To the editors:

As President of the Lake Lillian Civic and Commerce organization, I am writing you in response to, as you phrased it, your “brilliant disquisition on corporate cash management and boondock banking” [The Straight Dope, May 5]. On behalf of the City of Lake Lillian, I would like to take issue with the comments contained in that article.

Yes, Mr. Adams, there is a Lake Lillian. Our city is not located “south” of Bird Island; rather it is north of Bird Island. Lake Lillian is located in the South Central part of the State of Minnesota. We are approximately 90 miles west of the Twin Cities. The lakes in the Lake Lillian area have attracted man for many centuries. The Sioux called Lake Lillian “Witadan,” and, along the shores of these can be found remnants left by the Indians where they gathered food and built their shelters. Edwin Whitefield, an artist and land promoter, visited the Kandiyohi Lakes in 1856 and gave his wife’s name, Lillian, to one of the lakes.

Recreation and relaxation can be enjoyed at Big Kandiyohi Lake, four miles northwest of Lake Lillian on County Highway #8. Two resorts–County Park #1 and #2–have camping available, as well as resort services and public beaches.

It is true we are a small rural farming community and have approximately 300 citizens. This is “Green Giant” country around here and we have some of the richest black soil you will find anywhere. Our farm citizens help to feed this nation and are darn proud of it! From the article that was written I will guesstimate that your Chicagoan reader is a “city-slicker” just as I was before moving here approximately four years ago. I was under the impression a “farmer” had a tractor, two or more cows, and had a barn. You have not seen farmers, I’ll assure you. The tractors our farmers use are huge and they do not plow only ten acres–that probably would be a good-size garden for them! They do not raise a “couple” cows, or pigs, or turkeys; they raise them by the hundreds or thousands. Granted, some of our farmers have felt the ongoing farm economic crunch but I assure you many of them could buy and sell you and me several times over.

It is unfortunate, to say the least, that a person from Chicago should automatically equate being from a small town with being obscure or make innuendos about both the town and the townspeople being backward. It is indeed too bad that in this day and age there still exist people whose thinking remains at such a low level; but then it does take all kinds to make the world go around, doesn’t it? I cannot help but wonder, since this whole incident seems to have begun over our local bank’s processing of a 25-cent rebate check, what would have been said if there had been a whole dollar rebate check at stake! No doubt this person would have really believed our deliveries are handled by yaks!

In conclusion, while I know it is your job to print the news, I also know that being the dedicated writer that I’m sure you are, you feel a duty to also inform your readers. Therefore, I’m sure you’ll pass all this information along to the particular reader in question. If you’re ever in our area, please stop in to see us. The coffee is always on, it’s free, and we’ll even treat you to a free “yak-ride!”

Lynda L. Peart


Lake Lillian Civic and Commerce