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Monday April 23rd 2018

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Building’s Foreclosure Threatens The Stevens Square Center for the Arts!

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

By Trish M. Brock

Two artists worked on unusually cold October days to create a mural on the outside of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts without realizing that the building had been foreclosed by the bank.

2009 has been the most successful year to date for the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. The beautiful gallery space, transformed 6 years earlier from an essentially derelict building by a group of dedicated artists, presented the artworks of emerging artists from the city and the country in nine exhibits. Included was the “Neighborhood Show”, a non-juried exhibit that showcased the talents of artists from the Stevens Square Neighborhood and ran in conjunction with the annual neighborhood “Red Hot Art” event in the Stevens Square Park. 2010 promises to be another stellar year. Nine more shows have been chosen from twenty-three proposals including an open call show to high school students.

Located at 1901 3rd Avenue South on “Arts Avenue”, SSCA provides Gallery exhibition opportunities and affordable studio space for emerging artists. With sixteen artists-in-residence, the studios are rented at 100+ percent capacity. Many or our residents are MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) graduate students. Some run their art businesses from their studios. One of our residents recently returned from the International Alternative Press Convention in San Francisco where he was awarded the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-comics — the only award of its kind in the world. The house is packed every year with Zinefest attendees. Another of our alumni was awarded three prestigious awards for her book illustrations. SSCA has one of the only remaining darkroom facilities in the city.

SSCA is a 501 C 3 non-profit educational community arts center run by volunteer members/artists. People come from many parts of the city to be a part of our community here, a gathering place for artists and community members. Each year these artists have the opportunity to exhibit their artworks in the “Annual Member Show” along with the availability of the Members Gallery where they can show works throughout the entire year. The public is invited to attend the free art openings and everyone is welcome to attend the Gallery to view the artworks for free as well.

Following notice of the building’s foreclosure, we are exploring all options to preserve the Gallery and studios so they can remain accessible to emerging artists well into the future.

Trish Brock is Minneapolis Arts Commissioner for the 6th Ward, and Secretary on the executive board of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. She is an exhibiting artist and has a studio at SSCA.

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First Year Anniversary Celebration January 30

by Janice Barbee

All residents of the four Phillips neighborhoods, Corcoran, Central, and Powderhorn Park are invited to a celebration of the first anniversary of the Backyard Initiative at the Cultural Wellness Center on Saturday, January 30, 2010. You will hear about the accomplishments of the past year, particularly about the assessment of the health of the people within these communities, as well as plans for 2010.

At the December dinner and dialogue meeting, we celebrated the commitment of residents throughout the past year. Participants gave feedback on whether they thought the meetings have been open, empowering, motivating, informational, and useful, and whether they felt that trust was building. The consensus was that the meetings were all of the above, and that trust was building. Several people reported that they had been to 20 – 30 meetings during 2009, including the large dinner and dialogue gatherings and/or the meetings of the Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs), the Assessment Team, and the Listening Circles Analysis Team.
Focus for December: Healthy Food

Molly Herrmann of Tastebud, a catering business at the Midtown Global Market, spoke to the group about the value of locally-produced food. Local foods are usually fresher, have more nutritional value, and are often less expensive because they have less distance to travel to get to your table. Many of the businesses in the Midtown Global Market sell locally-produced food. She said many small, local farms sell organic produce (no pesticides), but cannot label their foods as organic because of the lengthy and costly process for becoming certified.

A participant said that, because buying organic can be expensive, she has found out which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides: bananas, potatoes, strawberries, for instance. These are the ones she buys organic.

Herrmann is a member of Kitchen in the Market, a cooperative kitchen in the Midtown Global Market. About ten individual businesses share the kitchen. She will be offering a family cooking class starting in January, as well as cooking classes for youth. The classes will include how to shop for inexpensive ingredients.

The vendors at the Midtown Global Market are committed to bringing healthy foods to the community as well as green practices. Efforts are now underway to have all the utensils and paper plates served with food to be biodegradable, and vegetable scraps are being sent to Little Earth for their composting project.

The participants discussed where they get their cultural foods. Many said it has become easier to find cultural foods. Herrman encouraged everyone to request a food from a vendor if they do not see it. Many vendors will order it for you.

At the end of the meeting, a new CHAT was formed with nine members to look at nutrition and healthy food. It was agreed that healthy food and a robust local food system are essential for a healthy community. Participants talked about the importance of holding on to cultural foods and food traditions, and how their people’s health suffers when they switch to an American, fast-food diet.

