Unheralded

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — The Painful And Lifechanging Education Of An Ignorant White Boy

I published a version of this essay a few months ago. Given current events, it bears repeating. In the year 2000, as part of the research for my book, “The Burning: Massacre, Destruction and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” I interviewed an elderly man named Richard Gary, who told me this story. On a day in early June 1921, …


Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp Paella

Rice is one of the fastest-growing staples in the world. You can find it in dishes from many cultures, particularly those from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where it is a main food. Rice also is growing in popularity in the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America, and many in the U.S. likewise have embraced it. There are several …


LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Father Dies On Memorial Day

My father died on the morning of Memorial Day as “Taps” was playing on the nursing home televisions. Although we have been Skyping with him when possible during the lockdown and my sister and I each accompanied him for two separate medical appointments at Sanford Clinic, we were not allowed to be with him in his final days, even though …

RON SCHALOW: The Base’s Response Wasn’t Legendary

This past Friday, crazy North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum defied the Base’s morbidly obtuse idol by pleasantly asking people to be nice. These are the governor’s words: “I would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through where they’re trading a divide — either it’s ideological …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Traveling On The Spiritual Path

I usually begin planning my next trip during the waning days of the one I’m on, so this summer is more than a bit unusual. I have no bookmarked spots in Tripadvisor, no routes saved on Google Maps, no flights booked. I am not planning anything, except surgery on my foot, since I’m not going anywhere. My hobby is traveling. …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Miss Peggy Lee

Today some of us will take a moment to celebrate the centennial of singer/songwriter/North Dakota native Peggy Lee, born on this date in 1920. One of her most popular albums is called “Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown North Dakota.” It’s front cover is a typical Peggy Lee glamour shot. The back cover, an image of a map of North Dakota. She was …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Remembering A War Hero

I’ll pause on this Memorial Day to remember my namesake, U.S. Navy Aviation Machinists Mate First Class Carlyle James Fuglie. He was my dad’s “big brother,” although only about 15 months separated them. They joined the Navy together in the spring of 1942, just a few months after the U.S. entered World War II in response to the Japanese attack …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — No Shit, This Really Happened!

Old joke: What’s the difference between a bedtime story and a fishing story? A bedtime story starts, “Once upon a time …” A fishing story starts, “No shit, this really happened!” OK, so here we go. No shit, this really happened! It was a Pandemic Friday morning. Much like this morning, gray and dreary, and nothing on my calendar (imagine …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Church Is More Than A Building

My congregation never closed. … Nor did the church. Since we began this time of Great Separation, the church I serve, Emanuel Lutheran in Hartford, Conn., has been alive and well. We have had worship — real worship — each week.  It may have been prerecorded, but God was present and Christ was praised — through song, children’s sermons, virtual choirs …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — Remembering A Day With Annie & John Glenn 

In July 1995, just a year after returning to my home state of Minnesota after 20 years in Europe, I had my first personal encounter with John and Annie Glenn. It was my 50th birthday and I was having a few friends over for a party. So when the telephone rang, I expected one of my guests was going to …

JIM THIELMAN: He Was A War Hero; I Had No Idea

Earl was my best friend at church, which was across the Red River in North Dakota. He didn’t attend my Minnesota grade school and was Native American. That made him like most other kids in church, except he and I had been baptized on the same day. And his dad was a war hero. I mean a “let’s make a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Those Whistles Just Keep On Blowing

I’m having a hard time concentrating these days with all these whistles being blown in my ears. My phone keeps ringing. People who work for Meridian Energy, or used to work for Meridian Energy, want to talk to me. So I listen. And I ask a few questions, about the status of that oil refinery Meridian says it is going …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Bill Plaschke On ‘Extra Innings’

This is the forward to my book, “Extra Innings, written by Bill Plaschke, former Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times. Fred Claire is a fighter. You might not know that to look at him — he’s so distinguished and dignified and darned polite — but believe me, when he spots an unfairness or injustice, the man will …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Time To Grieve

I watched the “Graduate Together” celebration of the Class of 2020 this weekend and truly enjoyed the efforts to highlight and rejoice with those students who will not get a traditional graduation ceremony this year. However, I must admit to having a little bit of trepidation about the efforts to place a Band-Aid on the consequences of COVID-19 and those …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — A Tribute to My Aunt Junette

On Thursday we received the sad news that my beloved godmother and aunt, Junette Henke, a pioneer woman of Slope County, North Dakota, died of natural causes. I pause to attempt to write a few words of tribute to one of the grandest ladies I have ever known, who influenced me immeasurably, who I will miss ever so much. Like …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Bridge To Nowhere’Takes A Couple Of Tentative Steps Forward

Billings County Commissioners have raised the stakes in their quest to build their “Bridge to Nowhere” across the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., but the family on whose land the bridge is proposed to be built is not taking it lying down. At a County Commission meeting this past month, the commissioners, without notifying the family …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Gardening Notes No. 57

An early warm spell lured Mr. Green Jeans into planting his tomatoes May 1. Last week’s cold snap killed most of his precious hand-raised heirloom seedlings. He says it is worth the risk because of our short growing season. I’m not much of a risk-taker, but the vegetable garden is his territory, so I try to stay out of it …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — TV Ads That Drive Me Crazy

If only the TV Add People Powers That Be would ask, I would be happy to tell them. I’m sure I could save them millions of dollars. I’m talking about superannoying, insipid, TV ads that drive me up the wall. They certainly don’t have the intended affect to have me drive to the nearest shop to purchase what they’re selling! …

RON SCHALOW: The Dogs That Didn’t Bark In The Night — Or Bay In The Day

A virus is raging across China and it’s on a collision course with Donald Trump. As the North Dakota Young Republicans often opine, “Hmmmm.” They really know how to rile the base. But the thought of a Trump versus deadly virus showdown didn’t scare our guys. Not in the least. What good does it do to bark at a near-certain …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Belated Mother’s Day

Well, it’s time for my annual post-Mother’s Day column. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to publish a column before Mother’s Day because, frankly, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants so long my butt should have wings and a parachute. I suppose I deserve some credit. At least I’m writing this on Mother’s Day. In the interest …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Thirty Seconds Of Wonder With A New Friend

Tuesday morning I listened to a lecture by an American Buddhist teacher named Tara Brach, who spoke of how the minds of most people careen relentlessly from one fearful, self-protective thought to another. She said this happens on average about 86,000 times a day. (This works out to a thought per second.) I don’t know where she came by this …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A ‘Good New Boys’ Network?

Four years ago today, Doug Burgum was criss-crossing North Dakota in a motor home with “Burgum for Governor” in big letters on the side, running against Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in the Republican primary election just a few weeks hence. His campaign theme: Get rid of the “Good Old Boys” network in Bismarck. In what was generally viewed as a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Whither The Refinery?

I can’t quite figure out what is going on with the proposed refinery that Meridian Energy Group says it is going to build next door to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Just about exactly two years ago this week, a company called Martin Construction from Dickinson, N.D., just down the road from the park, went into the field behind Belfield, N.D., …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Body and Soul: A Mother’s Day Story

A rerun from a few years ago. Because I can’t think of a better story to tell on Mother’s Day.   I’m thinking of my mom on this Mother’s Day, as we all are. She’s been gone 3½ years now, but it seems like only yesterday I was making those semiweekly trips to Hettinger, N.D., to see her in the nursing …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Finding True Peace And Joy

There have been moments when 2020 has just seemed too … much. I was talking to someone the other day and they mentioned something about the U.S. being on the brink of war with Iran in January and I had completely forgotten that happened. And the fact that Australia was on fire. It’s just been too much this year, so …

