The Good Ole Days All Over Again

The Good Ole Days All Over Again

Hi there! Everyone talks about the good old days—how they used to be—what a difference from today. Remember when gas was 25¢ a gallon? And cigarettes 26¢ a box with a 1¢ tax? Wow! But of course young teens didn’t smoke. Before I forget: White Castles were 12¢. A...
Fire on Pig’s Eye Island

Fire on Pig’s Eye Island

Pig’s Eye Island owes its name to a nineteenth- century trader, Pig’s Eye Parrant, who sold liquor and guns along the Mississippi’s watery highway. The nearby settlers took his name for their growing town until they decided the more mundane sobriquet Saint Paul might...
From the Beginning: Forums, Theater, and Music

From the Beginning: Forums, Theater, and Music

I grew up in the Dale-Selby neighborhood of Saint Paul. To be more exact, we lived in the upstairs of a duplex just off the corner of Dayton and St. Albans, one block from Dale and one block from Selby. Then, as now, it was a neighborhood of mostly small single-family...
Mears Park

Mears Park

  Where I first put my arm around you. Clad in red coats and autumn hats, we walked from the Farmers’ Market, bags of basil in hand, then arm in arm. The dog waited. Where so much music has been made. Echoing through Lowertown where the shade of the stage and the...
The Sweet Potato Lady (Deborah Torraine)

The Sweet Potato Lady (Deborah Torraine)

When I see sweet potatoes, I often think of Deborah Torraine. Deb was a community organizer in the Twin Cities. She always referred to herself as a cultural worker; she was a mentor to new and emerging artists, and the Director of Community Engagement for the Saint...
Wokiksuye

Wokiksuye

Driving back from the reservation, I cross a small bridge into Saint Paul. I feel the troubled waters. I think of my grandfather’s people,the Dakota. I think of how they lived by the water, how they made fire by the water. I think of how my people, the Dakota, my...