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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
Anyone who knows Eric knows that he writes about a little bit of everything, whether it's taking a trip down memory lane, or praising and/or criticizing something or someone.
Elvis freaks out Aunt Olla
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About this blog
By Eric Bergeson
Since 1997, Eric has owned and operated Bergeson Nursery, rural Fertile, MN, a business his grandfather started in 1937. With the active participation of his parents, who owned the business for the previous twenty five years, and his younger brother ...
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Eric Bergeson's The Country Scribe
Since 1997, Eric has owned and operated Bergeson Nursery, rural Fertile, MN, a business his grandfather started in 1937. With the active participation of his parents, who owned the business for the previous twenty five years, and his younger brother Joe, who is now president of the company, the business has nearly tripled in size during Eric’s ownership tenure. The holder of a Master of Arts in History from the University of North Dakota, Eric has taught courses in history and political science at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He is also an adjunct lecturer in history for Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. Eric’s hobbies include Minnesota Twins baseball, Bach organ music, bookstores, hiking, photography, singing old country music with his brother Joe, and watching the wildlife on the swamp in front of his house eight miles outside of Fertile, Minn.
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Oct. 3, 2013 5:25 a.m.



elviseolla.jpg 

Aunt Olla looks with trepidation on Elvis, the nursing home's resident dog. Usually prone to wandering around the entire Hilton about fifteen minutes behind the snack cart, today Elvis came in to Olla's room, laid down and would not leave. 

"This is just plain weird," Aunt Olla said, fully aware of the many tales of nursing home animals snuggling up to residents just before they die. "I don't like it at all." 

Olla floated several theories. Was Elvis abused at home? Unlikely, since Olla knows Elvis's owner and she's a good person. Is Elvis about to die himself? Could be. He has a weird look in his eye. 

Or, more to the point: 

"Does this mean I am going to die?" Aunt Olive said, not entirely in jest. 

Aunt Olla is still revelling in the cards and flowers she received for her 102nd birthday. Several of the cards were unopened, so we opened them today. She read every word. Carefully. The flowers from her sister-in-law and family in Reno were particularly appreciated. 

One card contained a $5 bill, which I thought was nice. 

"Isn't it amazing how tight people can be?" Olla sneered in disgust. Most of the cards, of course, contained no money at all, and Olive was fine with those. But somebody throws in a fiver? Man, they're tight! 

Aunt Olla's leg still hurts. It is likely a pinched nerve. She is on hydrochodone, a narcotic, which eases the pain. It also tends to mess with reality a bit. 

I only invited a handful of people to the party and almost all of them came. That didn't prevent Olla from wondering today why certain others weren't there. Were they mad at her for something she said? I could not impress upon her that they didn't even know about the party because I figured too many people there would just confuse her. "Well, there's a feud," she confided in me, uninterested in my more benign explanations.

Michelle, who cares for Bunny, Olla's boyfriend, stopped in to visit. Olla was right on it. She knew Michelle and she knew she took care of Bunny and she said, "You have to bring Bunny in sometime soon. We never see each other!" Bunny had sent Olla a nice card for her birthday. 

Aunt Olla has her birthday cards setting on a shelf. I grabbed them to read through them. In the midst was one which seemed out of place. "To my wife on our anniversary." It was signed "Bill," and dated 1954. I showed it to Olla and asked for an explanation. "Oh, that was my first husband. So nice of him to send a card!" 

As far as I know, she only had one husband and his name was Doc. But it might have been Bill, for Doc was a nickname. Where the card came from, I can only guess. But there it sat, right amongst all of the birthday cards from last week. 

Doc passed away in the late 1960s. 

That's just plain weird.

 

 

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