21st Century, death, Life, Prayer, Uncategorized

What to do when someone dies?

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jeremyszopinski.com

I’m up early this morning, about 4:15am, and am not able to drive Uber because my phone fell into a snowdrift and is malfunctioning …again. I’m wondering about my mom and siblings who are making a 600 mile trek from Minneapolis to Springfield, Missouri on snow-dusted Interstate 35. They are braving the elements to pay last respects for my cousin Stephen. He was an exceptionally gifted and eternally curious man who packed a lot of life into 58 years. Still too soon. Far too soon.

Cousin, may I tip my hat to you with the words of Yeats? I only found this poem because: the snowfall, my phone dying, moisture in USB port, and a kind message in Spanish from a new friend halfway around the world. (Please follow the link to Juan Re Crivello.)  G-d, You don’t make our paths easy, but You make them meaningful! Amen!

An Irish Airman foresees his Death

By William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before…

Please follow the link and finish this poem?

https://gobblersmasticadores.wordpress.com/2020/01/16/5-famous-irish-poets-w-b-yeats/

 

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20th Century, Agriculture, Business, farming, History, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Jennie-O Turkeys

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Photo credit: mnopedia.org

1949
Turkey farmer Earl Olson buys a processing plant in Willmar, the beginning of Jennie-O Foods. Wheat feed and the growth of Jennie-O and related companies make this region a hub of turkey farming. By 1999, Jennie-O turns buys enough turkeys from independent farmers to produce 860 million pounds of 400 different turkey products. The company is known as the world’s largest turkey processor.*

For readers outside the midwest, or unfamiliar with this amazing bird, we first ask the question; why does turkey matter? Our state is fortunate to be home to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association; a think-tank for the center-piece of our Thanksgiving meal! Please peruse some of these facts below to see why the MTGA is so enthusiastic about phasianidae!

“Minnesota is ranked #1 for both turkey production and processing in the U.S.
Each turkey generates $17.46 of direct economic activity to the state.
Minnesota’s turkey companies – Jennie-O Turkey Store, Turkey Valley Farms and Northern Pride Cooperative – employ over 7,600 people.
Turkeys are allowed to move freely throughout the barn. They are not kept in cages.
It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30-pound turkey.
To reach full grown, tom turkeys are raised for about 18 weeks and hens are full grown at 15 weeks.
The average turkey has 3,500 feathers.
Only tom turkeys “gobble;” hens “click”.
Turkey meat packs more protein and less total fat than similar cuts of chicken and beef.
Turkey is low in cholesterol and trans-fat free.
A frozen turkey can last up to a year in the freezer.” **

Learning even these few facts, we see the utility of turkey farming. Perhaps seeing this potential 80 years ago partially explains the motives of Earl Olson. To add further, Earl was born May 8, 1915 to Swedish immigrants in Murdock, Minnesota, Swift County just before World War I. This would place Earl as a teen who experienced the scarcity of the Great Depression. Could this be a root motive to spark his fire for a cost-effective, healthful, and environmentally responsible source of meat?

Going to the company website, we find a useful outline of some of Olson’s history and visions for turkey processing.

“Earl B. Olson, Founder of Jennie-O Foods
Earl B. Olson is considered an icon in the turkey business. His tireless efforts and forward thinking helped propel Jennie-O Turkey Store and the turkey industry to what it is today.
1940: Earl starts raising turkeys while managing a small creamery.
1949: Earl purchased his first turkey processing plant, Farmer’s Produce Company, in Willmar, Minnesota.
1950: Dairy and other poultry products are phased out to focus solely on turkey.
1953: Earl converts Farmer’s Produce Company to a USDA-inspected turkey plant and names the brand JENNIE-O®—after his daughter, Jennifer.
1954: Farmer’s Produce Company purchases a second plant and seeks international distribution. A third plant is purchased in 1966.
1963: Earl’s son, Charles, joins the sales staff and becomes president in 1974.
1971: Farmer’s Produce Company changes name to Jennie-O Foods, Inc.
1973: The Willmar Avenue plant and corporate office are built to accommodate expanding processing capabilities.
1984: Jennie-O Foods, Inc. is among the first to develop the turkey hot dog, using a top-secret seasoning recipe and a custom-built, continuous oven stretching 100-feet long.
1986: Jennie-O Foods, Inc. is purchased by Hormel Foods Corporation.” ***

