NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday July 16th 2018

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Casper’s Ghost says, “‘People were dying to get into the cemetery.’ But were they really dead?”

The Original Gated Cedar Avenue Entrance to Pioneers and Soldiers Cemtery The wooden gates that was replaced by the current limestone pillars and steel gates. Photo is undated but had to have been taken in the early 1900s since the “new” gate was erected in 1928. Notice the streetcar tracks.

by Sue Hunter Weir

Casper Link was terrified of being buried alive, and he was not the only one. There is a word for this fear—taphophobia—meaning the fear of graves. Mr. Link died on Sunday, July 21, 1872, but not before his wife and friends promised that they would not bury him until three days after he had been declared dead. Mrs. Link arranged for a funeral service, though not a burial, to take place on the day after her husband died. During the service, Mr. Link’s worst fears appeared to have been realized when one of the people in attendance noticed what he thought was perspiration on Mr. Link’s forehead. The funeral service was brought to an abrupt halt and a doctor was summoned. The doctor examined Mr. Link one last time and concluded, yet again, that he was dead. The funeral service continued as planned, and Mr. Link’s body was taken to the cemetery where it was stored in the vault until the promised three days had passed. Throughout, his wife held out hope that her husband was not dead but was merely “sleeping.” But that was not the case, and after the specified time elapsed, Mr. Link was buried in Lot 33, Block P.

Mr. Link’s fears were not uncommon. There may well have been a small number of people who were buried before their time, but the exact number of cases will never be known. Stories about “premature burials” appeared in the papers from time to time, often enough to keep a fair number of people alarmed about the possibility. The stories were memorable, including accounts from witnesses who said that they heard knocking sounds or voices coming from inside of coffins. This led some of those who could afford it to buy “security coffins” which had glass windows on the lids. There were stories, mostly from Europe, of people whose coffins had holes drilled in the lids so that strings that were attached to their fingers could ring an above-ground bell that would alert the sexton that a quick exhumation was in order. Other coffins were reported to have air pipes that extended from the coffin to the grave’s surface so that those who were buried too soon would be able to breathe until they were rescued.

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Searching – A Serial Novelle Chapter 17: Family History [“Paper” proof of birth]

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

As the party wound down, Angel danced one more dance with Luz. As the song melted away and they began to release their embrace, he noticed who was left in the room: Mr. Bussey, talking with Mother Light and Ana; Luz’ grandmother Dolores, and Angel’s father, Augusto. It was nearly 11, and though tomorrow meant heavy work, Angel could tell no one felt like ending this party.

There was still an hour left in December 12, one hour to celebrate la Virgen de Guadalupe. He called to Mr. Bussey: “Hey, where can we go to keep celebrating Guadalupe on such a beautiful cold night?”

Mr. Bussey scratched his head and said, “The only place I know that’s open is Denny’s.”

“Denny’s!” Angel shouted. “Do you think they celebrate Guadalupe there?”

Luz laughed. “I think it’s the perfect place for Guadalupe Night!”

So they put on their jackets and walked outside. There were seven in all, but Mr. Bussey’s Honda could only fit five.

“C’mon, son”, Augusto said. “We can walk there.”

Angel looked at Luz, who nodded in her knowing way.

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Food Obsession: Salad Days

by Jane Thomson

The dictionary says that “salad days” refers to “A time of youth, innocence and inexperience.” So much for that. The term could also mean the times of year when we like to eat all kinds of salads. Here are three recipes:

Sweet Potato Salad

  • 4 pre-cooked, refrigerated, medium sweet potatoes (about 6 to 8 oz each)
  • About 2/3 cup of sliced green onions
  • ¾ cup of diced celery
  • ¼ cup of olive oil (I used less when I made the salad just for myself)
  • Juice of ½ lemon Juice of 1/2 orange 1 Tbsp.of soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. seasoning salt (I used Spike and a little salt) ¼ tsp. black pepper (I tend to use a little extra seasoning.)

Peel the sweet potatoes (the peels are good eating) and cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces. Thinly slice the green onions, including some of the tender green tops. Dice the celery. Add both to potatoes. In smaller container, mix the juices, oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, seasoning salt and pepper. Whisk together well and pour over the cut-up vegetables. Serve at once or refrigerate. Serves 8 people.

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“Tell Me a Story”…in Joyce Krook’s words

Joyce Krook as she tells her story on youtube.com/VisitLakeStreet. Joyce grew up near Lake Street, took first job as a secretary in a medical ward at Northwestern Hospital at her mother’s suggestion, “you don’t have to stay there all of your life, just to get some experience,” well, stay she did—retiring after 48 years mostly being “the face” of Abbott-Northwestern Hospitals and Allina to the entire southside of Minneapolis working from her leadership position in community affairs. Her last office was in the new Allina’s Commons portion of the old Sears Roebuck building in which her mother worked in the dry goods department. She was one of the original Board of Directors of the Lake Street Council decades ago.

