Hear preview of ‘Power in the Wilderness’ on June 14

For almost four years I’ve been writing a book about the late Hibbing Mayor Victor Power and some really wild stories from early Iron Range history. It’s not done yet but it’s getting there. I can give you some exciting news, though. Along the path of my research I got to know a New York… Read More →

Sometimes it freezes in April

I walk every day, one of a few good habits that augment my shortcomings. Today, as I often do, I walked up the county road by my house toward the Prairie River. The river flooded its banks last week. It always does this time of year. I’ve seen it higher, but not by much. Acres… Read More →

Classical musical festival will now lead Iron Range Jewish cultural center

A happy Passover to all who celebrate. This high holiday of the Jewish faith often passes unacknowledged in northern Minnesota, but this was not always so. A vibrant Jewish population joined the pioneer communities of the Mesabi Iron Range. In fact, Jews were among the first people to arrive in many Range towns. These families… Read More →

John Prine sang the grief of losing places like mine

John Prine died Tuesday from complications of COVID-19. He had been critically ill with the disease for days following years of battling cancer. The singer-songwriter with his high gravelly voice was best known for brilliant working class lyrics brimming with pathos, humor, and sometimes uncomfortable honesty. As the New York Times pointed out, Bob Dylan… Read More →

Minnesota’s iconic hockey hair video dekes out fans, parties back in

Forty years after the “Miracle on Ice,” we get another one.  Last year, the mysterious creator of the annual 2020 Minnesota State High School League “All Hockey Hair” team announced his retirement after ten years of hilarious videos.  But this year, against all odds, he’s back. The video’s a little shorter, a little more to… Read More →

Story of Minnesota Ojibwe chief Hole in the Day headed to Hollywood

This land we call Minnesota rests on layers of stories. Dig and you find more. Dig and the stories grow deeper and more complex. Some of these fantastic tales seem suited for the movies, and soon enough that may be true. Such is the story of a Northern Minnesota leader that most local schools still… Read More →

‘Making It’ makes lovely tribute to Great Northern Radio Show

It’s been another busy stretch of work and writing so you haven’t seen much more than my weekly newspaper column here at MinnesotaBrown. I did want to share this episode of PBS North’s “Making It Up North,” produced by Karen Sunderman and Steve Ash. They followed us around for the whole day of our final… Read More →

Wrapping up this run of the Great Northern Radio Show

Last Saturday I hosted the last edition of my Great Northern Radio Show before putting the show on an indefinite hiatus. I talked about my reasons for doing so in a recent column. You can hear the show here. It was a delightful evening of music, comedy and stories about Northern Minnesota. It proved an… Read More →

Stay loose, Twins; Lord knows Minnesotans can’t

Work on the book continues. Thus, most of you have gotten used to not hearing much from me here at the blog. Don’t worry, I’m still brewing ideas at my outpost in the woods. You’ll hear more soon enough. It’s hard to let one item go unmentioned, though. That would be today’s start of the… Read More →

Season finale? Great Northern Radio Show broadcasts Nov. 9 at Hibbing

Hi all — some rather big news buried in the press release for my Nov. 9 Great Northern Radio Show at the Hibbing High School auditorium. If you haven’t seen the Great Northern yet, this may be your last chance for a long while. Anywhere from two years to forever. More to come on the… Read More →