Monday, June 28, 2010

A Norske Fisherman

My friend on Nord Lake passed away peacefully in a Burnsville nursing home on June 22nd, the second day of summer. Harry Eidsmo was in his upper 70s and had been in declining health. We had joked about his implanted "Dick Cheney" defibrillator, when this new medical device had worked to help give him more energy.

Harry had come up North decades ago as a boy and loved the lakes and pines. He and wife Pat raised a bunch of kids at their summer weekend cabin, with a sandy beach and a reliable fishing boat. Son Danny and wife Diane recently bought next door on our North Shore. Pat and daughter Nancy spent more time up with Harry at the cabin after Harry and Dave Paulson added an enclosed and vaulted porch. When he remodeled their pontoon boat I helped him install the new canvas roof.

We enjoyed quiet weekday morning coffee conversations. I learned a lot about the lake residents, going back into the 1970s. Folks from Edina, including Harry, had bought and built cabins on the subdivided Leestamper Farm, after it was turned into buildable lakeshore lots in the 1960s. There hadn't been a good road in from Red Indian Road during Spring mud season. Harry and Ted Jacobson, along with Marv Bliss had built a steel grader to drag behind Harry's truck. One of them rode on the rig to steer and weigh it down. Marv Bliss created a road fund to buy the Class 5 gravel that they spread to build up the private road that stretched across an earlier wetland.

Harry was not above giving the local newspaper a different lake name when they ran a story in the 1970s picturing the four lunkers that won him a prize.

Harry and I had both retired from utility companies - telephone and electric, respectively. And we enjoyed retirement a great deal on this North Shore.
When we decided to start a lake association, Harry was there. He came to the Blessing Service of our newly-enlarged, year-round home 14 years ago this August.

We share Norwegian ancestors and their love of life on the water.

Farewell and Godspeed, Old Friend.

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