The United States was just a little different in 1919.

The President was a guy named Woodrow Wilson and former President Theodore Roosevelt passed away. World War One had recently ended (yes, World War One!) and the American Legion was started. Also getting their start was a little football team called the Green Bay Packers, while baseball had it's worst scandal, a fixed World Series that made the 1919 Chicago Black Sox infamous.

And on the very day the United States Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park, Tina was born.

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Fast forward exactly 103 years. On Saturday, February 26, 2022 I drove over to the Pizza Ranch in Luverne. There I met my brother Larry, Loren, a friend I grew up with and hadn't seen in decades, and Loren's mom, Tina. We had a celebratory birthday lunch.

You see, it was Tina's 103rd birthday! Yep...103.

This lovely lady was a neighbor of ours when I was growing up. In fact, everyone in Leota, Minnesota and the Leota area were neighbors, friends. It's that way when you grow up or near a small town.

And what's really cool...Tina remembers those "old days" better than I do! As we sat enjoying lunch and reminiscing, she told us she had been a hair stylist for 55 years. I can recall going with my mom to her shop, which was in the Winklehorst home in Leota. That home was right behind the service station, Arnie's Service Station. (Tina's husband Gerrit was the Postmaster in Leota, and the Post Office was inside the service station building, a great place to pick up mail, have a pop and share in the latest local news, sometimes described as gossip).

As we sat and ate and chatted, Tina talked about those days, how that house was moved to south of Leota, and they moved to a different house in town. Loren said he was a sophomore when that happened, and without telling you how old my friend Loren is, suffice to say that was, uh, some years back (Loren and I played on the same Leota Little League team, and while he may still be able to play a mean first base, my pitching days are long gone).

Tina said she had lived in the Assisted Living apartments in Edgerton for several years and had moved into the Nursing Home just a year ago December. And at 103, she is a delight to visit with and with 103 years of memories, I can honestly say there was smiles and laughter all around!

In the picture below, that's me on the left, Loren standing in the middle and my brother Larry on the right.

And sitting there in the middle is the birthday girl, the lovely Tina Winklehorst.

I told her we'll make this an annual event, so to the great folks at Luverne's Pizza Ranch, please get ready for us when number 104 rolls around next February.

Oh, and thanks to the young lady that snapped the pictures.


Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.

Here Are The 7 Remaining Drive-In Theaters In South Dakota

If you were born last know, in the nineteen hundreds (ugh) may have spent a summer evening in the car watching movies. I don't mean on your phone, I mean at the drive-in movie theater!

If you were in Sioux Falls in the 1970s and '80's you may remember seeing Jaws and Indiana Jones at The East Park or the Starlite Drive-In. Both drive-ins opened just after World War 2. The East Park didn't make it out of the '70s, closing in 1978. The Starlite survived long enough to see the birth of home video, closing in 1985.

Drive-in movies had a bit of a resurgence during the pandemic. They were a way to go out and do something social without getting out of your car.

If you tried one during that time, or you remember the fun of a warm summer evening watching movies on that giant screen there are still places in South Dakota and around Sioux Falls you can do it.

Here's my list of Not-So-Typical, but Awesome Things to See in Sioux Falls.

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