Local grandmother Eleanor Loewen, 77, is the last person on earth who still insists on gifting her grandkids Danny Orlis books every single birthday. The series by Bernard Palmer features a godly and wholesome young man who overcomes various obstacles in rough and tumble 1950s northern Minnesota. The books were popular with Mennonites from the 1950s through the 70s, when they were frequently promoted on Back to the Bible radio programming as an alternative to the raunchy and worldly tales of Hardy Boys’ author Franklin W. Dixon.
Mrs. Loewen is one of the few living fans of the series and has made it her life’s goal to spread the good news of Danny Orlis to all her grandchildren.
“These young people need to know that it’s cool to be a Christian,” said Loewen. “And what better way to learn that lesson yet than from the hippest cat of them all: Danny Orlis!”
Loewen says she purchases the books from the local MCC store, though they’re becoming harder and harder to find.
“So many people these days prefer Janette Oke or Robin Jones Gunn,” explained Loewen, “but when it comes to zany stories about young Christian men on a canoe trip and so on, nothing beats Danny Orlis!”
Loewen says her grandchildren look forward to receiving a new Orlis book every Christmas or birthday.
“They’re all smiles,” said Loewen. “The Danny Orlis books are the only thing that can get them to put down their iPhones and Nintendos and such and just dig into some good Christian fiction once.”
One of Mrs. Loewen’s grandchildren, under promise of anonymity, told the Daily Bonnet that he donates the books back to the MCC without reading them.
“I got the same book ‘Danny Orlis Goes to School’ my last six birthdays,” said her grandson. “She keeps buying it again every time I send it back to the thrift store.”
Mrs. Loewen says she believes that reading Danny Orlis books is the only thing that can save this wicked world we live in.
“Those books kept me out of a lot of trouble when I was a teen,” said Loewen. “My only hope is that Danny Orlis can do the same for the next generation and generations to come.”