Two Mustached Men On My Way Home To Bemidji: Voices Of The Pacific Northwest

Back in the USA. But I still had a long way to go.  Entering the US from Canada in eastern Washington, there remained three days of driving before returning to Bemidji. I wrote about the second night last week. This, the final post from this road trip, is about the two character encounters on nights…
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Voices Of The Pacific Northwest: A Sleepover With The Mennonites

The Mennonites are best described as being like Amish who use more technology. Women in long dresses and bonnets, men in slacks and suspenders–they have cars, digital cameras, and even computers. But they use such tools for their single person in life: to do God’s work. And to stay on task, they resist exposure to…
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Voices Of The Pacific Northwest: SEATTLE

It’s a place whose name elicits an image and feel — but what are they exactly? Seattle is a tough city to summarize. The ocean, tech companies, coffee, hipsters, the the homeless: there’s an energy here all its own. The following sites and Seattleites composed my first exposure to this American metropolis–burgeoning with slices of Americana. *** SEATTLE First…
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People Of The Pacific Northwest: A MARIJUANA STORE And FARM

That which is taboo (and even illegal) in one place can be ordinary in another. This can cause us to pause—especially when such a contrast is apparent within two places in the same country. In the case of what I saw in Oregon, it can cause us to question the merit of law and policy…
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People Of The Pacific Northwest: PORTLAND

I had arrived. After two full days of driving, sightseeing, and people-meeting, I parked at my buddy Jay’s house in eastern Portland the night of July 3. He and his wife and daughter opened their home to me in this quiet, residential neighborhood–the perfect jumping-off point from which to explore the eccentricity of this city.…
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People Of The Pacific Northwest 1: People & Places From Bemidji To Portland

Two full days of driving preceded my arrival to the Pacific Northwest, the region whose lives I am exploring this summer. But though these days were mostly in the car, I captured amazing scenes and enjoyed several interactions with the people along the way. Today I combine these encounters and captures from the Upper Midwest to the…
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My Youtube Channel Is Going Bananas: The Top 3 Videos

Turns out people dig the open, honest interview with a real person. My trip last summer through the Southern U.S. offered no shortage of such people. And whenever I could, I turned on my camera and got to know them: a self-proclaimed redneck, a woman who grew up poor and black in Chattanooga, a woman stung…
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An Appalachian Woman Tells All: Poverty And Drug Abuse In West Virginia

The first thing that comes to people’s minds when hearing “West Virginia” is likely one of the following: mountains, hillbillies, coal, poverty.  These latter two are best represented in the interview below.  The woman on video isn’t a coal miner nor the wife of one. But the coal industry’s demise, as she mentions, does play a part…
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Deeper Than Judgement

Last Saturday I had another chance to share with others my experiences having others share their lives with me. I was honored to present at the Bemidji Public Library, which generously sponsored my presentation, “Voices of the South.” I appreciate those who came out to learn from (and connect with) these other voices from our world. Indeed,…
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Growing Up Poor And Black In The South: Interview With Chattanooga Ruth

They say there are two Americas today. Go back in time and we find more–but not too far back, mind you. Try 1950s Tennessee in the neighborhood Ruth Stewart grew up in. Poverty without food programs, addiction without treatment options, segregated schools: Ruth opens up about these realities just some decades ago. But she also shares…
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