Immigrant stories bring fresh energy to the Iron Range

With St. Urho’s Day honoring Finnish heritage today and the Irish fete of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, we may reflect on the roots of many who live in Northern Minnesota. It’s been a long time, but not that long, since the Mesabi Iron Range was majority foreign born. Nevertheless, that happened. The melding of immigrant… Read More →

2018 Minnesota High School All Hockey Hair Team

Nothing quite takes over the state of Minnesota like the annual high school hockey tournament. The quality of play resembles the Olympics. They sell out the arena for a week. And the hair flows free. That’s right, the Minnesota hockey tournament has its own spinoff sensations, including the Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show hits BSU this Saturday

The dawn of March in Northern Minnesota is like those sample stations at your local grocery store. Try this sausage on a toothpick. Here’s a tiny pie on a tiny plate. Tastes pretty good. But do you live in a world where you can just buy a box of those special foods? Are these rare creamy… Read More →

Happy Cornish Pasty Week!

Before I wrote this I worried that I might spend too much time writing about Cornish pasties here at MinnesotaBrown. Perhaps you have heard enough about the buttery, flakey meat and vegetable pies served hot and consumed copiously by underground miners like my ancestors. Perhaps. But on the other hand, if you want to talk… Read More →

Shuster Rink wins historic men’s curling gold for U.S.

Redemption makes the best stories. The hardest thing in life is to be knocked down and come back better than before. It doesn’t matter if it’s navigating relationships, recovering from injury, overcoming failure, or sliding a 40-pound stone across the ice. The U.S. Men’s Curling team, led by Chisholm native John Shuster, won the gold… Read More →

NY Times lauds Minnesota Olympic triumph

Oh, boy. The New York Times doesn’t know what it’s done. On Friday, America’s vaunted newspaper of record gave Minnesotans something they’ve long craved: big city validation. In a story titled “Team USA? More like Team Minnesota” Pat Borzi argues that the U.S. Olympics team’s biggest successes came because of Minnesota athletes. From key members… Read More →

Curling team with Northern MN ties vies for Olympic medal

Bad luck? A curse? Whatever you want to call it, U.S. men’s curling team skip John Shuster struggled in his last two Olympics. As part of America’s first medal-winning curling team — a bronze in 2006 — Shuster led the last two teams to ignoble collapses in 2010 and 2014. Until now. After a poor… Read More →

The prodigal Turtles have returned

  When the Minnesota contemporary bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles went on hiatus last year their departing shells cast a pall over these North Woods. How long would they be hibernating? Would we have to “Wait So Long?” Or could this truly be the end? Lead singer Dave Simonett’s side project “Dead Man Winter” was… Read More →

March 3 Great Northern Radio Show set for Bemidji

Hello, reader. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you. Somehow I’ve managed to keep a brisk output of posts here at this year while still working on my other projects. That’s something to celebrate as I bring my Great Northern Radio Show to Bemidji State University on Saturday, March 3. My… Read More →

200 miles north of the Super Bowl

The fighter jets patrolling the skies above Super Bowl LII also maneuver above my home 200 miles north of Minneapolis. Roaring ghosts chasing the horizon. I think this is where they turn around or refuel. Safe. Remote. Nothing down here but trees, lakes and us. In this way living 200 miles from the Super Bowl… Read More →