Every Canadian knows St. Paul is a great place for a January visit. (In a Pig’s Eye!)

Then & Now

John in Highland: “Cold January days bring back memories of a folk singer from Canada who, in the dead of winter, would come to St. Paul.


“Every year in the early ’70s, Gordon Lightfoot would perform at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the campus of the College of St. Catherine.

“In recent years, Lightfoot has reportedly gone through some health problems, but the Web reports that he continues to perform at concerts around the country. He has always been popular with his audiences, conversing with them between songs. I remember one time when he sang a song for his ex-wife, whom he could envision ‘driving around in her Porsche.’

“One song, ‘Bitter Green,’ told the story of a young woman who awaited the return of her lost lover. Lightfoot said that it was a true story, and the woman had lived in St. Paul. We loved the song, but always wondered if he dedicated it to whatever town in which he was performing.

“It turns out that the song lyrics truly do relate to St. Paul, and the ‘hills above the town that she walks’ are the seven hills of St. Paul. I have it on good authority that when Lightfoot sings the song in other locales, he places it in St. Paul. Or, alternatively, in a town called ‘Pig’s Eye.'”

BULLETIN BOARD NOTES (for those unschooled in Minnesota history): St. Paul’s original name was Pig’s Eye — and might have remained Pig’s Eye, if Father Lucien Galtier had had a more catholic sense of humor!

Then & Now (responsorial)

Saturday’s Bulletin Board included this note from Edgrr’s mom writes, in reference to these pictures in Friday’s and Saturday’s Bulletin Boards:



“Could Little Sister share with us the variety of seed that produced her melons last year?”

BULLETIN BOARD SAID: “She certainly could. Will she? All signs point to Yes.”

Before 7 a.m. Saturday, our faith in Little Sister was rewarded: “Edgrr’s mom:

“Happy to oblige! The watermelon seeds we used were Crimson Sweet. Although we did not, you can jump-start them indoors.”

BULLETIN BOARD ADDS: Speaking of jump-starting things . . .

If we keep running these watermelon pictures day after day after day, do you think that will hasten the arrival of spring? Please?

Can’t hurt!

Then & Now (responsorial)
Plus: The highfalutin diversions

Poet X of PDX wrote, Friday: “A year ago, because of health concerns, I had groceries delivered for about two months at about this time of year. It was a welcome relief when I was able again to take the short bus ride to and from the store.

“In the past weeks, we’ve had debilitating snow and cold here in the Pacific Northwest (family in North Dakota and readers in Minnesota would find it laughable), so I’ve briefly reverted to having my groceries delivered.

“Last summer was a great year for watermelon at the local farmers’ market. Previous years, they were available only sporadically and often would sell out before I arrived. This year they were abundant and available week after week. I enjoyed watermelon all summer, including several yellow ones, which never fail to conjure childhood memories of Grandma’s huge garden. Sudden memory: On summer campouts or picnics, the watermelon would be stored in the lake or river to keep it cold.

“Today’s picture of that luscious melon would have been a bit of torture to see, except that I splurged two nights ago when I ordered some groceries for delivery. I expect a whole melon to be delivered later today.

“Even in full health, I’d seldom get a whole melon at the store because of the weight and commute. (Farmers’ market is a bit closer, and the melons are smaller.) Tonight it may likely be my entire evening meal! And I’ll be enjoying it in the week to come.

“(I have a picture — well, a few — of a plate of watermelon. It will make a nice jigsaw puzzle; I’ll send a copy once I’ve created it, in the next hours.)”

Poet X of PDX, hours later: “Melon!”

Keeping your eyes open

Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake: “On our way to Amery, Wisconsin, I saw these two eagles sitting in a distant tree, and I had to stop to capture this picture.


“I hope that the readers here will enjoy looking at these magnificent creatures as much as I do.”

What’s in a name?
Headline Division

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: What a punny name!

“Below the score (‘Wild 7 / Canadiens 1’), the main headline on the front page of the Sports section of the Friday Pioneer Press played on the last name of the losing goalie: ‘Price gouging.’

“Has there ever been a more punnable name in the history of goalies? (Don’t answer that. [Bulletin Board says: We’ll decide what we’ll answer! LOL.])

“If he wins the next game, is it a ‘Price adjustment’?

“If he’s the winning netminder in any game, is it because the ‘Price is right’?

“If he lowers his ‘goals-against average,’ is it because of a ‘Price reduction’? [Bulletin Board says: No, that’s if he loses some weight.]

“If Montreal wins and he’s not between the pipes, is it a ‘Priceless victory’?

“His name is a pun waiting to be made.

“Now, if only there were some way to work ‘Waterhouse’ into the equation.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: And then there is the final Price-pun headline, when, the Price-winning performances having come to an end, he loses his job:

“Price cut.”

