Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another friend!

Why are we so fascincated with primates? A relative, perhaps??!!

Today in Minnesota History: 1960- Novelist Ernest Hemingway is admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, where he undergoes shock treatment for depression. A few days later, he commits suicide in Idaho. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mixed Message

How many of you would be happy to have these messages in your yard?!

Today in Minnesota History: 1884- Anna Ramsey dies. Admired as the governor's "helpmeet," she led efforts to create homeless shelters and support other charities. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Como Zoo

This is part of the new renovation at Como Park Zoo. The sloth that was in yesterday's photograph lives in this building.

Today in Minnesota History: 1850- Aaron Goodrich, Minnesota Territory's first supreme court justice, is accused of adultery. An effort to impeach him fails, but President Millard Fillmore exercises his executive power to remove Goodrich from office in 1851. (Reference: MNSH.ORG)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mystery Animal

On Saturday, my husband, granddaughter and I went to the Zoo. This interesting animal caught my eye. The first person who is able to identify it will receive a postcard from St. Paul. I think I'll keep the comments private for a few days, but don't let that deter you. Make a guess!!

"THE BEST LAID PLANS..." You folks are too smart for me! When I opened up the blog this morning, I was astonished to find the correct answer...already! And, I thought it was going to be difficult--you impress me again!! Post cards go to those who already correctly guessed.

Today in Minnesota History: 1930 - St. Paul's Frank B. Kellogg wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Kellogg had served as secretary of state during the Coolidge administration and as a judge on the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Arresting Character

After going through the new tropical rain forest installation at Como Zoo, we visited the primate area, but not before I said "Hello" to one of my oldest friends. Be sure to visit this site
to see the wonderful Rain Forest!

Today in Minnesota History: 1869 - As photographer Charles Zimmerman of St. Paul tries to capture frozen Minnehaha Falls, he is struck by an icicle weighing several hundred pounds. He sustains severe bruises about the head, neck, and shoulders, but none of his bones are broken. (Reference: MNHS. ORG)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Minnesota Winter??!!

The temperature at high noon the day after Thanksgiving! Believe it or not, this is unseasonably warm for this time of year!!

Today in Minnesota History: 1863 - The Second Minnesota and the rest of General George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland charge up Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga and defeat the Confederates holding the ridge. (Reference: MNHS>ORG)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Historical Summit House

The Burbank-Livingston-Griggs house, the second oldest house still standing on Summit Avenue, was built by James Burbank in 1862. It was constructed of Mendota limestone, and was built in the Italian villa style. After changing ownership among St. Paul's prominent families, it was donated to the Mn. Historical Society in 1962. It is no longer open, but when my children were small, we often toured the house which was open as a museum at the time. The playroom with vintage toys was always a favorite stop.

Today in MN History: 1859- Architect Cass Gilbert is born in Ohio. Gilbert's family would move to St. Paul in 1868, and he would later begin his career there. Among his most recognizable buildings are the Minnesota State Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, and Manhattan's Woolworth Building. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble! Gobble!

Not exactly a turkey, but poultry will do. Handsome devil, isn't he? My dinner plates for our Thanksgiving dinner. To see my many blessings, click here!

Today in Minnesota History-2006 at the home of Kate Mura and Jim Neher, a Thanksgiving prayer, courtesy of William Shakespeare:
"Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts." King Henry VI, Part 3.IV,vi.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back to the Blair Arcade

Since the Blair Arcade murals seemed to be so well-received, I decided to add more.

Today in Minnesota History: 1870 -Gas light arrives in Minneapolis. (Reference:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This Side of Paradise

Another Fitzgerald post: F.Ssott Fitzgerald wrote the novel, This Side of Paradise, while living in this brownstone apartment building on 593/599 Summit Avenue. He had met Zelda, his future wife, while serving in the army. Originally she had not wanted to marry Scott because of his uncertain financial future, but after the publication of the novel, she apparently changed her mind. They did not remain long in Minnesota and led a busy, often debt-ridden existence, as international icons of the Jazz Age. For two other views of this historic building, visit this site.
Today in Minnesota History: 1902- The steamer Bannockburn and its twenty-member crew is seen for the last time as it sets forth from Duluth, later disappearing somewhere on Lake Superior. (Reference:

Monday, November 20, 2006

C'mon in!

