On Victor Power and my big project

In this post I will explain why I’m going to be blogging less in the foreseeable future. Still blogging and writing, just less that you’ll see … for now. Stay tuned as I explain. In my job as a college public speaking instructor I teach principles of persuasion. I cite the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle… Read More →

Iron Range hope more vital than nostalgia

On the Mesabi Iron Range, our society rests upon the achievements of this region’s fading youth. We speak of our ancestors’ hungry demand for better working conditions and pay. We memorialize their desire to build schools and small towns to elevate humans from the morass. Yes, we call this history and print it on our… Read More →

Northern MN Trumpism endures for lack of alternative

Every time President Trump tweets his distinctive brand of authoritarian chaos the world broils in consternation. The world maybe, but not most folks in the back woods of Northern Minnesota. In fact, ignoring Trump’s tweets (and all tweets, generally speaking) comes naturally out here. If you didn’t care about Russia, Trump’s erratic personal behavior, or… Read More →

The generational trials of an ‘Xennial’ life

Generational labels, such as baby boomer or millennial, can mislead. Nevertheless, they identify common experiences shared by people your age. Consider the living generations today. The “Greatest” generation grew up during the Depression. They fought WWII and the Korean War and wore high waisted pants and hats that I envy. The Baby Boomers, born 1945-1965,… Read More →

Car wash confidential

For me, one of the big realizations of summer is that my car is filthy. I don’t just mean dirty. No, I mean that I can grow potatoes in my undercarriage. I live at the end of a long dirt road in Itasca County, a place where the miles of dirt road exceed the number… Read More →

A dog’s love and loss, all in a lifetime

“It’s inevitable when you buy the pet. You’re supposed to know it in the pet store. You are purchasing a small tragedy.” ~George Carlin Every pet owner tells the story of picking out their dog. They go to the animal shelter. Walk the rows of kennels. Maybe stop at a house with puppies. “I want… Read More →

New film explores 1916-17 Northern MN labor uprisings

Filmmaker Gary Kaunonen of KCC-TV in International Falls just released a new documentary about a pivotal time in Northern Minnesota’s labor history. It’s called “Northern Minnesota’s Labor Wars.” The years 1916 and 1917 brought major labor uprisings in the mines of the Mesabi Iron Range and the lumber camps of the state’s far northern pine… Read More →

A college journalist and the last interview of Gus Hall

Last week, I was the keynote speaker for the June meeting of the Finnish Americans and Friends club in Hibbing. I wish I could say it was because they were super impressed with my 1/8 Finnish heritage. Alas, that was not so. Rather, they wanted to know about an interview I conducted when I was… Read More →

Hibbing Dylan Project plans lyrical monument to Bob

On Sunday, the Hibbing Daily Tribune reported on the Hibbing Dylan Project’s plan for a Bob Dylan monument on the grounds of Hibbing High School. The school board gave its blessing for the group to complete fundraising for the project. The proposed monument would be a curved wall facing a bronzed chair on the west lawn of the… Read More →

Listen to audio of Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture

Late last year, Bob Dylan issued his official acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Today, the Nobel committee released an audio recording of his lecture, a requirement for accepting the prize. It was already a compelling set of words, but it’s interesting to hear them in Dylan’s unique voice. The audio recording is on… Read More →