Unheralded

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Marcel Proust On Reading

A while ago the 0resident of the United States unleashed a middle-of-the-night Tweet storm attacking the company Amazon, claiming it was getting favorable treatment from the U.S. Postal Service. As is so often the case, he was mistaken (or fibbing for effect). Most of my online shopping is with Amazon. Here’s a recent example. Back in June in Paris, I …


Unheralded

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Wacipi

Dorette Kerian and I spent several wonderful hours Saturday attending a “Wacipi” sponsored by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community a short drive from our place in Bloomington, Minn. A Wacipi, or powwow, meaning “they dance” in the Dakota language, is a marvelous event to watch. I’ve been a spectator over the years at many smaller scale Wacipis at the University …


DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Favorite Cemetery

Accompanied by Dorette’s son-in-law, Paul Kuhns, I’m heading to Paris next week to attend the International Hemingway Conference. I also expect to visit again the most famous graveyard in the world, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, established by Napoleon in 1804. The cemetery is huge ― 110 acres ― with more than 1 million individuals buried there. Most were ordinary folks. …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Being A Reporter

The other day, Dorette and I watched a television interview with the journalist Seymour M. Hersh, broadcast in connection with the release of his new book “Reporter.” It’s getting great reviews. So Wednesday, I hustled over to the nearest Barnes and Noble. The book had just arrived and was already sold out in the store. But a clerk was kind …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Freud And Murder

There has been another mass murder school shooting, this time Friday in Santa Fe, Texas. Not long ago,m I wrote down some thoughts and an extract from the 92-page book “Civilization and Its Discontents” by the Austrian neurologist and writer Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). It was completed during the rise of Adolf Hitler, and among other insights the book anticipated the …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — On Reading

Reading has been important to me since I was a first-grader at Fram Township School No. 3 in Wellsburg, N.D. My teacher, Sylpha Hovland, inspired me. I still have my “report card” from that year long ago — the marks were great for reading, not so hot for “deportment.” Here are the first lines of 10 of my favorite novels. …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Sinking Of The Indianapolis

I can’t resist a used bookstore. On Saturday, I picked up a volume that tells the story of the cruiser U.S.S. Indiana, sunk by the Japanese in World War II after delivering the atomic bomb that would end the conflict. The book, “In Harm’s Way,” reminded me of the description of the disaster that the character “Quint” (Robert Shaw) provided …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — A War Story

Friends know I enjoy used bookstores. There are many within easy driving distance of our place in Bloomington, Minn. I recently purchased the above book for $1.50 at a Salvation Army resale outlet near the place that sells me Starbucks Italian Bold coffee. “What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?” was self-published by Gordon C. Krantz, who like Dorette …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Last Good Year?

When Dorette and I visited New Zealand a while ago, we heard a Maori proverb. “Walk backwards toward the future.” I thought of it when this picture of me as a kid (above) surfaced recently from my archive (that is to say, from my boxes of clutter). It was taken by my father decades ago on the family farm in …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of Mom

Today (Wednesday) my mother Minnie Vogel Vorland would have been 95. She died in 1991, a few days after my father, Kermit Vorland. They are buried next to one another in a cemetery near the former family farm south of Wellsburg, N.D. This picture (above) was taken by Dad, from whom I inherited an interest in photography. I was about …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Favorite Bird

I’ve been hearing northern Cardinals but had not seen one close up until Saturday. They don’t migrate — one of the handful of species that live in Minnesota all year. I photographed this female (above) under one of our feeders in Bloomington. We’ll soon be hearing more of them. Both the males and females sing in earnest in March and …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Monet’s Garden

Places I’d like to visit again? Monet’s Garden. Claude Monet, one of the giants of Impressionism, is among Dorette’s and my favorite artists. We’ve seldom missed an opportunity to see his work. We’ve also twice visited his estate near Meudon, France, a short train trip from Paris. Traveling with us last year was Avery Dusterhoft, Dorette’s granddaughter, who brought along …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — An Important Day

In retrospect, this picture captured what was one of the most important days of my life: June 6, 1965. Gasp! That’s more than half a century ago. I’m not certain who snapped the shutter, although I think it was my sister, Susan Vorland Hanson. It was graduation day at the University of North Dakota. I’m with my parents Kermit and …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — We’ll Always Have Paris

“We’ll always have Paris.” Humphrey Bogart said that to Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca.” He was right. I feel that way about my favorite place in the whole wide world, even if I never have the opportunity to return. I’ve been there several times over the years. But actually I do have an opportunity. In July, I’m splurging …

NICK HENNEN: Now I See — What Is It About Death?