After the meeting, the participants shared cultural foods that they had brought, including Hoppin’ John (with black-eyed peas), Ethiopian dishes, Native American fry bread, and pico de gallo.

Call the Cultural Wellness Center at 621-721-5745 for more information about the Backyard Initiative and the January 30th community celebration.

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Latino Reflections on Lake Street

Interview by Alexandra Renken, university of Minnesota Student of Joyce Wisdom, Executive Director of Lake Street Council

What broad transformations have you seen occur with Latino businesses on Lake Street (as a result of Lake Street resurfacing, city ordinances, etc.)?

Just to be clear, it was not a resurfacing road project, but a once-every-50-years project that included replacing water, gas and electrical lines beneath the street. The street was dug out to the bottom, removing old cobblestones and rail track that had been buried for decades. While Lake Street was always open one-lane in each direction, there was no parking and huge holes to traverse from one side of the road to the other.

Ethnic businesses of all kinds fared better than most others during our recent road construction because of their customer loyalty. That held true for Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian customers as well as Saigon Garage’s Southeast Asian customers, but perhaps not so strongly for the Mercado and other Lake Street Latino businesses.

Since road construction, business has improved despite the recession. Unfortunately, now the cost of doing business has risen and all businesses, but especially many of our Latino businesses, are finding it harder to increase their revenue to match the increased expenses.

Regarding City ordinances and fees, Lake Street Council has worked diligently with City staff and elected officials to change City ordinances that negatively impact our small business community and especially our Latino and other ethnic businesses.
One example is hours of operation. Several of our Latino eateries have applied for variances to serve their 24 hour clientele. Not everyone works a 9 to 5 job.

Another is our support of businesses like El Nuevo Rodeo and La Vina. Dance and social halls have been mainstays of every new immigrant’s experience, going back to Scandinavian, Greek, German and every other major immigration to Minneapolis. Why the City and some of its residents see the upscale downtown entertainment district as the only home for these kinds of businesses is beyond our comprehension. In fact, these dance and social halls can be anchors for revitalization of our commercial corridors and neighborhoods as they were during past waves of immigration.

Finally, we’ve also addressed problems with small grocer licensing. Groceries occupying less than 2000 sq. ft. were limited to selling only imported product. So our ethnic grocers couldn’t also provide staples like bread, butter, eggs and milk. Again, immigrants have always depended upon their ethnic grocers. I can remember my mother sending me to the German grocer. Not allowing these grocers to sell the staples, forced customers to shop twice and was driving their business to retailers like Cub Foods. This ordinance has been revised thanks to our diligence.

There was an ordinance introduced this year to eliminate sandwich board signs. We fought it and won. Sandwich boards are the best marketing tool for our Latino businesses on this commercial corridor.

What do you think are the contributions that Latino businesses on Lake Street have made to the city economically, socially and/or politically? And how do you think the city has contributed to Latino businesses on Lake Street? In what areas are the businesses lacking support from the city?

Latino business owners have made substantial investment in the Lake Street commercial corridor over the past 10 years. Investment, without which, you would not see the dramatic positive changes we’ve experienced: more business, more residents, more events, and less crime.

Our immigrant entrepreneurs have made Minneapolis the great City it is and the timing for our more recent Latino immigrants could not have come at a better time. They’ve brought critical commitment and investment to a City that needed both their financial investment and their enthusiasm for revitalization. Most of our elected officials are well aware of what the Latino investment in this City has meant in terms of businesses, organizations and projects that are helping to define the future for Minneapolis. One area of concern to our members is the loss of low overhead places to start a business. The success of public investment is gauged by increases in property values, but a city with no low overhead places for beginning entrepreneurs will suffocate itself. Just as a commercial corridor needs businesses of all sizes, so a city needs areas of higher and lower overhead to meet the needs of all its citizens and provide places from which to grow.

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Dave’s Dumpster January 2010

 Dave’s Dumpster January 2010

Dave’s Dumpster January 2010

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Surge To Nowhere

by Peter Molenaar

Anyone with a heart understands that President Obama is caught between a rock and a hard place on the question of Afghanistan—damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. As for the public’s opinion, it is mixed, uncertain, and fluid.

A significant poll released November 30 indicated that 47 percent of us favor some increase in troop levels, but this figure actually was down 5 points from the previous poll. So, the belief that homeland security is sustained by war abroad appears to be waning in the midst of local economic woes. “Too costly and destined to fail” is a commonly expressed view.