Lake Street Council is working hard this year to collect and promote the history of the Lake Street area. The first stage to this project is collecting oral histories of longtime residents. We started with Alley ally Joyce Krook. Here are some excerpts of Joyce recalling her childhood growing up in the Hennepin & Lake area.

Please visit youtube.com/VisitLakeStreet to watch the whole video interview with Joyce and others! And if you are a longtime resident who remembers well the Lake Street from decades past, and would like your story recorded, please get in touch with us!

Call 612-824-7420 or email coien@lakestreetcouncil.org.

Joyce Krook Reminisces about childhood near Lake Street
About the apartment Joyce & her family lived in near Lake Street

After we moved to 29th & Dupont, we lived there until 1955 so that was quite a few years. … It was a four-plex. I have no idea how old the building was. We lived upstairs. It was a one bedroom apartment and it was my mom and dad and four kids, and we were cramped. My sister and I slept on a rollaway, and in the summertime we could open up our front porch and double our bedroom space. My brothers then had the porch, so that was nice. Otherwise, it was a pretty small place: kitchen, bedroom, bath, dining room, and then the porch in the summertime. I remember that there was another fourplex right next door, and the people next door got the first TV of anybody in any of these buildings. We could sit in our living room window and look over and see their TV on. But then we were the next ones to get a TV. It was a Muntz TV, it was huge. The people in my building would come over to watch TV in the evening, and my dad had to get up really early to go to work so he’d say “I’m going to bed now, turn off the TV when you go home.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Ondine & Holy Rollers

Ondine (2009)

Ondine (2009)
***1/2
Wayforce Entertainment
111 minutes
Director: Neil Jordan

Syracuse (Colin Farrell) makes a living by fishing off the coast of his native Ireland free of a catastrophic BP oil spill, with untainted fish at the end of his line. One day Syracuse unexpectedly catches in his net, a woman likened to the Celtic myth of the selkie – a seal that can shed her skin and transform into a human.

Syracuse’s bright 10 year old daughter, Annie (played extremely well by Alison Barry) realizes her dad’s past tense story of the mythical mermaid Ondine, is real in the present tense.

Syracuse’s new guest seems bemused by her surroundings as well as insisting on being away from people. He hides her in his deceased grandma’s cottage in a cover. Almost reading her father’s mind, his physically challenged daughter Annie visits the cottage, and finds Ondine swimming in a pool.

Colin Farrell has shown on several occasions his versatility as an actor. Noteworthy is his subtley and nuance “In Bruges” a couple of years ago and again wonderfully exhibiting himself as Syracuse in “Ondine.”

Neil Jordan’s “Ondine” of what initially appears to be a selkie, illustrates similarities (and differences as well) to John Sayles “The Secret of Roan Inish” (1994). Yet all the while the cameras are clicking, the woman out of the sea likely has a secret. Syracuse divorced and recovering from alcoholism, likewise his ex-wife who hasn’t put down the bottle altogether, share custody of wheelchair-bound Annie. However the father-daughter combination capture nearly every camera shot.

Ondine is Syracuse’s secret other than his perceptive daughter, along with Ondine – mean more to him than a fisherman’s catch. Though Syracuse willingly consults his priest (Stephen Rea) regularly, Syracuse unwisely doesn’t take his priest’s spiritual advice on one critical issue.

Holy Rollers (2010)
***
89 Minutes
Director: Kevin Asch

The title “Holy Rollers” may easily throw you off – thinking the plot revolves around some Protestant evangelists but no the characters are Orthodox Jews living in Brooklyn, 1998. For starters, Jesse Eisenberg as Sam Gold, and Justin Bartha as Josef Zimmerman, are Hasidic Jews living in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

What’s different, Sam’s next door neighbor Josef is not being the clean-cut Jewish man rooted in the synagogue but rather a trafficking middle-man for the drug Ecstasy, from Amsterdam to New York.

“Holy Rollers”, like Joshua Marston’s “Maria Full of Grace” (2004) captures the subject of drug smuggling, the former with less intensity and not with the usual suspects in crime. Sam’s dilemma is choosing between aspiring to be a rabbi, his father’s wish, or working for Josef between Amsterdam and New York, by cashing in big time in smuggling and selling Ecstasy. Jesse Eisenberg brings some complexity to his character, a genuine innocence of a boy next door.

Around the same age as Sam, Rachel (Ari Graynor) gives him Ecstasy and asks him to run away with her. Sam’s structured way of life is severely tested and upstaged by the hedonistic secular world. Once rumors emerge in the neighborhood, Sam’s new job is unsavory. His father’s patience runs out and he is then rejected by his father.

Sam is definitely conflicted between his Orthodox Judaism (his father selects the bride) and the unsavory business of drug trafficking. Jesse Eisenberg is good, as the boy next door leaping into the underworld.

