BY JANET GILLESPIE
My mother would have been embarrassed by this attention, but I know she would have also been very honored…it feels like just yesterday that I was reflecting on my dad’s life…now, all too soon, I celebrate my mom’s life.
It was no accident or stroke of good luck when God moved the Adam family across the street from my parents in 2005. They began helping and supporting my parents and me from day one. They visited, mowed lawns, shoveled walks, brought meals and adopted my parents (and me) into their family. As my parent’s needs grew, so did the helpfulness and support from Thor, Mary and their children. I don’t really have words to tell you, Thor and Mary, how your coming along side me in the last 3 1/2 weeks of mom’s life lifted me up. I knew all I had to do was call and you would come, which you did 3 times in one day on the last day of her life.
Mary, your help, advice and guidance with medications, your translations of “doctorese,” a language I don’t speak, sitting for hours with me in the ER, making sure I ate, are all things I will never adequately be able to thank you for, but do know I will never forget your kindness to mom and me. Thor, thanks for all your phone calls checking on us and thank you for all of the furniture moving you’ve done in the last 3 1/2 years.
I was incredibly blessed by the gift of being entrusted to and adopted by Helen and Carl Peterson. Read the rest of this entry »
Helen Lois (Esdaile) Peterson February 13, 1919 – June 18, 2016 Remembering Helen’s smile and Carl’s stories with details by Helen
BY THOR ADAM
As I thought about what to say about her, I kept picturing her smile. It captures who she was. She was compassionate, she had a sweet personality, she cared and loved you just as you were. During the time my family had the privilege to know her we heard many stories of her life. A reoccurring theme was how many neighbors she had taken care of when they needed help. You can’t mention Helen without Carl or Carl without Helen. Carl was good at telling stories and Helen was good at keeping the details straight. Helen was the rock and consistency that allowed Carl to be the man he was. When Helen passed away we lost a segment of history. That “book” is closed and cannot be opened again. We will miss our friend.
BY SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence” Read the rest of this entry »
Two Rivers Gallery and All My Relations Arts have a joint exhibition, Reframe Minnesota: Art Beyond A Single Story that is an artistic/community generated response and recommendation concerning the future of art at the Minnesota State Capitol directed at the art committee, political leaders of Minnesota, and the general public. For further understanding, read Sheila Dickinson’s article: Battle rages over racist paintings in the Minnesota State Capitol, in City Pages.
Artistic responses from K – 12 grade students will be on display at Two Rivers Gallery throughout the exhibition through a partnership with Scott Russell and Healing Minnesota Stories.
Healing Minnesota Stories (HMS), an initiative of the Saint Paul Interfaith Network, is dedicated to creating dialog, understanding, and healing between Native and non-Native peoples that raises awareness of the art in the Minnesota State Capitol and the offensive images of Manifest Destiny.
HMS volunteer and art teacher Rachel Latuff taught students about the art in the Capitol and challenged them to make alternative Capitol art that better represented their community, their hopes for Minnesota, and/or the state’s recent history.
Art from each of these participating schools are on display.
BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL
I’ve been teaching a writing class with the youth from our Young Leaders Program at St. Paul’s this summer. Last Wednesday we wrote letters to Philando Castile and his family, and to the slain Dallas policemen and their families. Really powerful writing by African-American and Latino/a youth. A lot will be in the next issue of The Phoenix of Phillips literary magazine. Here is one of my offerings, an epistolary poem to the 4-year old girl who saw her mother’s boyfriend killed by the police.
Dear Dae Dae,
BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL
Dear Dae Dae,
Not every sound
will scare you forever.
Not every voice
will be a weapon
so loud it will
shatter the ear drums
of your heart.
There will be birds
singing for their friends
from that special tree
in the playground you love,
the ice cream truck
will saunter down your street
on summer evenings,
and you will hear
your own voice saying,
“Mommy, can I have one,
Mommy, please, I’ll
be good, I’ll stay out
of trouble, I promise,”
and there will be nights
when almost all the sound
has gone out of the world,
and all you will hear
will be the crickets
chirping in the yard,
and you will wrap
yourself in your mother’s arms,
and hear the sweet sound
of both of you,
[Facebook Post by Patrick Cabello Hansel on July 19, 2016]
The count of Union and Confederate Civil War Veterans remains challenging Part II: Two, New Confederate Veterans
General Index Cards of Isaac Breathed and Derusha Daffi
During the American Civil War 1861-1864, every few weeks to every few months depending on the unit, usually at the company level, soldiers’ names were recorded on muster rolls. Beginning in the 1880s General Ainsworth’s staff in the Department of the Army indexed these records originally to determine who was eligible for a pension. His staff wrote a card for every time a soldier’s name appeared on a muster roll. When Ainsworth’s staff finished the Compiled Military Service records, each soldier’s file usually had many cards representing each time the soldier’s name appeared on a muster roll.
