No secret is safe

0811_lif_photocolumnRule2

Joyce Turner, left, Maxine Herttenberger, center, and Grace Bishop, right, look over their accounts at the Village Primitive antique store, which the three have been running for about 30 years.

RULE – Some call it gossip. Some call it news.

But one thing is clear: very little happens in Rule that doesn’t get mentioned around the coffee table at the Village Primitive antique shop downtown.

At 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. men and women drift in and settle around the table. Some teasing follows, with shrieks of laughter, and constant offerings of food.

“We are not gossip people,” said Joyce Turner, 74, one of the three owners of the store. “We find out what’s going on in our community. “

Once Turner and another owner, Maxine Herttenberger, 83, find out, so does the rest of the community. The two write a column called Table Talk for the local paper, the Twin Cities News.

“It is a way to keep together with the people, to keep people abreast of the news,” Turner said.

Turner, Herttenberger, and Grace Bishop, 83, have owned and run the antique store for about 30 years.

“It’s a good way to pass time when you’re 83,” Herttenberger said. “Staying busy and meeting people.”

One of the stories that has been keeping people busy is a local disagreement over “the yellow cat.”

Maybe the cat was attacked by a neighbor’s dog and needed surgery. Maybe it just had hernia. Maybe the cat belongs to the dog’s neighbor, or maybe it’s a stray.

At any rate the cat has not been seen since but the reports of it having been spotted come from all over the state.

“And the story just grows and grows,” Bishop said. And everyone seems fond of it.

Herttenberger wrote in the Table Talk column: “The yellow cat was spotted in Rule on Saturday morning, and by noon it had gotten blown all the way to Fort Worth! Poor thing, that had to have been a rough ride!”