Unheralded

DAVE VORLAND: Photo Gallery — Paris 2017, Part I

Bloomington, Minn., photographer Dave Vorland, along with Dorette Kerian and her granddaughter, Avery Dusterhoft, recently returned to the U.S. after a visit to Paris, “the City of Lights” (“la Ville des Lumières”). Dave has been to Paris several times, so he knows his way around quite well, as is evidenced by these beautiful shots. This is the first of two …


Unheralded

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Bois du Boulogne

I shot this photo in Monday of a professional dog walker in the Bois du Boulogne, the large park on the edge of Paris, which figures in Marcel Proust’s novel, “A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu.” Over my lifetime, I’ve read this work more than once in English translation (all 3,031 pages in seven volumes), and some of it in …


DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Odette And Swann

I took this picture May 31, 2005, of a movie actress taking a break during filming along the Seine River in Paris She reminds me of Odette de Crécy, an unforgettable character in Marcel Proust’s “Swann In Love,” a component of his larger work “In Search of Lost Time.” Although Proust died in 1922, “the Search” continues to be read …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Going Home With Mrs. Hovland

I was 6 years old and in the first grade in the spring of 1950 when my parents received my last report card of the year. It was signed by teacher Sylpha Hovland, who certified my promotion to the second grade at Fram Township School No. 3 in Wellsburg, N.D. I still have the card. Later, I moved on to Harvey …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Tilly Hat Club

One of the best things about Canada besides Justin Trudeau is the fact it’s the home of the great Tilly hat. This iPhone selfie was taken in Lacrosse, Wis., on Tuesday. It’s a tradition to acknowlege another owner like this when you pass someone also wearing a Tilly. I’ve owned several of the not inexpensive Tillies, eventually losing all of …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Eating Well

Dorette is the master chef in our household, no question about that. But I have a few dishes that can also evoke oohs and ahs. Today (Wednesday) I’ll be making one of my favorites: rhubarb crisp, thanks to the generosity of our Bloomington, Minn., neighbors Sheila and Bob Owen, who shared their rhubarb with us. Then there’s Russian Cream with …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — ‘Looking For The Stranger’

A nice thing about being retired is having more time to read. I’ve just completed two books, one of which I read for first time in college: “The Stranger,” or as it is titled in French, “L’Étranger,” by Albert Camus, published in 1942. My copy is a new translation in “American English” by Mathew Ward. Set in Algeria, the novel …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of The Dead, Part II

This past week, I posted some thoughts after visiting the cemetery in St. Cloud, Minn., where my grandfather, William Vogel, and seven other members of my mother Minnie Vogel Vorland’s family are buried. I had been struck by the fact I know nothing about what became of the descendants of mom’s nine siblings. It’s different on the Vorland side of the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of The Dead

Dorette was out of town Friday, so I drove over to St Cloud, Minn., just 74 miles from Bloomington, Minn. From 1970 to 1973, I taught at the college there (now designated a university). I stopped at the cemetery where are buried some of my relatives from the Vogel side of the family. With water and a brush, I removed most …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Liberation Trilogy

A while ago, I read the 887-page third volume of historian Rick Atkinson’s liberation trilogy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945.” I highly recommend it to those interested in the history of World War II. Just last night, I finished the first volume, “An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Films Galore!

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is under way, with more than 350 movies being shown over 16 days at several venues. If I could do it over, I’d work in the movie industry as a writer or technical professional. I still recall a movie I saw as a North Dakota farm kid, “The Bridges at Toko-Ri,” starring William …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — More Hemingway

I renewed my membership in the Hemingway Society the other day and jotted down the location and dates of its next international meeting — in Paris in 2018. I may not get there, but I WILL continue to buy new books about Ernest Hemingway and his art. You’d never guess he’s been dead for more than half a century. Unlike …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Medora On My Mind

I took the above picture in 2006 of Sentinel Butte, N.D. Its population today is 61 compared to 229 in the early 1950s, when our family lived there for several months. The town is a few miles west of Medora, which in those days was not yet much of a tourist attraction. Neither was Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which had …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Wild Swans

When I was in college, an English professor once devoted an entire lecture to discussing a single poem, “The Wild Swans at Coole,” created in 1916 by the Irish writer William Butler Yeats. I still own the text book, coverless now and much worn. I thought of and reread the verses Monday before walking to a nearby pond to take …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — April, The Cruelest Month