The question remains: Did the president’s December first speech muster the call for a ‘just war’? Truthfully, he invoked the security issue without reference to a moral imperative with regard to internationalist duty. The isolationist tendency remains strong. So, the answer is no.

Yet, on the moral front, our peace movement is also subject to questions. Foremost, what consequences for women and children would result should the Taliban reconsolidate their power? Furthermore, what would be the consequences with regard to regional stability and development?

Such questions might augment the president’s stance were he not marching behind the banner of NATO. There has been no pledge against the establishment of permanent military bases, no pledge against dispensations for certain corporations, no pledge against the imposition of “free trade” agreements, etc. Our obligation to oppose imperialism remains.

What then is the way out?

Answer: There is a regional alternative to the escalation in Afghanistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization took shape in the years of Taliban power (1996; 2001) for the purpose of undermining that power. The SCO includes Russia and China along with various Central Asian states that border Afghanistan. China alone sustains a military force of some 2.5 million individuals. So, the fact is this: The refusal to enlist the SCO member states as part of our anti-Taliban coalition puts the lie to the assertion that we are in Afghanistan primarily on the basis of national security.

Clearly the anti-Taliban coalition might be expanded 100-fold, not for the purpose of waging war, but for the purpose of initiating peace negotiations.

The Taliban are not borderless jihadists (they are not Al-Qaida). On the contrary, they are nationalists seeking territory on which to impose their regime. With Kandahar conceded as their capital in the south, they might readily be compelled to accept Kabul as capital of the north. In the long-view, Kabul would prevail in a peaceful competition.

Final thought: It remains appropriate to respect our president even as we profoundly disagree with his judgment regarding Afghanistan.

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East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Ground-Breaking 4 ½ Years after Linda’s Dream, Neighbors-described on ‘Butcher Paper’**

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Ground Breaking for the East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center

By Brad Pass and Carol Pass
On November 19th, 2009 a momentous event for the Phillips Neighborhood occurred. It was the ground breaking of the long awaited East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center. After years of relentless struggle primarily by the residents and organizations of East Phillips, with help from our adjoining neighborhood to the west, Midtown Phillips, and many others, the end is in sight. Within months we will be able to enjoy this beautiful new building. The East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center will include a big gym with bleachers, a community kitchen, a beautiful entry rotunda, an elder and family gathering space and rooms to provide programs and educational help for our multitude of residents. It will provide space to help them reach their potential, to improve their lives, celebrate their many cultures and just chill out and enjoy one another. Ball fields and landscaping will also be added.

Such a Center was a long held dream going back years, but always stalled out for a thousand reasons. However, when the neighborhood organization, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, EPIC, began to plan programs for our neglected and desperately needy youth, the board members were stymied and brought to a halt by lack of space. They realized they could not write the grants to bring help to anyone, because there was no place to put the programs that were needed. All the churches were full. All the other possible spaces were occupied. The needs of this very diverse population were overwhelming, and we were helpless to respond.

Then on July 14th, 2005, at the monthly EPIC neighborhood meeting, faced with a sense of sorrow at the inability to move ahead, East Phillips resident Linda Leonard spoke of a dream. She asked, “if we could have a Community Center in East Phillips Park, what problems would it solve and what could it do and be for the community?” She got out a large piece of butcher paper and started copying the neighbors’ responses to the dream. Some of those hopes were that we could offer supervised and safe athletic programs for our youth, home work help to enhance academic success, employment readiness, career counseling, second language classes, classes in healthy living for diabetics and others. The thought of the Center caused ideas to pour out. Then those at the meeting made a commitment to work together and not stop until we had built such a Center. We have a copy of that paper, signed by all the participants of that long ago meeting. It will be displayed in the Center. How many people at that meeting could imagine the community would be gathered in East Phillips Park 4 ½ years later for a Ground Breaking of that impossible dream? Here are the pictures – it seems like a miracle.

East Phillips Park is one of only two large Minneapolis parks, both in the poorest parts of town, which have had no Community Center or gym and so no programs. An indoor facility to serve the 7,000 youth, 40% of whom live in poverty, in this economically challenged and ethnically diverse community has been badly needed since the park was formed. The EPIC leadership decided to go before the Park Board and challenge the commissioners to respond to the neighborhood’s needs. Remarkably, Bill Ziegler, the Director of Little Earth, had come to similar conclusions at the same time and we all ended up before the Park Commissioners on the same night with a totally similar message.

