You answer a call from a fourteen-year-old boy asking for someone to arrest his mother, who is smoking crack in their bathroom. You talk with him until the cops arrive, making sure there are no weapons around and learning that his favorite subject in school is lunch. Five minutes later, you have to deal with someone complaining about his neighbor's clarinet practice.
What is it like to be on the receiving end of desperate calls for help . . . every day? Caroline Burau, a former newspaper reporter and nursing student who couldn't stand the sight of blood, takes a job as an emergency dispatcher because she likes helping people. But on-the-job training at the comm center proves to be more than she bargained for. As she adjusts to a daily life of catastrophe and comedy, domestics and drunks, cops and robbers, junk food and sarcasm, lost cats and suicides, she discovers that crisis can become routine, that coworkers can be mean--that she must continue to care and, at times, learn how to let go.
Praise for Answering 911
"The day may come when I have to dial 911. I hope to God that the person who answers is Caroline Burau or someone like her. Funny, honest, and elegantly simple, this book left me with a sense of grace and hope." --Alison McGhee, author of Shadow Baby, Rainlight, Was It Beautiful? and Falling Boy
Mary Winstead grew up in Minneapolis, captivated by her fathers tales of his boyhood in rural Mississippi. As a child, she visited her relatives down South, and her nostalgia for that world and its people would compel her to collect her fathers stories for her own children. But Winsteads research into her family history led her to a series of horrifying revelations: about her relatives ingrained racism, their involvement with the Klan, and their connection to the infamous 1964 murders of three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney.Writing with dignity, humility, and a profound sense of time and place, Winstead chronicles her awakening to painful truths about people she loved and thought she knew. She profiles her father, a man of remarkable charm and secretiveness. She traces her familys roots through post-Civil War poverty, Southern pride, and Jim Crow laws, exploring racism on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Most movingly, she details her own inner war, a battle between her love for her family and their untenable beliefs and practices.
he Myers family--practical, idealistic father, dainty, dignified mother, serious older brother Bob, rascally younger brother Everett, and Marjorie, the middle child and only girl--moved to the island cottage every summer once school let out and stayed until classes began again. Her story of those peaceful seasons is a fond reminiscence of a loving and supportive family and a powerful reminder of the timeless beauty of Minnesota summers at the lake.
"Crane Island, 'a tiny scrap of land in the remote western end of Lake Minnetonka's Upper Lake, ' is the setting for Marjorie Myers Douglas's engaging memoir, Barefoot on Crane Island. Children here form pirate gangs that meet at midnight in the icehouse, play tiddly winks with watermelon seeds, and gather in canoes to watch the sunset. Lovingly rendered, Crane Island recalls all of our summers at the lake. Yet it will appeal particularly to those readers eager for a return to a remembered time, before automobiles and television, when imagination and friendship were enough to fill the long summer days." --Mary Francois Rockcastle, author of Rainy Lake
The author has captured the summer-at-the-lake experience so familiar to many residents of the Upper Midwest. Writing about her coming-of-age years on Crane Island during the early part of this century, she reminds us of youthful adventures and the woods, water, and social activities that still occur in our Minnesota vacation places." --Carol Ryan, Star Island Historian
Rolf Canton explores the careers of Minnesotans who have worked behind the scenes in the movie industry. Canton draws from many sources to flesh out the film careers and the Minnesota connections of the talented individuals who make movies happen.
Mark Rosen was hired by WCCO television at the age of 17 and has been a part of the 'CCO team for more than 40 years. During that time, Mark has become one of the most popular and esteemed sports media celebrities in the region--a true icon of the Minnesota sports scene. In this first-person account, Rosen shares his experiences working with athletes, journalists, and a variety of local notables. He describes the most memorable moments from the playing fields and behind the scenes, and he offers insights gleaned from four decades in the business. In Best Seat in the House, Rosen tells of joining the fast-paced world of television journalism as a wide-eyed high-schooler and then traces his journey to becoming one of the most recognized and respected names in local sports broadcasting. He shares his experiences meeting heroes like Harmon Killebrew and Bud Grant, covering iconic sporting events like the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" and the Twins' World Series victories in 1987 and '91, and breaking the big stories about the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Lynx, Wild, and Gophers.The stories and anecdotes contained in Best Seat in the House offer a rare, exclusive look into the worlds of sports, media, and even politics from the perspective of someone who has been at the center of it all.
This is the story about the relationship between Betsy Powell and Saganaga Lake. For nearly 70 years, Betsy lived on this remote lake between the US and Canada, trapping, fishing, hunting and guiding fishing parties. She built her own cabin and traveled miles on foot and by boat for supplies, all without the luxuries of electricity or running water. The remarkable woman used her skills to survive, adapt and thrive on this lake, which is now a part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
One sunny day on his postal route, Vincent Wyckoff crosses the path of an elderly gentleman whistling for his lost parakeet. The old man is upset, and Wyckoff moves down the block slowly, looking high and low, hoping to spot the little bird. He reaches the man's house and offers sympathy to his wife, who smiles sadly and says, "We haven't had that bird for twenty-five years."
Letter carriers like Wyckoff walk through the same neighborhood each day, observing the lives and routines of its residents. They learn its stories, make connections between people, and, in many ways, become the common thread that connects neighbors to one another. Along Wyckoff's mail route, Native American children teach him about totems. He finds assistance for a reclusive chain-smoking book collector who can't maintain his property. He delivers a much-delayed registered letter mailed from Saigon in 1976. Over the years, Wyckoff sees the neighborhood of blue-collar retirees change as a diverse group of younger people move in and raise their families.
Celebrating the triumphs in everyday life and demonstrating the danger of trusting first impressions, Beware of Cat reveals the inner workings of an ordinary place of extraordinary interest.
Ruth F. Brin's compelling memoir reveals the childhood beginnings of her life as feminist thinker, poet, and well-respected writer of the Jewish faith. Brin draws close and loving portraits of her parents and older brothers, and outlines the history of her paternal grandparents who came to America from Austria-Hungary in the late 1880s to settle in Saint Paul. Early on, Brin relates her growing sense of how her religious faith will be integrated into her life and the ways in which she and her family must confront and survive instances of anti-Semitism. The author's original poems combine with her family's traditional stories to make Bittersweet Berries a unique narrative of one woman's beginnings and growth as an accomplished writer and religious thinker.
Torn from an idyllic life with a loving, extended family in 1960's Alabama, young Johnny Turnipseed found himself in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a father he no longer recognized and empty cupboards. A.C. Turnipseed's alcoholism and womanizing started a chain reaction of poverty, violence, addiction and despair that nearly destroyed three generations.
From lost and frightened little boy to gang leader, drug dealer and pimp to one of the nation's most respected pioneers of community restoration, John Turnipseed's story of transformation and restoration is told with unflinching honesty and contagious hope.