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The Middle of Somewhere September 5, 2010

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I thought I had something more clever to say than “I’ve been there” but I guess I don’t. You take a right if you’re on your way to drop your child at International Band Camp.

When we lived in Detroit Lakes, MN there was a navy recruiter who would set up his table in the tiny shopping mall there. There was some reason for a lot of tables to be there, people with sports cards, the Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts selling something, I don’t recall the occasion. I just remember talking to him while my son poured through a box of Pokemon cards. Isn’t this about as far from the ocean as a Navy man could possibly be (unless, of course, he were in the Russian Navy).

He laughed and explained that they get a lot of recruits from people in places like this, kids who want to get as far away as they can and see the world, young men and women who might have seen Lake Superior but have never seen the sea. I thought about that as we walked out into the parking lot, filled with sea gulls that lake hop all the way from the Atlantic, across the Great Lakes, then through the famous 10,000 lakes. I wondered at the time if seagulls migrated but I don’t think I ever got the answer. I just found their presence comforting, an Orleanian and sometime beach bum stranded as far as I could possibly be in North America.

Comments»

1. coldH2Owi - September 6, 2010

That’s Minnesota’s “famous ten thousand lakes” – I’m from northern Wisco, just about due east of Detroit Lakes. I knew there was something besides New Orleans to like about you. There are many times when the cliche is apt, like – It’s a small world, eh?

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2. Mark Folse - September 6, 2010

Now, that was a boneheaded error now corrected. I spent about three years in DL and almost 10 in Fargo.

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3. coldH2Owi - September 9, 2010

13 years in the Upper Midwest makes you a citizen of what Bob Dylan calls a “country”. I enjoy reading your posts. I, too, often wonder whether what I write has meaning beyond my body, particularly as this body tries its best to break down. I think ultimately, that every piece of writing, from a love poem to an historical novel is political, & if your (the writer’s) politics are with everyday folks who are not miserable teabaggers, the writing will be true & good.

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