Bob Lind Shoutout – Ellington Story

Got a shoutout in Bob Lind’s “Neighbors” column in yesterday’s issue of the local paper,The Forum, Fargo. The column references a story I wrote back in 2001 (the Lind column was off by a couple of years) forNDSU Magazine about the night a North Dakota Agricultural College extension agent and his friend from South Dakota State College recorded Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the original Crystal Ballroom in downtown Fargo.

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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….

Just Winking At You

Look at it. The front page of your daily newspaper, down at the bottom. Winking at you!

Every morning when I open my copy of the local newspaper, The Forum, I can’t help but think of Jackie O’Shea’s line from “Waking Ned Devine.” Because at the bottom right of page one, Monday-Saturday, there it is just winking at me – a print ad. It’s no winning lotto number, to be sure, but in the end Jackie and I are referring to the same thing: fortune.

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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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Not-Quite-Dead Rock Stars

Rock isn’t dead. It’s old and wrinkled, sure, but it’s alive and well and still playing at Moondance Jam. Really. Saw it with my own two eyes.

Rock isn’t dead.

I saw it myself late last Thursday on a delayed flight from Chicago to Fargo. And to quote a 35-year-old hit, “It was like lightning / Everybody was frightening / And the music was soothing / And they all started grooving…”

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Thanks for Being Here

Father’s Day, 2004

“Thanks for being here.”

My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.

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Gee, Dad, You’re Such a Dork!

Photo of Martin C. Fredricks IV with his father, Martin C. Fredricks III
Photo of Martin C. Fredricks III with his son, Martin C. Fredricks IV, June 16, 2002 – Father’s Day

“Mart probably fell into the toilet, and Dad’s making a list of ways to get him out.”

That punch line, originally delivered by my older sister when we were just kids, never fails to bring a laugh at family gatherings. It’s a short story that recently took on new meaning for me.

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