Photos taken in 1977:  l)  Home Federal Savings Bank and the south entrance to the life insurance department. 2) Jack Blink's Valley Drug.  3) First National Bank, Squeak Seeley's Valley Foodliner IGA and Dr. Morse's dental office  4) Denny Essig's Super Valu grocery  5) S.V. Building Center — Lloyd Schultenover, and the Courtland Street bridge  6) Water tower on Church Street, and, from left — apartments, Lorain Grabau's shoe repair shop, and a garage for residents on Section Avenue.
Photos taken in 1977: l) Home Federal Savings Bank and the south entrance to the life insurance department. 2) Jack Blink's Valley Drug. 3) First National Bank, Squeak Seeley's Valley Foodliner IGA and Dr. Morse's dental office 4) Denny Essig's Super Valu grocery 5) S.V. Building Center — Lloyd Schultenover, and the Courtland Street bridge 6) Water tower on Church Street, and, from left — apartments, Lorain Grabau's shoe repair shop, and a garage for residents on Section Avenue.
This week we continue with stories by writers from the Minneapolis Tribune, an issue from May 1980, entitled "Neighbors." They noted, "There's not much to complain about Spring Valley. The 2,800 residents seem proud of their town - down in the valley, crabapple trees in bloom, fine houses on spacious yards with menageries of cement animal figures.

"In front of Bob and Jeannine Chase's palatial old home on Huron Avenue is a dead mulberry tree. Bob likes it, hobbled and hag-like, being there when they escaped from the rat race in the Cities to move here in 1969.

"A short block away is the 66 Motel owned by Elsie and Bud Wiser, with green benches out front of the rooms, hinting that the view across the highway at lovely homes surpasses the offering of the motel televisions. It did.

"Even the auto junkyard, usually a blot in any village, is hidden from the road by a frame of weeping willow trees.

"From South Section Avenue, trucks pull in at the Land O' Lakes processing plant, the town's biggest industry with 35 employees. It processes 600,000 pounds of milk in a day in the middle of this rich dairy country.

"On Tuesdays, we might see clothiers and a lumberman, catalog store owner, motel operators, and 40-some other Chamber of Commerce members sitting down to a lunch of beef hot dish with potato chip topping, a roll with butter, square of red Jell-O topped with Cool Whip, and rhubarb cake, saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the crocheted flag in the American Legion Hall, then listening to Superintendent Dornack talk about why they should vote for a four-mill levy increase that would raise their taxes.

"It was approved that week, 399 to 378.

"$1,200 for a chair? Well, they take 600 hours to carve! Clarence Norby has never been to Norway, the land of his ancestors, but he knows about carving elegant, sturdy chairs from a length of basswood. These would be elaborately and painstakingly carved with Norwegian designs; he has completed three of them, and has orders from 45 people who want the fourth one. 'We tell them they'll probably not get one, but to be nice, we take their names anyway.' He also carves Norwegian wedding spoons, tiny wooden shoes, makes wind chimes out of odds and ends, and does some Norwegian style painting. When his 4 year old son got polio, he began to carve little figures, animating them, resulting in the legendary 'Mechanical Farm.' He was invited to show it, and they began to travel around to county fairs, charging a quarter for adults and 15 cents for kids."

(I do remember the mechanical farm, and am fortunate to have two pieces of his woodcarvings.)

"The Pool Hall isn't Duffy's Only Claim to Fame. Duffy Calhoun has been in the bar business since 1973, catering to the younger set with pinball machines, electronic games, and Foosball. His pride and joy is a billiard table inlaid with ivory on pearl, kept in the back room, and he is confident 'pool is coming back.' Famous? He began sponsoring an annual dance as a fundraiser for the television cancer telethon, donating his time, renting the community center, and securing a dance band. It is a lot of hard work, but most gratifying.

"While walking home in a snowstorm and tired after working for a local vet and farmer, Doc Fisch, Joe Pettey claims he was the man who discovered Mystery Cave. He decided to walk near the creek, noting a big old tree that had mud around it. He investigated, went home for a flashlight, and now, 43 years later, folks were coming to see the cave, a tourist attraction." (Remember, we are talking 1980 here.)

"Neil Davie, a member of the Minnesota Speleological Survey, Inc., also mentioned that a Rochester man had discovered a vast cave network north of town and christened it Minnesota Caverns. He said the chance to set foot where no one had ever walked before is what entices spelunkers. At Mystery Cave, the lure is the beautiful Turquoise Lake, stalactites, stalagmites, cephalopod fossils, and botryoidal clusters. Have you seen them? 'It's a sight!'"

Writer Hammond and the photographer drove to Cherry Grove to visit with flyer Bernard Pietenpol, age 79. "Just two years earlier, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first flight, 40 planes and 500 people came to honor him. It had been in 1928 when he was 27 that he built his first plane using an auto engine, a few bits of linen and wire, and spare parts." Since then he had built about 20 planes and now plans for the blueprints of his 1933 model were being sold around the world. He said, "TV came along in time to save me from financial ruin, as I pretty much starved to death in airplanes; then got into TV and ate good." He sold more than 1,000 sets from his shop. Bernard flew over 6,000 hours and drove a car a million miles without an accident.

Helping him take care of the airport was friend Vitalis Kapler, who had Kaps Airplane Shop next door. He considered Pietenpol a genius. With wife Edna in the nursing home, Bernard would each day pick up his blind brother-in-law, Mike Monson, and they would walk over to Ed and Lenora Prinsen's AG food store, built by his grandfather, Chris Pietenpol, the only store in town, for coffee. Bless their memories.

I don't know when I have read such entertaining news articles - those writers did a grand job of interviewing people; I chuckled more than once at the observations.

I hope you have enjoyed a look at a few of the "locals" from 1980.

Perhaps our publisher/editor should send out reporters/writers to do a good review in 2013. What do you think?