How does one give gratitude for our national symbol of Thanksgiving, Lord? Will You come, Holy Spirit, and lead us to ponder Mr. Olson’s contributions to Minnesota? Will You help us think about Your contributions to us through the members of the turkey family: Beltsville Small White, Bourbon Red, Jersey Buff, Narragansett, Royal Palm, Slate, Standard Bronze White Holland, Broad-Breasted Whites, and Heritage (Wild) Turkeys?

As You say, “the first deal be last, and the last first”, and so we start by remembering what gifts have been given to this continent through Meleaagris gallopavo a.k.a. Wild Turkeys. We thank You that they were an important food source for the Ojibwe and Dakota Nations for hundreds of years in Mni Sota (Minnesota). **** We remember that because turkeys were indigenous to North America, Spaniards, the French, and the English all fared better. ***** Thank You for giving us the “big brother” of the grouse to hunt for all these years! We remember that You made the marvelous wild turkey that could fly fast, run swiftly, and be positioned here for our survival!

Also, we recollect the bounty of the birds that went back to Europe and returned over time as our present-day domesticated breeds of turkey! We thank You that Mr. Olson saw the incredible utility of farm-raised turkeys! That he grew his business with a conscience that respected You, the land, the farmer, and the animal.******

Maybe this conscientiousness is why You chose him to oversee the increase of our State’s turkey production; we went from an insignificant source in 1949 to 42 million birds in 2019. ******* We thank You as a people for his stewardship of turkey’s! We ask Your blessing on every Minnesota turkey whether: Tom (male adult), Hen (female adult), Poult (baby), Jake (young male), or Jenny (young female)! We ask Your blessing on every turkey farmer past, present, and future! Will You give us grace and knowledge, like Earl B. Olson, to have such incredible focus on our life’s work, and cultivate a healthy culture across all forms of life raised in Minnesota?

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** https://minnesotaturkey.com/turkeys/fun-facts/#toggle-id-1
*** https://www.jennieo.com/content/our_history
**** https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/wild-turkeys-in-canada
***** https://blog.nwf.org/2012/11/lets-talk-turkey-history-of-wild-icon-in-america/
****** Obituary. Internet. December 13, 2006. StarTribune, Mpls.,MN. http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/9061815/
******* https://www.ers.usda.gov/newsroom/trending-topics/turkey-sector-background-statistics/

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20th Century, History, Minnesota, Prayer, sports, Uncategorized

Patty Berg Helps Found LPGA

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1948
Minneapolis’ Patty Berg lights up the links of women’s golf in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, winning more than 80 amateur and professional championships. A founder of the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association in 1948, she is one of 13 charter members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.*

To the author’s recollection, Patty Berg’s name has always been synonymous with competition locally. As a child, she loved football and her neighborhood team, the 50th Street Tigers, fought hard to be the best in South Minneapolis. Bud Wilkinson, one of her teammates, would go on as a stellar coach for Oklahoma during their hot streak in the fifties.**

In her young teens, allegedly, her mother tired of her daughter’s cuts, bruises, and torn skirts. More accurately, she could see Patty’s natural determination, but didn’t like the extra mending work. Her parents found a way out of her football pursuits when she expressed jealousy over her brother’s country club membership. Her father agreed to get Patty a membership to play golf, contingent on a commitment to practice everyday. ***

It wasn’t long before she began competing in amateur events like the Minneapolis City Championship. As a freshman in high school, she entered and lost, but steeled her resolve to practice hard, and won as a sophomore in 1934. The following year she narrowly lost the Women’s Amateur to Glenna Collett-Vare; the woman who most dominated the sport the previous decade. By the time she was 20 years old, she won 75-80% of all events she entered. *****

