The headline for this blog does not do the job, but I can’t think of another that would fit.  Suffice: there is plenty going on, and more to come.  While you’re hopefully enjoying summer, take some time to get really engaged in the future of our society.  Several items follow which might be of interest and/or cause some personal reflection.  Personally, I will be out of state July 5-8.

PRE-NOTE: Just announced this afternoon a Jan. 6 Hearing tomorrow (Tuesday June 28) at noon Central time.  This was not in the regular schedule.


There have been two  recent posts I hope you visit and at least note:

  1.  Post 5th January 6 hearing here, including several comments from readers added on Jan. 26.
  2.  Comments re Roe v Wade decision here.


I have read two new books this summer which I believe deserve your time, regardless of where you live.

3.  Essays on the Future of North Dakota: The Language of Cottonwoods by Clay Jenkinson.

4. Frances Anne Hopkins, Hudson’s Bay Company wife, Voyageur’s Artist by Mary Ellen Weller.

Essays on the Future of North Dakota: If you have roots in North Dakota, or know someone who has, the Clay Jenkinson book is well worth your/their time, and excellent background for bookclub kind of discussion.  The book is near 400 pages and the author is North Dakotan.  The book is meant as food for discussion.  It is readily available through many sources.

Michael Jacobs Forward gives a good introduction to the book: Jenkinson Language of Cottonwoods

Frances Anne Hopkins….Voyageur’s Artist: Mary Ellen Weller has done a masterful biography on the life of an essentially unknown woman artist whose art has been very well known for years.  Witness the cover of the definitive book on the Voyageurs.  It is the work of Frances Anne Hopkins.

Frances Ann Hopkins art.

Mary Ellen’s work is the culmination of a 30 year project.  As she describes it, 30 years ago she was at the Minnesota Historical Society to find some art for her cabin up north.   She purchased several Hopkins prints that were being sold as posters.  Mary Ellen asked about the artist, and no information was available.  She researched at the local library, and there was no biography available.  Thus began her quest to fill in the life story of this wife of a Hudson’s Bay Company official who spent about 10 years in Montreal in the mid-1800s, actually after the Voyageur era.  But the Voyageurs and their area caught Ms Hopkins, and the rest if history, and very interesting history it is.

I told Mary Ellen, who’s a colleague and friend, that I’m an unlikely fan of art.  In college, Art Appreciation earned me a “D”.  Of course, kids grow up, and I did, but nonetheless, it took a little while to get into the book, and then I was all in.

Mary Ellen, a retired teacher of French at high school and college level, has done an extraordinarily thorough research of her subject who comes to life in the book.

I think the book would be a good addition to any gift shop at any art museum or bookstore, and I wish Mary Ellen the greatest success.

5.  In Minnesota, Primary election voting is now open.  The actual Election Day is August 9.  There are important issues in this election.  More information here.  Click on the box “What’s on my ballot?” if not certain of issues in your area.


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