by Lars Swensen

The temperature in Bunyan Bay hit 18 below zero yesterday marking the 8th day in a row below zero. There are two seasons in northern Minnesota, winter and road construction, and we have clearly moved into winter. As confirmation, Kanute Gunderson, owner of Kanute’s Camping, Canoeing and Fishing Stores got his tongue stuck on the town hall flagpole again. Some people never learn. The good news is, Kanute won’t be able to talk for a week.

Bernice Lundstrom won the Bob Dylan trivia question this week with her answer, “blowing in the wind.” It is rumored that Bob Dylan, who grew up in nearby Hibbing, once visited the local bar, The Bunyan. At least that’s what co-owner, Gunner Johnson, would have you believe. Some people think he made up the story to score points with his wife, Clara.

Congratulations to 94 year old Mayor Swensen (no relation) for winning his re-election. Swensen has been Mayor since 1942 enacting such legislation as “Softer food at the Piggly Wiggly,” and “Shut up, you darn teenagers.” This was his narrowest victory in years, barely beating write-in candidate, “Anyone Else.”

Around Town

by Lars Swensen

Congratulations to the Bunyan Bay High School Fighting Crappies for winning their homecoming game Friday night against the Gull Lake “Large Mouth Bass.” The Crappies are now 3-2 for the year, making this their best football season since Swede “Straightjacket” Larson was on the team in 2006. Because of censorship rules, the school board changed the homecoming slogan from “Kick their Bass” to “Beat the Visitors.”

Bunyan Bay’s 94 year old Mayor Swensen (no relation) is up for re-election in November and his campaign is in full swing. Swensen has been Mayor of Bunyan Bay since 1942 and Saturday night he was seen campaigning at The Musky Lounge, Bunyan Bay’s exclusive gentleman’s club. Will someone please run against him.

The Bunyan Bay Community Theater’s Fall musical will open this Friday. This year the Bunyan Bay Players will present “Dolls and Dolls.” They intended to put on “Guys and Dolls” but no men auditioned.

Around Town

by Lars Swensen

BREAKING MOSQUITO NEWS – Mosquitoes are out in full force in Bunyan Bay. Yesterday, as you all know, the whole town was put in quarantine because of a freak encephalitis outbreak. It started at the Senior Center, and to take every precaution, the whole town was not allowed to leave their homes. Just to clear up any misconceptions, encephalitis is not when your feet get giant sized. That’s elephantiasis. Encephalitis is when you get bit by mosquitoes, fall asleep, then you die. It turns out that it was a false alarm. It was nap time at the Senior Center. Everyone is now allowed to go outside.

And, no, the Minnesota state bird is not the mosquito. The state bird is the Loon, which is a crazy name for a bird, literally, because it means, “crazy.”

In other summer news, we had a great 4th of July parade. Kanute Gunderson won the best parade float with his entry, “A Big Fish,” made out of styrofoam. Unfortunately, after the parade, a big gust of wind came up and carried it away. If anyone finds the float, please return it to Kanute.

In closing, Jimmy Lundeen almost blew off his little toe with a cherry bomb. That’ll teach you to try and blow up old man Hansen’s mailbox.

Around Town

By Lars Swensen

It’s June in Bunyan Bay, the fish are biting, and the pontoon boats are on the lake. Just don’t go swimming yet, cause the water is freezing. Speaking of pontoon boats, if you’re one of the few who haven’t heard the mishap on the lake this past weekend, Harold Streelund had quite a party on his boat. Harold, his wife, Ruth, and two other couples who shall remain nameless, since they’re still in jail, brought two cases of Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler on the boat, and found themselves up a creek without a paddle. Witnesses on shore say they saw the couples “sword fighting with their fishing poles” before crashing into Hansen’s dock, destroying it and sinking the boat. When Sheriff Halvorsen showed up, he reported that three of the partiers were “running around in their birthday suits.” Thankfully, no one was hurt. We would just like to ask Jimmy Anderson to stop posting photos of the naked ladies on his Facebook page.

Around Town

by Lars Swensen

Well, the ice has finally melted off half the lake, which means that Spring is in the air. And what better way to start off the new season than with the Bunyan Bay Spring Talent Contest. This year saw a variety of new acts. In this humble journalist’s opinion, the top five included; 5) Jimmy Norquist held his breath for one minute while playing chopsticks on a piano, 4) Sarah Lundstrom sang, “Bunyan Bay Thou Art Beautiful” while doing yoga, 3) Pastor Stromberg recited the Gettysburg Address while building a log cabin out of Lincoln Logs, 2) Harold Streelund acted out a scene from “Cool Hand Luke,” then ate 50 eggs, and my favorite, 1) Judy Larsen tap danced while lip sinking to “What a Feeling,” from Flashdance, then had 30 gallons of water dumped on her. Thank you to all the contestants, and to Judy for wearing the sheer outfit.

Around Town

By Lars Swensen

As most of you know, the “Welcome to Spring” Festival and Parade was cancelled due to the six feet of snow still on the ground and the lake completely frozen over. Instead, Bunyan Bay will be celebrating a second Winter Carnival and Snow Plow Parade. Festivities begin this Saturday with the Ice Sculpting Contest and Broomball Fiesta. Lloyd Bjornquist won the last ice sculpting contest with his entry titled, “A Really Big Fish.” Good luck this time, Lloyd. For the toddlers, curling lessons will be given in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly, since the parking lot is an ice rink.