Like birth, I think the hour of our death is very meaningful, whether our earthly minds allow us to solve the puzzle or not. It is drenched in meaning, here and also somewhere else. The year, month, day, hour and second — it is already written for each of us. I think I’m lucky in that I can see the light of …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me —Going Home Again

Here’s a final photograph, and some thoughts about it, from the recent trip Dorette and I made to attend the jazz festival in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Marcel Proust, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe all said you can’t go home again. Wolfe even used the expression as the title of one of his novels. But I keep trying. For example, at …

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

Recently I sifted through some memorabilia and found the above picture taken in 1965, when I was a senior at the University of North Dakota. With me in the photo that appeared in the Dacotah Annual were classmates Mike Schlax, sports editor of the Dakota Student newspaper, and Harriet Thorpe, who wrote editorials. My title was “news editor.” I had …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Great Gift

My sister, Susan Vorland Hanson, has returned from a two-week trip to Norway and after spending the night with us departed this morning to her home near Turtle Lake, N.D. Also in Bloomington were Sue’s daughter, Ondrea Miller, and granddaughter, Allison, who moved in to an apartment near the University of Minnesota campus where she will begin her sophomore year. …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Crazy About Books

I said I wasn’t going to do it again. But once again, I purchased another stash of used books, this time at an estate sale in our neighborhood in Bloomington, Minn. I wish I had known the folks who owned this house. It was full of books on every conceivable subject, from great works of literature to volumes about home …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Chuck Klosterman

I met many bright students during my long career at the University of North Dakota. One of them was a kid named Chuck Klosterman, who had grown up near Wyndmere, N.D., and showed up as a freshman in 1990. I recall him as a slightly outrageous and very humorous writer for the Dakota Student newspaper. Klosterman’s first book was “Fargo …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Life On Skis

Like my father, I’ve been subject to enthusiasms. Playing tournament chess, which he didn’t do. Photography, which he did, along with other pastimes. I was introduced to downhill skiing while I was a University of North Dakota student. A classmate (call her “Violet”) invited me to ski with her at the Huff Hills near Mandan, N.D. I overnighted at her …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Sun Still Rises

I’ve just reread Ernest Hemingway’s first novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” written when he was in his 20s and living in Paris. The book is presented in the first person by the character Jake Barnes, a newspaper reporter who like Hemingway had been injured in the World War I. I’ve always liked the novel’s first sentence, “Robert Cohen was once …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Yet More Hemingway

I’ve been reading biographies of Ernest Hemingway, dead for more than half a century but who remains an author who can sell books, his own as well as those of scholars trying to interpret his life to the readers of 2017. I’ve read six new ones so far this year, including most recently Nicholas Reynolds’ book, “Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — The Art Of Drinking Beer

Dorette took this picture of me in St. Paul recently as we dined outdoors at Herbie’s on the Park. I decided to quaff a Hamm’s beer as I did long ago, including when I wasn’t old enough to do so legally. It’s been decades since I tasted the Hamm’s brand, established in 1865 in St. Paul and now owned by …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Harvey Hornets Forever

I took this picture (below) a week ago today during a brief visit to my hometown of Harvey, N.D. Since I graduated 56 years ago (gasp!), this former high school has been converted into a junior high and a new structure built elsewhere in town for the “upper grades.” I’ve long realized the education I received as a Harvey Hornet was superior, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Going Home Again

It’s said you can’t go home again. That was even the title of a book by Thomas Wolfe, and others — Proust and Hemingway among them — came to the same conclusion. I accept the premise logically, but not emotionally. So this past Sunday, I again found myself driving 442 miles from my current residence in Bloomington, Minn., to Harvey, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Hemingway Lives

The latest issue of the New Yorker, dated July 3, includes one of the best essays about Ernest Hemingway I have ever read: “A New Man: Ernest Hemingway — revised and revisited,” written by Adam Gopnik. It is in part of a review of the new biography, Mary V. Dearborn’s 735-page “Ernest Hemingway.” That one is on my book shelf …

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 — 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 …