May 8, 2014 at 12:32 p.m.

Wally Carlson was a great man; Happy Mothers Day to all moms

Wally Carlson was a great man; Happy Mothers Day to all moms
Wally Carlson was a great man; Happy Mothers Day to all moms

I am writing today with a very heavy heart. Once again our community has lost a truly great person. Wally Carlson passed away late last week. For those of you who didn't know Wally, yes. he is that Wally from the gas station. For those of you who were lucky enough to know Wally, well, you already know how blessed we were to spend some time with him. Wally was the true meaning of community. A giver, a mentor, a realist (wether you wanted to hear it or not), a great friend and honest. I have known Wally since I was a kid. We would bike to the gas station with change we took from our parents dressers just enough to purchase a bottle or two of Pop Shop pop. Wally would come out and chat with us (maybe he was worried about losing his merchandise) and tell us about the new flavors they had just got.

Since then, I like hundreds if not thousands of you, have had some great conversations with Wally. Usually at the Post Office, Wally would engage in conversation with any person lucky enough to say "Hi Wally. How are you today?" That's all you needed. He was off from there. Telling you what was right with our community and of course what could be corrected. Wally lost the love of his life not long ago. As you can imagine, it really took its toll on him. He would put on his brave and happy face when in public, but you could tell deep down he missed Irene. A relationship that stood the test of time and one we could only hope for ourselves. Wally was a good man, no a great man. He will be missed. He already is.

I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Opening of the new Grandstay Hotel in Chisago City. Let me just say..wow. What a beautiful hotel we have here in our community. Mike and Dianne Hursh have built an amazing asset in Chisago City. The hotel has 51 rooms, all beautifully decorated. There are rooms for the extended stay guests that include a full kitchen with full size refrigerators. There are whirlpool suites equipped with huge whirlpools and fireplaces. All suites have sleeper sofas and flat screen televisions. The lobby of the hotel is very welcoming and inviting. Dianne selected all of the art you will see in the lobby and main floor. The hotel has a great complimentary breakfast with local pastries and premium coffee. If you have kids, or even if you don't, the swimming pool is absolutely beautiful.

Painted with beautiful colors, the pool is very large and handicapped accessible. The hotel is managed by Carrie Dirks, a local resident. Carrie is such a great person with a personality that lights up a room. She is going to do a wonderful job with the hotel. I would like to thank Mike and Dianne and the rest of the investors for taking a chance on our community. They see potential. So do I. Mike told the audience at the opening that he wanted to accomplish three things with the hotel: 1. Provide a good return for the investors. 2. Bless the community with the availability for events such as school events, sporting events and more. 3. Be a great place to work. I think they have already accomplished many of these goals. Even though the hotel is in our back yard, we can still utilize it. What a great vacation it would be to pack a light bag and drive five minutes to a great hotel. Just forget about your hectic life and unwind knowing you have only a five minute commute home. I know people who have already had birthday parties for their children there. They said it was perfect.

The County Press is looking to add to our sales staff. We are looking for a person that has exceptional presentation skills as well as one on one skills. If you are independent, self motivated, aggressive (in a good way), and outgoing, we would love to meet you. You will be responsible for selling print advertising as well as website advertising and mobile phone advertising. I encourage you to send your resume to PO Box 748, Lindstrom, MN 55045 or email to [email protected].

Businesses, if you are not advertising with the County Press, I have a question for you. Why not? Because nobody reads newspapers these days? I am looking at a higher subscription number than we have ever had in the past. It is all digital these days? Our paper sales at stores and gas stations are higher than ever. People use the internet to find what they are looking for? We are online with local news, obituaries, sports, classifieds, to name a few. There has never been a better time to advertise in the newspaper. compare our prices to anywhere, including bulk mailings, and you will see that for the price of a one time mailing, you could do a weekly advertising campaign in the County Press and the Search Shopper. And for you internet die hards, please consider advertising on our website. Currently, we average around 9,000 visits per week. That is right, per week. If you look at our site, look at Mueller Jewelers. Last week alone, their tile ad had 126 clicks. Those are astounding numbers. Give us a call at 651 257 5115.  We would love to help your business.

This weekend is a huge weekend. Yes that’s right it is the fishing opener in Minnesota. I am kidding of course, this Sunday is Mothers Day. It is our chance to show our mothers how very important they are to us. Mothers have the utmost important job in the world. They also deserve our utmost gratitude. I would like ot personally wish all the moms out there a very happy Mothers Day. I would also like to thank the two most important women in my life. My beautiful wife Cheryl and my best friend and mentor my Grandmother Evelyn. I owuld be lost without you. There are some absolutely wonderful places to take your mother this weekend. Treat her to a nice meal locally. Look in this Press for some great specials. The Picket Fence Gals would like to honor veterans during their May sale. They will be giving veterans a coupon for free coffee and donuts, rolls, or cookies from the Lindstrom Bakery. Please help by identifying veterans when they come to the sale on May 7-11.


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