Nancy O’Dell

For me, about the only good thing to come out of the whole sorry, sordid Donald Trump/Billy Bush/Access Hollywood tape affair is that I have new respect for Nancy O’Dell. Nancy O’Dell is the anchor of “Entertainment Tonight.” She is clearly talented, classy and–even by Donald Trump standards–beautiful. But until this past weekend, I’ve always been a bit ambivalent toward her, good…
Read More

cheez whiz

Funeral Food

The other day I mentioned casually on Facebook that a nice neighbor of ours had come to the door with a Tupperware container full of tuna noodle hot dish (minus the crumbled potato chips for the top).  I added snarkily something about it being almost as much fun as attending at a Lutheran funeral. Well, that seemed to wake up the Internets a bit.…
Read More



It was 1976. Just a half dozen years old,  already The UND Writers Conference was a well-established and highly-regarded cultural event. But conference founder John Little had outdone himself that year, booking two of the country’s best-known authors, Tom Wolf and Truman Capote. Wolf, ever the clothes horse, opened the week-long conference with a reading of his works wearing…
Read More


Marilyn, Peggy And John

Shortly after the election in November, a piece of presidential memorabila goes on the auction block. Well, sort of presidential. The skin-tight, highly sequined gown Marilyn Monroe wore on the occasion in 1962 when she breathily and memorably sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. The dress, which has been mostly out of the spotlight, so to speak,…
Read More


Gospel Music And Devils Lake

“I never thought I’d sing in Devils Lake,” third-generation gospel singer Mark Blackwood said last night, “but here we are.” And a near perfect night it was. The rain held off, the temperature was perfect and there wasn’t a mosquito in sight at Roosevelt Park. This will certainly date me, but I first heard the…
Read More