I usually write letters about government and politics, crises around the world, and possible ways to get things moving forward again, but there is so much to enjoy and be thankful for in this great region of Minnesota I thought would put down some thoughts.

In 2011, my wife passed and, at age 77, I hustled back to Minnesota, bought a nice house in Park Rapids. First thing I noticed was no fences, deer in the backyard, squirrels everywhere, geese and swans flying overhead, easy traffic, modern schools, clinic and hospital, fast food, Wal-Mart, Hugo’s and Coborns – everything a senior needs within a short distance.

Winters have flown by watching high school football, boys’ and girls’ basketball games, hockey. Never even thought of going south for the winter. Too much to do here.

Despite never having played golf before, I took up the game at Eagle View and what a great experience that has been.

The American Legion Club has provided the kind of social activity older folks can really enjoy. I am a member of both the Legion and Sons of American Legion and helped with special events besides my regular seat at the bar playing bingo on Monday, horse races and hamburgers on Wednesday, karaoke on Friday, Viking game tailgates during the season, old time dances in the back room, and just meeting the locals and the many visitors who just drop in. If you don’t already know, you are always welcome as guests at the club. Drop in.

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In 2019, I met my wife, Diana, during karaoke at the Legion Club. My voice wasn’t the attraction. It took us just five months to decide to spend the rest of our lives together.

Now we spend time almost every day between the Legion Club, golf course and Clancy’s. While we enjoy everything about the area, there is something very special about Clancy’s. Sitting at the bar, overlooking Island Lake, and watching the seasons and lake activities change is a unique northern Minnesota experience. We think pictures/videos of the scenes should appear in “places to visit” brochures throughout the country.

Tim and Nikki Clancy have given their establishment a family atmosphere where they, their employees, regular clientele, and guests of all ages from all over the country feel right at home, eating, drinking, playing pool and darts and socializing with fun people. It’s upper Minnesota’s best and right next to us to enjoy.