NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday October 20th 2021

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Have You Heard the One About…

Have You Heard the  One About…

By Patrick Cabello Hansel A lawyer, a pastor and a saxophone player walked into…a cemetery? What’s the punchline? You’ll have to come to “QUITTING TIME at a Place of Endless Time,” on Saturday, September 18th at 4 pm at the historic Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery at East Lake Street and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Patrick Cabello Hansel’s 2nd book of poetry, “Quitting Time,” is an extended elegy to his father, Walter Hansel. It engages his history from his birth into a German-speaking home in rural North Dakota, through the Great Depression, World War II, and becoming a barber and raising a family in Austin, MN. Patrick retired in 2020 after serving with his wife Luisa for 15 years at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Phillips. He is the author of the poetry collection “The Devouring Land,” and his work has been published in over 70 journals. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he has received awards from the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota State Arts Board. At the event, Patrick will read with prize-winning poets Tim Nolan and Richard Terrill. There will be live music with Larry McDonough on keyboards and Richard Terrill on sax. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the program, and there will be an optional tour of the historic cemetery. Tim Nolan is a lawyer and the author of The Field (New Rivers Press, 2016), And Then (New Rivers Press, 2012) and The Sound of It (New Rivers Press, 2008). Richard Terrill is a sax player and the author of poetry collections What Falls Away is Always, Almost Dark and Leaning Into Rachmaninoff. You can enter the cemetery on the Cedar Avenue side. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket. We will try to keep you updated on COVID restrictions, but be prepared with a mask just in case. And if you’re not vaccinated, please do so!

In The Heart of the Beast Theatre Update

In The Heart of the Beast Theatre Update

BOARD UPDATE AUGUST 12 2021In 2021, HOBT has been working to restart our organization and adapt to the impacts of COVID-19. We considered every path forward that would put us in the best possible position to live out our mission and carry the important work of the MayDay Council into the future.In conversation and with the input of HOBT staff and the MayDay Council, the HOBT Board of Directors has voted to sell the Avalon Theatre, our home since 1988.It’s time to find a new, smaller home that will allow us to live into our vision of a decentralized MayDay. That includes moving into a new space that is more sustainable and accessible.HOBT is also in the process of moving out of our puppet storage warehouse, which was rented to store the thousands of puppets in HOBT’s collection.The puppets will return to the artists that created them, museums who can house them (both locally and nationally), and HOBT will be maintaining a smaller collection to carry our work into the future.We have come to these decisions out of a fierce commitment to the power of puppet and mask performance to create new ways forward together with our beloved community.We give abundant gratitude for all the brilliant work done over the past 48 years: the many artists, staff, board members, and volunteers who have given their whole hearts to the work of HOBT. Thank you!As we sell the building and move out of puppet storage, we are turning the page on this chapter of our organization.With hope, we are embarking on a new journey: finding a new space, creating new decentralized MayDay experiences, and choosing a new name for our puppet and mask theater.For more information and to read our full announcement, go here: https://hobt.org/the-avalon/ The Avalon Theatre at 1500 E Lake Street has been home to In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre since 1988.

Images from Line 3, Summer 2021

Images from Line 3, Summer 2021

By K. Flo Razowsky @FloWalksFree Photo story as it appears in the September issue of the alley 7/19/2021On the way to Line 3, to assert treaty rights and oppose the destruction caused by Canadian-owned private corporation Enbridge, as it clear-cuts the forests and drills under the rivers, to build the pipeline that will carry oil for overseas sales. Already many of the drilling sites along the rivers have caused frac-outs - polluting the water with chemicals 7/19/2021The six women chained during this action were arrested along with myself, on site as media. #ShellRiverSeven Women Horse Nation Riders going to support the Water Walkers. Coming from Pine River Crossing to Itasca, headwaters of the Mississippi, and drilling site of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. #RedRoadToDC at the sacred Shell River. Nations gathering from all directions for the water with #HorseNations to #StopLine3 It’s not about taking away access to livelihood, it’s about figuring out how to meet our needs without devastating the planet, and finally respecting the rights and sacred spaces of the original caretakers of these places. Firelight, a resistance camp at the headwaters of the Mississippi, where Enbridge drilling has caused multiple frac-outs: “...when drilling fluid penetrates fractured bedrock, or seeps or flows into the rock and sand that surrounds the bedrock and travels toward the Earth's surface. A frac-out frequently occurs as the result of excessive down-hole pressure caused by a poor choice of drilling fluids or poor drilling practices.” https://www.trenchlesspedia.com/definition/2186/frac-out