This school art gallery exhibits both professional artists as well as student work. Because of the light reflecting from the windows, it's very difficult to capture the paintings if they're covered with glass. This one by a faculty art teacher is a good example of the rest of her work currently hanging in the gallery. To view the outside of the school building, visit this blog.

Today in Minnesota History: 1967 -The Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian walkway closed to traffic except buses, opens in downtown Minneapolis.. (Historical information:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Carol and Keillor

Yesterday I met St. Paul Carol for the first time at Nina's Cafe in the Blair Arcade. Downstairs the bookstore owned by Garrison Keillor was having a neighborhood Open House. Garrison autographed books for hours and here he is with Carol as he signs her books for her. For more pictures of the Open House which was very crowded, click here, walk in and join the festivities!

On the Opening of a Bookstore On Western and Selby
by Garrison Keillor
On the high hill above the river in St. Paul,
Against the advice of cautious engineers,
The Archbishop insisted his Cathedral should stand tall
And French, and so it has for eighty years,
Back behind its stone magnificience, on drowsy streets
Of gabled houses, brick and stone and wood,
Are a thousand stories of the daily feats
Of courage that are love and parenthood.
Each lighted window represents an enterprise
By strangers whom I feel I ought to know
And so, in a cellar with windows to the skies,
I sit and read heroic tales of long ago.
A cold fall day and we are strangers, far apart.
But in these books I find some secrets of your heart.

Today in Minnesota History: - 1981 Heavy snow in Minneapolis causes the fabric of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to collapse and rip. (Reference:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

An Important Message!

This is another view of the Garrison Keillor bookstore in the basement of the Blair Arcade that St. Paul blogger Carol showed you here in an earlier post.

Today in MN History: 1993 - The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota opens. Sculptor and architect Frank O. Gehry won an award from Progressive Architecture magazine in 1991 for his design of the building. (Reference:

Friday, November 17, 2006

An addition

This is part of an addition to the school in which I used to teach English literature and writing. Look closely and you'll see the art gallery on the first floor with part of the library above it.

Today in MN History: 1992- Jackpot Junction Casino, the first Indian casino in Minnesota, celebrates its anniversary (November 16–18). Originally a bingo parlor, by 1988 it had become a fully operational casino. (Historical information:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Destination!

When I was without a camera, several weeks ago I was surprised to see this bus on the streets of St. Paul. While sitting in a café on Wednesday, it rolled by. I grabbed my camera and chased it. Why? Because I'll be leaving for a 3 months stay in Mazatlán on January 7, I wanted something to show my friends in México (and you, too!). I've eaten in the restaurant shown on the bus, located in El Centro, the old section where I'll be staying for three months. If all goes well, I'll be blogging, but without internet in my rental, I'll have to be creative. Can't wait to hit the beach! (For two more views of this fabulous bus, click here.

Today in MN History:-1854- The preparatory (or high school) department of what is now Hamline University opens for business in Red Wing. Named for Leonidas L. Hamline, a Methodist bishop, the school suspends operations in 1869 and reopens in St. Paul in 1880, but its original founding date makes it the oldest college in the state. (Historical information:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Memorial Drums

How do young people deal with death? Several years ago the student who is the focus of this memorial died tragically of an undiagnosed heart condition. His friends designed and created this set of drums, depicting his life and many interests. It now hangs on the wall in the entrance foyer of his former school.
Today in Mn. History: 1851 - Montezuma is founded by Orrin Smith, a steamboat captain. The town is more recognizable by its present name, Winona. (Historical information:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dancing School!!

This rather austere building on Holly Avenue once was a boarding school for girls. Scott enrolled in a dancing school here (bet it was his mother's or grandmother's idea!). Because his grades were not very good, he was expelled from St.Paul Academy and enrolled in an Eastern boarding school at age 15. Until he entered Princeton, he was home only for the holidays.