It’s April and once again, I’m thinking of a line of poetry from T.S. Eliot’s book “The Wasteland,” one of the most complex works of literature I ever came across. It goes like this: “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” Google that sentence and …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Algonquin

I took the above picture last spring of the Algonquin Hotel on 44th Street in New York City. These days, its rooms start at $371 a night. Dorette and I had a drink there but stayed at another hotel she found that offered a better deal. I have many positive memories of the Algonquin, especially of it back in the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Eden Prairie On My Mind

Back in my North Dakota days, I served a term on the Grand Forks Historical Preservation Commission. Thus, when Dorette and I moved to Eden Prairie, Minn., I was impressed by the historic Smith Douglas More House. This picture (above) was taken Monday. The original building was constructed in 1877 to provide passenger services to a then-nearby railroad line. The …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — On The Road With Bob Dylan

I recently took a solo two-way road trip from Bloomington, Minn., to Grand Forks, N.D. It’s 323 miles each way via Interstate 94 and I-29. I celebrated my daughter Kristi’s birthday one day and headed back the next. To say this drive can be monotonous is a gross understatement. So as usual, I brought along a handful of music CDs …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Cravings Of Old Age

Martin Luther, at least according to the legend, once said we should sin occasionally to prove our victory over the devil. Historians say Luther probably didn’t, but if so, he was likely joking about the one sin of the deadly seven that tempted him: gluttony. It’s been said a craving for good food is the only passion that gets stronger …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Sense Of An Ending

I’ve read a several books by the English author Julian Barnes, including “Through the Window: SEVENTEEN ESSAYS AND A SHORT STORY.” The short story is about a Brit professor frustrated with his immature students as he discusses Ernest Hemingway’s “Homage to Switzerland.” My favorite passage: “He talked of Hemingway’s humor, which was much overlooked. And, of how, alongside what might …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Worth Noting

I have something in common with the author Joan Didion, who is about to publish the unedited notebooks she used over the years. Why did she jot things down? Apparently to remind herself of the good and the bad in her life that she might otherwise have forgotten. “I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — A Tale Of The Unused Passport

In the bicycle racing movie “Breaking Away,” the hero’s mother owns a passport she knows she will never use, although the fact that she COULD use it is important to her. I didn’t use my first passport, either. In the early 1980s, I was public relations director at the University of North Dakota. One day, my boss, President Thomas Clifford, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — A Picasso Moment

In 1974, I took the above picture of Pablo Picasso’s most famous painting, then displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. “Guernica” was created in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War to protest Nazi Germany’s terror bombing of that undefended and militarily unimportant village. Picasso loaned the huge 11-by-25-foot work to the museum at the beginning of World War II. …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — You Can’t Go Home Again

I photographed this dilapidated farmhouse (above) just south of Wellsburg, N.D., in August 1969. A shadow of what it once was, I had lived there as a child. Shortly after I took this picture, the new owner burned it to the ground. A neighbor who witnessed the fire told me “it died hard.” When I was in the eighth grade, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Haka

In 2002, I shot this picture on film of a demonstration in New Zealand of the “Haka,” an ancient Maori war dance intended to frighten an enemy. New Zealand’s rugby team still uses it to intimidate international opponents. The first Europeans to see it were Dutch traders (who knows, possibly including one of my ancestors). They landed in 1642, and …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Walk This Way

As I advance into my Golden Years, I sometimes think of the 1969 Academy Award-winning movie “Midnight Cowboy.” Few scenes in cinema are more powerful than the one in which Ratso Rizzo, played by Dustin Hoffman, after limping through most of the film, tells Joe Buck, played by Jon Voigt, that he no longer can walk. Joe promises to take …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Cliff Notes And James Joyce

Facebook friends may recall my New Year’s Resolution to read the novels of the writer James Joyce. This past Sept. 24, I celebrated my birthday in his native Ireland. I’m about halfway through “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” regarded by aficionados as the necessary prelude to tackling ‘”Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake.” My longtime friend high school classmate, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Can You Hear Me Now

