (Dale: new house, asbestos)
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I spoke with some people at a tavern in our small town and they thought your "little yarn" was quite interesting. I think we could probably compare a lot of "how small is your town?" statements. But....I have lived in large cities and out in the country and way out in the boondocks of Northern Wisconsin (where the finlanders live) and now in a small town and I wouldn't trade Northern Wisconsin for anywhere else. The work ethic and family values are the strongest I have seen across the United States.
Just a bit of local color-filling - my little Owen has a population of around 300, and is situated in the wheat-growing area of the Adelaide Plains, about 60 miles from South Australia's capital city, Adelaide.
Local entertainmet is propping-up the bar in the local pub and telling small lies or trying to stir up enough nasty rumors to get featured on the local TV Today/Tonight show after the evening news.
As nyminute suggests, a shooting would be a handy distraction, but we don't get much of that here these days. Apart from myself and a few old army aquaintances, I don't know anyone who has even been shot at, much less actually hit. Since a nasty 35-dead massacre in Tasmania a few years ago they took away all (nearly all ) of our guns, working on the theory that our potential massacre-ists are too dumb to make their own guns, or to pull out the rifles they hid during the gun buy-back. Doesn't matter, I don't much like being shot at, anyway.
You menion the 'finlanders', funny about that, because I kind of count myself as a 'finlander' as my great-grandfather was Finnish - jumped ship here in Adelaide in 1851 and went farming. It would have been a lonely life for him as he is mentioned in the State Library as being the first Finn in SA, and he didn't speak English when he got here.
Enough for now, let's hear a little bit from Owen WI.
This is a busy time at my workplace and I will respond more in depth later about people, fins, taverns, gun laws, fishing, hunting, taxes and industry but I will leave you with this canned description of Owen which is closely connected with another town called Withee.
Owen and Withee are the little twin cities of Wisconsin. Although two separate municipalities, the Village of Withee and the City of Owen are located only 1 mile apart, but operate and cooperate as one community.
The City of Owen was founded by the lumber baron, John S. Owen, in 1883, and was incorporated in 1904. One of the most historical buildings remaining in our community is the Old Woodland Hotel on Main Street built by the Owen Lumber Company in the early 1900s. The historical Carriage House, along with the gymnasium, are being refurbished.
In Owen, one might enjoy a nature walk in the majestic forests along the Popple River, a picnic at the Owen Park watching the colorful ducks or watching the sunset from the High Bridge. Owen offers a paved bike trail that leads to the village of Withee for the dedicated roller bladers, bike riders, and walkers. Winter offers fantastic ski and snowmobile trails and sledding down Tennis Shoe Hill. Hunters and fisherman will benefit from the woodlands and multitude of lakes and streams in the area. For the avid golfer, Owen boasts a beautiful nine-hole golf course to challenge your talents.
Owen may be a small town in size, but if offers large opportunities. This community also has a friendly atmosphere, where there no strangers, only smiles and genuine concern for each other. Owen welcomes visitors and new residents, so come see what's going on....in Owen!
The Village of Withee was founded in 1870, and named after a school teacher from Maine, W.H. Withee and was incorporated as a village in 1901. The Soo Railroad brought in booming business to the area, developing into the principal shipping point for D.J. Spaulding Mills. Withee retains all its small town charm with a friendly population of 555 people.
Located just off the Black River, Withee offers many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. The avid fisherman will find the perfect spot to fish. The North Woods offers many opportunities for those who enjoy hunting. The Sportsman Club offers trap shooting as well as bow and arrow targets. For the active person, there is tennis, softball, biking, fishing, and snowmobiling.
Stop by one of the friendly taverns to unwind and engage in friendly conversation. Don't forget to stop at our local Mennonite stores for a real taste of country life. Withee is now easily accessible from the new four-lane Highway 29. Stop in and spend some time in Withee!
This was in a newspaper today. I know the world is a harsh place but people helping people still exists. It is very common to have benefits to help people with extraordinary medical bills, homes burned etc. A benefit is usually hosted for anyone to attend. It is a party with donated items being auctioned off and everyone helps with food and donated items. Money raised is given to the family in need.
Here's the article:
Neighbors help family through winter
By Liz Welter
Nosey neighbors -- they can be the bane of small town life and the life blood of the community.
"I know there are times when I've complained about living in a small town. Not anymore," said Gayle Baehr, as she described a winter of disaster her family endured with the help of family, neighbors and friends.
Moderator cut: Provide a link instead of copying everything here, please
Hey Bernitt, you may be a junior member, like me, but you sound like a senior person, and that's OK, because where would all those kids be without us - they wouldn't be born, that's where they'd be !!
