Almanac and the big city, here we come

This Friday at 7 p.m. I’ll be in St. Paul appearing on TPT’s Almanac, the popular news magazine program that airs live on PBS affiliates across Minnesota. Cathy Wurzer will interview me as part of her series on regional authors for my book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range” and varied other writings.

For a Minnesota regional author, Almanac is the regional Ed Sullivan show, the regional big leagues, the regional Broadway. In short, this could be my big regional break. If this goes well my region increases. River Falls, Wisconsin, I’ll be coming for you next. Madison. Fargo. Sioux Falls. In my most indulgent moments thought-dreams turn to Omaha and Des Moines. I hope you’ll tune in.

The trip leaves me anxious for other reasons. As part of the occasion my wife Christina and I will be taking our three boys on their first journey to the Twin Cities to visit my dad and stepmom in South St. Paul. Henry, 5, Doug and George, both 3, have never been farther away than Duluth, which as far as they know is the largest city in the world.

When I told Henry, 5, that we’d be going to a big city, his response was, “Big like Grand Rapids or Hibbing?”

“Bigger,” I said.

“Does it have a water tower?”


Our boys are rowdy and tend not to travel well, so this will be a challenge. But I just can’t wait to see their faces in the rear view mirror when we hit the six lane by Forest Lake, watching the buildings grow taller than anything they’ve ever seen.

On Friday I pilot our minivan into the new world.


  1. Congrats on the Almanac shot. The book is on my to-buy list. Say nice things about horses and Wurzer will love you.

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