Historian for The Streets of St. Paul and Minnesota Then. I'm using this platform to share stories about Minnesota history and whatever else (or wherever else) I find interesting at the time.
The High Price of Being Poor
Living paycheck-to-paycheck leaves one in the unenviable position of knowing that their hard work does little more than sustain their restlessness. The rut cuts deep, and the energy needed to get out of it soon gets replaced by shuffling bills on the kitchen table to try and pay every utility before its cut-off date.
The Shocking 1912 Murder of Twenty-Year-Old Alice Matthews
The March 23, 1912, death of Alice Matthews shocked the city of Minneapolis. Attacked by a dark, brooding figure only a few doors from her home, she did everything possible to save her own life. Matthews fought bravely, but her cries for help went unheeded. Her case dominated local papers for a few weeks. However, the story eventually became old news, and her attacker was never found.
Hunting for Family Stories
I recently subscribed to a newspaper's historical archives service to research an article. In a fleeting moment of too much free time and nothing to watch on TV, I put the names of a couple of my family members into the search box and saw what would happen.
The Lottery of the Ruling Party Begins at Midnight
They took us from our homes and without telling us what was going on forced all us onto large trucks. Each of us stared out of the window as a long line of trucks pulled up to the stadium. When we stopped, a strange group of men and women dressed in fatigues appeared and corralled us into the building and onto the field. It was dark, almost too dark to see the person standing in front of you.
The Gift of a Green Vase
No one was surprised when Kim and I ended up working in the same office. After all, we’d grown up in the same neighborhood, living just a couple of houses down from each other. We went to the same high school. Heck, we even left for college together.
The Campfire Apparition
From a very young age, Jason was blessed with a flair for the dramatic. Even before he had learned to walk and talk, he could control a room full of people. For some reason, everyone’s eyes naturally seemed to gravitate toward him. It had always been that way.
My Last Conversation with Grandpa
It was a beautiful Saturday morning in July. After putting it off for far longer than I should have, I decided to finally get some work done in the backyard. It took hours, but when I was done, my yard was a sight to behold. Task completed, I opened up a lawn chair and sat in a shaded section next to my house to revel in my work.
The Swing Set
“Higher daddy! I want to go higher!” I couldn’t help but smile and try to — safely — grant her wish. Sammie (only her grandpa called her Samantha) has always loved to swing in the backyard. Her first word may have been “momma,” but it just as easily could have been “swing.”