who’s afraid

Today’s post comes from tim
i was quoting edward albee on friday as he died.
i have a great friend who was going through a moment with her dysfunctional family and i recalled a conversation i had with edward albee it must have been at the pen pals authors series where joe was also there and the three of us got to spend a couple of minutes discussing the questions of life.
 i asked edward albee why he always chose to build his plays around dysfunctional families and relationships. he looked at me like it was way too obvious and said” they are the ones with stories to tell.
my family is dysfunctinal to my wife to me they are normal except for the screwed up one i wont talk to anymore. my moms family is a sorry bunch of sobs and my dads is a string of great people with challanges.
edward albee wrote in whos afraid of virginia wolfe of the son he and his wife made the center of their universe. i saw mercedes ruehl and patrick stewart play it at the guthrie and enjoyed it as much as richard burton and elizabeth taylor in the 60’s movie.
when i talk about movies i love and stories i love and pantings and music i love i can usually identify why. with whos afraid of virginia wolfe its a case of if you dont get it i cant help you.
i miss these rocks who are dying off as we grow older and dont see many new rocks coming up to replace them. bis was so big and today its big yeah but its not big like it was when the world was removed from the place where celebrities lived.
who were some of the biggies you miss or will miss?
 The New York Times critic Ben Brantley once wrote about Albee’s contribution to the theater world: “Mr. Albee has unsparingly considered subjects outside the average theatergoer’s comfort zone: the capacity for sadism and violence within American society; the fluidness of human identity; the dangerous irrationality of sexual attraction and, always, the irrefutable presence of death.”

Family Art Day

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown

On a perfect Saturday (one of the 10 perfect days this year) during Labor Day Weekend, Husband and I were introduced to Family Art Day here in Winona. Held from 10:00 – 2:00 on Saturday at a covered pavilion on the banks of Lake Winona, this annual event features a couple of dozen local artists, each with a table (or two) holding the supplies required to do/make their craft. There was everything from painting murals to…  well, here is the list of options:

  • Fish Prints with Dirk Nelson
  • Sculpture with Michelle Cochran
  • Finger painting with John Durfey
  • Kosmic Knots with Tom Dukich
  • Book Arts with Jill Krase
  • Bow drill a shell for a necklace with Patty Albrecht
  • Murals with Julia Crozier
  • Acrylics with Barb Feiten
  • Puppets with Jill Marie Piggott
  • Mosaics with Monta May
  • Clay sculpture with Emerald Hulsing
  • Masks with Julie Johnston
  • Weaving with Kathie Peterson
  • Wood and Wire Sculpture with Jamie Schell
  • Tatoos with Heather Casper from Minnesota Marine Art Museum
  • Giant Bubbles with Ramona Redig and Robert Aldrich
  • Hats with Amy Peterson
  • Cartooning with Mary Singer
  • Sing-alongs with Amanda Grace
  • Watercolors with Kathy Delano
  • Thrown pottery with Anne Scott Plummer, Mary Denzer, Mickey Maslowski, John Bloomfield, and Sue Pariseau  (There was also a side tent with two potting wheels)

The idea was conceived 9 years ago by our late friend Bernadette Mahfood (about whom I will write more another time) and another local artist, Julie Crozier. The event is designed to get adults, as well as children, to try out new art forms. Says coordinator Vicki Englich “Sometimes, people are intimidated to pick up a brush… This gives you permission to explore things you didn’t have a chance to explore in school.”

We were among the many volunteers who helped set up, take down, and act as “gofers” during the 4-hour run. It takes an amazing amount of organizing, and some grant funding from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council for supplies and stipends for the artist/teachers. I’ve met a watercolorist that I would like to team up with for next year – she was heading it up solo this year and would like help. I can hardly wait – it was a joy seeing the look on some of the faces of the artists as they finished their creations, and then scanned the pavilion to see what they wanted to try next.

What type of art, that you haven’t yet tried, would you like to try your hand at?

Rumble, Grumble, Mumble, Tumble, Jumble, Swumble, Crumble

Today’s post comes from Clyde of Mankato

A thunderstorm comes through rumbling and grumbling, trailing a fug of humidity.

Thunderstorms come through rumbling and grumbling. One after another. Humidity blankets us. The weather pattern of August, 2016. Except for that one loud clap, hitting the tall trees outside our apartment no doubt, which knocked a picture off a wall, we like thunderstorms, although enough is now enough. Rain falling off the roof outside our windows makes white noise for sleeping. Humidity we hate. We wilt.

My son and his then wife moved an adopted street dog from San Diego, land of very few thunderstorms, to Seattle, land of, well, need I explain? Oh, how that dog went wild over thunder! Rain confused him. He is safely back in San Diego. Our son loves the Seattle weather and his wife fell in love with it as well. Not the poor dog.


Three years ago the weather pattern day after day was brilliant sunsets. Often with lightening in them. Not one good sunset this year, that I have noticed.

Assuming you have the wherewithal to live in two places, what two places in what part of the year would you choose for the weather?

Truth and Consequences

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota.

