Letter to the editor: Elise Knutson Moren's story
By: From Leo Babeu, Clover Valley, Lake County News Chronicle
I was riveted by the wonderful telling of Elsie Knutson Moren’s story in the Jan. 25 issue. This is one of the most compelling news articles I’ve seen, about a forgotten period of history where the aspirations of women, uneasy social policies towards immigrants (then as now), and broader issues of civil rights all intersected in Skibo and Two Harbors, almost a century ago. Ms. Sandretsky did a beautiful job of researching and conveying the historical issues and how Elsie’s grandson Daniel Swalm is seeking restitution of her citizenship nearly a century later.
If you missed it, look up that issue. You should also flip to page B3 to find Pastor Dietz’s wonderful recounting of the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a stalwart of the civil rights movement who provides one of the greatest examples imaginable of a citizen risking everything and using every fiber of her being to hold society to account for the justice it has promised to equally extend to all citizens.
I hope all the teachers and students of our district are looking at the incredibly rich chapters of local and national history, too often overlooked, that show how huge social forces play out in the lives of ordinary, and not-so-ordinary, citizens.
The same issue showcases the efforts of local storyteller Rachel Nelson to bring stories (and the skills to vividly tell them) alive for our third grade students in Two Harbors. It is great to see that we are honing the talents of young emerging writers in town who may one day be following in Sandretsky’s footsteps. Nelson’s and Linda Melcher’s work training artists in finding and using their inner voices, from the young to our seniors, provides opportunities for personal growth we should welcome in our community.