Now. I gotta tell you that I don't know how my little Owen got it's name, but I will find out. I will guarantee it didn't come from a timber baron, because we had burnt up most of the timber in the state powering the copper smelters and riverboats by the 1890's. A big part of our history is taken up by the adventures of timber-cutters transporting tons of firewood accross vast expanses of desert to feed early industries. We are now paying the price for decades of environmental vandalism - rivers that run through deserts - what could be wierder (but they are Clean rivers).
Picnics - in the park - we don't have them any more. I'm well aware of the concept of 'the picnic' - we used to have them when I was a kid, full-blown picnics, chequered blanket, salad, chicken, bottle of beer for the men, glass of white for the ladies, belt a cricket ball around for a while - where did that all go ? If I went to the same park on a Sunday now all I would see is the colorful grain trucks carting out of the silo.
As for cyclists, we have none - anyone who comes through here on a bike is a wierdo or a Japanese tourist. My wife owns a decent mountain bike, old but good - it has never seen a mountain, and has been ridden for a total of less than 20 miles, mostly by me, riding down to get the sunday paper to prove I don't have a hangover. If we had a roller-blader in town he would probably be shot ( there you go. nyminute) because we don't approve of that sort of thing here in Owen.
Due to government regulations we do not have any lakes, wilderness or creeks in this area, except for a totally illegal creek called Wilderness Creek which runs past my house in times of extreme rainfall - about every second year, for a period of around 90 minutes - it's so rare that we take photos when it happens, just to show the kids.
We DO have a golf course and a registered golf club - ther are 9 members, and I'm ashamed to say I am not one of them, mainly due to being too crippled to play golf, except on PS2 where I can actually give Tiger Woods a run for his money. Our golf course consists of 9 quite long holes, and we use sand-scrape technology. Our greens aren't green, they're black, made of coarse sand and sump oil. You are allowed to rake your own track from chip to hole, and the competitive golfer becomes quite adept at setting up tracks that would be more suited to a pinball machine. --- and we most certainly welcome new residents and visitors Green fees - $4.00
Our resident religions are fairly typical of Australian towns, mainly Methodist, closely followed by the Catholics, and the other 85% of the residents will take their chances. Bhuddism would be the most seriously followed religion in the area, although most of the residents wouldn't realize it, and the muslims are moving in, nobody knows that except me !! We don't have Mennonites, although I would welcome them as they make nicer rugs than the muslims - we do have the occasional Jehovah's Witness, but they generally don't do very well around here because they send their kids in first to soften us up, and that doesn't go over too well here so they don't win too many friends,
Crikey (yes, we DO say that here, once in a while - Crikey Bernitt, you've left a lot of questions to be answered - and I enjoy answering them all, and don't they raise a lot more questions (world peace) - just thought I would throw that one in. Please don't be discouraged, come back with more questions, - like "What does George Bush really want from Australia' and 'What sort of car do you drive' - in depth stuff, you know. (or "What does George Bush drive' if you want).
I have a compelling urge to respond since your responses are so entertaining.
I'll start with some things about me. I will be half a hundred this year. I'm not fearful of growing old, my philosophy is "just don't make me go back". I am the middle child in a family of 9 children. Growing up was great since I got to do all the things the little kids did and the older kids did. I miss how simple life was then. People were different. In the 1950's and 1960's it didn't matter if you were rich or poor, children actually got along regardless of their parents status. My parents were depression babies and although we were well off, money was saved, not spent. Like I said we lived in an area predominately Finnish. Back then most of the kids I went to school with spoke both Finnish and English because at home the language spoken was Finnish. Pasttimes were walking or riding our bikes about a mile down the road to swim in the creek. (Mother said absolutely no swimming in the creek, so we just stripped down to our underware and swam) I can't imagine the mothers of today letting their kids out of their sight let alone go down to a creek by themselves. Actually if I saw my own children do half the dangerous things we did....well it's probably better if I don't think about it.
Another subject: About 11 years ago I owned a tavern. Ran that for 6 years before returning to the work world. You would have liked that saloon. It was in a very small town. About 150-200 people total, about the size of 2 city blocks and the saloon was in the center of town. The saloon itself had so much history since it was about 104 years old at that time. The first owners grandaughter came in one time and told me how when she was little during prohibition and the agents were making their rounds they would take all the bottles and put them in a basket and hide them under the porch of the hotel next door. It had a beautiful backbar about 20 feet wide and 10 feet high with mirrors. It had the old tin ceiling and poker table. It was a great business, I would have the fishermen come in the early morning for drinks and bait for fishing, my old guys would come in about 9-10 for drinks and card playing, afternoons were people just off work & their kids, nights were pool teams and dart teams and then closing the night were people getting off the late shift. It was a great time. I learned more about people in those 6 years than in every psychology course I studied.
If I haven't rambled on too much and you choose to respond I will tell you about my bear hunting. I belong to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, a very large organization.
Enough for now. Thank you so much for listening!
