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PATT RALL COLUMN: As promised, more books to read this summer

Today reminds me of a summer day in New York—100 percent humidity and high 90s to 100 degrees—Yuk!

Walking through this weather is like facing a pea soup fog. One such day, I came upon my grandfather making pickles in a large pot; a habit left over from the eastern European villagers for vegetables during the winter. It was important work as we lived in a Ukrainian ghetto on Staten Island, N.Y.—one of the five boroughs that make up NYC. Why the memory? Local writer and artist, Don Houseman, has published a charming new book asking, "Grandma...How Should I Eat a Pickle." We have enjoyed the three books previously printed for the simple, yet cogent lessons in faithfulness, friendship and those attributes we wish to salvage for the future generations. The book is also illustrated in color with an insight obvious to us grands...the love between grandparents and grandchildren builds by sharing those moments of working together, talking and playing one-on-one. The upcoming 4-H exhibits at the Beltrami County Fair will have many jars of pickles for judging but there is only one jar that grandma and granddaughter are looking for; the one they made. The book also shows the many ways of eating a pickle: like a rabbit perhaps? Houseman will be signing his new book "Grandma...How Should I Eat a Pickle" at Book World in Bemidji from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. He will also have copies of the previous three books of "Harvey and His Friends" available at that time, as well.

The upcoming wolf program at 7:30 p.m. on July 22 at Lake Bemidji State Park, where professionals will speak about "Wolves at Our Door," in an unbiased program describing the behavior, biology and our perceptions of wolves ha caught our attention. Having just finished a book by Seth Kantner, "Ordinary Wolves," a profound and beautiful account of a boy's attempt to reconcile his Alaskan wilderness experience with modern society; written by an author who was born in a mud igloo and homeschooled was reminiscent of Jack London stories. In this novel, the young man tries to look "native" even to the extent of flattening his nose because he could not change the color of his hair or eyes marking him as white. Cutuk lived with his father, Abe, and two siblings in a mud hut from which the mother escaped the burdens of living in the tundra. A fascinating book that begins and ends with wolves and the young man chooses between life in the cities (Anchorage and Fairbanks) and the primitive yet strangely "modern" northwest Alaska.

Upcoming events

• Nicholas Jackson will perform at Farm by the Lake Summer Concert Series at 4 p.m. today in Bagley—rain or shine. Jackson is an up-and-coming local entertainer who resides in Bemidji and has performed locally at Brigid's Pub, Rail River Folk School, Bemidji State Park, Northern Inn, Wild Rose Theater, Bemidji State University, the Minnesota State Fair and area churches. Come out for a relaxing evening at The Farm. Future shows include July 23 with Bluebird and July 30 with Corey Medina & Brothers.

• Bemidji Area Church Musicians Summer Recital Series will continue at noon on Wednesday, July 19, at the Evangelical Covenant Church. Lois Simonson, pianist at the church will be joined by Sanna Gustafson, saxophone, Kari Miller, flute and Janet Pederson, violin. Their program will consist of arrangements of well-known hymn melodies and sacred compositions. A free-will offering to fund music scholarships will be received at the door. The Evangelical Covenant Church is located west of Bemidji at 5405 U.S. Highway 2, across from the Bemidji Theater. A luncheon will follow the concert with a price to be announced.

• Marsh Muirhead will be master of ceremony for the Poetry Slam at 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 19, at Fozzie's Smokin' Bar BQ, 114 Third St. Those familiar with the guidelines of up to three original poems spoken by the participants for cash prizes of $100 down to $25 for the best three poems. Call (218) 444-5606 to register or show up early and register. This is usually an adult's-only event and sponsored by Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

• Here's an audition notice for Bemidji Community Theater from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18-19, at the Fusion Center (old Ben Franklin space) in downtown Bemidji. "Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van" by Mary Lynn Dobson will be directed by Vicki Stenerson (dramaq57@hotmail.com). Prepare a short monologue and cold readings will be available. This play needs six men and four women. Anyone who has even been in a summer repertory company will empathize with the script.

• Northern Light Opera Co.'s summer production will be "South Pacific" on July 28-30 and Aug. 2-5.

• First City Poetry Reads presented by the Spoken Word Committee of the Watermark Art Center is planning an entire series of poetry readings starting with the effervescent author, actress and driving force in Bemidji—Cate Belleveau—at 2 p.m., July 29, at Bemidji Aviation with the theme of "flight adventure."

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