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There's a little town in my home county called Trempealeau. Years back, while excavating for a new building, diggers found an old fur trading station from the early 19th century, long before Wisconsin became a state. In grade school our teachers told us about it over and over again and explained it was a fur collecting outpost sponsored by John Jacob Astor.
I read portions of "Heat," by Bill Buford when it appeared serially in the New Yorker. Now Knopf is out with it in book form, at $29.95. I'm a foodie who for more hours I want to admit is glued to the food channel. One of my favorite TV chefs is Mario Batali ("Molto Mario") and so when I saw that Buford wanted to work in his restaurants, where my wife and I have eaten, I dove in. The new book is a highly intelligent and humorous take on what fancy restaurants are like these days.
There's no lack of histories on specific subjects this summer. And they're not just coming out of the university presses. Little, Brown, for instance is just out with "The General and the Jaguar," by Eileen Welsome ($25.95). This book, which takes place in 1916 is as relevant today as it was 90 years ago. The general is Gen. John "Blackjack" Pershing. The jaguar is Pancho Villa. The U.S. considers Villa a dangerous renegade, so sends Pershing and troops to Mexico to hunt him down. This action alienates the local residents who respond with terrorism. Back home in the U.S.
I began visiting New York in the 1970s and loved it from the beginning. Back then it was dirty and dangerous but irresistible. Today it has calmed down and cleaned up and is still irresistible. I've always wondered what it would have been like back in the 1930s and 1940s when the city was in its heyday, before its infrastructure began to crumble and the upper crust moved out and their brownstones were split into warrens resided in by the less fortunate.
Rose Theresa (Standing) Stupero, age 97, passed away on June 2 at Heritage Assisted Living in Edina, Minn. Memorial visitation will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Heritage (Rembrandt Bldg) Dining Hall, 3434 Heritage Dr., Edina. Private interment at St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Burnsville, Minn.
Bradley W. Kohls, age 47, Sept. 27, 1965 - March 23, 2013, of Farmington, passed away after transplant complications. Brad was a 1984 graduate of Farmington High School. He worked for the Toro Company for 25+ years. Brad was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Alyce Kohls. Survived by his significant other, Peggy McGrail; siblings, Alan, Ronald, Kris (Debbie), Karen, and Richard Kohls; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Mass of Christian Burial 11 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 22120 Denmark Ave., Farmington, with visitation from 4-8 p.m.
Bennie Hotvedt, age 87, of Farmington, died Jan. 29 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Erickson-Smith Funeral Home, Hoffman, Minn., with visitation 1 hour prior.
Clarence A. Kamen, born Jan. 6, 1918, was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother, age 94, of Rosemount, Minn., formerly of Farmington, Minn. Clarence went to be with the Lord on Dec. 21, at home, surrounded by his loving family. Clarence cherished his family, his Catholic faith and his love of farming. He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 49 years, Bernadine C.
Jim O'Leary, age 53, of Farmington, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 21. Memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, with gathering of family and friends starting at 3 p.m., at the Rosemount Community Center, 13885 S. Robert Tr.
Julie Shea passed away on March 11. Mass of Christian Burial was at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, at St Joseph's Catholic Church, 13900 Biscayne Ave. W., Rosemount. Visitation 1 hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be at a later date, at St. Clements Cemetery in Hammond, Wis. In lieu of flowers, Julie requested memorials to Mayo Cancer Research.