In his first novel, local author, playwright and screenwriter Dale Botten offers a compelling story of adventure, romance and danger — one very ordinary man's desire for riches becomes a quest for redemption. Botten has received accolades and awards for his original plays presented on area stages. "Hate Storm," his screen adaptation of "The Lynchings in Duluth" written by Michael Fedo, won the Catalina Film Festival Screenplay of Merit Award in 2015, and is currently entered in the Cannes Film Festival.
It's not your grandfather's station wagon, but maybe it should be. The hubby had some work done on his truck last week. The dealership loaned us a car for the three-hour interim. It was a small, SUV crossover. The make and model are incidental; crossovers are like tuna casseroles at a potluck — same basic ingredients but each one a little different.
I've been hearing a lot about hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) of late. If you've had your head tucked under a pillow in a nest of warm blankets you may have missed the word, but you are on to the sentiment. Hygge comes from the Danish culture and while it's accepted that there is no English word, which exactly translates, comfort is the closest cousin. Hygge goes beyond the concept of creature comforts, though, to add a spirit of conviviality with friends, family and community. To make that point, the word derives from hugga, meaning to comfort and hold.
I've read three articles in as many weeks directed at baby boomers to let us know our kids aren't interested in our hoard of furnishings and whatnots from the musty-dusty past. News Flash — a few too many failed rummage sales of late have made that point perfectly clear to me. You can't sell this junk; you can barely give it away.
Signs, signs everywhere signs, but nobody paying attention. I'm talking about the signs in the construction zone for the Belknap Street project, especially the ones at the intersection with Tower Avenue, the ones telling drivers not to turn onto Belknap in either direction. Yeah, those. If I were a betting person, (which I'm not because I'm about as unlucky as black cat holding an open umbrella indoors walking under a ladder), I could make some cash playing the odds of how many drivers are going to make an illegal turn from Tower onto Belknap per traffic light cycle.
Looking back over the summers of my years in Superior and Douglas County, there are some things long past that I miss — Ridiculous Days on Tower Avenue, summer youth programs at the many city playgrounds, and the Tri-State Fair come to mind. Then, there are those things about summer, whether unique to our Northland or more universal, that will never change. As we settle into July, there is no better time to enjoy, as the popular Nat King Cole song says, "the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer." Here's my list of simple summer pleasures that never get old.
I grew up on the 1600 hundred block of Hammond Avenue, when boulevards still dotted the elm-lined street. As a young child, there were only two places beyond the reach of my mother's voice calling me home that I was allowed to go on my own — Hammond Park and the old Superior Public Library. Both loom large in my memories. Both played a role in teaching me life lessons, one social and one academic. But the library was love at first sight for me. The relationship has endured more than 50 years, despite both of us having moved to new locations.
It was just such a day, I found myself running errands in Superior and decided to walk the few blocks between stops, bringing me to a place I've been anxious to explore since its move to Tower Avenue, Art on the Planet. I'm happy to say it exceeds my expectations. I am delighted that we have a shop for local artists and artisans to showcase their work, and I'll say — it's about time. It was a pleasure to see so many mediums and styles represented. I chatted with one of the co-owners for a good 20 minutes.
Whew! It's been a rollercoaster of highs and lows since November, hasn't it? Whether left, right or center, just trying to keep up with developments and maintain a civil discourse is brain numbing. Throw in the late winter cabin fever and it's definitely time for some distraction. My first go-to when I need to take my mind on vacation is a road trip. Hours in a car with my hubs at the wheel, the sound of the tires vibrating on the pavement, heard just below the strains of my favorite tunes is about as relaxing as it gets for me.
My brother is a computer programmer by trade. He took to it more than 30 years ago like a nerd to comic book collecting. Writing long strings of binary code is effortless to him; his brain just works that way. Because he was born with this computer-like brain, he tends to think it's no big deal. Or put another way, he gets frustrated by we mere mortals who find ways of bogging down and crashing our operating systems without even trying.