Below is an excellent synopsis of her professional career and contributions to the sport of golf.
“Berg turned professional in 1940, when there were only a handful of women professionals. Her income was earned doing clinics and exhibitions for Wilson Sporting Goods. For her first victory, the 1941 Women’s Western Open, she received a $100 war bond. Shortly after, Berg was in a car accident that severely injured her left knee. The leg had to be reset twice, but during 18 months away from golf, Berg rehabilitated successfully by working out in the camp of a boxer. After a two-year stint in the Marines, in which she went to cadet school and graduated a second lieutenant, Berg won the first U.S. Women’s Open in 1946, defeating Betty Jameson in Spokane, 5 and 4. In 1948, the LPGA was established, and Berg, along with Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Betty Jameson and Louise Suggs, became the Big Four of the women’s game. Berg, who was also the association’s first president, won three titles that first year. She was the LPGA’s leading money winner in 1954, 1955 and 1957, won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1953, 1955 and 1956 and was three times voted outstanding woman athlete of the year by the Associated Press. She is the first woman to win $100,000 in career earnings. In 1963, the USGA honored her with the Bob Jones Award. Only 5-2 with red hair and a freckled face, Berg was known as a supreme shot maker. Carol Mann called Berg “the most knowledgeable person, man or woman, of different golf shots that I’ve ever known.” According to Mickey Wright, “Patty Berg is the perfect golfer for a woman.” The LPGA honored her by establishing the Patty Berg Award in 1978 which is given to the lady golfer who has made the greatest contribution to women’s golf during the year.” *****

Now we turn to You, the Maker of all games of patience and strategy. Though beyond time, You have imperturbable and undistracted resolve to set up a single moment of meaning within history. Come, help us ponder Your message to us through the life of Patty Berg.

We commence this prayer with the obvious; Patty’s commitment and success as a mentor. We are grateful for teachers who stick with us; like Berg. We are inspired by those who not only convey the lesson, but can demonstrate it with excellence. We will never forget those whose leadership forged new paths; and Berg led multitudes of women into golf. Bravo Lord!

Next, we thank You for gifting her with an imagination for strategy. We thank You for the testimony of her peers that she was “the most knowledgeable person, man or woman, of different golf shots that I’ve ever known.” In this, she is so much like her Heavenly Dad; making impossible shots against impossible odds. May I list a few examples to You?
Abram was a no name man from an obscure place, but You made a name for him by taking the “H” out of Your own, and imparting its greatness to both Abraham and Sarah!

Moses lack of self-control, though incensed by injustice, led to murder, which led to the desert, which led to obscurity, which led to leading animals, which led to the burning bush and the presence of “I Am”, and finally to leading Your people out of Egypt.

It looked like “game over” for the followers of our Messiah. The most powerful religious and political laws condemned Him to death. They were terrified of the power of Rome and the Sanhedrin. Your resurrection emboldened them to wait and pray; seemingly a very passive move to their enemies. Yet, You emboldened these scalawags and cowards with Your Spirit of grace and truth to boldly tell people everywhere of the G-d that came to them, for them, to free them!

We thank You for her example of bravery to her generation of women! Throughout her life, she believed in the capability of women. She believed women: could play football, play golf, endorse sports, do the business of sports well, serve in the Marines, and create a legacy.

You have written of the legacy of brave women in Your Word. We remember to You the faith and actions of these female Biblical heroes: Sarah, Deborah, Hannah, Ruth, and Queen Esther to name but a few! ****** Will You embolden and give bravery to the women of Minnesota present and future to live courageous lives as they?

Will You forgive the obstacles placed in the way of women in her generation? Will You forgive us, Minnesotans past and present, of limiting or invalidating the thoughts, actions, and dreams of our foremothers? We have shunned Your image insofar as we have shuttered them. Will You forgive and heal our judgments? We call out to You this day our invitation; send us more like Patty Berg?

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** Rippel, Joel. “Patty Berg: Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 1958”, Star Tribune, Minneapolis,MN. Nov. 4 2019. http://www.startribune.com/patty-berg-minnesota-sports-hall-of-fame-inductee-class-of-1958/563308382/
*** https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/berg-patty-1918
**** https://www.interlachencc.org/About-Us/History.aspx
***** http://www.worldgolfhalloffame.org/patty-berg/
****** https://rachelwojo.com/women-in-the-bible/

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