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A small town Minn. cafe owner threw his most loyal customer a birthday party: 91-year-old 'Windy'

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Windy Ferm2 / 2

ERHARD, Minn.—Tough weather on Thursday, but outside of Erhard, Minnesota, the wind and cold couldn't stop "the party."

It's what country living, friendship and compassion are all about.

In the heart of hill country in Otter Tail County, an 1898 country school house turned restaurant is getting ready for the noon lunch crowd.

With talk of stormy weather, Windy Ferm couldn't use his 4-wheeler to drive to the cafe, so owner Bryan Stetz, picked him up.

"He has people around who look out for him. He knows who they are," said Stetz.

He had to make it here to the Ye Olde School House, it is his 91st birthday party Thursday.

Windy is a regular here, his flannel shirt and bib overalls, a fixture.

Waitress Lacy Holmquist has known Windy for years, he came to her wedding.

He couldn't afford a wedding gift, so he gave her a dutch oven he had used for years.

"He didn't know if he should tell me this, but he made his squirrels in there. He let the squirrels in all day long," said Lacy Holmquist, Waitress.

So when Windy stopped coming daily, everyone got concerned, but it turned out he couldn't afford it; that is when the restaurant owner made him an offer.

"He would be $4 for everything, and we have a number on the till for burgers and we have a Windy number that says four bucks," said Stetz.

"I get treated pretty good here," said Windy.

Windy grew up during the depression, an only child and a tough life on the farm.

"People don't know what tough times are," said Windy, "all I have ever know is work."

Today, Windy may not have a car or television, of relatives to call family, he has this crew at the Ye Old School House.

"He is the old guy around here who rides a four wheeler, I can't afford to do much but when you can do something for someone like that, makes you feel a little better," said Stetz.

Friends are bringing Windy to Fleet Farm in Fergus on Friday.

He says he needs new "long-underwear" and C-batteries for his radio that died.

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