G'day bernitt, your last post has been sitting there teasing me for an answer, and at last I've got the time to do so. I've just bought a house in Tasmania, about a thousand kilometres from home, and I'm in the process of a major restoration, spurred on by my noisy and impatient wife, who knows just how slowly I can move if left to do things in my own time. Fortunately, she's working tonight, so I can attend to important things like this. My solo dinner consisted of beer and toasted cheese sandwiches, and my only distraction is Mythbusters on TV.
One of nine kids, hey ? I only ever knew one 9-kid family, all the kids were really quiet compared with my 3 noisy and boisterous offspring. Don't know why, there was no child abuse or brutality, just a normal country Catholic family, but really quiet kids. Most of the kids I went to school with came from 1- and 2- child families, even though they were often the children of the many German and Italian immigrants who came to farm in Australia after the First World War. That's another odd thing, the way your Finns kept up the use of Finnish in the home, many of our migrants kids had only a slight grasp of the mother tongue, and most of the grandchildren only speak English. My great-grandfather was Finnish, and spoke no English when he arrived in SA in the 1850's - I never knew him, of course, but I never heard his son, my grandfather, speak anything except very good Australian English Many people here consider English as the only necessary language - you don't have to go too far in Europe or Asia to find an English-speaking person, so why would you need another language, they say. I don't agree, I would enjoy the challenge (and the novelty) of learning another language, but given the lack of victims to practice on, it seems a bit pointless and, so far, has not happened. We, also, had no concept of 'class', all were equal in our community. Sure, there were some who lived in bigger houses or drove better cars than others, some who prospered through good management or good luck while others fell by the wayside or made lousy life choices, but we were all equal, at least in the eyes of us kids. We all looked the same in our swimmies in the river, and some who got into real strife got the same sort of assistance described in one of your previous posts.
We did things as kids which my children could not even imagine - by the time we were around 7 years old most of the local boys were proficient and safe with rifles, cars, horses, tractors and motorcycles, and were working at least 4 hours a day on their parents farms, before and after school. My kids don't believe that, nobody would HAVE to do that !!
My wife and I shifted our kids to the big city for their education, and I still think we did the right thing by them, but the move certainly reduced their freedom. We weren't quite the helicopter parents of today, hovering over the little ones 24/7, but we were concerned about where they were and what they were doing while out of sight.
Owen hasn't had a mention in this post, but my concerns at present are based in Queenstown, Tasmania, not Owen SA 5460 - my only thoughts for Owen are the safety of my house during my extended time away from it. Should be OK, I've got nosey neighbours to keep an eye out for me.
Tell me about bear hunting, bernitt - the average Aussie doesn't have access to animals that could kill him while stalking them. Our dedicated hunters can go for wild pigs (popular with the bow-hunters), feral goats, camels, asian buffaloes and donkeys, all introduced pests which need to be eradicated, kangaroos, wild dogs, feral cats, but no bears - the koala is NOT a bear! Sure, the pigs and buffaloes can seriously maim the hapless hunter, but these beasties don't have quite the panache of a real live BEAR, so fill me in on this aspect of life and death, bernitt.
I suppose you have been busy with your new house. I also have been busy since we finally have nice weather and I could get the garden planted. Owen 54460 is fine and everyone is out doing yardwork.
Bear Hunting.....I suppose I should explain it is not as dangerous as you think. We have many bear and they are a nuisance when there are too many. It takes many years to get a kill tag for a bear. Each year you register and receive 2 preference points. To get a tag you will have to have at least 8 points and even then it is a drawing of those that have 8 or more points. I will finally have enough points next year. That doesn't mean we don't get to participate in the hunting. We hunt with dogs and have bait. Baiting is having areas in the woods where we put food (sweets, grease, things like that) the bears come in to feed but that is not where we shoot them. We have trained hunting dogs that will pick up the track and chase the bear until it climbs a tree. That is where the kill takes place. It is incredible to watch and the meat is delicious.
We too have wild pigs and some farmers raise buffalos but they do not run wild. I can't imagine hunting camels, donkeys or kangaroos. The biggest hunting sport takes place in November and is like a holiday. Hunting Season for whitetail deer. Some companies even shut down. It lasts 9 days only and draws people from all over the state and even other states. I myself enjoy the meat aspect of whitetail over the actual hunt. I can the meat and it tastes like beef roast in a jar.
Our fishing season starts this weekend. I like to go fishing with my dad. There are many small fishing lakes in our area. My parents have a cabin on a good fishing lake and spend a lot of the summer there. It's about 30 miles from my home so I use that as a small vacation in the summer.
I apologize for the delay in responding. Two of my sons are graduating in May, one from college and one from high school so it has been very hectic getting ready for the party. I hope I have covered enough information about hunting for you. If you have questions, let me know. As always, thank you for the response, I really enjoy hearing about where you live. Perhaps tell me about your new house and the types of dwellings in your area.
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