The Ford Bridge

The Ford Bridge

As a forbidden summer activity, we enjoyed swimming at the Ford Bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. We would leave our clothes at the base of one of the columns on the Minneapolis side, crawl up on the concrete arches until we were...
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...
Rondo Oral History: Deborah Gilbreath Montgomery

Rondo Oral History: Deborah Gilbreath Montgomery

Oral history is the spoken word in print. Oral histories are personal memories shared from the perspective of the narrator. By means of recorded interviews, oral histories collect spoken memories and personal commentaries of historical significance. These interviews...
Cheesehead

Cheesehead

  Conceived, born, and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin—that’s me, Paul Vincent Bartlett, a (displaced) cheesehead. And not of your typical Wisconsin lineage. Nope. Not one drop of German or Polish blood circulating in my body. With a Sicilian father (actual...
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...