Fergus Falls

In the summer of 1976 (sometime after the 4th of July, but before school started in the fall) my dad and step-mom moved from Monticello to Fergus Falls. Dad had found a job as a chemical dependency counsellor with Ottertail County, so it was time to pack up the stuff and move.

When we first moved to Fergus, my parents bought a house in town. It was just up the hill from the high school, and a few blocks from the junior high where I’d be attending school in the fall. For the first time in my life, I’d be walking to school on a daily basis. That was a little bit of a change for me.

Fergus Falls had other firsts. I joined the Boy Scouts while I was there, got my first paper route (delivering a weekly advertising paper on Wednesdays that was mostly calssified ads), and then my first “real” job working at Haugen’s Ice Cream Parlor (& Restaurant).

After one year living in town, my dad found a farm out on Swan Lake, just north of the resort (I’m not positive, but I think the field you see behind the resort in this picture on that page was one of ours). I was back to riding the bus, and was on the end of the route, being one of the first on the bus and last off. I spent a lot of time on the bus in 8th grade.

From 9th through 12th grade (1978-1982) I was going to school at St. John’s Prep School in Collegeville, but living at home with my parents in the summer. I started working at Haugen’s the summer between 10th and 11th grades, in order to save up money for my upcoming trip to Melk.

Once I graduated from SJP, I moved down to Minneapolis. My dad and step-mom continued to live on the farm for a year or two. As my dad’s health got worse, they decided to buy a house closer to town (1985?). A year or so later, they divorced and he moved into an apartment in town. He continued to work for the county for a while longer, and he lived in that apartment until he died in 1987, at which point I quit feeling any real ties to Fergus Falls.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:47:57.