12/13/2013 9:56:00 AM A Different Perspective...by Peter Leach
In the summer of 1970, we moved from St. Paul to a farm "down by Sogn," where I established my pottery in the old barn. It didn't take long before we met our neighbors "up on High Prairie," the Jokelas. Their daughters babysat our children, Phyllis bought my pots, and Veikko rented our fields and pasture. The entire Jokela family, from the parents to the great-grandchildren, have been an important part of my, and my wife Nan's, lives ever since.
Veikko passed away suddenly on Sunday afternoon, November 17. The temptation is to call him a great friend, but I know the Finn in him would settle for "very good friend." Everyone called him Veik, pronounced Vake (rhymes with lake), but he would also answer to Vic or Veek. He will be missed by the soil of his fields and, much more, by the wider world in which he took such a vital interest. (His obituary in the Beacon of November 28 covers the highlights of his life; a memorial service will be held Sunday afternoon, December 29 at the Lundberg Funeral Home.)
I'm not sure what his motives were, but from 1986-1988 Dick Dalton allowed me to write a biweekly Beacon column entitled "A Different Perspective." I wrote about anything and everything and I don't think the editor ever changed a word...nor did he complain when I adopted one of his fictional pals, Sogn resident Oscar Loosepants. Oscar shared occasional writing duties with two of my own friends, Malfred Ferndock, the sage of West Dennison, and Dr. Frank Perspective.
My column for December 4, 1986 was entitled "six haiku for veikko jokela." It was written "...after spending an hour riding with Veikko in the heated cab of his combine. It was nighttime and everything was illuminated by the headlights of the giant machine." Later in the evening, sitting alone in the kitchen, the haiku form came to mind when I realized that 'Veikko Jokela' contained five syllables. (Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry containing 17 syllables in a 5 - 7 - 5 pattern...but not always!) The first three are from the original column, with some revisions. The last three are new.