We moved from the dreaming phase to the real struggle when Rep. Karen Clark heard of our joint commitment and created the bill we rallied around for a grant of 3.5 million in State bonding money to build the Center. Rep. Clark stayed at the helm of our effort from start to finish and the relentless lobbying began. Neighbors gathered under the tutelage of veteran lobbyist Maryanne Campo to learn how to effectively put our case as citizen lobbyists. She knew how effective citizen lobbyists can be. Council Member Gary Schiff accompanied us to the Capitol as did Clyde Bellecourt, Bill Ziegler, Shirley Heyer, Rosie and Alfonso Cruz, Linda and Mary Juanita Leonard, Carol Pass, who probably spent as much time at the Capitol as some legislators, as well as many neighbors, their children and heads of organizations. Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul also brilliantly pressed our case. Sen. Linda Berglin made a final strong pitch to Sen. Langseth, of the tiny town of Glyndon MN – population 1,049 — who had eleventh hour dealings with the Governor’s office. The governor wanted a specific project and the Senator, Chair of the powerful Capital Investment Committee, countered that he would agree provided that the East Phillips Community Center would be funded. It took a rural Minnesotan Senator, a diary farmer, to respond to the intense urban needs of Rep. Clark’s constituency. The Governor’s office accepted the deal and in May, 2006, the bill for 3.5 million dollars for the Center was signed.

With a major part of the funding in place, the East Phillips Park Community Design Team was formed to continue fundraising, interact with the community to determine building functionality and act as a liaison between the Community and the Park Board. The Design Team consists of representatives of  The East Phillips Improvement Coalition, EPIC; Little Earth of United Tribes; Liga Hispana De Beisbol; Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors; Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Assoc. Inc.; Community Business Representatives; Park Board Representatives; and Elected Officials.

EPIC hired Arthur Himmelman as Design Team consultant. Arthur was invaluable in smoothing the waters and finding a way to bring all parties together. He also helped create the framework for a partnership, which will help program and fund the Center into the future.
The Design Team continued work with the Park Commissioners toward creating the building design and implementing the project. Scott Vreeland, our new District Commissioner, along with Commissioners Annie Young, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom and Board President Tom Nordyke helped move the project forward. The commissioners authorized Park Staff General Manager, Mike Schmidt; Director of Planning, Judd Rietkerk; Park Architect and Project Manager John Monnens and District Planner, Lonnie Nichols to help transfer the project from a dream to reality.

When the building had to be downsized due to funding limitations, the Design Team hired Dean Dovolis and Paula Merrigan of DJR Architecture, Inc. to redesign the Center. In a very short time, they created the beautiful and functional design that is being built today.
Rick Carter and Mark Kalar of LHB Engineers and Architects did all the engineering, determining the size and location of the footings, the heating and ventilation system, the electrical and plumbing and etc, and they did all the detailed construction drawings.

Rochon Corporation is the successful bidder on the project and they and their subcontractors started excavating the foundations as soon as the contract was signed. Rochon’s Scott Anderson is our Project Superintendant.

As construction proceeds, staunch supporter, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin is advising us on how to find funding for the playing field renovations.

Even with all the expert help above, this could never have happened without all the people of the Phillips Community who came together and stayed together as a cohesive and diverse force ready to rally at a moment’s notice to keep the project moving forward, to raise money and to drive this project. Without the support and action of the people of the Phillips Community the dream you see unfolding in East Phillips Park today could never have happened.

Thank you to everyone who played a part.
Brad Pass. Chair
East Phillips Park Community Design Team
Carol Ann Pass, President
East Phillips Improvement Coalition
** [For a shorter, yet historic, name perhaps it could be called the “Butcher Block,” which is certainly better than it’s former nickname “Cockroach Park.” Ed]

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December Phillips What? Where? Contest

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November Hint: Out of an explosion order appears.

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December Hint: Framing for shelter across cultures and eras has some similarities and some variations. These examples are just four blocks apart.

NO ONE even ventured a guess of the November PWW so we are repeating that photo and adding another for December.
Tell us the What and Where of these 2 photos correctly and win a chance for a drawing of a $20.00 Gift Certificate at Welna Hardware 2438 Bloomington Avenue.

