FREE SPEECH ZONE | The Second Chance Prom: Dancing with the Minnesota Freedom Band

Last night I attended the Minnesota Freedom Band’s “Second Chance Prom” at a glittery dance center in a St. Paul strip mall. The scarred wood floor was slick, as were the bottoms of my used men’s black wing tips, as was, frankly, my outfit: a 1940s Japanese “mourning” tuxedo with tails over a Hanes black v-neck t-shirt and a pair of gray and black pinstriped pants. The sleeves were a bit short, and the shoulders a bit tight, but overall, given the thousands of miles separating the continent I live on from the continent it came from, and the decades interceding its first owner and me, it fit quite well.Before you permanently settle on the belief that I am an ego-maniac, I want to add that everyone at the Second Chance Prom looked smashing. There were bright pink and forest green and gold gowns worn by women and one man; black tuxes worn by a number of men (and me); short flowing skirts; dark jeans; some sort of floral hat get up; fedoras; and suit, tie, and vest outfits worn by men and women. Continue Reading


North Minneapolis has many fences. Four feet high chain link fences, ten feet high homemade wood fences, chest high white plastic picket fences. Fences staked in the 1920s, last fall, in the 70s. I notice them on my runs, which span from six to ten miles, total, every six days. Sometimes I run into neighboring northeast Minneapolis, and on occasion into suburban Robbinsdale. Continue Reading