Of all the leaf tours in all the world

Don’t you just love coincidences?
I’ve written about some of my favorites in this space, like the time an old friend I’d lost touch with for 15 years just happened to drive down Isle’s Main Street as I was walking from the coffee shop to the Messenger.

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Or the time I ran into a friend, out of the blue, in Tillamook, Oregon, where neither of us had ever been nor planned to be. Or the time my wife chanced to be on the same ferry in Washington with old friends from Idaho.
Last week was a doozy.

Retired Onamia teachers Deb Anderson, Kathy Statz, Joan Ellingson and Pat Burr were on a leaf tour to Itasca State Park last Thursday. They had lunch with a retired biology teacher from White Bear Lake who now lives in Crosby — a Mr. Frank Perpich.
They got home and read my column from last week, where I talked about my old high school biology teacher. Mr. Perpich. Mr. Frank Perpich.
My favorite comment on coincidence comes from ‘Casablanca,’ when Bogey says of Bergman, “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Of all the days and weeks and years they might’ve run into Mr. Perpich, it happened the day after his name showed up in the Messenger.
Kathy had their picture taken, which you can see above.
Photo: Mr. Perpich flanked by Ellingson, Anderson, Statz and Burr.
Rivals agree on one thing
People got pretty worked up about the Isle-Onamia football game, and the Messenger’s coverage of it.
The day the paper came out, we had comments on our website and phone calls about our coverage.
Isle fans thought Bob Statz went too easy on Onamia. They were mad because the coach left the starters in too long. Onamia fans thought Bob showed a bias in favor of Isle because he mentioned that Isle had some starters out and might play the Panthers tougher if they meet in the playoffs.
As usual, the one thing that brings both sides together is their criticism of the local paper.
Speaking of which, the community took way too much pleasure in the Messenger’s appearance on Jay Leno, who showed off my front page layout a couple weeks ago. I got a comment on Facebook from one local reader who said, “Maybe you should look at the front page before you print it.”
Gee, what a great idea. Maybe we’ll start doing that. Sure is nice to work in a community where everybody knows my job better than I do!
Another recent front page became bulletin-board material at one of our fine learning institutions. Staff members were apparently upset by my story titled “Gun in school, shooting, fatal crash.”
As usual, no one bothered to bring their concerns to your humble editor, who heard about it second hand. I guess I can’t blame them for being afraid of me. I do have an intimidating physique.

Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.

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