Sleigh Ride


Homemade snow pants of thick wool, ice caked on my jacket sleeves and on my mittens: I head out with my best friend, Rita doll...

College Park


My favorite place in Saint Paul is College Park. It’s my favorite place because it’s practically my backyard, where I can go every day, whenever I want. I can play tennis, basketball, football, and a bunch of other really fun sports.

School Bus Bullies, Superheroes, and Why I Remember the Kitchen


They say every school has a bully. I don’t know if that’s true, but our school has a bully. A big, mean kid with a bowl cut and a scar running down his cheek. He rides my bus to and from school every day. Every day, the loud voice of the backseat tyrant is heard over all the others. Laughter is silenced with a flick of his wrist. His name is Joe. No last name, just Joe. On this warm afternoon in late May, Joe is picking on Andrew, calling him names, slapping him with the sharp metal edge of a ruler (a particularly nasty and popular weapon of bullies), pulling his hair. I say, “Cut it out,” and the bully’s eyes turn to me.

My Mother’s Garden


Her garden, growing on Germain Street, needed just as much as a baby, every bit of her attention, love, and care. We moved so many times. The house on Germain was the fourth we moved into, but not the last. The backyard of this house was a bit narrow and long and even had a little hill that led to a small woodsy area. Almost every day from spring until early fall, my mother came home to her garden ready to care for it. She threw on her black short-sleeved shirt, navy blue shorts, size five black Old Navy sandals, and a pair of yellow rubber gloves.

A Normal Wet Rainy Day in Saint Paul


I hold out my hand and feel the soft tapping of raindrops on my palm. They are cool and don’t seem to care where they end up. I take out my umbrella and hold it up so I don’t get wet. It is fall. The wind starts up, and I am glad I wore my sweatshirt and rain poncho. The rain starts coming down harder now, and my patrol flag flaps madly as if trying to escape my grasp.

Night Light Hockey at Groveland


During the cold winter months of Saint Paul, there is a mecca that kids of all ages flock to with religious fervor. Mecca is Groveland, the king of neighborhood ice rinks. Drive down St. Clair Avenue anytime day or night, and witness the packed rinks of pickup hockey, toddlers pushing plastic chairs in a circle, and packs of tween girls in huddles, observing packs of tween boys.

Sixth-Grade Cookie Competitors

By Steve Trimble ● 2011

David Haynes, an African American author and St. Louis native, lived in Saint Paul for many years and taught fifth and sixth grade at a downtown public school. He has written several adult novels, and decided to write for younger readers because he found a dearth of works for that age group that were set in this city. "Business As Usual" tells the story of a cookie-selling enterprise among two rival groups of sixth graders, with a few life lessons about people and economics woven in along the way.

Old Saint Paul

By W. A. Alexander ● 2011

Old Saint Paul, up and down your ripped up sidestreets, kids roam, hands deep in pockets, snapping ice with each step. Their mothers poke out of houses, “Time to come inside,” they say, waiting to hang blankets off shoulders and brush the child’s hair from his face.

Lady Elegant’s Tea Room


"My favorite place in Saint Paul is Lady Elegant’s Tea Room. Lady Elegant’s Tea Room is special to me because that’s where I had my first cup of tea." It’s fun to go there because in the back of the room is a wall lined with hooks. On each hook is a different hat. One hat in particular is special to me. That hat is red velvet with a fingertip veil in the front and three red bows on top of each other on the side. I wear it every time I have tea there with my mom, and it’s my favorite.

Memories of Russia with a Dentist in Frogtown


Dr. Sobkoviak of Frogtown, our dentist, stood looking out the window of his office at Western and University and saw Russia. As he changed the point of the drill, looking straight through Old Home Dairy across the street into the Kremlin, he warned me about Nikita Krushchev. He was slow and thorough, stopping to polish his glasses in front of that window. In his starched white tunic, he was a true professional.

Somewhere I’ll Find You

By Phebe Hanson ● 2008

So we moved from my small town in western Minnesota to St. Paul where I had to go to Murray High, a school with more people than in the entire town of Sacred Heart...