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Fond du Lac Follies
Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, July 07 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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_northrup_cover_mug_small.jpgOur friend Cheryl Gresczyk died. She was the wife of Rick Gresczyk. Our family watched as she fought her illnesses with dignity and courage. Cheryl, you will be missed by everyone in this household. We were saddened by your leaving but were glad that your pain is now over.

****

Fond du Lac Follies
Thursday, May 01 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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_northrup_cover_mug_small.jpgThe time to harvest maple sap came and we were ready. By we, I mean the crew, son Joe, son Aaron, nephew Kris and two daughter in laws, Sara and Jackie.

We have been working together for about a decade and I think any one of them can set up their own sugar bush. That was my goal when I invited them all to work with me. The afternoon sun brought warm feelings to us.

Months before we tap we talk. We decide which trees we will use. This year we found a better place to get the gallon jugs, our drills are still good from last year. We use electric and hand drills to make the holes in the trees. Because of attrition we made some new taps.

The deep snow was a handicap, my brother Vern said he slipped off the trail and sunk into the snow, the only part of Vern that was showing was his hat, now that’s deep. My crew had to wear snowshoes most of the time.

In our first boil we began with 110 gallons of sap, when we were done we had four gallons of syrup.

After having the appropriate ceremony. The syrup was delicious and I am glad we do this every year.

I think we will have one more boil before we pull the taps to close another successful season.


Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, April 04 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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I really like winter. The cold and the snow stay outside my little HUD house. I especially like the tree shadows on the snow, the gravity defying clumps of snow that hang onto the pine branches, the cold wind that reminds me I should have put on one more layer.

I hear people complaining that this winter has gone on too long, they want to see spring. I just ignore them and enjoy what we have.

Very soon we shall begin our sugar bush. We have plenty of firewood. and we found a new source for the gallon milk jugs we use. My son Joe is showing his son Joe how to carve taps.

Another seasonal cycle for these Anishinaabeg will begin soon.

****

Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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_northrup_cover_mug_small.jpgC'mere I want to tell you a story. Once upon a time, no wait, that is the wrong story. How about a Vietnam veteran war story? It starts out like this … this is no shit you guys. No that isn't it either.

Try this one: Fond du Lac Follies jetted to Budapest, Hungary to recite poetry. I went over there as part of the U.S. Embassy's Official Speakers Program.

I flew to Budapest with a short stop in Paris. I barely had enough time to get lost in the DeGaulle airport. It was a short two-hour hop to my destination – Budapest. I was met at the airport by Dimitri Tarakhovsky of the U.S. Embassy who took a taxi to take me to the plush hotel that overlooked the Danube River. I knew it started in Germany and ran downhill to Buda and Pest.

The next morning I met with Gabor who had earlier contacted the Embassy to see if they would bring me over. He wanted them to help celebrate the publishing of his book called “Nagy Kis Madar” (with a hyphen over the a) the book was about Jim Northrup and his poetry. Monika Vali and Attila Nemeth provided translation, transportation and photography.

I learned that poets are venerated in Hungary. There are children, streets, schools and bridges named after their poets.


Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies locomoted to Duluth to the television studio for an interview with Barbara Reyelts. This 30-year veteran newswoman (I was 12 when I started, she said) wanted to know about my upcoming trip to Budapest, Hungary.

The event was set up by producer Ramona Marozas who we learned is Lola Hill's granddaughter. She was the voice in Barbara's earpiece and helped set up the interview.

I could tell these people were professional and prepared.

I introduced myself in the Ojibwe which I am always happy to do. Barbara asked some questions about how the trip came about and what I hoped to accomplish. I said first I would like to dispel any myths the people there had gained from the cowboy and Indian movies. I also wanted to talk about my experiences as a combat Marine from the Vietnam War. I wanted to give the Hungarian people a view of life on the Rez as seen through my eyes.

The twenty-minute interview went well and I learned it will be shown nine times, mostly Saturday and Sunday mornings on Northland Voices.

****


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