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Dave’s Dumpster August 2010

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The Great Extinction

by Peter Molenaar

July 17, 2010, a storm is brewing…

In the past 540 million years there have been five major events during which over 50% of animal species died. The most recent occurred 65 million years ago with the extinction of nearly all dinosaurs. What an incredible bonanza this was for the tiny ancestral shrew-like mamaliform whose gene pool was to explode and then radiate in every direction.

As for the birds, they descend from that line of dinosaurs which included T. Rex. Surprisingly, the more archaic of present day birds have existed unchanged in form for merely one million years. The cormorants residing at Powderhorn Lake appear more ancient than that.

From their island perch, our cormorants display horizontally spread wings bent vertically at the joint to declare: here I am. Their oil-drenched cousin, that iconic pelican, posed similarly before the camera.

Moreover, elements of the old hadrosaur culture have been revived by our Powderhorn geese. Some stand watch via graceful movements of head and neck, while others feed upon fresh grass or submit to tranquility. Why would a howling 20-something all-night raver ride his dirt bike directly through their midst?

And so…

Shrew ascended the trees and assumed a myriad of forms. Later, the trees parted and shrew came down to walk upright. This new form would become the creature referred to as Astralopithecus.

As it happened, one of these ancestors became frustrated while attempting to crack an elephant bone with a stone. Curiously, when smashed, this particular stone produced several splinters . When examined, these splinters cut the finger and drew blood.

Note: the value of a commodity is determined by the socially necessary labor time embodied in it.

As for homo sapien sapiens, the big U.S.A. banks paid out $145 billion in total 2009 executive compensation and spent millions lobbying against meaningful financial reform. A former Secretary of Labor put it this way: “Congress has labored mightily to produce a mountain of legislation that can be called financial reform, but it has produced a molehill relative to the wreckage Wall Street wreaked upon the nation”.

Which is to say, relative to the geologic and evolutionary time-scale, the world capitalist order should be extinct in about a minute.

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Open Letter to the Community Historic Community Protection Legislation is studied locally by North Mpls. and nationally by CA–Re-Elect Responsible Lawmakers

With regard to a post on Mpls.e-democracy forum suggesting we sweep all the incumbents from the legislature, I just received a note from a friend in north Mpls. telling me to hang on to Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Berglin. My friend’s neighborhood is facing exposure to becoming host to a hazardous waste site and is aware of what Rep. Clark, Sen. Berglin and many neighborhood folks have accomplished together to bring about a first-in-the-nation environmental justice zone protective of the Phillips’ population through a bill in the legislature. The legislation requires far stricter guidelines than currently exist to protect a large section of the urban core neighborhood of Phillips, based on poverty statistics, already existing area pollution, health challenges and intense diversity. Phillips and Clark/Berglin’s high profile protective bill are being watched from as far away as California for implications and responses. The bill is historic on the environmental justice scene.

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Alley’s Gallery of Loss-August

Sideyard of 2512-14 Chicago Avenue looking East that is now the approximate location of the Skyway Connecting the east building of Children’s Hospital to the new 800 car Parking ramp on the west side of Chicago Av.

Foreground: Wooden apple crate from the National Tea Grocery Store at corner of 25th St. and Chicago Av, Harvey Winje with family dog Tipper and his red J.C. Higgins bike from Sears Roebuck 5 blocks away. Back ground: A Chicago-Fremont route Twin City Rapid Transit streetcar passing by on Chicago Av. Behind the street car: the block of housing demolished in 1968 for the building of the first portion of Children’s Hospital in 1969 by Bor-Son Construction Company under a new concept called “Turn-Key” Project in which it was all financed, designed, and built by the contractor and then paid for at the end. A new structural concept called post-tension cable construction was used which had been used locally near Loring by Bor-Son Construction for the first time in the Midwest on two, tall apartment buildings. It was a structural concept that strengthened floors subsequent to hardening of concrete and eliminated heavy beams thus minimizing the total exterior height of each floor. It resulted in minimizing the use of many building materials that extended the height of the building; i.e. exterior finishes, interior vertically piping, and interior wiring. Thus, structurally and socially Children’s was built with post tension that remains today.

Photo Credit: Maybe Hilma or Paul Winje (Harvey’s Parents), Clarence, Hazel or Paul Winje Jr., Dick or June Johnson (Harvey’s sisters and Brothers), or best friend Bruce Koberstein from 912 East 25th Street. 1948 with “Box” camera

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Teams are “Planting the Seeds” to “Grow Health”

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Community Health Action Teams are “Planting the Seeds’ to Grow Health
Residents who live in the Backyard area (East Phillips, Ventura Village, Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Corcoran, and Central neighborhoods) have been meeting monthly in Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) to develop their strategies to improve the health of residents. The Backyard Initiative was initiated by Allina Hospitals and Clinics in the fall of 2008. What was once a project led by Allina is now a community-owned project in which Allina is a major partner.
At the July meeting, several CHATs presented an update of their work.

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