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Occasionally I get an email or a late submission. I am never sure what to do with them. I have kept them in a collection until I had enough for a complete post (and I was out of other things to post). Please enjoy insight and talent from your town folks, or former towns people.
From: Cyndi LaMoure
Upon reading the post on Facebook on favorite places I began to discover that many people are unaware of what is truly a locally owned business. The comment on restaurants regarding the Green Mill is of course what most caught my attention. So comes the idea to write you. I have wanted to suggest a local couple for someone to feature but really would be unsure of them wanted to write up anything. Did you know the owners of Green Mill in Bemidji are Rich and Joyce Siegert. Rich came to Bemidji in 1962 to attend BSU where both he and Joyce are graduates from. The own The Hampton Inn, Green Mill, Erbert & Gerbert’s, 1500 place, and Lakewood Office plaza. They met while attending BSU and married. They have owned and operated many business’ in town. Joyce is the libraian at Lincoln School, Rich sits on the BSU foundation board. These business’ although they are a franchise name does not make them any less locally owned. Seeing I am not as amazing with words I would love to see some stories on these wonderful business owners and other business owners that own franchises in town that are very locally owned.
Photo by Robert Batchelder:
Photo by Chris Serbus
Photo by Jeremy Anway:
Photo by Brandon Bjerknes:
A letter via e-mail
My name is Jessica Theroux, and I am from the Bemidji area. I was born August 1982 at the Bemidji Hospital. I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis after my parents relocated in 1986.
I moved back to Bemidji in 2001, five years after my mother and my siblings moved back to Bemidji. I wanted to complete high school in the place where I’d been making friends since childhood.
One month ago, I accepted a teaching position on the South-West edge of Alaska, in a small village called Kipnuk in the Yukon-Delta region of the state.
Since departing, I have of course become very homesick.
Some of the things I miss terribly are the sounds of the loons at night, the crickets, the lakes, the TREES! There aren’t any trees out here on the tundra.
I attended and received both of my degrees from Bemidji State University. I worked for nearly eight years in various group homes around the area, caring for developmentally disabled and mentally ill adults. I loved my work, although my passions are definitely in teaching and in writing.
I am an avid amateur photographer, and I have many photos detailing my life in and around the Bemidji area.
Last summer, I was unemployed, and lucky enough to be able to spend three consecutive weeks camping on the shores of North Twin Lake in Turtle River.
I consider some of the photos I captured there to be the best in my collection, and I frequently view them to alleviate my homesickness.
I would love to share some of these with you and the blog or Facebook page. ………………
I appreciate the opportunity to share this work with others who might also benefit.
Jessica J. Theroux
Did you witness this Flash Mob put on by KAXE this summer?
Tower Road- East of Bemidji
As I attempted to take pictures of Mr. Jeremiah T.S. Liend, I was laughing so hard I could not hold the camera straight. If you also consider the freezing temperatures, it is surprising I was able to hold onto the camera at all. I have had a hard time meeting up with Jeremiah, as he has been busy with (but not limited to): announcing for the Babe City Roller Derby Team, play rehearsals at the High School, a sword show, various dramatic performances, as well as a history film project, and, ohhhh…..acting like a zombie. A man about town, a man’s man, a ladies man(?), but for sure, a gentleman…
It is my pleasure to introduce Jeremiah:
In the afternoon of June 21st 1980 I entered the world as a resident of The Bemidji Clinic. My mother is and will forever be Donna Stenerson. Then Jeremiah Tavis Stenerson, now Jeremiah Tavis Liend, I was raised till the age of 5 in Bemidji, before moving to my grandparent’s in Bagley. There I attended first kindergarten and first grade. My mother and I moved to Peace LN when I entered second grade at Northern Elementary. I moved on to Bemidji Middle School and then Bemidji High School and graduated from BHS in ’98. I quasi-attended one semester at BSU then transferred to AMDA in NYC. I returned to Bemidji to work the summer of 2000 and in the Fall retained an apartment with friends in Washington Heights. I returned to Bemidji in 2001 immediately following the attacks of 9/11 with the intention of joining the military. I pursued a career in the military between the years of 2001 and 2003, ending my enlistment by escaping from Staten Island on chill night. I returned to Bemidji in 2003 after my grandmother suffered a debilitating heart attack. I lived at home, and then Pine Ridge for 4 years 3 ½ of which were spent employed a block away at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Store 3233. In 2007 I traveled west to Port Townsend and then Thailand with The Chiang Mai Project. I returned to Bemidji and in 2008 negotiated tuition with BSU and attended classes while campaigning for mayor the second time. I have been sober since September 9th 2008 when I lost my bid for mayor a second time and since have lived with my Grandma Beulah at the end of her life and have only this month moved in with my Grandma Mary.
I have always been raised by my family and they, more than any other reason, are the reason I remain in Bemidji rather than anyplace else on the Earth. My family is vast. Many of my friends are my family, and it is getting to the point of a real community. I love my family. They are the reason I survive to tell you these, and other amazing things. I have been saved by Jesus only once, and saved by my family a hundred times over. I live on borrowed time every day of my life. Miraculous are the brushes with death that I have walked away from unharmed. I live a relatively hermetic existence due to crippling social phobia excepting the occasion I make the rounds and try to hear everything all of you have to tell me about everything. And mostly things are good and getting better. The digital revolution is impending and we are winning the battle against disease. I wish I wasn’t a pauper sometimes. Sometimes I spend the dollar on the lottery ticket and dicker the Gods over any number of great works I would and could achieve with the barest of interest and minimum of risk. But everyone is also very poor. It’s some serious Grapes of Wrath nonsense. I have only myself to blame.