Today in MN History: 1860 - Telegraph service reaches Minneapolis. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Monday, November 13, 2006

Childhood Homes

For five years, Fitzgerald and his family lived in three different houses on this block on Holly Avenue, one of which has been torn down. When his father's financial problems began the family lived in an apartment pictured here as well as Grandmother McQuillan's large house, also shown here. Later he used material from these childhood years to write magazine stories.

Today in MN History: 1833-
Charles M. Loring is born in Portland, Maine. As Minneapolis park commissioner from 1883 to 1890, he would be a principal player in the development of the city's system of parks and public grounds. Central Park would be renamed Loring Park in his honor. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Artist Rendition of the Young Scott

Somehow I hadn't envisioned the young Scott looking quite like this. I prefer the statue of the adult Fitzgerald downtown in Rice Park.
Click here and take a look!

Today in Mn. History:-1889-
DeWitt Wallace is born in St. Paul. Wallace would found Reader's Digest in 1922, and his family's fortune has benefited many educational and performing arts associations.

(Historical information from the MN Historical Society:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scott, the student

Fitzgerald Series: St. Paul Academy's first school (an all-boys school) on 25 North Dale that F. Scott Fitzgerald attended. The school expanded and became co-ed over the years and has two campuses. Click here to see the Upper School campus as it appears today. Tomorrow I'll show you a close up of the statue of the youthful F. Scott that has recently been installed on the front steps of the building (look closely) which is now occupied by business offices.

Several people asked me for more information regarding Scott. Check this article for more biographical details. Fitzgerald's mother's family had the money and the social standing, and he socialized with the prominent families in St. Paul while he was growing up.

Today in MN History:-1940- The “Armistice Day Blizzard” arrives with no warning, and temperatures plummet from the 60s to below zero. The storm causes forty-eight deaths, mostly hunters caught unprepared and far from shelter. Fifty-nine sailors on the Great Lakes also lose their lives. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Birthpace of....?

F. Scott Fitzgerald Series: Those of you who are familiar with American literature are undoubtedly familiar with F. Scott, one of our boys. For the next few days, I will show you places where he lived, went to school during his early years, and where he hung out. He was born in this building to Edward and Mollie McQuillan Fitzgerald.

Today in MN History: 1871 - Cretin High School opens in St. Paul. Named for Joseph Cretin, the first bishop of the diocese of St. Paul, the school would merge with Derham Hall high school in 1987. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ah, Those Were the Days!

Another indoor mural at the Blair Arcade. Today in MN History:-1913-Day two of the three-day Great Storm of 1913, which kills 251 people on the Great Lakes (forty-four on Lake Superior) and sinks seventeen boats. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Meet Ya at the Corner

Another Blair Arcade Mural: Although the present day corner looks much different than this painting, this is the corner where the building still stands
Today in MN History:-1926- The old Mendota bridge to Fort Snelling opens and is dedicated to the men of the 151st Field Artillery who had been killed in World War I. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let There Be Light!

The chandeliers in the Blair Arcade are worth seeing. Today in MN. History-1889-
Northfield illuminates its streets by installing sixty-seven electric lights.

(Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Monday, November 06, 2006


Inside the Blaire Arcade on Western and Selby Avenues are a number of murals depicting life in St. Paul at the turn of the century. In the background is the artist's rendition of the Cathedral, located just down the street.
Today in Mn. History: 1854-Thirty-one individuals form the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company, St. Paul's first volunteer fire-fighting force. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Opening My Eyes!

My wanderings around the city to find subjects for this blog has not only opened my eyes and made me aware of my surroundings, but it also has awakened in me an interest in St. Paul's history. What a gift this has been! This neon sign is in a building which originally was the Angus Hotel. As a small boy my husband used to go there to get haircuts. It now houses condos, restaurants, a new independent bookstore, and shops of all kinds. Perhaps I'll start another career--Kate, the historian!

