Honestly, I think our purpose for being here on earth is mostly to entertain each other. We keep ourselves, and each other, busy every day by creating needs and then filling em. We're innovative and energetic about it, and hooray, it means the cash continues to circulate ☺.
Since Larry and I have been cruising the Pierz Journal and the Little Falls Herald newspapers, that idea has solidified for me. We noticed how trends developed in Morrison county--stuff like the need for rural electric service or how cars became popular and roads got better, or that people strung telephone wires, or spiffed up downtown, or started a choir or Athletic Association--in the microcosm that was Buckman, Minnesota. In the first 15-20 years of the 1900s, entertaining ideas bloomed.
Now that the pioneering was mostly done, suddenly, there was leisure time. You could have a house party or a picnic (or go up to the bar). A lot of the former were reported in the paper, and a lot of the latter happened anyway.
But then, since the roads were better now, and cars would wait in the cold without benefit of a barn, you could actually attend events in town, in the evening, not only at the church. There was a bit more discretionary income, too (egg and butter money).
The parish hall was built in 1912, but before that, the old church was used for gatherings. There was space above Mueller's saloon and at Billigs bar, and even in the city hall. We're not sure if the "Buckman Opera House" was facetious or just a nickname for one of the halls--in any event, people got together and put on plays, even taking them on the road to neighboring communities. It was a group effort, for the rest of the group. This clipping was from the February 12, 1909 LFH (starts at the bottom of the first column). It was a play called "The Deacon", and it looks like it was an area wide undertaking, with the first rehearsal on Thanksgiving. Just look at all the familiar names in this paragraph alone. They had time and talent, they had chutzpah, and they loved to laugh. Why not?
All this to introduce this entertaining last pic from Chris--from 1983. The violin came to America with Lorenz Stepan, whose son Albert is playing it here. He played into his 90s, Chris said. (The J. Stepan mentioned in the article was from Buckman...they probably meant A.)