Diary of a Thanksgiving Turkey

[FREEZE FRAME] *record scratch* Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got here. It started the Friday before Thanksgiving. I was just chilling in my containment pen with a few dozen of my genetically selected pals. All of a sudden, one of the Grabby No Beaks yanks me up by the neck and drags… Read More →

Don’t cry for me, Bloomington: MN loses World’s Fair to Argentina

The World’s Fair. One quickly imagines the art deco poster of the touchstone 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Heck, that poster hangs in my home office. Or maybe we recall the fact that Montreal named a professional baseball team after the fact that they had the World Expo in 1967. An American delegation from… Read More →

New project seeks the meaning of ‘Grace’ in Bovey

You’ve seen the photo. An elderly man bows his head in prayer before a modest meal of bread and oatmeal. A large Bible rests on the table, perhaps read after dinner. Eric Enstrom took this picture in Bovey, Minnesota, in 1918. The subject, a local peddler named Charles Wilden. Wilden was better known locally as… Read More →

Northern Minnesota already firing up the SAD bus

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but Northern Minnesotans already grow weary with an early winter. In fact, stories about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “SAD” appear on the news, seemingly months ahead of schedule. SAD generates depression-like symptoms in people, primarily during short, dark winter days. The lack of daylight is one of the leading causes…. Read More →

The prodigal eelpout festival returns

After flirting with a move to Bemidji, the International Eelpout Festival will remain at Walker, Minnesota, on the shores of Leech Lake after all. Bemidji, it turns out, didn’t want the ugly fish fete, forcing organizers to flop their way back to their old ice fishing holes in Walker. This is essentially the same experience… Read More →

Competitive eaters pack away Indian Tacos in Tower

UPDATE: Results below. ORIGINAL POST: Four of the top ten highest ranked professional eaters, including world #1 Joey Chestnut, will compete at Fortune Bay Resort and Casino in Tower this Saturday for the World Indian Taco Eating Contest. Where to begin? Let’s start with Indian Tacos. These are tacos made with fry bread. Fry bread… Read More →

The sky before snow

The first touch is warm. The heat of the incubator or mother’s arms. Tight swaddling keeps the heat in. The first sense. Touch. In the hours before the first snow falls, the sky warns of change to come. The sky reaches down to touch you. This embrace is cold. The cold air surrounds us today… Read More →

A ‘moving’ Great Northern Radio Show from Hibbing

Just over a week ago I hosted another episode of my Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. We broadcast live from Hibbing Community College in Hibbing, Minnesota, on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, the same site of our first show six years earlier. And it was a blast. Arguably our best engineered show ever,… Read More →

Northern MN eelpout festival seeks new home

Eelpout aren’t pretty. These bottom-feeding freshwater fish fail to win any beauty contests, often surviving solely on the fact that anglers refuse to touch them. And that’s fine by the eelpout. But for 38 years, the annual Eelpout Festival in Walker brought revelers and outdoor enthusiasts to the frozen surface of Leech Lake at Walker,… Read More →

Hibbing homecoming for Great Northern Radio Show

This Saturday, Oct. 14, my Great Northern Radio Show broadcasts live from the Hibbing Community College Theater from 5-7 p.m. on Northern Community Radio. This is a “home” show for me, our first time back to the place where we broadcast the Great Northern Radio Show pilot episode in 2011. (I wrote more about the… Read More →