One type of card, the General Index Card listed the soldier’s name, the soldier’s rank at the time of enlistment from the first card and the date the soldier left the service with the soldier’s final rank from the last card. These General Index cards form the basis for the Soldier names in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System.
When Ainsworth’s staff completed the project, there were 6.3 million General Index Cards for the soldiers – both Union and Confederate – who had served during the American Civil War. Historians have determined that approximately 3.5 million soldiers actually fought in the War. A soldier serving in more than one regiment, serving under two names, or spelling variations resulted in the fact that there are 6.3 million General Index Cards for 3.5 million soldiers. Data from all 6.3 million cards is in the CWSS.
This is one of the first sources used when we are trying to identify our veterans at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery.
By TIMOTHY McCALL, Guest Writer
There are two confirmed Confederate Civil War veterans buried at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. One, Isaac Breathed, having only recently been identified. What were these veterans doing so far from home? Read on…
Isaac Breathed; Virginia 1846-1901
Isaac Breathed was born in Virginia in 1846. His father, Judge John Breathed, was a wealthy Virginia farmer and slaveholder. The 1860 Census lists Judge Breathed’s family living in Washington County, Maryland, with a net worth of over $41,000 and that they owned 8 slaves. At the outset of the Civil War, Isaac’s older brother James, joined the Virginia Horse Artillery and quickly rose through the ranks. Robert E. Lee is reported to have said that James was “The hardest artillery fighter the war produced.” Isaac must have felt the burden of being compared to his older brother and the expectation for similar success on the battle field, when he enlisted on November 20, 1863 in Company A, 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby’s rangers. The term of his enlistment was for a period of three years or until the end of the war. Isaac’s service, however, was to be shorter than he could possibly have imagined, as he was captured and became a prisoner of war on December 20, 1863, one month after he had enlisted. On June 10, 1865, Isaac swore an oath of allegiance to the United States at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts and was released. He was described as having a dark complexion, brown hair, blue eyes and was 5’ 8” tall. Nothing else could be found of Isaac’s whereabouts until September 27, 1879, the day he married Ms. Sydney Curry in Big Rapids, Michigan. Sydney gave birth to their only son (James) in January 1880. It can be said with near certainty that it wasn’t for love that they married, considering that in 1880, Sydney and James were living in Illinois, where she was working as a servant for the Charles Mayer family, while Isaac was living in Big Rapids, Michigan, working as a hotel clerk. In 1884, Isaac resumed his military career by enlisting in Co. B, 7th U.S. Infantry and was stationed at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. He reenlisted and was transferred to Co. A, 17th U.S. Infantry and was stationed in Russel, Wyoming and also spent some time in San Francisco. He was discharged in 1894 with the rank of Corporal. Why or how he ended up in Minneapolis is hard to say. He had visited one of his brothers in Chicago shortly before his discharge and so, perhaps he was looking for work. Isaac Breathed died while being transported to the City Hospital on September 18, 1901. The cause of death was heart disease. He was 55 years old. Isaac is buried in Lot 21, Block i-2.
Derusha Daffi; Alabama 1827-1868
Derusha Daffin, our first confirmed Confederate Veteran, was well known in Clarke County, Alabama, where he was born in 1827. His family had been living there before Alabama became a state in 1819. He worked as a printer for the Southern Recorder newspaper in his late teens and in 1849, he and his partner J.T. Figures, purchased the paper renaming it the Grove Hill Herald. In 1851, he married his first wife Rebecca Woodard with whom he had two sons; Henry and William. That same year, he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court of Clarke County, Alabama, a position he held for 17 years. He was also a prolific writer and poet. During the Fall of 1853, the town of Grove Hill was visited by “that scourge of the tropics” yellow fever. Many people died and all business ceased to operate within the town. It was during this time that he wrote the following poem:
Now the night arose in silence, Read the rest of this entry »