Today in MN History: 1905- Minneapolis saloons close their doors for "dry Sunday," and no liquor is available for purchase within the city limits.(Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tod and Lady Liberty

"Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

This inscription is on the Statue of Liberty that resides in New York City on Ellis Island. This much smaller facsimile of the statue is located in a cafe in St. Paul. One of my former students, whom I was delighted to run into while there, posed with Lady Liberty. Because he is an agile soccer player and one of the coaches for the Minnesota Thunder Soccer team, he was able to hop on a table top to allow me to get full advantage of both him and the statue for the photo.

I mean no disrespect of this icon or to my French friends; here is some background information: Designers: Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, born in Colmar, France, in 1834. The interior iron framework was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, also designer of the Eiffel Tower. The statue's pedestal was designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt.

Today in Mn. History: 1864- The steamboat John Rumsey explodes near the lower levee in St. Paul, killing seven of the crew. Explosions, usually caused by excessive steam pressure, were a common occurrence on Mississippi riverboats. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Minnesota National Guard

I think that I can be forgiven for using this photo, which is not mine but has been published widely throughout the US. By now all of you have probably read about John Kerry's verbal gaff (and insensitivity) for which he finally had to apologize. In essence during a speech at a college he exhorted the students to study hard because if the didn't, they would "wind up in Iraq." Politicians, especially Republicans, have been outraged primarily because it's an important election year across the country, and they can make political hay because of Democrat Kerry's remark. Of course, most important, it's a slur against the intelligence of the men and women in uniform. The Minnesota National Guard in Iraq made this hilarious misspelled sign, having fun with Kerry's comments. Love those Minnesotans!

Today in MN History: 1989-The Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team plays its first game, losing to the Seattle Supersonics, 106-94. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Día de los Muertos

Many Hispanic cultures honor their deceased loved ones on both November 1, All Saints Day and November 2, All Soul's Day: the 1st for children and infants, and the 2nd for the adults.
I went to the West Side, our Hispanic community, on Wednesday to see if I could find opportunity for photos. First, I went to the Sheila and Paul Wellstone building (the Neighborhood House) and found this wonderful tribute to them: our Senator, his wife, and daughter, all of whom perished while flying to northern Minnesota on a private jet on October 25, 2002. With them perished 3 political aides and the two pilots. I'm foregoing Today in MN History to pay tribute to Senator Wellstone and the others. Click here to read a published memorial to him and then click on this site to see some close-up photos from the above display.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!

November Theme Day: If this lawn decoration is not gone already, it will be removed by tomorrow. Thank goodness! After tonight, I'm ready to say good-bye to Halloween. The urchins at the door were delightful, but there were too many of them. Our neighbors tend to take Halloween decorations down quickly, unlike Christmas scenes, lights, and wreaths which seem to stay up forever!

Today in MN History: 1991-On the three days following the “Storm of the Century,” (The Halloween Blizzard) Duluth receives 36.9 inches of snow, the largest single-storm total in state history at the time. (Historical information:

This photo is part of the City Daily Photo Blogging monthly theme day. 55 Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st November theme, please use the links below to visit them. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.Porto, Portugal - Seattle (WA), USA [Kim] - London, UK - Greenville (SC), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - St Paul, (MN) USA [Kate] - Shanghai, China - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Twin Cities (MN), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Bandung, Indonesia - Dallas (TX), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Singapore, Singapore [Zannnie] - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovnia - Melbourne, Australia - Auckland, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore [Raymond] - Dubai, UAE - Vantaa, Finland - Oshawa (Ontario), Canada - St. Paul (MN) [Carol] - Singapore, Singapore [Keropok] - Delta (CO), USA - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Queens (NY), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Santiago, Chile - Nelson, New Zealand - Akita, Japan - Hyde, UK - Sydney, Australia [Sally] - Manila, Philippines - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Brussels, Belgium - Sharon (CT), USA - Sydney, Australia [Nathalie] - Edinburgh, Scotland - Evry, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Santa Clara (CA), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Joplin (MO), USA - Indianapolis (IN), USA - Trujillo, Peru - Barcelona, Spain - Berlin, Germany - Vancouver (BC), Canada - Trier, Germany - Houston (TX), USA - Joensuu, Finland