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December 2009: What’s Up at the Franklin Library

By Erin Thomasson
Children’s Programs
Sheeko Caruur Af-Soomaali ah/World Language Storytime: Somali
Tuesdays, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 6:30–7:30 p.m. La wadaag bugagga, sheekoyinka, jaan-gooyada maansada iyo muusikada Soomaalida. Waxaa lagu maalgaliyey deeq ay Comcast Foundation siisay Library Foundation of Hennepin County.
For children ages 2 and up. Experience the world in other languages. Funding provided by a grant to the Library Foundation of Hennepin County from the Comcast Foundation.
Preschool Storytime
Wednesdays, Dec. 2, 9, 16 & 30, 10:30-11:00 a.m.
For children ages 4 to 6. Help your preschooler get ready to read. Enjoy stories together and build language skills.
Waxbarasho iyo Ciyaar Caruureed Af-Soomaali ah/Somali Play and Learn
Friday, Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m.
For kids through preschool. Dhammaan caruurta ka yar da’ dugsi. Ka soo qaybgal sheekooyin caruur, heeso iyo hawlo waxbarasho. Join us for stories, songs and activities! Presented in collaboration with the Resources for Child Caring.
Sock Puppet Workshop
Friday, Dec. 11, 3:30 p.m.
For kids in grade 2 and up. Take an everyday sock and turn it into something creative! Join other kids in making fun sock creatures to take home. Supplies provided.
Swedish Stories
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m.
For kids in preschool. Learn about Swedish holidays and traditions. Sponsored by the American Swedish Institute.
Kids Book Club
Friday, Dec. 18, 4 p.m.
For kids in grades 4-6. Join other kids to talk about a great book! No pre-reading required! We will share a story and discuss.

Read the rest of this entry »

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There are no ‘Good Old Days’ Childhood Health Stories

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The woman standing by the cross is the Grandmother Aubele of Annie and Adele Aubele, sisters who died from diphtheria within 24 hours of each other in early December 1915.

By Sue Hunter Weir

Two Year Old Frida Aubele died Dec. 2, 1915 from diphtheria. Six Year Old Annie Aubele died Dec. 3, 1915 from diphtheria. Graves were remarked and girls remembered and honored Oct. 16th 2009.

It pretty much goes without saying that kids hate to have shots. And, many parents are reluctant to have their children vaccinated because of possible unintended consequences. This year, because of all the media attention about the H1N1 virus, there are a lot of people weighing the potential benefits against the possibility of adverse side effects. Cemetery records paint a picture of what life was like for children and their families before vaccinations were a routine part of medical care.

Of the 21,000 burials in the cemetery over half are children under the age of ten. Many of those children died in infancy, the result of premature or stillbirths. Others died of bacterial infections related to contaminated drinking water. But others died of diseases, like measles, that are no longer considered an inevitable part of childhood.

Diphtheria was one of the leading killers of children. It was listed as the cause of death of 815 children buried in the cemetery. Measles accounted for 122 deaths and pertussis for another 37. The numbers are undoubtedly much higher than those numbers indicate because doctors frequently attributed the cause of death to symptoms (e.g., “fever”) rather than to a specific disease. Mumps, though not often considered a fatal disease, was the leading cause of deafness in children. It is worth bearing in mind that these numbers are for one medium-sized cemetery in Minneapolis.

This year, on October 16th, relatives of Annie and Frida Aubele placed a new marker on their shared grave. Frida died on December 2, 1915; she was not quite two and a-half years old. The next day, Frida’s older sister, Annie, died at the age of six. Within a period of 24 hours, Joseph and Madeline Aubele lost two daughters to diphtheria. Annie, the older of the two, was born in Germany, and Frida was born in Minneapolis. For many years, their grave was marked by a large wooden cross. Over the years that cross disappeared, a casualty of water and weather. Now the girls’ grave is marked by a more permanent granite marker. The girls are buried in Lot 25, Block T, in the fourth grave from the north.
When the H1N1 vaccine becomes more widely available, have a conversation with your physician about the advisability of having yourself and your children vaccinated. As far as the health of children goes, there are no “good old days.”

Sue Hunter Weir is Phillips historian extraordinaire, member of Friends of the Cemetery who, with husband Paul Weir, have lived in Phillips over 30 years and together also garden with the 12th & 13th Avenue Block Club, was a co-founder of Phillips website pnn.org. Read the rest of this entry »

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SEARCHING – a Serial Novelle Chapter 9: History, Part I

by Patrick Cabello Hansel
(Author’s note: in the last chapter, Angel met up at Maria’s Café with his high school history teacher, who began relating a neighborhood story from the mid-19th century that he has unearthed during his sabbatical.)

