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Reader Opinion: East of Pillager?

Approximately 50 years ago, when I was but a lad, I listened in on a conversation between my father, Pete Gaalswyk, who at the time was the chairman of the Pillager School Board, and Fillmore Pfeifle, who was then Pillager School Superintendent. ...

Approximately 50 years ago, when I was but a lad, I listened in on a conversation between my father, Pete Gaalswyk, who at the time was the chairman of the Pillager School Board, and Fillmore Pfeifle, who was then Pillager School Superintendent. While discussing something or other of relevance to the day, Mr. Pfeifle stated, "You know, if someone was killed a half mile west of Baxter, the headline in the Daily Dispatch would read, 'Man Murdered East of Pillager,' but if gold was found just east of town (Pillager), the headline would state, 'Gold Discovered West of Brainerd!" I was somewhat bemused by that comment, but over time, realized that it made sense.

On March 28, under a Pillager byline, the Brainerd Dispatch published an article about a fatal car crash "near 11th Avenue Southwest, east of Pillager." The intersection of 11th Avenue Southwest and Highway 210 lies one-half mile west of the Baxter city limits and just over six miles east of Pillager.

"East of Pillager?" Well, yes, but the reporter may as well say "East of Motley," "East of Wadena," "East of Detroit Lakes," or "East of Fargo" but for the reader to get a better sense of the location of the accident, I submit that describing the crash locale as "West of Baxter" would better inform those who care.

Until then, on this subject, I remain bemused.

Neal Gaalswyk

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East Gull Lake

Formerly of Pillager

Related Topics: PILLAGERBRAINERD DISPATCH
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