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Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series on the Amish of Becker County. Looking at the everyday life of the Amish in Becker County through a modern person's eyes, it may look very primitive and hard. But to the Amish, their lifestyle is exactly the opposite. "Our lives are pretty modern in many ways," an elder of the Amish community said. Everything the Amish do now, our ancestors did not long ago. Some of the older people around here might remember when they had to carry water out of the creek, using candles or kerosene lights.
Take a drive on the country roads between Frazee and Wolf Lake and you might come across a scene out of the turn of the century -- the 20th Century, that is. A small, black, single horse-drawn buggy moves slowly along the road. The distinctive look is that of the Amish. The Amish in Becker County have been here for three years. About half of the members of the community came from Michigan, where the Amish community was shrinking due to high land prices and proximity to a city that was growing.
Although there wasn't any deer hanging from the trees Saturday evening at the Shell River Hunting Camp, Mike Guetter couldn't be happier. "This is what it's all about," he said referring to the large group of friends and relatives that gathered in his cabin south of Osage. The group of 23 included three of Guetter's brothers, his son and daughter, many nephews, grand nephews and several family friends.
A solid blue bar suddenly appeared on the map of Detroit Lake on Jerry Sondag's fish finder. "Must be a glitch in the map," he said.
On a bright fall day, Tony Schmitz hacks his way through the Becker County woods under a canopy of amber. Somewhat oblivious to the beauty around him, he is set to his task of cutting a single-lane mountain bike track through the county land off Tower Road east of Detroit Lakes. He locates the problem he's been looking for -- an old barbed wire fence across the path.
After playing from behind most of the game, the Detroit Lakes Angels gained the lead on the Bluffton Braves Saturday night when it really counted -- the bottom of the ninth inning. Outfielder Phil Kirchner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, zero for his last eight at bats with seven pop flies, and hit a three-run homerun to beat the third seeded Braves 10-9 in dramatic fashion in the Hi-10 League playoffs. "I hadn't been swinging well, trying to do too much and trying to hit the ball too hard every time," Kirchner said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play.
The leeward side of the Detroit Lake sandbar was sweltering by mid-afternoon Saturday. Eric Doll of Perham decided to take a dip among the several hundred anchored boats, on what the locals call Cox's Point. Maybe it was the heat getting to him. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe he wanted to impress the ladies.
In the Detroit Lakes area during the summer, the only ice people want to think about are the cubes cooling down their favorite drink. But a crew of Detroit Lakes city employees have two large ice cubes to think about starting in late May. Jed Restad and Brennon Raser are in charge of making the rink ice at Kent Freeman Arena -- both in the summer for the International Hockey School and the fall for winter hockey. Both arenas of the skating complex are cooled down over a weekend in May, their cement floors frozen by coolant flowing beneath.
Detroit Lakes resident and self-described Harley-Davidson nut Joe Solmon wanted something to "class up" his backyard. The seven-foot-tall, three-foot-wide oak stump there wasn't doing the job. So he had it carved up -- into a six-foot-tall bald eagle sitting atop a Harley-Davidson logo. He cut down the dead oak tree three years ago, and started planning on having it carved into something. "I've always loved those chainsaw carvings," Solmon said. Solmon let the stump dry out for three years, so the wood wouldn't split, then called Floodwood chainsaw artist Troy Conlon and inquired abo
Local members of the Red Bulls Army National Guard unit spent an extra five months in Iraq, on top of their regular one-year deployment in 2006-2007. They grew close, laughed together, fought together and shed tears together. Here's a Memorial Day look at how some of them are doing since they came home. Andy Riewer lost two of his brothers while serving with Able Company in Iraq. Pictures of his good friend, Josh Hanson, and brother, Greg, adorn his office at the Detroit Lakes Armory.