31 years of a good deal
April 19, 2002
CHINOOK Ernest Larson had $9 in his pocket when he first left Minnesota in 1949.
It wasn't an ideal situation, but neither was his home life.
Growing up in Oklee, Minn., Larson lost his father to a massive stroke when he was 7. Less than two years later, Larson's mother also had a stroke, paralyzing her left side and sapping her ability to communicate.
With an invalid mother, Larson and his 10 siblings one of whom was physically disabled and blind were forced to raise themselves on the family's grain farm and ranch.
"We took care of her on the farm for many, many years," Larson said of his...