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Northwest Salmon



Don’t have much to say but want to share anyway? Submit a Flower or a Frown

by John Suhr

Sometimes we want to express what is on our minds and would love to write a letter to the editor. But when it comes down to writing it, just a few words appear on the paper or computer screen and we tell ourselves to forget it.

So in this issue and in future issues, the Reporter & Farmer is going to try a new column labeled Flowers and Frowns.

A Flower or Frown is limited to 40 words or less. They are not poems, thank yous or memorials to pets or loved ones. (We do offer paid memorials if you would like to go that route.)

This space will not be used for personal attacks on a person or business and thus the name of the business or person listed will not appear; we’ll edit that out if it is included in a submission.

Just like letters to the editor, they cannot be slanderous or libelous and most importantly must include the writer’s name and phone number for verification.

And just like letters to the editor, Flowers and Frowns may fall under the editor’s pen.

It could be that once you start writing, you may find that you have far more than 40 words to say, but still want to let people know your opinion. Don’t forget, that could still be considered for a letter to the editor.

And just like letters to the editor, the deadline will be the same: Wednesdays at noon.
Be sure to check out a few examples from the staff this week to what Flowers and Frowns would look like.



Everyone knows the coffee is off limits

by Amanda Fanger

While the cat’s away, the mice will play. Or rather, whenever the boss is gone, the employees will goof around.

It’s not that we didn’t get our work done. Obviously, as evident by the paper you’re holding in your hands (or for our e-subscribers, reading on your computer screen), we managed to get the paper put out on schedule while John was gone this past week.

There was just something of a bonding experience that our staff went through which involved a lot of humor.

I think sometimes people assume that journalists are super serious people all the time and that here at the Reporter & Farmer office, we’re like the stereotypical newsroom where it’s all work and no play.

Don’t get me wrong; we take our work as the watchmen of the community very seriously.

However, there’s no hard rule that says you can’t have a little fun while doing your work either.

But it did strike me the other day as to how much joking around we sometimes really do. A coworker asked a question to which I answered truthfully, and his response was, “Wait, are you being serious or sarcastic? I can’t tell any more...”

Last week was full of shenanigans, jokes and pranks, but intended for the laughter of all involved. I’m actually not sure who started it, but there were some elaborate plans involving boxing in each others’ cars (to which a couple community members actually called with concern), putting packing tape on chairs, shooting rubber bands at each other, unplugging phone cords and removing batteries from wireless keyboards among other events.

I realized things were starting to get out of hand by Thursday when I made an off-handed comment, asking how the coffee tasted. In truth, I was contemplating getting a cup of joe myself and just felt like using the question as a conversation starter. However, my poor coworker gave me such an expression of horror for a moment, then asked, “What did you do to the coffee?”

After that, we all made a pact that the one thing off-limits to pranking was the coffee. It is the one thing we’ve vowed we won’t touch just for the sake of a laugh.

After all, if there’s one thing worth knowing about newspaper employees it’s that you don’t mess with their coffee.

Just remember, it’s not that you stop having fun because you grow old; you grow old because you stop having fun.




Writer pens a tribute to his mother

by Emre K. Erku

Being that Mother’s Day is almost here, I’m going to take the time to write about my mother.

As many of you know, I’m not from around here. I was born in Minneapolis to Turkish immigrants. How did this happen, you ask? Well, it was my mother, raised in a small town along the coast of the Sea of Marmara, who grew up a woman scholar back in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, doing what she could to achieve something many would say is unattainable due to high competition. Facing this adversity, she worked hard on her studies. It was during this time, she would fall in love with a man from the big city of Istanbul. That man, of course, was my father. They married.

As time floated by, she gained entrance to the United States by way of an academic scholarship to the land of 10,000 lakes. In 1976, she found herself going through the modern day Ellis Island of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. After the long process, she touched down in the Twin Cities.

At this time, my dear father was in the military, serving a mandatory tour in the Turkish Army. (All Turkish men are required to serve in the army.) Once finished and thankfully unscathed, he followed his love to the the land of the Stars and Stripes, where they both lived in a tiny apartment in a lower middle-class neighborhood near the Mississippi River.

They worked, and worked and worked. Eventually, she gave birth to my dear brother in 1978.

And, soon, I was brought kicking and screaming into this world in 1989.

From my mother’s and father’s efforts, my brother and I grew up in a two-story house in a clean neighborhood of the west side of Minneapolis’ sprawling metrop- olis. I’m forever thankful for those efforts.

The past five years have been tough for my mother. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, and no more than a few months later, he was gone. And if things couldn’t get any worse, the death was especially rough for my brother. For reasons that are too upsetting for me to even write about, he passed less than a year later after my father. The feeling is indescribable.

But, my widow mother has me and I have her. And I thank God for her strength. Sometimes her tears flow, and my heart lays heavy. Yet, through all this madness she’s still there for me.
I’m now an only child.

Love you, mom. Always have, always will.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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