Friday, February 26, 2010

READ THIS ! It's good for you

Having attended some of the elucidating programs sponsored by Kitchigami Regional Library made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Fund to preserve arts and cultural heritage, I was utterly stunned to discover that no one in the group who attended had read about the program in the paper. This can mean only one of two things. Either no one is reading this column, in which case what’s the point, or no one who reads the column is taking advantage of this incredible opportunity to visit with writers and other talents from here in Minnesota . Do you honestly think all other states and communities offer this kind of privilege? Not so much.

The next program being offered is a meeting and presentation by Bemidji author Kent Nerburn, author of twelve books on spirituality and Native themes, especially Native Americans of the northern plains tribes. This program will be presented in Pine River at The Warehouse Saturday, February 27th at 3:00 PM. This author is extremely popular and well known. Having glimpsed his ratings on, I found nearly all were five stars. Don’t miss this program. I don’t think you’ll be sorry. Besides, it’s winter. Go forth and learn stuff. Cabin fever is bad for you.

As an aside, I will be giving out Valentines for the whole month to those from whom I receive these cherished offerings of affection. My Valentine box is sitting on the front desk for all to see. Also, there will be some remodeling taking place in my home at the Pine River Public Library. Once again The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be granting our library some new computers – three to be exact – for public use. They will arrive in March. A grant is not the same as a gift. Well, it is in a way. It is like the Valentines.

I’ll give you one and you give me one. The only difference, other than the obvious, is that all benefits stay in our library. I give you one, you give you one. We must give ourselves the same amount that the foundation is giving us. We are still seeking donations to match the foundation’s offering. Give generously. We are the ones who benefit.

Browser, the library cat

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Taste of History comes to Pine River

Welcome, mes amis!

Today we are excited to announce that a Minnesota History Player program is being presented here in our beautiful Pine River. This program is being brought to Kitchigami Regional Library residents through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant funds. What a marvelous thing!

A fur trader from the beginning of the nineteenth century will be visiting with us. No, he is not speaking from the grave, nor is he really old. This will be a presentation of the life and times of George Nelson enacted by a history player using props, artifacts and costumes. It will be as if you are visiting with George, himself. How amazing is that?

“On May 3 in the town of Lachine near Montreal, Canada, George climbed into a 36-foot, 600-pound canoe loaded with trade goods, food, and other supplies. He watched a dozen men called voyageurs take their places in the big Montreal canoes—five paddlers on each side, a steersman standing in the stern, another man at the bow to guide the canoe. George's fellow passengers most likely included a Scottish clerk and fur-company agents from London or Montreal.

"George's canoe and five others pushed off for Lake Superior. Ashore, people waved and called out goodbyes. Then the travelers heard only the splash and spray of the paddles and the silent forests along the Ottawa River.

"Meanwhile, in the wilderness to the west, fur traders at trading posts bundled the pelts they had acquired during the winter and loaded them into birch-bark canoes. Then the traders and their voyageurs pushed their 25-foot, 300-pound canoes into ice-cold streams and set out for Lake Superior. Ojibwe Indians also traveled to the big lake, which they called Gichi Gami, where they traded furs and canoes for goods. All the travelers were bound for the same meeting place—Grand Portage—for a summer rendezvous.” Thus begins George’s amazing adventure. George was fifteen at the time.

Come to The Life Center on Barclay Avenue, Pine River, Monday February
8th at 6:00PM and meet George and ask him about his amazing adventures.

This program could be great fun for some of my younger friends.

This is a very busy month for our library sponsored programs. It is a wonderful time of year to have something really interesting to do! Here is yet another treat for you:

Pequot Lakes author Candace Simar will visit Pine River at the Warehouse on Saturday, February 13th at 3pm. Candace admits that Minnesota history is one of her passions. A life-long Minnesotan and grandchild of Scandinavian immigrants, she daydreamed growing up about life in the earliest days of Minnesota, and wondered how historic events impacted the lives of ordinary people. While researching family history, she learned about the 1862 Sioux Uprising, and that her great-grand father drove the stagecoach from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie in the years after the Uprising. She became entranced with the idea of what he might have experienced had he arrived in Minnesota one year earlier. Her book, Abercrombie Trail, is the story of Evan Jacobson, ­the story that might have been her grandfather’s.

Abercrombie Trail, published by North Star Press in June 2009, is the first novel in a series of three. Candace enjoyed searching museums, poring through newspapers, letters and records, and then weaving family history around what she found. It took her 8 years to research and write her three novels. Candace says that seeing her book in print is like “a dream come true,” and also a lesson in perseverance. Candace is currently working on a collection of poetry with her sister, Angela Foster.

Candace Simar’s author visits are part of the Kitchigami Reads/Kitchigami Writes project, made possible with funding from the State of Minnesota Legacy Fund to preserve arts and cultural heritage. Free Tickets available at the Pine River Public Library

Happy trails, my fine friends.
Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal 4 February 2010