A Flag for Fishermen

It was Sunday, February 9th, when the Victoria Fire Department held its annual ice fishing contest for warm-blooded and stout-hearted folks of the community.  The wind was brisk.  Some would say brutal.  But the fishermen and firefighters on Stieger Lake remained unflappable.  They had a mission and a flag!

The flag was borrowed from the Waconia Fire Department.  Thank you, firefighters all around, for contributing to the big atmosphere.

Hi, Dallas Notermann.  Where are your gloves??

Hello, fishing grandchild of Lorna and Chester Krause of Victoria.  What's your first name?

Three cheers for three retired Victoria firefighters.  Hi, Marvin Storms, Ken Schmieg, and Roger Leuthner.  Heard you sold a lot of raffle tickets.

Hi, Peggy Leuthner and Lynn Jurek.   It took simmering soup and grilled hamburgers to help keep the fishermen warm, and these wives of Victoria firefighters Rick and Doug cooperated.

It also took bear hugs to keep warm.  From the front side, these bear huggers resemble Mary Moore and Bill Schneider of Victoria.  They're cousins.

The day started at minus 11 degrees and inched its way into the low 20's.  The windchill on Stieger  Lake wasn't recorded; it was simply felt.  But there were no complaints from the nearly 500 people in attendance.  They are northlanders, after all, and hibernate is not one of their habits.

Victoria Firefighter John Storms built a fire-pit to help thaw noses and fingers and ice in mustaches.

A tent has come to be put up each year to help ward off the wind and provide a warmer kitchen for serving hamburgers with the works.

This northlander in the noteworthy gear is Victoria resident John Berger.

These ladies with the shades are Victoria residents Marie Storms, Rachel Alpaugh, & Mary Moore.

Victoria Firefighter Gary Sohns thanked everybody for coming to the fundraiser on ice.

Oh, say, did you see the Star Spangled Banner?  And the school bus?  Most of the visitors arrived on the lake that afternoon by bus, which they picked up in downtown Victoria.  It's getting to be a safety issue when the ice isn't thick enough to accommodate a city of cars.  This year the ice got thick enough in the nick of time.

Bye bye, Bill Blinstrup and Jeff Nordeen, Victoria firefighters directing traffic as it came off the lake.  Thank you all for a fun afternoon.

Before we go, can we look one more time at Patriotism on Ice?  Only in the northland.

The End

Love, Sue

E-mail:  Sue@PrintsPublishing.com

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