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78


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Scenes from Childhood


Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Monday, July 10, 2000

We stand on a cracked sidewalk, looking across a cyclone fence at vacant lots and trees, all that remains of the Sumner Field Housing Projects in North Minneapolis. In 1938, the year he was born, my husband's family became the first residents of the Projects. In 1998, the buildings were demolished due to complaints that they concentrated poverty.
I know Art is seeing more than an empty space when he points to what was 770 Emerson Avenue North, his family's first apartment. A stately elm, one of the few that hasn't died of Dutch Elm disease, stands in front of the empty space. Art recalls his dad watering this tree when it was a sapling. I have heard this story before, along with the others he is about to tell. The stories always seem new.

He points to the empty spaces of their other apartments and shows me where their friends, the Hedding's, lived. He tells me that Mrs. Hedding grew up in Fillmore County. I hear about the little girl who died of leukemia; the handicapped boy and his tame squirrel named Peter; and Donald DeMars, a kid who corrupted all his friends. I hear about the knifings in the neighborhood.

Residents of the Projects included the working poor, the unemployed, and mothers and children waiting for husbands and fathers to come home from World War II. The war fascinated my husband. He still remembers December 7, 1941, just before his third birthday, when he stood by his dad hunched over an old Zenith radio listening to Cedric Adams announce the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Later, near the end of the war, he and his friends waited to meet GI's getting off buses on nearby Olson Highway. Some GI's, of course, never came home.

Across the street from the Projects, Sumner Community Library elicits more stories. Art used to sit in a corner of the children's room in this English Tudor style building, reading encyclopedias. From his corner, he could see a picture of three knights going to the Crusades. The Library, its pictures and its books transported him to worlds removed from the one he usually inhabited and sparked his life-long interest in history.

We meet librarian Dan Kelty who is interested in Art's memories of the area. As they look over old photographs, they point to Sumner Field Park, a central area of the Projects that divided whites from blacks; the Phyllis Wheatly Center on the black side; and the administration building on the white side. Segregation didn't keep the .....
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The elusive Blue Racer

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Monday, July 24, 2000

In an edition of this column published earlier this year (Fillmore County Journal Vol. 15, No. 34, May 29, 2000) we briefly examined how the physical geography of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, in combination with th ..... 
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A mystery writer visits

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Monday, July 10, 2000

Running a motel in Helena, Montana, was a very confining business, the mystery writer and Chatfield native, Elizabeth Gunn told an audience last week at the Harmony Public Library. "There were whole years where we didnít ..... 
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Hauling

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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My family and I went to a wedding in Wisconsin on a recent Saturday morning. The wedding site was straight east of our place about one hundred twenty miles. There was no good way of getting there due to the negligence of the last glacier that failed ..... 
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The accidental artist

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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For Hong Kong native Peter Mak, the journey to Lanesboro isn't as far as it seems. You see, Mak's exhibition of art work at Cornucopia Art Center has a local connection. Mak's wife is Barbara Tammel, the daughter of Marilyn and Donne Tammel of rural ..... 
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Curdlecod goes Asiatic

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Chester and Cynthia Curdlecod are the local gourmets of Flabbergast County and one evening last week we were invited to their home for dinner. They take pride in their ability to prepare sumptuous meals from the local fish, fowl and fauna and avoid b ..... 
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Journal Profile # 76

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Home: Trotwood, Ohio
Profession: Domestic Engineer
Family: Husband Anthony, four daughters: Autumn-20, Candice-18, Olivia-13, Carmen-10, and one son Charles-8
Personal Hero: Laura Ingalls Wilder for wisdom, wit, s ..... 
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Chicken and Rice Dinner

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
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Cold Water Dill Pickles
(recipe for two quart jar)
Fill jar with washed cucumbers and add:
3 or 4 stalks of dill
3 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup vinegar
ē Fill jar with cold water and seal tightly. Let stand for at least 6 weeks. [Read the Rest]

7/31/00

Sun, Jul 30th, 2000
Posted in

Max, Maxxximum, Madcap, Cartoon, Food for thought, Fud 4 thot
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