Archive for Happenings

Levandowski Pottery to give talk April 19

DASSEL, MN – Dassel artists Aron and Jena Levandowski will be at an artist reception in Granite Falls Thursday, April 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. They will give a talk at 7 p.m.

Their work is on display at the Granite Area Arts Council gallery (807 Prentice St. in Granite Falls) through Tuesday, May 15.

“This is the first time our pottery has gone into a gallery for the public to view,” Jena noted. “The exhibit is called Seasons in Clay.”

To learn more, go to

Levandowski Pottery

Levandowski Pottery

Man who grew up in Sino-Japanese War to speak in Dassel April 19

DASSEL, MN – Dassel American Legion Post 364 will sponsor a presentation by special guest speaker Hakon Torjesen Thursday, April 19. Torjesen grew up in China in the middle of the Sino-Japanese War.

He is the son of Norwegian missionaries who moved to Hequ, China during the 1920s. There they found themselves in the midst of conflict between Chinese communists, Chinese nationalists, and the Japanese.

Torjesen and his siblings were enrolled in a missionary boarding school (about 1,218 km, or 757 miles away), while their parents and a local church opened their doors to refugees. Together, they harbored more than 1,000 refugees.

It would not last, however, as the Japanese retaliated against the Torjesens’ efforts by bombing their home, killing Hakon’s father.

After the incident, Hakon’s mother journeyed across the Gobi Desert by foot to reunite with her children attending boarding school. Her guide was an 80-year-old Chinese citizen, and it took them months to get there.

In time, the family found themselves incubated in a Japanese internment camp specifically designed for foreign civilians. There, they faced hunger, lack of sanitation, and crowding.

The 1924 Olympian Eric Liddle, whose story was made well-known through the movie “Chariots of Fire,” was also residing in the camp then.

“[He] was a surrogate for many people,” Hakon stated.

Liddle died in the compound from a brain tumor in February of 1945 – seven months before the war ended.

When the compound was finally liberated, Hakon was 17 years old and weighed 97 pounds.

“Cans of Spam fell like gifts from heaven,” he recalled. “One can of pineapple hit the ground and exploded, squirting a stream of juice into my mouth. What a treat that was for me.”

The public is welcome tohear more of Torjesen’s story April 19 at the Dassel History Center, starting at 6 p.m. A potluck dinner will be served beforehand at 5:30 p.m. The Legion meeting will commence afterwards at 7 p.m.

Congdon Mansion presentation at Cokato Public Library Tuesday

COKATO, MN – Joe Kimball, author of “Secrets of the Congdon Mansion: The Unofficial Guide to Glensheen and the Congdon Murders,” will share his stories at the Cokato Public Library Tuesday, April 17 from 7 to 8 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. This is a Legacy event.

Kimball was at the murder scene in 1977 and covered the entire murder investigation in Duluth. He also kept up with the Congdon children long after the murder and has several stories to tell.

Cokato Community Chest meets Tuesday

COKATO, MN – The annual meeting of the Cokato Community Chest will take place Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at the Cokato City Hall.  At that time the board will disburse the funds collected at the citywide drive last fall.  Local, county, and state charities will be included.

US Air Force band in DC Saturday

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – The Dassel-Cokato Arts Association is proud to host the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America in concert at the DC Performing Arts Center Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to assure seat availability.

Tickets may be reserved online at (until 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14) or by stopping in or calling the Dassel-Cokato Community Education office at (320) 286-4120 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Tickets may also be available at the door if still available.)

Freewill donations will be accepted at the concert to help cover expenses to bring this group to the community.

Blood drive in Cokato Thursday, April 12

COKATO, MN – A blood drive will take place at Cokato Manor, 182 Sunset Ave. NW Thursday, April 12 from noon to 6 p.m.

Make an appointment by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App at, visiting at or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).