My grandfather, Hans Vorland, 1865-1930, had exceptionally keen hearing. My dad said he “could hear through the walls,” much to the dismay of the mischievous Vorland children. But in his 50s, Hans became nearly deaf. I noticed a diminution in my own hearing at about the same age, raising the possibility I had inherited the trait. I ignored it for …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Butte de Morale

I’m feeling nostalgic as I write this, a mood brought on by snow falling outside my window. Reminds me of North Dakota. Friends may previously have seen this image, on Facebook or even in person. In 2010, the University of Washington, which owns the original, scanned and printed a copy for display in a historical exhibit I curated, “When the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — An Inherited Interest

I inherited an interest in photography from my father. A lifelong photo hobbyist himself, he gave me a Kodak Pony 135 camera as a birthday gift while I was still in high school. Since then I’ve shot thousands of pictures, sometimes for pay as a freelancer or as part of my job. But mostly, it’s been a pastime, a way …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Hemingway Mystique

I knew nothing about Ernest Hemingway in the fall of 1961. He had recently committed suicide in Idaho at age 60. My freshman English class at the University of North Dakota was assigned to read his short story, “A Clean Well-Lighted Place.” Impressed with Hemingway’s writing, I dashed off a story in his “style” and submitted it to “Tyro,” the campus …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Reading James Joyce

Winter in Minnesota is not my favorite season. But there IS one benefit to lousy weather. It provides time to a catch up on the reading you’ve deferred in order to enjoy being outdoors in the spring, summer and fall. My winter goal is to dip into the literature created by the Irish novelist and poet James Joyce, 1882-1941. He …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Remembering Anna

This is my Norwegian immigrant grandmother, Anna Vorland (above), photographed by my father on the family farm northeast of Harvey, N.D., in the late 1940s. She’s been on my mind lately. A few years ago at New York’s Ellis Island, Dorette Kerian and I saw the official record of Anna’s entry into the U.S. with her new husband, Hans. He …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Power Of Red Hair

You’d never guess it now, but at one time I had bright red hair. Until I started school, my parents called me “Punkie” (i.e., pumpkin head). Thank god the nickname didn’t stick. The red color was passed down by my maternal grandfather, and I was the only one of my siblings or cousins on that side of the family to …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thoughts on New Year’s Eve

On this New Year’s Eve, I’m thinking of all the people who paid me for doing a job. Here (above) I’m pictured with my favorite boss, Thomas J. Clifford. I was his director of public relations and executive assistant for 19 of the 21 years he was president of the University of North Dakota. It’s impossible to overstate the influence …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Massage, Anyone?

One of the businesses in our local mall in Bloomington, Minn., is a Wellness Center offering a holiday special for new clients: $59 for a 60-minute introductory massage, a perfect Christmas gift for “the woman in your life.” So, I checked with the woman in my life. She thanked me but passed on the opportunity. Since then, I’ve noticed advertisements …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Mystery Of Dreaming

Recently, I Googled “Why do we dream?” What I learned was that scientists don’t really know. There are a jillion theories. For example, one source argues it’s merely the brain responding to biochemical and electrical impulses that occur during sleep. Another believes dreaming “is a form of consciousness that somehow unites past, present and future in processing information from the first two …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Street Photography

I shot the above photo in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 19, 2016. On most devices, clicking the image will provide a larger view, It’s an example of “street” photography I’ve been drawn to since my dad bought me my first camera at age 17. Recently, I read a definition: “Street photography features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of Molli Bernstein

I was out of the country when I heard the news of Molli Bernstein’s death in Fargo on Nov. 19 at the age of 27. When I lived in North Dakota, I photographed Molli several times, including the above shot that appeared in an exhibit of my photography at the then-Dakota Harvest Gallery in Grand Forks. I received several offers to …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Martin Luther At MIA

Garrison Keillor often said there are two kinds of Lutherans — those who take their religion very seriously and those who mostly don’t. I’ve been accused of being in the second group, although my Norwegian grandfather, Hans Vorland, helped build the Bethany Lutheran Church near Wellsburg, N.D. Some Facebook friends know I recently had my grave marker placed in the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Here’s To Our Veterans

Today is Veterans Day. Dorette Kerian and I would like to be among the first to salute our active duty and retired Army, Air Force, Navy, and Maine Corps men and women. I didn’t serve in the military. In 1966, I volunteered for the draft but was rejected because of bad eyesight. They told me I would be contacted to …