Rural America Rising – Roseau’s Bear and Bean might just change the face of rural communities, for the better

 

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Iris walks into the Bear and Bean for the first time. She LOVED it, especially her grilled cheese sandwich (which was indeed heavenly). She made several new friends. too

Walk into Bear and Bean Coffee Company, Roseau’s cosmopolitan yet decidedly hometown coffee shop, and you might forget for a minute that you’re in Northern Minnesota.

But that’s not exactly what owners and Roseau residents of six years Keith and Tom Pringle are going for. Yes, they’re tapping into the warmth and funk of a trendy spot in St. Paul or Seattle – where Keith hales from, but it’s also an atmosphere that makes you feel right at home in your own north woods. From the man reading his Bible by the fireplace to the insurance agent meeting with an old farmer to the groups of Roseau students and Polaris employees, Bear and Bean makes it clear that everyone is welcome in their living room. Continue reading “Rural America Rising – Roseau’s Bear and Bean might just change the face of rural communities, for the better”

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”