Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 10/11 Ox Cart Angel talks - Moorhead, Barnesville and Breckenridge, Minnesota

On June 10th, I gave a talk at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota. It's a very cool museum, and if you're in Moorhead, I highly recommend checking it out. This talk was especially nice, because they had a full-size Red River Cart replica nearby. I found out right after the talk, that one of the men who built it in the 1980s was there in the audience. His name is Eddie Gudmundsun - a World War II vet - and here he is, standing in front of the cart:

The cart is part of an Antoine Gingras exhibit they are having from June through July.

The next day, I had two talks. One at the Barnesville Public Library, and one at the Breckenridge Public Library. In Barnesville, I had a late breakfast at the Eagle Cafe. It was a cool place - it had formerly been a bowling alley, so the cafe was llloooooonnnnnggggggg.... They had a funky display of whisks and egg beaters hanging on chicken wire. It was one of those small town cafes where the food is so darn tasty:

At the Barnesville library, I did my talk in a room in the back, and it happened to have a mural of charcoal on paper that had just been done by an artist named Steve Stark. He does a presentation where he tells stories while drawing scenes from them on a 30-ft roll of paper. Here's a small part of the one in the library:

I had a nice time at the Breckenridge library, too. I saw some spectacular displays of lightening afterward on the way out of town.

Of course on my journeys north on I-94 (and back) I always have to stop at the Clearwater Travel Plaza. I mean, who can resist this stuff?

I recommend the Cappuccino Chip Muffins.

May 6th, Jamestown, North Dakota Ox Cart Angel talk

I gave a talk in Jamestown, North Dakota to the James River Genealogy Club at the Post House on May 6th. I always love stopping in Jamestown whenever I head out west. I like to see the giant buffalo statue and walk through the old west town they have set up.

On the way there, I saw this giant statue of a prairie chicken in Rothsay - in fact, it's billed as the World's Largest Booming Prairie Chicken. Take that, world's second largest booming prairie chicken! Don't worry - it wasn't actually impaled by the U.S. flag:

Here's the Post House - so named because it used to house a post office. I gave the talk in the dining room, which still contains the old post office boxes. It was a nice setting:

As always, the people I meet at my book/history talks are wonderful. Chatting with them is a highlight for me. One person I mention in my Ox Cart Angel talks is a guy named Orlin Ostby, who recreated the trek via Red River cart from Pembina to St. Paul in 2008. Orlin had helped Delmar Hagen prepare for his trip in 1958 - Minnesota's centennial - and had promised that he would do the trip in fifty years. Which he did. At my talk in Jamestown, there was a guy in the audience named Tommy Thronsedt who not only knew Orlin, but had also gone along on the trip with him. It was great to get his insight!

Here's Tommy, who was kind enough to pose with a copy of my book:

On the way back home, I stopped in Rothsay again and ate at Ole & Lena's Pizzeria.  Here's what I had. Can't remember the name of it - perhaps I shall name it 'heart attack on a plate' - but it was delicious!

Anyway, it was a great trip!