The Other Pandemic, Violence Against Women

The Other Pandemic, Violence Against Women

By Marco Dávila C. HER NAME IS YADHIRA ROMERO MARTĺNEZ Let’s imagine how great would be the indignation in the mainstream media if the murdered young woman, instead of being a Mexican with US Citizenship, had been the daughter of the governor, the president, or some millionaire or celebrity? She never returned home. Yadhira Romero Martínez lived in Morelos, Mexico with her parents. Recently she traveled to Minnesota, her place of birth. She was 19 years old. She was found dead in a house in Powderhorn Neighborhood (E Lake Street and 18th Avenue South).It is a systemic problem. Of course, a murderer is a murderer and should pay for their crime. But it is also imperative to turn and see the circumstances and causes, and ask ourselves how we can prevent these horrible murders, instead of holding to the conservative idea that simply putting people in prison solves all problems.Femicide is a pandemic that ends women’s lives. “In 2011 alone, according to The Guardian, it happened to 1,600 women and girls from Alaska to New York, of all races, ages, and income levels. They were murdered in their beds and in their cars, at work and at yoga classes, with parents, husbands, ex-boyfriends, cousins, children, neighbors, and strangers.”The community in South Minneapolis has taken it personally. For the big media companies, it may not be a very important story, but for neighbors in South Minneapolis, this case is as important as it is outrageous. As soon as the news broke, the community came together and mobilized itself. The fact that hundreds of people have come to the vigils and marches demonstrates that indeed, people do want to do something to stop these things from happening. “¡Ni una más!” (not one more) is a demand that resounds during the protests.This cannot become normal for us. We cannot allow Yadhira Romero Martínez to become just another statistic. Let’s take the terrible case of Yadhira as [...]

Remembering Laura Waterman Wittstock:

Remembering Laura Waterman Wittstock:

Sept. 11, 1937 – January 16, 2021 Woman of Wisdom Via Words and Voice: The Cosmos has Grown by One More Star  By HARVEY WINJE “The birthright of every Indian born is that her or his ancestors paid a price beyond imagining that their descendants would live as Indians.” LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK   Laura’s compassionate eyes closed, her judicious intellect chronicled, her indigenous wisdom relayed, her corrections of errant history revealed, her gracious smile remembered, and her dedication to family of five children, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and three honorary children fulfilled; Laura Waterman Wittstock’s indelible impact lives on after passing to the Spirit world January 16th 2021. Laura was an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Heron Clan, and was born at the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in New York; moved to Honolulu in 1945, to San Francisco in 1954, to Washington, D.C. in 1971, and to the Twin Cities in 1973 where she contined to: • Nurture her family, • Speak and write truth to power, • Build trusting relationships between people, cultures, and organizations, • Give unpretentious counsel to hundreds of people, organizations personally and on many boards of directors.  For many of us words don’t come as easily as they did to Laura when expressing the deepest of thoughts from heart, head, and soul. Thank you, Laura. Rest in peace after walking with us and “taking only memories and leaving only footprints;” footprints that touched Mother Earth lightly but are a large challenge to follow and to fill.  “There is never enough room to get in all that should be said about a historical figure, but not just a litany of events in which she/he was present, but something of the woman/man her/ himself,” as Laura herself wrote about another Indigenous elder. Laura also [...]

“Laura Waterman Wittstock, Still the Superb Journalist: First Person Radio Signs Off the Air”

“Laura Waterman Wittstock, Still the Superb Journalist: First Person Radio Signs Off the Air”

Laura Waterman Wittstock BY ELAINE SALINAS, THE ALLEY, MARCH 2018  Excerpt from a longer history of First Person Radio and the beginning of Migizi Communications.  “The final segment of First Person Radio (FPR) aired on KFAI Radio in Minneapolis on February 14th, 2018, forty years after it originated as The Native American Program on KUOM-AM, the University of Minnesota’s radio station. First Person Radio can best be described as a labor of love coupled with a commitment to produce timely and accurate news and information about the American Indian community to counter the many misrepresentations and inaccuracies perpetuated about Native people in the major media.  “When First Person Radio was forced to sunset in 1992 due to rising production and distribution costs and declining support for public radio across the country, its legacy continued. Laura Waterman Wittstock, founder of MIGIZI Communications, took advantage of the large reservoir of knowledge and experience gained through First Person Radio to place the tools of communications in the hands of the younger Indian youth. MIGIZI’s Achievement Through Communications, and Native Academy programs became the first community-based programs in the city to give access to state-of-the-art technology to American Indian youth, thus closing the digital divide for hundreds of youth who lacked access to computers in their homes and other community settings. Today, this legacy continues through MIGIZI’s youth-run social media enterprise that provides an opportunity for Indian young people to tell their stories and serve the community through training in video production, marketing, and enterprise management.  “Laura Waterman Wittstock served as President of MIGIZI from 1986 to 2004 when she retired from the organization. Her life-long passion for Indian journalism motivated her to resurrect First Person Radio in 2010 as a one-hour Indian current [...]