“Between August Ternstvedt’s little house and what became the cemetery was a low piece of ground called the swale. The swale was a worthless piece for kitchen gardens or orchards, and because it was low-lying it wasn’t the first choice upon which to build. But because no one particularly wanted the land, it was a good place to go when you were wanted. Runaway slaves passed through there. There is a legend that refugees from the killings in 1862 stopped one night. AWOL soldiers, people involved in illegal fur trade, women who were fleeing abusive husbands. They would come, they would go, but their spirits always seemed to haunt the place.”

“So where are you talking about—this swale or whatever you call it?” , Angel asked.

Mr. Bussey took a sip of his coffee.

“It’s roughly the area between Bloomington and Cedar, and Franklin to about the railroad tracks—the Greenway today.”

“That’s right where my folks live—on 18th Avenue!” Angel felt a longing, a regret inside him growing.

“Well, and this is where it gets interesting”, Mr. Bussey continued, and launched into the tale again.

“Ternstvedt befriended a man named Matthew Kelly or Matthew Kiley. No one is really sure of his name. He had been in the Army some 20 years, under at least two different names. He fought in the Mexican War—some people say on both sides—was wounded at Gettysburg and fought in the so-called “Indian Wars”. Matthew had seen a lot of killing, had done enough himself, and came to Minnesota looking to settle down. He had a common law marriage with a Mexican woman named Hidalgo, whose first name was, ironically, Lupe, short for Guadalupe…

“Like the name of the infamous treaty between the United States and Mexico.” Angel jumped in.

“Hey, you remembered something from my class!’ Mr. Bussey grinned. “That’s always nice to see.”

“Well, yeah, plus my abuelo Luis and all my people hammered that one into us. It’s when we lost half of Mexico to the United States.”

“Right, a terrible injustice and one that plagues us to this day.” Mr. Bussey continued. “But here’s the really weird thing about this story.”

Señora Hidalgo was descended from a very aristocratic family from Spain, who came to what became Mexico soon after Cortes. They had held huge estates, were provincial governors, founded cities, murdered people, were murdered, the whole bloody history. Padre Hidalgo of the Revolution was a relative. Hidalgos fought and died on both sides at the Alamo, some went back to Spain and their descendants fought on both sides in the Civil War. It is the story of a family divided. Right down to the Lupe Hidalgo who lived in the swale with Matthew Kelly in the 1860’s. Some time in May of 1867, she gave birth to twin boys. One grew up with her and Matthew, the other disappeared. I’ve found letters and diary entries that conflict. Some say that he was taken from Guadalupe by the Hidalgo family still in Mexico and raised there. Some say he died of typhus. And at least two people wrote in their diaries about a young boy named Mateo Kiley, who was murdered a few days before Christmas in 1874, and whose spirit roamed the swale for years and years later.

Mr. Bussey finished his coffee and nodded to the waitress for more.

“Needless to say, this is all speculation on my part. People who lived in the swale didn’t register with the government much, so there aren’t any official records, of course.”

“So she lost half of her family—just like her country lost half of its territory”, Angel said.

“Exactly. I tend to be a little superstitious, so who knows, maybe little Mateo’s ghost is still haunting the neighborhood today”

Well, something sure is, Angel thought. He said “gracias” to the waitress when she brought the coffee, and she replied “de nada, teco”

Teco—what the hell is that?, he wondered, but didn’t have time to think much, as Mr. Bussey began to talk.

“Apparently some of Kelly or Kiley and Lupe Hidalgo’s descendents live around here. Just think how weird that is. One half of the family here.

The rest God knows where.”

“Weird. So were they identical twins—these boys who were separated?”
“Identical except for one small detail. The one who vanished—Mateo—had a small birth mark on his neck that seemed to some people to be the shape of a young owl.”

Angel dropped his coffee and spilled it all over the table. He felt his hand go instinctively to his neck.

“Whoa, Angel, hold on! I’m sure Mateo’s ghost isn’t going to bother you!”

“I wouldn’t be so sure, Mr. B. I think I know exactly where that ghost is.”

Patrick Cabello Hansel, creative & amiable poet, author, dramatist, and pastor (and so, too, Luisa Cabello Hansel) St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – 28th Street and 15th Ave. in Midtown Phillips. Writes a new Chapter for Novelle Searching in each month’s The Alley.
*A new chapter appears every month in The Alley. You can influence the story by contacting the author with your ideas and comments.

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