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Scenes from Childhood


Sun, Jul 16th, 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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Root River Blues Revisited: In the Wake of the Flood

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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Monday, June 26, 2000

6:00 a.m. Thursday June 1, 2000: The South Branch of the Root River, small, clear and perhaps somewhat low for this time of year, placidly meanders and winds its way through Lanesboro towards a merger with the mighty Miss ..... 
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A mystery writer visits

Sun, Jul 16th, 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 didnt ..... 
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Bare Feet

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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I did something very daring last night. I walked outside in my bare feet to put a bag of trash in the dumpster. The dew-covered grass felt cool to my hot feet. The sidewalk was smooth and warm in contrast. The different temperatures and textures comp ..... 
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Lazarus

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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Monday, July 17, 2000


Over the last several years, many of our farm cats have come to live with us as orphans, dropped off on the side of the road by some passerby who found it easier to dump an animal in the country than go through the e ..... 
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Curdlecod goes Asiatic

Sun, Jul 16th, 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 # 75

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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Name: Karla Wangen
Home: Rural Harmony
Age: 37
Profession: 1. Parent 2. City Clerk for the City of Canton
Family:Husband-Arlis Wangen; 3 daughters-Kayla-age 15, Krista-age 11 and Nicole-age 7.
Pers ..... 
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Watermelon Jam

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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3 cups sugar
11/2 cup finely chopped seeded watermelon (do not puree)
1/4 cup lemon juice
l cup water
1 package (1l oz.) powdered pectin
In a bowl, combine sugar, watermelon and lemon juice. Let stand for 10 min., stirring occa ..... 
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7/17/00

Sun, Jul 16th, 2000
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Max, Maxxximum, Madcap, Cartoon, Food for thought, Fud 4 thot
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