Linda Legarde Grover
Monthly columnist Linda LeGarde Grover is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, an award-winning writer and a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
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I am one of the native Duluthians who have called this newspaper “The Budgeter” all my life. I know that it is spelled “Budgeteer” and learned in last Sunday’s (May 14) edition about the history of Mr. Palmer’s newspaper and its name change from “Budgeter” to “Budgeteer” when I was a year old. Somehow, the new pronunciation went right past me.
At a museum a few years ago I saw a number of antique quilts on display. Next to each was a little card with information about the pattern used, such as Wedding Ring, Bird in the Window, Log Cabin, etc. One quilt that really caught my eye wasn’t made in a pattern at all. It was called a Crazy Quilt, which meant that it made from pieces of scrap material fitted together to make the most of the fabric. That quilt was more than 100 years old.
The foghorn at the South Breakwater Light station, on the ship canal, was quite a presence in Duluth when I was a very little girl. My earliest memory of it, however, was not until just before I started school, when we moved to the West End. There, the sound got my attention.
My dad was a West End boy who lived in a lot of places in that neighborhood, which until 1894 was the actual west end of the city of Duluth. I always loved when he pointed out some of these places; as he talked I imagined scenes that grew from his words. To this day I revisit those stories, now layered with my own, whenever I pass those old friends: apartment buildings, houses, old school sites, storefronts. Some of them are now vacant lots and most have changed appearance or purpose, but the soul of the narrative is still there.
On a cold winter evening some years ago, my uncle brought us quite a gift: four cardboard boxes filled with books. He worked as a janitor, and part of his job was disposing of trash in an incinerator. That day the boxes, discards from the old Duluth Junior College that closed decades before, arrived on the loading dock. A kind man, my uncle thought of us. He knew how we loved to read and called my mother. Did we want them? We did!
In Ojibwe language, the word for rabbit is waabooz (“wah-BOOSE”). A small rabbit is a waboosoons, which has been my oldest daughter’s nickname since she was a little girl.
Last Saturday my husband, daughter, granddaughter and I went downtown to the Depot to see the reproduction of the Lincoln funeral car and, while we were at it, the St. Louis County Historical Society exhibits and the Plein Air Duluth: Paint du Nord Festival paintings at the Duluth Art Institute.
Biiboon Bimaadiziwin, the "Good Life in Winter" holiday craft show and bazaar is sponsored by AICHO, the American Indian Community Housing Organization. It will be a great opportunity to support local artists and crafters, try some delicious foods, and to socialize with friends and neighbors. The event takes place on Friday, Dec. 13, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Trepanier Hall, 212 W.
In many parts of the world, wild rice is a gourmet delicacy which, because it is expensive and scarce, is served only on special occasions. A few years ago, a friend of Tim's had company visiting from the west coast. Because we had such a good time meeting them and wanted to give them a nice gift, we brought them two pounds of Nett Lake rice to take back.
To celebrate our daughter Denise's birthday we went out for lunch at one of Duluth's older and historic restaurants, and took along some granddaughters. It was evident in the girls' demeanors, in their very walks, that they felt very grownup: they looked around the dining room at the furniture and museum-quality décor as they sat, read the menus carefully, and ordered their own lunches with aplomb. Like many other birthday partiers at the Pickwick and other restaurants, we had brought a gift for the birthday girl, which she opened after we had finished eating.