Category Archives: People

Dan Freeman: reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated

Longtime Northfielder Danny Freeman walked into the GBM this morning at around 6:45 am to get a cup of coffee.  I’d heard that he was in poor health so I intercepted him to see if he had time to talk. He declined, as he had to get to his Sunday morning KYMN radio gig. 

But since he looked like hell and his voice sounded like shit, I decided to pester him further and so I went down to KYMN’s studios and knocked on the window. He let me in and we chatted for five minutes.

Dan Freeman, KYMN studios Dan Freeman
Dan told me he’s had a serious lung infection for several weeks and has been recovering at the St. Lucas Care Center in Faribault where he’s been on oxygen nearly 24×7.  He’s gradually getting better and expects to be back home this week in time for his 72nd birthday on Wednesday.

Paul Krause’s ‘Harvest’ documentary airs on TPT in September

Paul Krause and his 'Harvest' documentary web page

Paul Krause stopped by my corner office at GBM last week to let me know that his Harvest documentary, (which "chronicles the creation of Ray Jacobson’s sculpture of the same title") is scheduled for broadcast on TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) several times in September.

See the Harvest page on Paul’s Dancing Sun Multimedia site for dates and times.

Northfield Lines’ driver Jack Parker can park a bus like a Mini Cooper

bus, Northfield Lines bus, Northfield Lines Jack Park, driver, Northfield Lines
Robbie and I were having lunch on the deck at Chapati on Saturday when a Northfield Lines bus pulled up in front of the Archer House to pick up a wedding party. With cars parked in the spaces at both ends of the no-parking zone, I assumed the driver would just be able to pull in a tiny bit, but would otherwise be blocking much of the lane on Division St.

But he backed it in, just like backing a car into a parallel parking spot.  While backing up, he got so close to that Mini Cooper (center photo) that I assumed the bus had an external video camera at the rear to guide him.  When the car parked near the front of the bus pulled out, he was then able to bring the bus all the way to the curb, which is when I took the photos.

The driver was long-time Northfielder Jack Parker who said the bus was not equipped with any cameras or other electronic tools to assist him in parking. He attributed his being able to eyeball it to being a farm boy. Impressive.  He said he loved his job way more than over-the-road and when I watched him greet the wedding party as they stepped onto the bus, it was obvious.

Gene Finger and Chris Ellison: sporting about town in a pregnant roller skate

Chris Ellison and Gene Finger GEM e2 GEM e2
While eating lunch on the sidewalk bench in front of Hogan Brothers last week, I spotted Gene Finger and Chris Ellison driving by in their new GEM e2 two-passenger electric vehicle (GEM = Global Electric Motorcar, now owned by Polaris).

For more about Gene and Chris, see the Oct. 11 Northfield Patch profile, Active for Life: Northfield’s Gene Finger and Chris Ellison "Retire" From Retirement.

Help Bonnie and Josh get a $250,000 small business grant: just click a button

Owner William Rowan, son Josh and daughter-in-law Bonnie, on May 2012 shake-down cruise. Photo by Doug RautenkranzFormer LoGro RepJ reporter Bonnie Obremski and hubby Josh Rowan departed Northfield three years ago but we hear from them regularly.

Their current adventure: the restoration of an 87-year-old wooden schooner with some help from Dan Dan Restoration named ‘Hindu’ (which has its own Wikipedia entry: Schooner Hindu) and the start of their charter sailing business.

I got this from Bonnie via a post to my Facebook Wall:

Hi Griff! Hoping you might vote for us to get a small business grant at https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/. Search “schooner hindu” and we should pop up.

Chase and LivingSocial are awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses and to be eligible, Bonnie and Josh need at least 250 votes.

Mission Small BusinessWhat do you need to do to help? Just visit the website Mission Small Business.   You’ll be prompted to login with your Facebook account.

Once you’re logged in, search for “Schooner Hindu” or find it by entering Key West, Florida. You’ll then see a button to click to SUPPORT it.

Peter and Jesse are putting up a geodesic greenhouse in their backyard

Peter Seebach and his geodesic greenhousePeter Seebach and Jesse Hajiceck bought our beloved old house on South Linden St. back in 2007 so I was delighted to learn from Seebs last week that they were constructing  a geodesic greenhouse in their backyard.

The dome is a kit from Growing Spaces and Northfielder Mike Paulsen is doing the construction.

I think you’ll be surprised to see what they’re going to use it for.