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Another big loss for my hometown
August 11, 2014 - Per Peterson
Brad Strootman, who runs the radio station in Marshall, referred to the time when my dad and his buddies were in their prime as a golden age. Not THE Golden Age, just a golden age. My dad, Wimpy (Winston) Peterson, along with men like Al Zender, Jim Fritz, Jim Ford, John Schleppenbach and Con Rettmer, were a group beyond compare. They gave to their communities, worked their butts off, enjoyed life and raised great families. Con died Saturday, leaving only my father left from this group. Sad. Very sad. I’m so blessed my father’s still alive...lucky, too. But the city of Tracy isn’t the same as it was when these guys were roaming around. Each of them has left their own indelible mark on the city they called home for decades. Tracy is different now. Not a bad different, just different. Con was a lot of things to me: my best friend’s dad, a scratch golfer, a chauffeur at times, a Vikings fan (and their biggest critic), Santa Claus. He was a lot to a lot of people. All of these men were. Con will be missed for his dominating energy, his vigor and his voice. We'll will miss his jagged prose and his quick golf swing. We'll miss his wit and wisdom. We'll miss his mouth that never stopped moving. Like the trains that roll into Tracy, Con was loud, and we loved him for it. He could take over a conversation without even trying. You couldn't shut him up, and you wouldn't want to. He could turn a simple comment about the weather or the price of gas into 15 minutes of dialogue. He'd even swear every now and then, but even if you were offended, it didn't matter, because it was Con. Con needed to be what we call a "people person" in his line of work and he exceeded expectations in that regard. Somehow, he was able to contain himself behind a big desk for various periods of the day, and whether in his office or pacing the sidewalks of downtown Tracy, he was great at his job, and the city was better because of him. Con, like others mentioned here, will be mourned for days and missed for years. The city of Tracy has been lucky to have men like Con and the rest of this gang pass through and help form the bedrock of the community. Sure, other cities have great male role models, too, but none can boast a group like this. What a collection. Like the others in this group who have passed before him, Con will be missed. I know there will come a day when my dad will join these hunting/golfing buddies upstairs, but selfishly, I hope that day isn’t anytime soon. However, when it does come, I can take solace knowing he’ll have a lot of really good friends waiting to BS with him. Some louder than others. R.I.P., Con.
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