Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Eddie Jane Pelkey
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Remember when

Escape with Eddie


I’ve been going through a lot of memories lately. Certainly, there are a number of reasons. The recent loss of my husband resulted in going through a lot of pictures of our life together. There were also a number of pictures from Don’s first marriage with Ada and his sons. It got me thinking about the different phases of our lives. In my relationship with Don, there is the before, the current and the after.

I’ve been looking at pictures of myself, too. I ran across one of me dressed as the good witch, Glenda, for a Halloween party held at my home in Richfield. I am leaning back, cigarette in hand and talking with my best friend, Paul Arnold.

Paul had been my Lutheran minister when I was a young housewife, before nursing school. He preached at a church on the east side of St. Paul. When my first marriage was coming to an end, he was a major encouragement for going back to school. I encouraged him to go back to the university to become a psychologist. We both achieved those goals. At the time the picture was taken, I was 35 years old and working at the old Abbott Hospital on First and 18th Street in Minneapolis. I quit smoking a few years later.

The first 12 years in Minnesota I lived on the east side of St. Paul. The area around the Twin Cities was circled by Highway 100. That was a long time ago, before the freeways were built encircling Minneapolis and St. Paul. This was the era of building suburban housing developments.

What memories!

My children were very young and I was a stay-at-home mom. When I started nursing school in 1966, my children and I studied together. Fast forward to my life in Minneapolis and I was living on Wentworth Avenue South in a Sears package house with maple floors and fantastic oak built-ins. The doors had beveled glass and the kitchen was so small I could barely turn around. My garden in the back yard was tiny, too.

Then was the move to the suburbs in Richfield. Every time I moved forward it was as if I was leading an entirely different life. In Richfield I was a single mom with two teenage sons. Then, all of a sudden, Rob moved to California and Randy and I were by ourselves. My career was in psychiatric nursing at Abbott Northwestern.

This is when I met Donald on a ride-a-long with the Minneapolis Police. I was writing a paper on police and job stress. Boy or boy! I learned a great deal about policing and I fell in love. Certainly, a new life.

Don and I got married a year later and bought the East Bethel property where he built our house. That’s when we lived in an unfinished house for about two years. I knew we were well suited to each other when the chaos of living in a construction zone brought us closer together. We had a common dream for the house we designed and we both liked gardening.

Almost 20 years later we moved north to Kettle River. Then I began writing for the Star-Gazette for Jerry DeRungs. The Escape with Eddie column was born and it’s been an integral part of my life since. Writing about the city councils has been an incredible learning experience. Who knew roads and sewers could be so interesting? I have added to my knowledge base considerably.

I look back at my childhood in Evanston, Illinois, and realize that was a totally awesome period of my life. I grew up next to the second city of the United States. My hometown was dry — as in no alcohol was sold there, nor was it served in restaurants. Evanston was the city of churches and the home of the Women’s Temperance Union. It was a period of my life where I went swimming in Lake Michigan, rode horses in Harms Woods and dreamed of becoming a writer. Well, life took me in a slightly different direction for quite a while.

Now, I am sitting at my computer writing to my heart’s content. My life has been a checker board of variety. Yet, I am still looking forward to new adventures.


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