Top Stories






Chaos and Grit

Barbless Bits & Little Chits



Last week's mention of the Friendly Tavern located on a side road off the highhway between Soudan and Ely, prompted this note from Joseph Mesojedec: "The Friendly Tavern was built in the early 40s by Joe Mesojedec. He sold it in the late 40s, but I don't remember who bought it. Maybe Herman. The last owner was Rudy Grahek. When it was first opened, it was powered by a gas generator until the power line was run. Stay warm and well. P.S. I will look for any pictures that Mom might have saved."
Thanks much, Joe, for clearing this up. It would be fantastic if you could find a picture of the Friendly Tavern!!!
* * * * *
Jim Charles called me on Tuesday eveniing. Jim is now residing in Spring Park, Minnesota, where he is much closer to his two children. He wants everyone "back home" to know that he is doing well, but he does miss everyone from "back home." He mentioned a number of people from our area who are often in his thoughts.
"Please give them my telephone number and my address. I would love to hear from people from back home." Jim's telephone number is 952-471-5145 and his address is: 4559 Shoreline Dr., #406, Spring Park, Minnesota 55384.
(Do not say that I told you, but Jim will be celebrating his ninety-seventh birthday anniversary "around" May 5.)
* * * * *
I got a St. Patrick's Day card from friends in Ireland. They own a Bed and Breakfast, and Jim and I stayed at their beautiful place a couple of nights. We are really good friends, and we keep in touch. When we were having breakfast at their place one morning, their dear little son, Edward, was standing by the table, visiting with us. He must have been over two years of age. I asked his mother if he could have a piece of toast, and when she gave her permission, I started to put jam on it for him. "No, no, no - you've got to r-r-r-rub it," he said. After all these many years, I never spread jam on my toast without thinking of Edward, so I tell Catherine and Jim that I think of them every day.
In a short note that Catherine included in the card, she mentioned that their youngest son, Colm, had given them a Christmas present which they will treasure - "The Book." I did not have a clue what she was referring to, and even after I had read an explanation, it did not seem possible. She was referring to my book, "Chaos and Grit." I still find it impossible to believe that Colm could have learned about the book 'way over in ireland - few people right here in the United States even know of its existence. I'll be interested to hear how Colm heard about it.
* * * * *
Readers always enjoy reminiscing about the nicknames of our Tower-Soudan residents. Some on this list are from a couple of generations ago. Do you remember:
Snakes - Elmer Johnson
Peppy - Joe Yernatich
Lovie - Louis Spollar
Chico - Robert Zollar
Krexer - Joseph Erchul
Scrap Iron - Henry Hujanen
Windy - Don Ronkainen
Cushla - John Kangas
Butch - Joseph Gornick
Keewa - Jim Snyder
Chink - Clarence Thomas
Slim - Isidore Jankowski
Pooko - John Thomas
Johnny Boy - John Zavodnick
Hentry - Robert Hendrickson
Haykee - Wallace Heikkinen
Cully -Charles Ronkainen
Lenko -Leonard Tomsich
Bud - Rosmyn Bruno
Gunna - Gunnard Anderson
Beaner - Benedict Erchul
Remer - Tony Planton
Chicken - Joe Chiabotti
Kutz - Edward Micklech
Geemo - Ralph Pruse
Scoop - Carl Kirkman
Squeakee - William Hulkonen
Sammy- Edward Juntunen
Gamble Joe - Joe Kersting
Teeny -Martin Gornick
Burr - John Lilya
Bud - Raymond Burgess
Muxie - Marcelen Tezak
Bible Back - Fred Johnson
Judd - George Bruneau
Speed - Paul Olson
Hank - Stenfeldt Petersen
Buck - Walter Holter
Buster - Eugene Bowman
Jughead - Kendall Johnson
Turk - Aloys Weinzierl
Wrench - Ernest Johnson
Sonny - Harry Chiabotti
This is the truth: Sometimes, we did not even know the person's real name until he/she passed away. I remember when Aloys Weinzierl passed away and a subscriber was very irate that we had not carried his obituary. In those days, there was no obituary page - deaths of local residents were carried on the front page. I explained to the subscriber that we certainly HAD carried his obituary. He had been from a prominent Tower family and was a well respected businessman.
* * * * *
Maren Welles called to suggest this Bible verse: Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God ceated he him; male and female created he them.
* * * * *
Have a great week!


Contact information: or

Phone: 218-753-7777

Fax: 218-753-7778


The Tower News

P.O. Box 447

Tower, MN 55790