The backside of summer . . .

July 6, 2013
The Fourth of July was gorgeous. We (Gail and I) went out to Side Lake for the annual parade and then to Bimbo’s for pizza. Great pizza! On par with Sammy’s and Vi’s in Biwabik. And, later, I flipped some ribeyes on the grill. Not a bad day. As you may know, Hibbing on the 4th is a quiet place. For the smaller Range towns, Independence Day is community ‘reunion’ day–from Nashwauk and Keewatin to the west, and Eveleth, Gilbert, Biwabik, and Aurora to the east– there are parades and fireworks and the beer flows in typical Ranger abandon. The big towns, Virgina and Hibbing and Grand Rapids have their own summer festivals– the ‘Land of the Loon, the ‘Mines and Pines’ or ‘Jubilee’, and Tall Timber Days, respectively. Speaking of Hibbing, my adopted ‘home town’, next weekend is the Jubillee celebration with parade, races, art and craft shows, and the always fun Saturday night street dance. (I’ll be one of the arts vendors during the day; selling/signing books and visiting with anybody that stops by to say hello.) Next year, Hibbing is planning a huge all-class reunion in July–should be a wonderful time so (if you have Hibbing roots) make your plans early.
Since returning from Florida at the end of May, I’ve been working on my next novel for an hour or two on most days. Gail has done some thorough editing and I’ve been doing another rewrite–the fourth, I think. Hope to file copyright papers next month and have a finished book by the fall. ‘The Sons of Marella Windsong’ will be my eighth novel and, I think, the best so far. ‘So far’ . . . seems to imply that one or more will follow. I hope so. I met William Kent Krueger last month at a book event and purchased his latest novel, ‘Ordinary Grace’. He feels that it is his best writing yet and he’s had several NY Times bestsellers. He has stepped out of his usual genre and crafted a truly wonderful story. I’m inspired to do a ‘first person’ story and hope it will turn out to be a fraction as good as his. Krueger is a classy guy, he was thoughtful enough to purchase a signed copy my last novel.
The ‘backside of summer’ has also been the ‘backslide of summer’ for my beloved Minnesota Twins. Despite their travails I continue to watch them on TV every day. Masochism! Although difficult to justify, I’m planning to get down to the Cities for two games at Target Field before the end of the summer. Our ‘Greater Mesaba Men’s Book Club-GMMBC- had it’s annual outing at Rich Dinter’s place up on beautiful Crane Lake last month. Beer and bean bag competitions preceded the ‘intelectual hour’. Some selected few from the club will be Rich’s guests at a Twins-White Sox game next month. The Sox are the only team worse than our Twins.
In closing, I would like to share a bit of trivia–on this day in 1937, the world was introduced to SPAM from Hormel of Austin, MN. The name was derived from ‘spice and ham’ according to the Hormel officials, but . . . to most, it’s better known as ‘something passing as meat.’ Also, on this day in 1954, Elvis recorded his first song: ‘That’s All Right (Baby)’–just thought you’d like to know.
Have a wonderful remainder of the summer. God bless . . .

  1. Mark MungerMark Munger07-06-2013

    Pat: “Ordinary Grace” is a very fine book. My review on my website goes into greater detail but you’re right, it
    s a well crafted, first person story very different from Krueger’s usual fare. Keep the pen to paper, my friend.

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