Feb 14th: Dr. Goddess Takes Saint Paul

February 14, 2011

This February 14th, the Saint Paul Almanac welcomes Dr. Goddess to Saint Paul at 6:30 p.m. at Arnellia’s at 1183 University Avenue West, Saint Paul. Dr. Goddess (Kimberly C. Ellis) will star in a 15 character, one-woman show about a young urban woman’s journey into academia. A comedy, grounded in engaging social commentary, this witty show uses dramatic monologues, poetry, music, and African, jazz, Hip Hop dance and sketch comedy. If her uncle, August Wilson, were in the audience, he’d be as proud as the Saint Paul Almanac to sponsor this community-building event.

In a City Classroom

October 30, 2010

I learned a few sparse details about the tragedy of September 11 at Lutsen’s Bar on Lake Superior. I waited in the lounge for my turn to use the pay phone and watched as the television silently showed strangers holding hands and jumping from the burning towers. I felt like I was returning to a changed world. My friend Jane Sevald was also entering a whole new world. At age forty-five, she was taking on her high school classroom teaching English and writing at Como High School to students from Ethiopia, Somalia, Laos and Iraq.

Police Work: Undercover as a prostitute with Carolen Bailey

May 12, 2010

Here is a picture signed in 1974 from the very first case I ever worked on. I had just pulled off my blond wig when Sgt. Paul Paulos pointed his camera at me, so I put the wig back on crooked, because I really didn’t think he’d take the photo.

Poem: The Strength of a Woman

May 7, 2010

Founded in 1994, New Foundations is a non-profit organization located on St. Paul’s East Side that provides permanent, supportive, affordable housing and comprehensive on-site services for homeless dually diagnosed chemically dependent and mentally ill adults in recovery and their families.

The Wisdom of the Urban Gardener

May 5, 2010

Much of her life, my friend Ruthy lived in Saint Paul. She’s passed on now, yet every spring I think of her as the time for planting approaches. I know that when I get down close to the earth and feel the soil with my hands, there’s a sense of connectedness to the living universe that opens my heart as nothing else can.

Art by Kirk Anderson

Can’t Nobody Make a Sweet Potato Pie Like My Mama

By Rose McGee ● April 13, 2010

Every holiday, every barbecue, every church social, and Lord knows for every somebody or another’s funeral, the unspoken expectation has always been that my mama makes the sweet potato pies. Calling her pies delicious is an understatement—they are heavenly.

Gloria Contreras Edin: A New Hope for Latino Immigrants

May 20, 2009

"I have this flame of hope that does not go out. I believe I can make the world a better place, I believe it, I believe it, I believe it, and I'm going to keep pushing," she says. Contreras Edin is the executive director of Centro Legal, a nonprofit legal agency that has been providing legal services to the Latino community in Minnesota for over twenty-five years.

Saint Paul Saints—Change-ups, Curves & Ponytails—1998

By Donal Heffernan ● May 18, 2009

As our Saint Paul Saints begin another season this year, here are a couple of stars from a bit ago. Ila Border, the first woman to play in organized baseball, and Darryl Strawberry, down on his luck from stardom from the Yankees. Both players earned the applause and joy of Saints fans in 1998.

Carol Bly—Affection for the World

May 5, 2009

Carol Bly wrote short stories that had weight, complexity, and wit. She was also a prolific writer of essays, a cultural critic, an ethicist, and, in her own terms, "a gadfly." Being that outspoken and opinionated can startle Minnesotans. She was also a teacher of writing at universities, summer programs, the Loft, in her own dining room, and by e-mail. Before I met her in a summer class, I was vaguely aware that some people found her intimidating, even alarming. What I found was a dedicated teacher, very kind, and tremendous fun.

Mabel Seeley, “The Mistress of Mystery”

March 15, 2009

"A high priestess in the cult of murder as a fine art" was how Saint Paul literary critic James Gray described her. She was often referred to as "the Mistress of Mystery." But until recently, she was an almost forgotten figure in the city's literary lineup.

Looking for my Grandmother

March 4, 2009

My grandmother grew up in Saint Paul, poor and Irish. A McDermott, she was the youngest of the six children, and the only girl. Some say that she was spoiled. I have tried over the years to learn more about her, but she is a hard one to pin down.

Constance Currie and Neighborhood House

March 2, 2009

Anyone who knows the history of Neighborhood House on Saint Paul's West Side probably knows the name Constance Currie. Born March 18, 1890, in Saskatchewan, Canada, to a family with a long history of social service, she began her career at Unity House in Minneapolis. But it is her many years as director of Neighborhood House (1918-1957) that best mark her legacy.