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Mysterious visitor was to be Charles A. Lindbergh By Delores Pientok Larson Mulvaney

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Charles Lindbergh House, Little Falls, Minnesota

I am a native of Little Falls, MN and raised 5 children in what I still consider the best small town in the state. After my first husband died; I remarried in the latter part of the 90's and moved from LF but still return very often to visit friends and family and take part in the many events that the city offers during the various seasons of the year.

Many stories about Charles and the time he spent in his hardware store...

We lived on Charles Lindbergh Drive NW which follows the Mississippi River from Lindbergh State Park into the West Side of LF. We lived in a very large two story home next door to Martin and Eva Engstrom and their friend/one-time housekeeper, Lottie. Martin was a well-known, successful businessman and longtime resident of LF. They were great neighbors and even though much older than us--good friends. Much to our delight, Martin "took a shine" to our two older boys--Patrick and Michael-and the ladies loved our youngest daughter, Shari. Martin would tell the boys many stories about Charles and the time he spent in his hardware store on the West Side next to the railroad tracks. Charles would come in to buy "stuff" or offer to do odd jobs in trade for the things he needed to complete one of the many projects he was working on at the farm. In his garage across the alley Martin had one of the propellers from one of his planes hanging on the wall. He relished showing it to them and they never tired of seeing it and touching it and even swinging from it where it hung

They were going to have a very famous visitor...

One summer day when Shari and I were having morning coffee with the ladies they told me they were going to have a very famous visitor and if I promised we would "look and not touch" they would reveal the name and time/date of his arrival. Other ground rules were we could not take pictures through the window nor come over during his visit because he did not like all that attention; being a very private person. Imagine my surprise when the mysterious visitor was to be Charles A. Lindbergh! At the appointed time we gathered in the dining room which looked across the small expanse of lawn that separated our houses and into their kitchen window--a distance of only 40 feet on that side of the house. It was a a very large room and almost the entire side of the wall was devoted to windows so we had no trouble finding a spot. The car parked in front of Martins' house and Charles and "his people" walked up the narrow sidewalk surrounding that side of the house; a distance of about 120 ft--so we all got a good, long look. Can you imagine! Charles Lind- bergh coming to visit you and being the humble person he was reported to be, knocking and entering your home through the back door! It was a thrill we all remember and speak of it often and surely wish we would have taken just ONE picture. But, a promise make is a promise kept.

By Delores Pientok Larson Mulvaney

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