Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Song of Minnehaha

News item: Duluth council decides to sell Minnehaha Tiffany window.

By the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
By the shining big-sea waters,
Stands the city on a hillside,
Struggling under crushing debt.
At the place they called the Depot,
In glass cases for protection,
Reined the maiden Minnehaha,
Rendered life-like as a window,
Stained glass window of the maiden,
Known to all as Minnehaha,

But she was no laughing matter,
Not to those who knew her value.
"It could be two million dollars,"
Said the experts from big cities.
Caught the gaze of city leaders,
Brightened eyes of city fathers,
Seeking ways to reconcile debt.
"Sell the maiden Minnehaha,
Pay the pipers at our doorstep,
Save the city from the poorhouse,
Balance out our empty checkbook."

"Keep our little Minnehaha,"
Cried the artists and their brethren,
Artists having good credentials,
Knowing what is good from awful.
"Never mind the artists' input,"
Say the City Council members,
"Sell the maiden Minnehaha
For big bucks to save our city."

Cry the children of the future,
Never see historic window,
Lose our heritage and history,
Leave us nothing but blank walls,
Walls bereft of stained-glass window,
Of the maiden Minnehaha.

Jim Heffernan

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cooler Near the Lake…

Well, I'm making progress... 
The book, a collection of my favorite Duluth News Tribune and Duluth Herald columns, is coming together. If all goes well, this book will be out in November in time for the Holidays. A local publishing house, X-Communication, will publish the book, Cooler Near the Lake.
The column, Cooler Near the Lake, originally ran on June 3, 1979. It's been re-printed and copies sent across the nation to friends and relatives originally from our area, according to readers of the column who continue to ask me for copies. Of course, all of us living near Lake Superior tune in to the weather forecasters' "cooler near the lake" disclaimer when they give our local forecast. It seemed appropriate for the book title as most of my writing centers on slices of life here in the Northland.
    I am going through years of columns to pare down those columns to be used in the book.  If you have a favorite column, you can post here or e-mail me to cast your vote.  It's a daunting job and your help would be appreciated!
   In the meantime, keep a lookout for my new column to appear monthly in the classy new Duluth Superior Magazine (www.duluthsuperiormagazine.com).  My first DSM column will appear in the September edition.  
Stay tuned....