If you get elected Governor you probably have to move to the cities. And I have never moved to the cities out of what I believe to be a grand curse punishing me for evils confirmed and imagined in this, and what I believe to be many past lives. I explain this curse to people, but they typically do not believe me, and/or make the case for my lunacy. I believe Bemidji is the last stand for everything. The different between Bemidji and NYC is that our trees aren’t fake. I don’t know why I can’t call myself a Native American at this point? I was born in Bemidji. I didn’t have anymore choice in that than my Anishanabe brothers who perpetually struggle against crime and injustice. We all just landed here. Through space and time we were sent to perform great deeds in the name of our forbearers.
I have collected my greatest ideas and presented them to some who mostly laughed. I want to scream; “THEY LAUGHED AT ME!” but I knew it would happen all along. I’m a pretty funny guy, if you get to know me, and we talk for a little bit, and I’m not suffering from crippling anxiety. I don’t know what it takes to get something done though. I’ve attempted a number of things with varying success. I think that we should be investing more of our efforts on first listening to, and then educating our youth. They are growing up in an age of technology that our ability to communicate with one another will change vastly in another decade. And this can be used to do things. Amazing things. Like destroy the language barrier. Tear it down and start over with everyone. Because I want to know what the Polynesians think, but I can’t talk to them.
We need to start tearing things down an starting over. I don’t like to talk about it, and I try not to write about it too much, but 9/11 changed me. I have guilt over that day. Guilt that may be layered in delusion or psychosis, but guilt, nevertheless. We are, so far, losing that battle. We’ve spent thousands of lives avenging thousands of lives and tens of thousands more have been killed in the process. A true world leader would have fixed that. Made it a mission not to play their game. And I was almost a part of it. Joe gave me the phone that morning and later he would fight for the 82nd where I would have been if not for eczema. For what? To capture Bin Laden? I can do that. Any person can do that. But why can’t we save everyone at home first? Can’t we fix America before we try fixing everyone else?
Because I’m doing my damndest to make Bemidji the Town on the Hill. If you can take one city, and make it everything you desire, then why move? And why would I want to? Move to LA and no longer experience seasons? What would Fall be without leaves? What would Christmas be without snow? Soon enough climate change will rob us of both, but for now I will live in Bemidji, and try to rebuild from here. Because everywhere artists and merchants labor for the honest dollar, and the lake only smells a week out of the year. If ever a 1,000 swordsman army existed, it would be in Bemidji. And let me explain that a swordsman can be man or woman, but the sword comes first. And I’m out there arming you. One at a time. Waiting for the phone message from Bill Gates.
My town harbors my family who harbor my heart within my home. A 10 minute walk in any direction waits a sofa I might crash on. Bemidji tap is intolerable, but plentiful. Lady Justice on the courthouse stares blindly to the East where the sun rises over Lake Bemidji. The Carnegie, a gift from the man of the same name, still stands. They tore down my High School, and will always hold a silent vendetta against those who let her die. But I think that’s where the New Globe Theater can go. Preferably before they turn it into a parking lot. The Giant Paul Bunyan will rise! McDonalds would be fools not to rent the upmost floor. One day someone will give me the green light, and we will all find ourselves living in the center of the galaxy.
If I didn’t believe that a city could represent all that is good and spectacular in humanity I would not bother living. I must rise in the dark hoping for the light. I would rather craft the world into which I was born than travel to inferior cities with hopes for fame and fortune. Once the world realizes that it is as easy as listening to one another and then working hard to rebuild. We are not Republicans and Democrats, we are Americans. Hate can only devour, and we live in a city of love. Or at least tolerance. If you have a gun and an order you are not obligated to protect anything, and you have no free will. We are a Warrior Nation that has been retired to consumerist pastures. The children we raise will die younger than us if we do not begin the defense of our very lives.
We must stand as a line of defense against those who would harm our homes and families, but defense is not enough to pioneer. We must cast aside the shackles from our minds and reclaim our senses and bearings. We must Unite Our States before our house divided falls. We are in an age of the Digital Pioneer now. The Information Age is upon us, and what we choose to do with this information is at our disposal. We can we eliminate the need for paper and invest the lumber into homes for the homeless. We can provide energy and health care to everyone for forever. We can live healthier, action-packed lives before we endanger our posterity with our rest.
As I type this we throttle through space as the most advanced species in our most advanced age. As I type you to this the Space Shuttle is about to retire without a plan to replace it. As I type this I remember through history the great scientists and artists and laborers building everything we have from the dirt below their feet and simple tools. I remember through history the terrible atrocities we have rendered unto one another in the pursuit of wealth and power. I remember through history the names of those who came in the name of God to raise Faiths. I continue to strive through depression and discouragement every day by believing and remembering and praying to all the Gods that my message and my hopes arrive to the ears and hearts of like-minded folk, and equally desperate and disparaged we can at least dream of Solar Dirigibles until someone finally builds one.
If you gaze at the stars long enough, you will begin to sense that you are flying, and this is very real, and very exciting. I have felt the world spin without the benefit of mind-alteration. Spin with me now. When the cosmos ends we will all of us be together with all the energies we have dispensed over our ages. We shall exist as infinity together and perhaps find out if there is anyone in charge. Someone tending the light at the end of our universe. Spin with me now.