When I was growing up near Mounds Park during the fifties and sixties, fresh milk was delivered to our stoop like clockwork; however, no one came to haul away the refuse. A big, rusty metal drum in our back yard received the trash instead. When it got full, my father lit it on fire. Items you couldn’t burn—bottles, cans, old plastic toys—were driven to the Pig’s Eye Island City Dump. My brother almost always got to go with Dad to the dump, a fact that he lorded over his little sisters. But sometimes we got to go too.Print This Post
Vera’s death was just last December, and I am missing her on this May evening, as our forty-third anniversary approaches. I need time and space by myself, to think. A view of the Mississippi River twisting and turning sharply, as I am right now, would set the tone. A drink and something good to eat would be nice—a martini, a very good steak, a favorite after-dinner drink.Print This Post
A grizzled old towboat mate of twenty-six named Steamboat Bill explained the dangers of working in high water to me in very simple, very direct terms. “Rule number-one is: Don’t fall in! If you fall in, you’re dead. It’s that simple. The current will drag you under and you’ll drown!” He told me this from the deck of a barge moored in South Saint Paul in the spring of 1975, when the Mississippi River was rising fast. Years later I watched as another young deckhand learned this lesson.Print This Post
The moon has landed
on earth, printing her
craters and hills..
The bluffs near Shepard Road were steep, nearly
Worn away, over time, by the flooded
Sweep of the river. Minnow pools survived
Those years, there by the edge of the city
Near the cliffs...
Memories often take on a life of their own and go where they will. This one leads me down memory lane to helping my grandfather, Floyd W. Anger, mayor of Lilydale from 1959 to 1970, move his essentials to higher ground every year that Lilydale's lowlands flooded where Water Street becomes Lilydale Road.Print This Post
In the fall after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, hundreds of Dakota women and children were force-marched for seven days to Fort Snelling from their reservation in western Minnesota. That winter, over fifteen hundred Dakota were detained on Pike Island below the fort. Under military patrol and with only thin blankets, the prisoners watched this wooded island fill with snow.Print This Post
I was born and raised in Somalia, then lived many years in Dallas. After I graduated from the University of North Texas, I moved to Saint Paul in search of a job and a wife. It was January 2004, and the temperature, with windchill had dropped to -40° F.Print This Post
I recently learned that the Saint Paul Hotel will celebrate its one hundredth anniversary in 2010. I wanted to make sure its role in our city's history was acknowledged in some manner. Perhaps my own personal reflections as a former employee and later a guest can contribute.Print This Post