Wizard Marks, assiduous artisan of articulation, bestowed a treasure trove of written wisdom

Wizard Marks, assiduous artisan of articulation, bestowed a treasure trove of written wisdom

Wizard Marks’ Alley writings are “Bound for the Future” at Libraries.Wizards Marks left indelible marks (pun intended) with superb articles and extensive investigative reports for The Alley from mid 1980s to 1990s. Her excellent work is now bound within reprinted Alley Newspapers in hard-cover volumes at the Hennepin County Franklin Community Library and the Hennepin County Minneapolis Library. Wizard Marks 1943-2018 Wizard Maureen Marks was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1943 to Elizabeth Ruth Marks Halpin and Vincent Paul Halpin, and raised in a WWII federal housing project called “English Woods.” “It was a ghetto away from other neighborhoods, a ghetto in the woods,” Marks said and “because it was segregated, it was inhabited by hillbillies.”—her people. Cincinnati is the first major stop north of the Mason-Dixon Line along the Dixie Highway, the main migration route for hillbillies. In those days, federal projects did not allow tenants to paint the walls and no one was to plant flowers or vegetables. These strictures were more effective than anything else in cutting people off from their pasts, since they had always dug and planted, harvested and canned and dried. It made them lonely and disoriented and made the transition to the city harder and meaner. Women embroidered putting their gardens on pillowcases and towels, hankies and tablecloths, blouses and baby bonnets. Treasures were small and portable, skills and feelings and memories were all of a piece and stitched into the fabric of life through these formalities and through genealogies and stories told while sewing and cooking. “My mother, known as Esse, did beautiful embroidery. However, the women in the family early observed of me that ‘she handles a needle like it was a hammer.’ I was four when I decided to write.” At English Woods, Marks was taught to read and write by the “good Sisters of St. Francis.” [...]

Get Dick Bancroft!

Get Dick Bancroft!

Dick Bancroft, Storyteller, July 21, 1927 – July 16, 2018 COURTESY OF BANCROFT FAMILY BY LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK Dick was born in St Paul, MN on July 21, 1927 to parents who were both industrious and creative, and they wanted their son Dick to be the same. He shoveled walks and did many other chores for nickels, following his father’s admonition of saving half of what he earned. Along the way he learned to care for farm animals and milk cows. But these were chores. Dick had ideas and wanted to express them in images. As a child, Dick earned a small plastic Kodak camera. He began to take his own pictures. They were no more than two inches square, but they were so cherished, that he had them in his collection at life’s end. There were pictures of the family, the dog, and the car. But Dick wanted more than that. Above all, he wanted a real camera. At that time his family subscribed to the magazine “LIFE,” with its brilliant pictures of famous people and the news. Dick spent hours each time the magazine was delivered. The magazine was his doorway to the beauty and atrocities then going on in the world. After WWII, Dick and Debbie married. She had given him a 35mm camera, his first real camera. (more…)

Our DAD, Virgil Welna

Our DAD, Virgil Welna

By VIRGINIA M. MAGNER   He unlocks the door and cranks down the awning. Then turns on the lights. A new day is dawning. It’s eight o’clock sharp; all merchandise in its’ place. For the next 10 hours he’ll keep a steady pace. Serving the needs of the young and the old. And listening with his heart, I have been told. Down creaky stairs, he heads for the basement. To a child’s eyes, it is a place of amazement. Wood beams on the ceiling and limestone for walls. And whiffs of machine oil I do recall. (more…)

Virgil Welna 1929-2018 Vast legacy by quintessential storekeeper and community elder

Virgil Welna 1929-2018 Vast legacy by quintessential storekeeper and community elder

Virgil Welna has heard the last bell signaling another person to meet and serve By JENN WELNA Born on March 24th, 1929 in Holdingford, MN to Alphonse (Al) and Anna, Virgil (Virg) Welna was one of six children. When he was in 8th grade, his family moved from their large house in the small town to a two-bedroom apartment in the Phillips neighborhood to ensure that each of their children could find a job and go to college. Upon his arrival in Minneapolis, Virg worked two jobs to pay his tuition to DeLaSalle High School: in the fruit department at the local grocer and at Dalsin Hardware where his father was the manager. (more…)

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