Minnesota Biographies and Memoirs
Betsy And Saganaga
One Life, One Lake
Paperback ISBN: 1591930936
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.
Beware of Cat
And Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier
Hardcover ISBN: 087351582x
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. Vincent Wyckoff was a laborer, a construction worker, and a sheetmetal worker before he became a letter carrier in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1990. This is his first book.
Growing Up Jewish in Minnesota
Paperback ISBN: 0930100832
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.
Paperback ISBN: 1424549388
Torn from an idyllic life with extended family in 1960s Alabama, Johnny Turnipseed moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a father he no longer recognized. A.C. Turnipseed's alcoholism and womanizing started a chain reaction of poverty, violence and addiction almost destroying three generations. From lost 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 is told with honesty and hope. Original.
Growing Up at the Lake
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0873516087
"I would begin thinking about summer on our lake as early as Easter. Yes, it was our lake, not just the lake." In this classic story of a midwestern boyhood, Curtiss Anderson takes readers into the colorful lives of his robust Norwegian family and their wonderfully familiar summerscape in northern Minnesota: the lake place. Sweet childhood reminiscences comprise this coming-of-age memoir set in the poignant summers of the 1930s and '40s. Conversations on the porch with Dear Old Aunt Ingabord, a heavily accented relative from the Old Country. A budding romance and heartbreak with young Sarah, who lived across the lake. Wild blueberry picking behind Turnaround Island. Joyful tales devoted to cherished dogs he had outlived–old Shep and Mickey, Nebby, and feisty Bunny. And fond memories of Clara and Leigh, the loving couple who treated the budding writer as if he was their own child. Anderson revisits the notes and letters he scripted as a boy, originally recorded on his hand-me-down Underwood typewriter–his first foray into what would become a distinguished publishing career–to offer Blueberry Summers. Here, the nationally recognized magazine editor offers a funny and warm story of experiences that inspire the imagination. Curtiss Anderson is a writer and editorial consultant. He has enjoyed an illustrious career with Hearst Magazines and Better Homes and Gardens and as editor in chief of Ladies Home Journal. He lives in Tiburon, California, with his wife, Anne. From the Wall Street Journal, Coming of Age at Lakeside, By ALLAN CARLSON June 7, 2008 My summers have almost always meant a trip to Minnesota lakes: for my first 15 years, to Leech Lake; for the 40-plus since, to Lake of the Woods or the Boundary Waters canoe country. The landscape is on the edge of the Canadian Shield, defined by rough granite outcrops, birch and pine trees, bogs, and lakes carved deep by the glaciers. Most of the lakes are connected by streams or old Indian portages. The year-long residents of this area are mostly the descendants of Swedes and Norwegians, with an occasional Dane or Finn providing diversity. The churches are mostly Lutheran. Remnants of the old languages survive in town festivals ("Uff Da Burgers"), cuisine (the formidable lutefisk) and backwoods bars where "Skl!" remains the favored salute. Returning each summer has been, for me, more than a homecoming. As my own son, standing on our favorite island in Lake of the Woods, put it at age 12: "Here is the place where I come alive." In "Blueberry Summers," a memoir, Curtiss Anderson also describes "the transformation that occurred when I arrived at the lake." In satisfying detail, he narrates life in and about an old farmhouse on a northeastern Minnesota chain lake during the 1930s and early 1940s. Mr. Anderson, a former magazine editor and writer, has a novelist's flair for framing characters. There is Leigh Johnson, his father's best friend, who became more than a second father to the permanently towheaded boy. Leigh was a meticulous man who knew the lake country as well as any Indian guide. A skilled fisherman, he remarked that "God doesn't count the hours fishing." There is Clara, Leigh's wife, mistress of the kitchen, whose love of life took form in her potato salad, exquisite doughnuts and Blue Boy Pie (combining wild blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). Though young Curtiss never saw his own parents touch each other, Clara and Leigh "were quite sexy in a cozy sort of way." There is Uncle Skoal, blond, handsome and scampish, who sported a wooden leg from a chain-saw accident. Commenting on Skoal's favorite pastimes, Aunt Dora concluded that "women would finish in a dead heat with gin." There is Great Aunt Ingeborg, an ancient Norwegian who became young Curtiss's "constant, endearing, and bewitching companion" as he recuperated from an accident. She talked of her wayfaring husband, Nels, who had been an iron miner and a pilot on Lake Superior ore boats. And there are the Schumachers, a refugee family with 12 children that had fled the Nazis, settled in a ramshackle farm across the lake and protected a secret. This family "grew, sewed, farmed, fished, trapped, or shot practically everything they ate or owned." Curtiss is drawn to Sarah, the eldest daughter, a horse-loving girl with exotic eyes and "velvety black hair." This little book is full of diverting tales. During a canoe trip, Curtiss catches a 10-pound walleye, puts it on a stringer in the water and then loses this great prize to ravenous turtles. (My own 9-pound, 6-ounce walleye, hooked at Leech Lake when I was 5, suffered an equally tragic fate.) Curtiss's and Skoal's illegal "catch" of a near-record 60- pound carp leads to white lies and notoriety. "Blueberry Summers" has a dark side. Mr. Anderson explores his troubled relationship with his parents -- saying the word "Dad," he confesses, "doesn't come easy for me" -- and he relates a disturbing incident on a "dead" lake that nearly took his life. The book ends with a tragedy. "All the harmony and beauty -- and security -- I had always associated with the lake," he writes, "was destroyed forever." And yet those qualities are also recovered in "Blueberry Summer," an ably crafted, true-life coming-of-age tale. The book will delight anyone who has ever known the lake country of the Upper Midwest. More broadly, it will reward and please readers who have ever had in their childhoods a special summer place.
Growing Up at the Lake
Paperback ISBN: 1681340542
"I would begin thinking about summer on our lake as early as Easter. Yes, it was our lake, not just the lake." In this classic story of a midwestern boyhood, Curtiss Anderson takes readers into the colorful lives of his robust Norwegian family and their wonderfully familiar summerscape in northern Minnesota: the lake place. Sweet childhood reminiscences comprise this coming-of-age memoir set in the poignant summers of the 1930s and '40s. Conversations on the porch with Dear Old Aunt Ingaborg, a heavily accented relative from the Old Country. A budding romance and heartbreak with young Sarah, who lived across the lake. Wild blueberry picking behind Turnaround Island. Joyful tales devoted to the cherished dogs he had outlived—old Shep and Mickey, Nebby, and feisty Bunny. And fond memories of Clara and Leigh, the loving couple who treated the budding writer as if he was their own child. Anderson revisits the notes and letters he scripted as a boy, originally recorded on his hand-me-down Underwood typewriter—his first foray into what would become a distinguished publishing career—to offer Blueberry Summers. Here, the nationally recognized editor offers a funny and warm story of experiences that inspire the imagination.
The Boreal Owl Murder
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 0878392777
Birding, the gentle pastime of watching birds, can at times become a competitive sport. Even at its worst, though, when birders don’t give out information of their sightings and try to sidetrack other birders, it seldom rises to the level of serious harm . . . usually. But when Bob White mannered school councilor and dedicated weekend birder, finds a body on a birding trip, the idea that there’s an exception to every rule gets hammered home.
Canoeing with the Cree
Paperback ISBN: 9780873515337
In 1930 two novice paddlers--Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port--launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe into the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad conditions and even worse advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay--with winter freeze-up on their heels. First published in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is Sevareid's classic account of this youthful odyssey. The newspaper stories that Sevareid wrote on this trip launched his distinguished journalism career, which included more than a decade as a television correspondent and commentator on the CBS Evening News. Now with a new foreword by Arctic explorer, Ann Bancroft.