There has been lots of discussion in the media lately about truth-the truth behind Donald’s tax returns, the truth in Hilary’s emails. Truth can vary depending on your viewpoint and your experience. I have my own struggle with truth, and I hope the Baboons can offer me some advice.

I have written before about a terrible conflict between my maternal grandmother and her only sister.  I heard the “truth” from my grandmother’s perspective. I never heard the conflict described from my great aunt’s perspective, and I am worried that time is running out for me to hear that side of the story.

My great aunt’s youngest daughter was my mom’s favorite cousin, and they kept in touch through all the years of their mothers’ conflict. The cousin is still alive, and since my mom’s death, she and I have maintained a cordial relationship. She is the last one from my great aunt’s family who knows what happened to cause the conflict, and she is the last one for me to ask. In telling me the other side of the story, she would have to divulge some pretty painful secrets concerning her parents and siblings, secrets we have some inkling about but don’t know about for certain. Her side of the family has a tendency to cut themselves off from family members who offend them. I risk losing her friendship if I ask. I risk not knowing about something that has been a puzzle to me since I was a child.

I like to know how people and families function. I like making sense out of behavior. Husband tells me that this is one of those times when I need to keep my mouth shut and accept that I can’t find out the “truth” as it relates to this situation. What do you think, dear Baboons? How far should I go to find out the truth?

State Fair!

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

I love the Fair.

I’m unapologetic about my love of the State Fair. I know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but from the first time I walked through the arches on Snelling, I was hooked.  I love the animals, I love all the educational buildings, I love the butter heads, I love the art, I love the parade.  But most of all I love the people-watching.


This year I went to the Fair three times: once all by myself, once with Young Adult and once with friends for Garrison Keillor’s show. I have a fun memory from each day.

On opening day, as I was sitting on the curb, waiting for the parade to start, a father and son came to sit in the space next to me. As they sat, the son (probably 11 or 12) let out a huge groan.  I couldn’t help but laugh and so did the dad.  I said to him “I expect to hear that kind of groan from myself or from your dad, but not from someone your age.”  Without missing a beat, the kid leaned over and said “I’m a catcher.  I have old knees.”  I almost snorted by water up my nose.


On the day with Young Adult, we did the Bunny Barn first. I call the Young Adult “The Bunny Whisperer” because she has a way with the rabbits. Most of the rabbits sit near the back of their cages so that they can’t be reached.  Young Adult slips her hand into the cage and then waits.  One after another, the bunnies move to her side of the cage and let her pet them.  She probably has an 80% success rate.  It’s amazing.   Of course this means that we spend A LOT of time in the Bunny Barn and she usually suggests that we go home with a rabbit.  At one point I turned to her and said again “No, we can’t have a bunny.”  She replied, “I know, it would just be fodder for Guinevere.”  I was so excited that she knew the word “fodder” that I almost wept!


On Friday I got to the fair in time for the parade. As the little kids’ farm train went by, in the last car I noticed a little boy (probably 8 or 9) doing the Vulcan salute.  I quickly flashed the salute in return; his face lit up and he gave me a huge thumb’s up.  Finally my ability to do “live long and prosper” has come in handy!

It was the best fair ever!

 Are you a fair person or not?

Ah, the Produce is In

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown

For not getting most our garden in till late June, we are having some luck. I’ve frozen some tomato sauce, and we’ve been keeping up with the zucchini by that old late summer standby, giving some away to our neighbors. I found a chilled cucumber smoothie recipe that has helped use up LOTS of those big honkin’ cukes, and which was delightful on some of those hot days.

But I’m feeling a little overwhelmed this week, as there are cukes AND tomatoes AND zucchini to process in some way. Also some windfall pears we found on a corner a couple of blocks from here, and our friend Walken’s kohlrabi… Knowing how Babooners mostly know these things, I thought I’d ask here for recipes.

Specifically, does anyone have an outstanding Zucchini Bread recipe? (The one I remember is nowhere to be found.)

Anyone have a good recipe for an offbeat tomato-based Salsa?

And how about a cucumber raita, or some other cooling cucumber salad recipe?

Oh, I know I can find these things online if I look, but it seems friendlier to get them from baboons – they taste better somehow – and we haven’t had a recipe day for a while.

What’s your favorite Harvest Recipe, whether you’ve actually made it or not?

Out of Steam

Today’s post comes from Clyde in Mankato

My mother took this picture in about 1954 or 5. It shows yellowstone mallets, among the largest steam engines ever built, right before they were replaced by diesels. This is in the railroad yards in Two Harbors. The ore docks would be behind my mother and me as she took this picture. I remember being there when she took it.

The end of the daily rain of soot on the town was appreciated after they were gone. But I missed their pulsing throb as I went to sleep at night, on those summer nights when the wind was right and my bedroom window was open.

Very few of these engines are left, none working. One sits just to the right of this picture. If you have been to Two Harbors, you have likely seen it. Another is in the wonderful train museum at the old depot in Duluth.

Are you a lover of trains?

%d bloggers like this: