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Effie Lutheran Church
Herald-Review - Grand Rapids, Minnesota
From the kitchen of Janice EvensenJanice Evensen enjoys sitting at her kitchen table and watching the Big Fork River.Her home is located about 250 yards from the river's banks. She especially enjoys thinking about one of her father's friends who used to paddle by from his camp just a short distance up river.That friend was Chief Busticoggan, a popular Ojibwe chief who lived in the later part of the 19th century and the early 20th century, and her father is the late James Knight. Her father was a local author who wrote about the Bigfork area.He once described Chief Busticoggan as, "My best teacher who could neither read nor write."Janice relates, "We grew up hearing Busticoggan stories." One time when her young father was left home alone he met Chief Busticoggan down by the river and invited the Chief and his wife to the house for tea.It was a special time and the best china was used. This winter, while Janice and her husband, Tom, were getting ready for church, they saw eight wolves come up the frozen river.Janice describes the "shackers" in interesting detail.Shackers were the woodsmen who lived in the camp shacks.One particular fellow came from Bemidji and brought along his wife, a monkey, a dog, and sophisticated liquor making equipment.She said he was very adept at making liquor out of many things he found in the woods.One of his favorites was birch trees.Foresters enjoyed visiting this gentleman. He was not only clever but also very intelligent.He wrote to the government and complained about his deprived life in the woods and asked for help.He was provided with a government jeep and fishing boat.One day, he left the back of his jeep open and the back of it filled with Canadian Jays.Quickly, he captured a number of them and spray painted their breasts red!The forestry men were all excited and reported a new species in the northwoods to the University of Minnesota. Another time during their logging camp days, her husband was away at the logging camp, and she was home with the children.A taxi from Fargo delivered a "shacker" to their door at 3 a.m. in the morning.The taxi driver had run out of gas.The fellow was brought to the logging camp and the taxi was paid. Without doubt, the forests of Minnesota have provided a rich tapestry of legend and fact and have been home to some of this region's most colorful individuals. Janice describes herself as a "fierce patriot."She has a brother who was killed in World War II action and is buried in Italy.More recently, her niece's husband was killed in Iraq.He was a career Green Beret. She enjoys cooking and baking.Quietly, she reminisced of earlier times in her life when life was more simple.She remembers having no television, of walking to the neighbors to visit, and baking for entertainment.It was fun to learn to do new things and to be creative in the kitchen.When Janice was 12 years of age, she began baking fancy breads and rolls.And, she hasn't quit.A delicious batch of home-baked rye bread was cooling on her kitchen counter as we visited. Janice expressed concern for our country.It is dismaying to her that if teens just listen to the popular television networks and radio, they will think we live in the worst country on this planet.She contemplates the present and compares it with history.Her observations and outlooks make for an interesting conversation. Life in rural Bigfork has been good.But, when Janice and Tom's children were young, they decided to move to Rochester, Minn.Janice grew up in the area she loves and still calls home.She graduated from Bigfork High School and then went on to Bemidji State University.After college, she joined the Marine Corps.She also taught school for one year in Bigfork and then worked in a bank.She stayed home to raise her family while her husband was a logging contractor. She continues to serve the community in which she lives.She is very active in the local hospital auxiliary.She is excited about the new fine arts center that is being built for the Bigfork area and she serves on that board.Her husband is on the hospital board. Janice is a strong believer in protecting the land, lakes, and rivers.She serves on the River Advisory Board. "After all," she states, "no more rivers are being made.We can never duplicate this river." She and her husband also are members of the Cattlemen's Association.Janice serves as organist in the Effie Lutheran Church. It was a beautiful afternoon visiting with this interesting and well read lady who is so actively serving the needs of others in her community.But then I knew it would be a fun afternoon when my eye caught two plagues on her kitchen wall.Add 2/3 cup raisins (Janice grinds them in a food processor) Pour into baked pie shell.Cover with meringue.Bake until brown. Meringue: 3 egg whites.Janice gives us a helpful hint.
Organist: Janice Evensen
The Erickson Family
As a veteran it means a lot to me," said Janice Evensen who taught instrument flight and navigation for the Marine Corps during World War II."They've given much, and we want to honor them today," said the Rev. David Gabriel in his dedication player.