NICK HENNEN: Now I See — Life And Living It Truthfully

For my mother, who taught me how to love. Mom had PPA, a rare brain disorder for which there is no cure. It caused her to slowly lose her ability to recall the names of well, most everything eventually. One important distinction between PPA and other memory conditions like Alzheimer’s was that only very rarely and only inside the last …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — ‘I Don’t Know What To Do’: A Coronavirus Conversation With Grief Therapist Dr. Patrick O’Malley

As doctors, nurses and first responders have tended to the physical devastation wrought by the pandemic, my friend, the Fort Worth, Texas, grief therapist Dr. Patrick O’Malley, and his colleagues have been working to help us cope with the profound emotional, psychological and spiritual challenges of this moment. I was Patrick’s co-author of the 2017 book “Getting Grief Right: Finding …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — I’m The Slow One

I think I’ll have my morning coffee on the patio. But not this morning. It’s foggy, windy and 43 degrees — conditions I would have appreciated in February, but we lose our sense of perspective each spring, don’t we? Even on the Northern Plains we feel entitled to fair weather. Can you imagine how insufferable Floridians must be? On Monday, …

RON SCHALOW: Transcript — Alternative January Trump Vows To Contain Pandemic

Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease Oval Office: Jan.13, 2020 THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans: I sit before you a (cough) humble man — not a hefty man, an obese man or a gingerbread man — just a regular heavily made-up fellow who is going to do the right thing whether the elitist establishment likes it or …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Honey Garlic Shrimp

If you are looking for something quick and easy to make for supper, the combination of shrimp and rice wouldn’t be a bad choice. Neither of them takes long to cook and they really compliment each. The following recipe contains just a handful of ingredients and can be made in less than a half hour, if you are using white …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Heavyweights, Lightweights and Republican Squabbles In 2020

Geez, Doug Burgum must be really pissed off at Jeff Delzer. Burgum is North Dakota’s governor. Delzer is a state representative from District 8, and a powerful one — chairman of the important North Dakota House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. Some say Delzer is the most powerful of all state legislators. Also one of the biggest. Kind of pumpkin-shaped. A BIG pumpkin. …

NICK HENNEN: Now I See — A Look Back

Nick Hennen looks back to a May, 2, 2015, conversation he had with his Mom shortly before she died. It was a little tough to understand her tonight. I decided to partially transcribe the less coherent parts as well to give me a better window into the slipping in and out of what I suppose we’d all agree is real. …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — How To Make Goodness Attractive

Fred Rogers once said something to the effect that one of life’s great challenges is making goodness attractive. As a writer and journalist over these last decades, I’ve come to realize it might not be that challenging after all. This is a theme I’ve returned to again and again in my career: A good person finds him or herself in …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Devil’s Backbone

Photographer Jeff Olson and his wife, Joanne Plager Burke Olson, recently hiked the trails along the Devil’s Backbone between Loveland, Colo., and the Rocky Mountains, whee they experienced several moments of zen, a fine way to wrap up Jeff’s birthday weekend. The Backbone is a two-mile strip of Dakota sandstone that rises from the rock and soil in a buffer zone between …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Slow Cooker Curried Chicken With Wild Rice And Mushrooms

Curry and paprika are an interesting combination in the preparation of food and are often used together in many Indian and Caribbean dishes such as chicken curry and jerk chicken. We do a fare amount of cooking with chicken and other types of poultry. Our freezers generally have an ample supply of Hutterite chickens as well as a turkey or …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — This Is Just F**king Stupid

The newspaper stories this morning said “North Dakota Gov.Doug Burgum said he intends to allow closed businesses to reopen Friday, May 1.” Well, isn’t that special. A great big May basket for North Dakota. Happy May Day. The rest of the story: “The State Health Department on Monday also announced 75 new cases of COVID-19, marking the second-highest single-day total …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Fostering Hope

Today I read their names. Five hundred names. Deliberately, slowly and intentionally. So that we will never forget. Since I’ve moved to Hartford, Conn., I have taken part in the Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day, sponsored by Voice of Hope. In the past, I’ve gone to the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford, where I would take a 10- …