The Badger Community Heritage Wall – How a Public Art Project Tells the True Story of One Rural Community

(Published in the October 3, 2017 issue of the Warroad Pioneer)

A century from now, our descendants will travel the widened yet familiar section of Highway 11 that runs at a diagonal from Lake of the Woods to the North Dakota border. When they reach the small but thriving community of Badger, someone in the vehicle will inevitably say, “Watch for the Wall!”, and as their vehicle slows, all eyes will strain towards a small green space a block beyond the highway. What they watch for is eye-catching even on a gray day, when the light through the clouds still plays with the colorful hundred-year old glass shards, thousands and thousands of them, painstakingly cut, set and cared for over the years by loving fingers that have long since returned to the Earth.

It’s a very likely scenario and one that artist Sherri Kruger says she prays for. “Forever. I pray that it lasts forever,” she said, when asked about the possible longevity of her creation. Said creation is her brainchild, but in its short lifespan to date, the project as a whole has become much more than just “hers.” Continue reading “The Badger Community Heritage Wall – How a Public Art Project Tells the True Story of One Rural Community”

Deb Butler Retires, Closes Island Passenger Service

As one of the lake’s only female Captains, Deb Butler initially faced a lot of challenges when she took over Island Passenger Service. But she thrived by making the job her own. Now she’s hanging up her captain’s hat and reminiscing about the many memories she made along the way.

The waves were already cresting over the dock as Deb and oldest granddaughter Molly made their way down the narrow walkway out to the Red Head. The 25-foot sport-craft, named for its bright red rag top, strained against its lines as they boarded and made ready to leave their northwest facing bay. This was nothing new. Wind wasn’t fun, but it was common. No matter the weather, there were people to be ferried and a schedule to be kept. Continue reading “Deb Butler Retires, Closes Island Passenger Service”