28th September 2014 – Elizabeth Donaldson
“All the people on the West Coast of Ireland look like Nancy Reagan,” she says.
And her friend who is almost as old as the building itself and flaunts her age with leopard prints and Barbie pink lipstick, stirs two sachets of Splenda into her coffee and replies, “you don’t say. When you been to Ireland, Martha?”
“Course I never been to Ireland,” says Martha, “Ain’t been no further than the Twin Cities. Saw all about Ireland and Scotland too, one time on a PBS programme.”
29th September 2014 – Brid Gallagher
“It was decided that the giant 25 foot Loon, commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the World Famous Loon Festival in Virginia, Minnesota, should be allowed to remain, floating on the town’s lake, long after the festival ended. The ordinary birds and ducks of Virginia, intimidated by this ill-proportioned rival, developed inferiority complexes, checked themselves into the local gym, took vitamin supplements and considered surgical enhancement. With all reasonable avenues exhausted the began to spread rumours around the town, questioning the Loon’s parenthood and sexual preferences; insinuating that he was merely a common duck in disguise.”
29th September 2014 – Brendan McLoughlin
“There are whole cows floating, petrified beneath the gloom gray water of Lake Superior. In the years before the polar ice caps lost their convictions, when the waves were wall-high and manageable, a railroad rain from one shore to the other. Like Christ himself, walking on, or above, the waterline it skimmed the waves, sewing Minesota to Wisconsin to the wild world beyond. The trains ran for years, backwards and forwards across the lake, loud and low with livestock and iron ore. Until, in the latter days, the waves grew high as hillside houses, dragging carriages, cows and penitent railway men, off the tracks and underwater to become photographs of themselves, still and suspended in the darkening brine.”
30th September 2014 – Marc and Ashley Knowles
“Just before Exit 214 of Highway 73 you will come across the ‘Fires of 1918 Museum.’ You may not have particularly intended to visit this museum and yet, intrigued by the flames and the very peculiar smell, (burnt pine and charcoal), you will stand outside the door of Denny’s and deliberate between spending your last five bucks on the entrance fee, or getting another double cheeseburger.
“How,” you will wonder, “have the kept that thing blazing for almost a century when even the Olympic torch falters from time to time?”
1st October 2014 – Sonja Leggewie
“In 1917 when the prospectors discovered iron ore beneath the streets and just-built basements of Hibbing, a move was inevitable. Every house, church, school and free standing shed would need to pick itself up and slip two miles South so the miners could move in. Progress was slow by hand and foot and individual brick and, once settled in its new location, the question remained, “was Hibbing a specific spot on the Iron Range, or an idea of a town as transient as a passing cloud?”