Living Here

The Town of Linn and other strange legal entities.
What happened on Monday night last week over there? Zenda.  The Prisoner of Zenda is the name of an old movie.  That Zenda would be out in the country all by itself, well disguised as the town seat of Town of Linn, is no surprise.  There was a town meeting over a year back in time wherein the roles of town treasurer and city clerk were re-combined into one (Susan Pollyock serving) person’s responsibility.  Overwhelmingly, the many citizens at that meeting voted (and were sustained by the town board) to recombine the roles after they were separated following a referendum on the issue.  The new young assistant attorney in Town of Linn decided on Monday night that the town meeting did not meet state legal standards and therefore the town meeting conclusion was tossed out.  Just like that.  The roles are now separated because a young attorney supposedly read the law, and then made a very contentious and serious determination. The members of the town board nodded their sage heads and went right along with the decision.  And such is small-town life in southern Wisconsin these days.


A Christmas note from the publisher.
Christmas. The manger. The sawdust. The half-torn down shack the setting is set into. The three wise men and their finery. A lowing calf, cow, or lamb. Joseph standing by Mary, of course. So, I made a scene by myself. The ceramic figures are those given to me by a Vietnamese named Nguyen when I got out of the hospital after the Nam. The guy felt bad for me taking the bullets, while he was able to get himself and his family out of the country and over here without damage to any of them. I accepted these Christmas ceramic figures, and they’ve been with me ever since. One is glued back together, like me. I made the manger back then, in 1970, in my garage with what I had. The newspapers, used for wrapping, are from way back there too. Amazing how that cheap paper lasts. The figures have held up well, and have no markings about where they may have come from or who made them. People have seen the display over the years and wondered about whether I was ever going to update or make the shack look better.

I’m not going to do anything to it. Tradition. Nguyen is gone now, but his display remains. This is just a little nonsense sidebar about Christmas in my life. I hope you have your own little things to keep you going on cold nights. Surround yourself with warmth. I am trying. The giant Norwegian Forest Cat wedged himself in at the last moment, so that’s Bentley on the right of the display.

My Manger
Manger, James Strauss

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