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Pearl's Inn

Michael Rustad's Memories

During my high school years, Pearl's Inn was an important part of our social life. Pearl Diamond Iten was one a most wonderful woman. She was well known by every farmer, construction worker and traveler on Highway 75 for the best food this side of Minneapolis. My memory of her food was that it was delicious and filling. My brother Tony, Jay Hoglin and I would spend hours in Pearl's Inn's backroom playing tunes on the juke box, playing the pin-ball machine and dreaming about our futures. I remember playing the Beatles' Paperback Writer over and over again. Never in my wildest imagination would I ever believe that I would become a paperback writer. My paperbacks have been on esoteric topics such as military women, social problems, cyberspace law, and the law of sales and leases.

Pearl made it a special point to make everyone feel welcome even if they did not appreciably add to her profits. I always wondered how she could make a profit on an all you could eat roast beef dinner for $2. I usually did not have $2 but could have all you could eat. Pearl's hamburgers, french fries and onion rings were all a quarter and you could eat well for a dollar. A bottle of pop or soda (what we call it in the east) sold for .10. The portions were huge and the food was delicious. I wonder if anyone ever ate every fry in one of her french fry baskets. Pearl was more than a business owner to the kids who grew up in Humboldt. There is not a single boy or girl raised in Humboldt who did not love her. I was deeply moved when I read that many of my friends made it back to her funeral and served as pall-bearers.

I can still hear Pearl's infectious laugh and visualize in my mind's eye my dad having coffee with her every day. Pearl and Rustee always had afternoon coffee together. When my Dad died in 1986, Pearl's Inn closed soon afterwards. Pearl's Inn and my friends from Humboldt mean more to me with each passing year. Pearl's Inn was our special place which will always have a place in my heart.