Live and learn
Or: They’re out there!

Peggles of Golden Valley: “Subject: Yep, I was farding in my car.

“I learned a new word last week — new to me, at least. A friend told me about it as I was driving the two of us to our destination and was planning on applying a little war paint before we got there. [Bulletin Board says: Please, ma’am, not while driving!]

“I had to look the word up, just to make sure of the definition. I likely won’t ever use the phrase, though, as it makes it sound as though I’m doing something completely different! This is from the Urban Dictionary website: ‘Farding: putting on make-up while driving the car. “A farding woman ran into my car today…”‘”

This ‘n’ that ‘n’ the other

Saturday-morning email: “Good Morning To All the BB readers,

“I loved the ‘Hat People’ story. I am a winter Hat Person, and I drive the speed limit, but I really do try to be up to speed when I merge onto the freeways.

“Yelling at other drivers with your windows closed is a very good idea. It takes care of your aggression and doesn’t offend anyone.

“The port-a-potty/outhouse stories are a ‘hoot’ (I learned that expression from my older sister). Now some of the guys I work with use the word. I have another winter camping port-a-potty story, but it is best told face-to-face, with gestures. The written word just doesn’t give the ‘problem’ its due. [Bulletin Board says: If a story doesn’t work without gestures, send us a video!]

“I am on the side that says BBers need to meet.

“Stay warm, and stay out of the ditch,

South Side Gal

On reading aloud (cont.)

Bloomington Bird Lady: “I saw the nice story about ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ and as for many of you, it brought back long-ago memories.

“I can see our little son, now middle-aged, reading the story and looking so sad. I had never read it, so wondered what was wrong. He just said ‘It’s so sad,’ and continued crying. He would read the book a few more times before taking it back to the school library.

“It’s nice to have a little guy show his true feelings while reading. Many kids are leery of letting their emotions show; they could get teased or even bullied these days.

“A large, brown, well-worn book had been my dad’s, probably from the early 1900s. I used to love reading about Flora and the other characters in ‘The Castle of Grumpy Grouch.’ The illustrations were good, too, in muted tones of pale orange and not too much color. Perhaps the book had faded, and it certainly was well-worn. Pages were loose, finally, and it looked ready to be tossed. Well, I went online once to see if it had been a popular book in its day. Yes! And a copy in good condition would sell for hundreds of dollars. This is the only one I ever saw, so I’m curious if someone else (there’s never just one?) has read this book from the past. [Bulletin Board notes: We are certain you are not the only one, and don’t need anyone else to prove it!]

“Odd, but after telling so many to enjoy reading to their children, I do not remember being read to at all. I did learn to read quite early, but my parents back in the early ’30s were busy working themselves out of the Depression, and didn’t even think of reading to me, maybe.

“We don’t want to see reading to one’s children kind of die out because of videos, or because of fancy devices that lure them instead of books. Do we?”

See world
Photography Division

Mounds View Swede: “Subject: Four 2013 Highway 41 road and clearing photos.

“We usually just concentrated on the road and the colorful trees lining it, but since we had to use the clearings to park off the road, we paid attention to the clearings themselves that year.



“There was plenty of color in the clearings that we found satisfying to see and photograph. We didn’t have the leading lines of the road to take our eyes into the photo, but we thought it worth a try to work without that.


“The range of color from green and red to gold (and not much brown) was almost like the first time we came here, in 2007.

Our times
Or: Reality bites

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Executive producer: Cliff Hanger.

“Everyone chides Geraldo Rivera for the anticlimactic ‘Al Capone’s Hidden Vault’ TV special.

“Actually, it was the forerunner of the many successful cable shows that look for evidence of Hitler’s treasure train, Jesse James’s lost loot and Blackbeard’s buried booty, to name a few.

“Geraldo could have kept his show going if he had just thought of finding some vague clue or theory that would lead him to the next hyped-up disappointment.”

BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: He should’ve planted a blurry picture of Bigfoot in Al Capone’s vault!

Muse, amuse

Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Subject: What I don’t want to win.

“For years, a well-known sweepstakes has advertised that you can win twice. You win; then, after your death, a designated ‘loved one’ wins the money for the rest of her/his life.

“Every time I see it, I want to yell: ‘What are you, nuts?’ It is well known that ‘too much too soon’ can destroy a child, and too much money is at the top of the list of what you shouldn’t hand a young person.

“So every time I see that ad, I visualize a person whom I would name as my heir for this sweepstakes. One possibility? Warren Buffett.”

Band Name of the Day: The Crimson Sweets

Website of the Day, from Double Bogey Mike: How Does Big Ben Keep Accurate Time?


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