A generous endorsement from Alaska’s Big Fat Babies

Sitka, Alaska-based punk rock band The Big Fat Babies has generously listed my book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range” as their notable reading selection this week on their rather entertaining website. It probably helped my case that one of their members and legal counsel Andrew C. Miller is a friend and the former reporter who joined me to interview the late Communist scion Gus Hall, born one Arvo G. Halberg in Cherry, Minnesota.

Hall ran for president four times on the Communist ticket and became something of a symbol of the last gasps of traditional early 20th century American socialism. He died, fittingly, at the dawn of the 21st century in the year 2000 months after Andy and I called him from the principal’s office of the Cherry School.

Sitka is a strange island city in the south of Alaska, known for salmon, for its hospitality to cruise ship passengers and for a school that attracts most of the state’s gifted students from the remote northern villages.

Miller, a former newspaper reporter in Sitka, now purports to have passed the Alaska Bar and practices law and quasi-punk rock music with similar effect. He is from Hibbing, where his mother was a high school guidance counselor for many years. His father was my guidance counselor at Cherry.

It’s a strange world indeed.


  1. I heard Gus give a talk(?) once back in the late ’60’s at the Universithy of North Dakota…what a joke…It’s good he’s gone.

  2. Another Chekist bites the dust…

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