Me, Mark & the White Robin

Albino Robin-2

A few days ago while on my midday walk with the dogs, when I was on the 1700 block of 15th Street South, I saw what looked like an albino robin.

Can’t be, I thought to myself. I took a double take and watched the bird and several robins fly down from the branch he was on toward the driveway of a nearby house. Must be a white dove, I said out loud. Even if that were the case, it would have been pretty unusual in this area. I’ve never seen an all-white dove in the Dakotas or Minnesota; they’re all grey.

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Father’s Day – Rolling Thunder

The front porch of our little, off-white stucco house in Medora, N.D., was a magical place to be on hot, muggy summer evenings.  / I was about 5 years old, and it was father-son time. I’d lean back, feel the strength in his chest and the arm around me, enjoy the cracking of peanuts in one of his big hands or the aroma of tobacco as he puffed at his pipe from time to time. 

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The front porch of our little, off-white stucco house in Medora, N.D., was a magical place to be on hot, muggy summer evenings. 

I was about 5 years old, and it was father-son time. I’d lean back, feel the strength in his chest and the arm around me, enjoy the cracking of peanuts in one of his big hands or the aroma of tobacco as he puffed at his pipe from time to time. 

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Positively Brilliant

I’d never heard a more miserable, pitiful statement in my life, and I haven’t heard a more miserable, pitiful one since.

It came in an upper-level English literature course of some sort, when the group was chewing through a work by Dickens or some other dead Englishman. This woman raised her hand, then said, “When I wake up every morning, I tell myself, ‘This is going to be the worst day of my life.’ That way, I’m never disappointed.”

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How I Became a Pirate

Once there was a little girl who, although I didn’t know it yet, was to be the first of three for my wife, Cassi, and me. The little lass loved books. More than that she loved having them read to her at bedtime….

Avast ye, mateys! (Pay attention!).

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Know ye that September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, ye landlubbers? Never ye mind – I’ll let ye keep drawin’ breath t’day. Fer now, pull up a stool an’ listen smartly while I spin the yarn of how I came te be a pirate. Arrrr!

(I’ll stop trying to write like a pirate now – it’s exhausting, not to mention confusing, and from what I hear most pirates couldn’t write, anyway.)

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Feeling Blue? Get Yourself Some P!nk. Or Just About Any Other Color.

From Pink Floyd to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, there have been a lot of colors along the way. And they’ve all be awesome… CLICK THE HEADLINE TO READ MORE.

It started for me in 1979 with Pink Floyd.

I found my 11-year-old self standing in the principal’s office at Roosevelt Elementary in Jamestown, N.D., the second from the end in a line of four 6th graders performing “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II.” I thought about how much trouble we were in as we sang, “We don’t need no education / we don’t need no thought control/…”

We were rebelling, of course, with the song that was all over the radio those days.

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Extra! Extra! Part II

ExtraExtra

I submitted “Extra! Extra!” (see earlier post on this blog) to Country Extra magazine, which was soliciting personal, small-town stories featuring acts of kindness.
The magazine’s editors shortened the piece considerably and printed it in the November/December issue. I received my copy in the mail last week, along with my free, full-size dinner triangle.
Ah, yes, freelance writing will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams….

My Olympic Circle

To Calgary and back, and my signature Olympic moment came in Circle, Mont.

Every couple of years, when the Olympics roll around, and especially every four when they’re the Winter Games, I think about what I learned as a broke college student in 1988. Turns out the Olympic spirit isn’t so much about amazing achievements and grand triumphs, but about everyday kindness and a cup of coffee over a hot breakfast. Here’s my Olympic story, which The Forum, Fargo, N.D. first published under the headline, “Reliving the spirit of Games,” on Feb. 19, 2010, during the Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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