Al Baby — makes ya miss MN

In my perusal in the Times, I saw that Al Franken is running for Senate in the state of Minnesota. I’m often not so much a fan of the celebrity-politicians, but Franken seems to be a fairly stand up guy. Thinking about him running makes me miss some of my ol’ Minneapolis days.

Shortly after he wrote Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, I saw him read at the now defunct Hungry Mind Bookstore in St. Paul, MN. Actually, I did not see him at the bookstore, but the reading was sponsored by the Hungry Mind. They would hold their large readings at the Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel which is part of Macalester College. I saw several great authors there: Al Franken, John Irving, Dorothy Allison. I even saw Brett Easton Ellis at the Hungry Mind — though I’m not sure I’d call him great.

Thinking about Minnesotan senators, I can’t help but be saddened by the death of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002. He was a great senator an perhaps could have been a great presidential candidate in 2004 or 2008. His surviving kids began the organization Wellstone Action which seeks to train citizens and potential candidates to pass legislation for progressive social change. Ugh — we need a hero. Will Franken be it?

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