“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, August 16, 2022



It's been a quiet week here in Junction City. Strains of Garrison Keilor (Prairie Home Companion with its news from Lake Wobegon) just wafted through my head. I found some old cassette tapes and have listened to that master storyteller.

I drove our pickup truck to my dental appointment because I wanted to listen to tapes. I had broken a tooth, but now I have a beautiful totally white crown—no more need for a gold base anymore, so it seems. I don't want to bore you with my tooth story, but the making of the crown was fascinating, especially for an old dental assistant from the dark ages.

No more taking impressions with gunky stuff in trays that stretch the limits of your cheeks. No more need to cast plaster in the gel mold. No more hand-carving of the wax image that will be your new tooth. And no need for melting the wax to cast the gold that will make your crown.

It's done on the computer, with pictures and a CNC mill in the back room. Water sprays on a block of porcelain the size of a sugar cube while burrs carve out your beautiful tooth. (One visit, you're done.)

And all this high-tech stuff is right here in Junction City.

Saturday, (I guess it wasn’t so quiet) we took in the Scandinavian Festival that happens every year here in Junction City—except for the years when viruses shut it down. 

The temperature was reasonable, a bit hot, but okay. My main reason for going is for the fresh potato chips. Well, I throw in a bratwurst with sauerkraut, and dinner is handled. The potato chips are the best. A genius man with a cutting device places a potato on a spit, affixes his hand drill to a rotating cutter, and zip he spiral-cuts an entire potato. They fry it up in oil (that has to be reasonably fresh for the Festival only lasts four days.), add salt and viola', a treat.


Sixty-one years and counting.  

Between 1890 and 1900, thanks to the completion of the railroad, Scandinavian immigrants, tired of droughts and grasshopper plagues of the Midwest, came looking for a place more like home. 

They found it in the Pacific Midwest.

In 1961 after the freeway cut off visitors to Junction City, residents organized the first Scandinavian Festival.

 Four thousand visitors were expected. Ten thousand came.