I grew up in the Dale-Selby neighborhood of Saint Paul. To be more
exact, we lived in the upstairs of a duplex just off the corner of Dayton
and St. Albans, one block from Dale and one block from Selby.
When I see sweet potatoes, I often think of Deborah Torraine. Deb
was a community organizer in the Twin Cities. She always referred
to herself as a cultural worker; she was a mentor to new and
emerging artists, and the Director of Community Engagement for
the Saint Paul Almanac.
Driving back from the reservation, I cross a small bridge into Saint Paul. I feel the troubled waters. I think of my grandfather’s people,the Dakota. I think of how they lived by the water, how they made fire by the water.
“You have to be funny about it and honest about it. You can't leave yourself out of that mix. You have to be honest enough to say, "I'm that messed-up one in the family."”
—Louie Anderson, Saint Paul native and comedian
“I had found my spot on the roof of a red woodshed in the back yard shaded by an overhanging apple tree. An inveterate reader, I found that by lying flat on my stomach, I could remain concealed, safety ignoring any voice calling me from below.”
—Blanche Yurka, Saint Paul-raised actress
“I know that in the first instance my great interest in the agricultural growth of the Northwest was purely selfish. If the farmer was not prosperous, we were poor, and I know what it is to be poor.”