My friend Aune owns a little shop in the "town" of Snellman. Now Snellman is one of those towns in Minnesota where if you blink..you might just miss it. There is a Store/ Gas Station, Aunes Kauppala (Shop) and on the hill there is a Lutheran Church. There are about four houses. Snellman population might be about 10 people. In late June the Lady Slippers bloom their hearts out on the hills before and after Snellman.
Years ago Violet owned the building that Aune now occupies. It was a "beer joint", I was in there a few times..all I remember is the knotty pine walls. She also had some of those weird jars..with pickled pigs feet.. Kids I knew used to buy beer there, I never did. Far Guy bought some there..underage illegal beer..probably underage illegal cigarettes too. By the time I was old enough to drink it would have been the last place I would have stopped for a beer..I really didn't like the taste of beer anyway. Now I wish that I had stopped there before she closed..so that I would have had an adult view to share.
The general store used to be owned by Alvin and Hilma, they had the best summer sausage and when times were good my Mother would pick out a huge chunk, Alvin would wrap it in white butcher paper and put a piece of beige tape on it and mark the price on it with a red pencil. He always had something fun to talk about..they lived in the back of the store..they had a son Carlton.. if the door between the living quarters and the store was open I could stand in the doorway and watch their TV while my Mother shopped. Years later Far Guy and I rented a place on the narrows that connect up Straight Lake and the Mill pond. We rented it for forty dollars a month in 1972 ..when Far Guy was drafted..Alvin said "I will sell you kids that property, just send me money when ever you can." He wanted $2,000 dollars for it..it had a garage and a nice trailer house and 150 feet of "lake-shore" it was well worth the money he wanted for it..it was just that we could not afford it on a serviceman's salary.
Snellmans claim to fame was the beautiful Laurie..she was Miss Minnesota in 1982 and was a semi finalist in the 1983 Miss America Pageant. For years there was a sign that said "Snellman Home of Miss Minnesota 1982" I hope she eventually got that sign." Everyone including me..sat on the edge of our seats that night of the Miss America Pageant..she sang a wonderful song for her talent and her evening gown was gold and very heavy..she made it into the top ten! Her mailing address may have been Osage, Minnesota..but she lived on the hill opposite the church in Snellman.
More about my friend Aune another day..she and her shop deserve their own entry. I will take you inside!! :)