By Dale Bruckner
The Reminder 

Remember the Reminder; Bruckner was set to begin series before his passing


February 17, 2021

Dale Bruckner passed away on January 5, 2021.

Publisher's Note: Before his passing, Dale Bruckner visited the office of the Phillips County News with the idea of running a weekly column called "Remember the Reminder"; a tribute to a locally run periodical that his grandfather Phil Long wrote in the late 1950's.

The Phillips County News offers condolences to the family of Dale Bruckner and his father Glenn Bruckner, who both passed away earlier this year.

Her is the first article that Bruckner wrote.

Many of you remember my grandfather Phil Long. While your memories of him may vary according to popular opinion, one thing that I have both heard about and experienced was that he could yarn a good story. I have heard comments from folks that would say stuff like, "Whether you could believe it or not, it sure was a good story." He could always get a crowd to respond well whether or not they liked him. Just a gift I suppose, but, at any rate, quite successful at getting the job done.

Many of you may also remember the books that he authored as well. All of them written between 1959 to 1976. They were all received very well over those years and we, his family, speak often about many of the stories told on those pages. There were several other sources of his tail yarning that in the last fifteen years we have slowly uncovered. One of them was a little paper that he published for a few years in the late 1950's called "The Reminder." (I have found a few folks that remember it but it was only published for a few years and there are not any available today as far as I know but there were a few that we found in a box of stuff during a spring cleaning project a few years ago.)(if you have some let us know PLEASE!)

The Reminder was very similar to our Super Shopper today except for the fact that there were a few articles throughout the paper. Most of them were 16 pages and some were only 14 pages printed on 8 ½ by 14 paper bound by two staples along the left side. Most of them alternated colors of paper for each page. He talked about the general goings on around the town such as the newest movie showing at the Villa Theater as well as the one at the drive-in theater that was originally called the Valli Theater, both owned and operated by Carl and Irene Veseth. The Veseths also provided a TV schedule for the week printed in every issue since TV Guide was not available yet. We also saw the announcement of many activities such as Canadian days and International Friendship days. Many businesses advertized of which you may have forgotten such as, The Choo Choo Stop Inn, Lucial's Snack Bar, Don's Shoe Repair, Meadow Valley Creamery, The Cozy Corner Café and Fountain, and even a Checker Cab Co. offering 24hr service in town or county! And of course those we remember well such as Ken's Thrift Way, Coast to Coast and Buttery Foods. There was also a section called "Swap and Sell" that was the classified section. Scattered throughout the publication were little comments and jokes that were fun to read, as your eyes skimmed through the paper.

At the very end of every issue was a column called, "Memoirs." This was the section I want to draw your attention to. This is where he used his tail yarning skills and memory to weave a fascinating story of either local interest or historical significance, sometimes accomplishing both. As I read through the ones in the eight issues we have left, I actually read things I had never heard before in all the stories and tails I heard when I was a young boy; interesting stuff about days gone by.

Our goal is to give you a piece of yester year and maybe stimulate many of you to get involved with me and find pieces of history about our aging little hamlet here we call Malta. I still have eight copies of the "Reminder" and will squeeze them for all I can get, but it will only last so long. So I will take some of the ads in the Reminder and get more background on them and develop some stories about them. Then, as we move along putting bits and pieces together from other sources, we can create a new resource of history that can be used in the future by generations to come. Businesses in town that many of which have been forgotten over the years as well as things you may never have heard about or businesses that still exist or existed a few years ago. You may learn about landmarks that you have always wondered about or things that you heard about but never heard the complete story. For example: did you know that there used to be regular scheduled horse races in Trafton Park in the 1920's?

At any rate, Your input is always welcome. All you have to do is to get a hold of me, Dale Bruckner or Pierre at [email protected] and slip us the goods.

We hope to share all kinds of neat stuff with you in the weeks to come and hope you will enjoy this little piece of Phillips County History as we help you remember... "The Reminder."


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