The 117th Annual Graettinger Labor Day Celebration will be held this weekend from Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2. The weekend will be filled with a variety of activities including a golf tournament, street dance, firemen's breakfast, queen contest and parade, among many others. Whatever your interests, there is sure to be something for everyone.
You may even be fortunate enough to run into two familiar faces, Lloyd and Lucy McCombs. The McCombs have been selected as the 2013 Labor Day Grand Marshals and will be honored at the variety show and queen contest on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. at the Graettinger-Terril school.
Between freezing sweet corn and woodworking projects, the McCombs plan to get out and enjoy the annual celebration. They will attend several events, including the firemen's breakfast. "The firemen are important to us. We always go to the fireman's breakfast," said Lucy.
GRAND?MARSHALS - Lloyd and Lucy McCombs will be the 2013 Graettinger Labor Day Celebration Grand Marshals. This year marks the 117th celebration held in Graettinger. The McCombs will be honored this Sunday at the variety show and queen contest at 7 p.m. -Kelsey Buck photo
The news came as a surprise to the McCombs. "We were sitting in Bully's when J.R. Brown came over and asked to talk to me," said Lucy. "He said we would like you and Lloyd to be grand marshals of the Labor Day parade. I said I don't know if we're worthy of that but thank you and it's a real surprise and a real honor."
Lloyd was born and raised in Graettinger. The only time he's been away was during college and his time in the service. Lucy was born and raised just up the road in Wallingford. The couple met when Lloyd got out of the service and has been married for 57 years. They have spent most of those years on a farm 2 miles east of Graettinger until they retired and built a home on Lost Island Lake near Ruthven about 12 years ago.
"Everybody calls me Mac," explained Lloyd when asked about the welcome sign in the driveway. "It's been Mac ever since high school football." The nickname was given to him because of his last name, McCombs.
The McCombs have 4 children. Three daughters, Beth, Gene and Mary and their son, Donald, get together a few times a year. The family was always busy on the farm. "The girls were responsible for taking care of the chickens," said Lucy. Don continues the farming operation today near Graettinger, consisting of livestock and crops. Lloyd no longer actively farms but helps out in the spring and fall.
They head south every winter to Arizona where they enjoy the warmth and company of friends. Lloyd enjoys his winter hobby of woodworking. "He's pretty much made all the furniture that we have," said Lucy. "So he's in the wood shop most days."
"Every day but Sunday!" chimed Lloyd. Their home is filled with beautiful furniture, bowls, crosses and angels that he has built.
Lucy worked as a nurse in Estherville for 40 years. "It seemed to me that every weekend I had to work, there was a storm," said Lucy. "Lloyd would get out the tractor and get me to the highway. If he got me passed that, I could get to work. That was just routine." Lucy could also be found out on the golf course and taking the kids to the pool. Now she enjoys knitting and reading.
Lloyd participated on several boards, including the elevator board and the first golf course board. "I was on the conservation board for a long time," said Lloyd.
"We belonged to a card club and we met at different homes once a month," said Lucy. "And we snow mobiled. When you were asked to help with something, you were there to do it."
"We just kind of did whatever was asked of us. Graettinger is one of those towns that if somebody needs help, then people are there to help," said Lucy. "Our bed's in Lost Island but our hearts are in Graettinger."