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Column: Social networking before the Internet

Who was over for dinner last week at your house or who was visiting from out of town?

You may have made mention of it on your Facebook page and now a few hundred of your friends, acquaintances and odd Internet-friends only all know about it.

This type of behavior seems quite normal here in the 21st Century. But how did we disseminate all our life's minutia back in the day?

Small-town news. We all remember it. Some of us miss it. Some of our younger readers are probably wondering what I'm blathering about.

For instance, this week in 1970, check it out: Mr. And Mrs. Dale Wright and family of Omaha, Neb., were weekend guests of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Rollie Case.

Not much different than any Facebook status update you might see on any cruise on the Internet. But there are a bunch of them in the newspaper.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Harthun have as houseguests, Mrs. Ada Chapman Veazie and her daughter, son-in-law and sons of Kalma, Wash., for several days.

I can't tell if this is high-grade voyeurism, volunteer gossip or just what was done back in the day.

These stories remind me of visits to my grandmother's house in Cavalier, N.D. in the 70s. In the Cavalier Chronicle, they would print similar items from nearby Neche, N.D. After awhile, I just referred to all kinds of articles like this as Neche News.

In 1970, around this area, it was Basswood News, Amor News, Ottertail News and it took up a full page.

In Ottertail, Alma Ehlers spent several days at the Arvin Menze farm last week.

What was she up to? Inquiring minds want to know!

In Amor, Monday dinner guests at the Carl Murk home were Mrs. Lillis Knutson and her mother Mrs. Solomonson, of Pelican Rapids and Mrs. Axel Anderson of Dallas.

What did they have to eat? What was Axel's wife doing up from Texas? I want to know these things.

In Basswood, Mark Estlick, who was employed in Minneapolis at the time, drove home Thursday evening.

I have an entire column and I never tell you people when I'm driving home from work. They had it made back in the day.

Debra Pulford and Jodie Johnson rode home with Mr. Estlick and Mark will be enjoying a two-week vacation.

Wherever you are, Mark Estlick, I envy you buddy. Two-weeks off and a couple of girls to hang out with while enjoying vacation.

Now that's a quality Facebook status update if I've ever seen one.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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