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Monday, June 26, 2006

New York Mills, Minnesota

It was once a busy little farm town,
Hwy #10 used to run straight through.
In the center of town was grain elevator
which ran along the railroad tracks.

There was a little park on the other side
with a band-shell;
a place we spent time during the 4th of July
and where we watched the Memorial Day Parade
once a year until I turned eight.
Along the same stretch was
a used car dealership where my dad worked
when the farm didn’t produce enough crop
to live on.

The creamery where we bought
fresh vanilla ice-cream made from
the cream of local dairy farms.

The pickle factory where grandma
sold gunny-sacks of pickles every year.
A little white clapboard building
where she sold her fresh eggs.

My bachelor uncle’s one bedroom tumbledown
house next to a one man gas station at the end of town.

Rockwell did his painting from small towns
like New York Mills.
In the name of progress they’ve torn down
those quaint memorable structures.
where I bought soda in glass bottles
and bags of salty peanuts.
Joyce Chelmo
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