Around Town

By Lars Swensen

The annual “Guess When the Car Falls Through the Ice” contest is underway. Joe Hansen donated his rusted out 1967 Rambler to the contest. In case you don’t know, the rules are as follows: Step 1, Joe drives the car out on the ice and leaves it in the middle of the lake; Step 2, Guess the day that the ice will melt and the car will fall through, sinking to the bottom. Odds are that it will be sometime in June. Send your guess to The Bunyan Bay Picayune along with $2. Winner receives dinner for 1 at The Bunyan.

Around Town

by Lars Swensen

Gunner Johnson, co-owner of The Bunyan, is hosting the third annual “Walk for Beer” fundraiser this Saturday. “Why not walk for something you love?” said Gunner. “It seems like people are always walking for sad things like a cure for scurvy or phlebitis. I think if you have to walk, it should be for a happy thing. Beer makes you happy.” Those who are interested, for every mile you walk, you will receive 10% off on a beer at The Bunyan, maximum 30% off. Tips not included. It’s uncertain where the proceeds will go.

Kanute Gunderson will be opening a new wing to his Lutheran Hall of Fame next Thursday and he will be dedicating it to himself. “I’m paying for it. I might as well dedicate it to myself,” Kanute was heard saying to a woman. Kanute is adding a new Herring and Wafer Bar to the Hall of Fame. It will be located just down the hall from the Chapel of Good Intentions.

It was opening day for fishing season on Saturday and there was still ice on Bunyan Bay. “I tried to put my dock up on opening day and I froze my yack,” exclaimed Ole Olson. “It was really cold so I decided to ride my yack into the water to put up the dock. I loved my yack. I called him ‘Bruce,’ Ole lamented. “He was like a son to me. If I would have known my yack was gonna freeze, I would have left him in the barn. I’ll just have to buy another yack on Craig’s List.”

A family gathering at the Nordlunds ended in a food fight this past Friday night. It was unclear who started the food fight, but it’s suspected that Hank Nordlund was involved. “We were having Lutefisk again,” stated Hank. “I hate Lutefisk. It tastes like burning tires.” Apparently, when Grampa Louie challenged Hank on his taste for the delicate cod fish baked in lye, that’s when the first chunk literally hit the fan. At that point it was Katy bar the door when the entire plate of Lutefisk was hurled at Grampa Louie. “I never liked Hank,” confessed Louie. “He’s a horrible son in law. All he does all day is watch Duck Dynasty. As far as Lutefisk goes, it tastes like crap. But it’s good.”

Bernice Lundstrom will be performing her one woman show titled, “I Dreamed a Dream, Then I Forgot It.” Bernice will be performing songs by world famous folk singer, Sven Yorgensen at the Bunyan Bay VFW Club on Memorial Day. Bernice, a former Miss Walleye Queen Winner and darling of Bunyan Bay, will be making her VFW debut on her way to a singing career. “I tried out for American Idol, but they went with a stripper from Duluth,” Bernice told us. “I just need a break and it could come from the VFW.” Let’s hope Bernice will dream a dream and this time it will be remembered.

Around Town

By Lars Swensen

Just when you thought you could put away your snow shovels for the year, yesterday, May 7th, we got 6 inches of new snow. “It must be some sort of cruel joke,” exclaimed Hank Streelund, owner of Bunyan Bay Golf and Lawn Dart Club. “It’s God’s way of saying, ‘lawn darts are dangerous’,” responded Reverend Larry Malmquist from The Lutheran Church of the Wandering Shepherd.

Bunyan Bay High School came in 2nd in girls hockey in the Walleye Conference. In the final game against Thunder Bay, the Fighting Crappies were down by 4 goals in the third period when they staged a gallant comeback to lose by 3 goals. “We could have had a chance if I didn’t get in three fights,” said team captain, Susan Lundeen. “The penalty minutes really hurt. But overall it was a good finish for us. We lost the game, but we kicked the crap out of them in the parking lot. I’m really proud of my teammates.”

Kanute Gunderson, owner of Kanute’s Deer Petting Farm, submitted his pet moose, “Rocky,” to the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of “World’s Oldest Moose.” Kanute is fighting an uphill battle with Guinness since his moose doesn’t have a valid birth certificate and no one knows when it was born. Kanute claims “Rocky” was born in 1908, making the moose 105 years old. When I called Guinness to find out the determination, a representative told me, “That’s impossible. That guy, Kanute, is delusional.” Kanute was a good sport about it, responding, “That’s okay if Guinness doesn’t give me the record. I’ll still drink their beer.”

Gunner and Clara Johnson, owners of “The Bunyan” bar, will be hosting the annual Bunyan Bay Karaoke Contest this Wednesday. This year’s first prize will be a free beer. Second prize will be free pretzels. “Since we give away free pretzels anyway, your chances of getting a second place prize are very good,” said Gunner. “I was visiting my Mom when Gunner decided on the prizes,” replied Clara, Gunner’s wife. “Next year I’ll decide on the prizes.”