Five Ate For Owe Won

First things first. My dad, Bruce Berg, has a book coming out in the next week or so. I think it’s called “Heard It Now And Then”, and it’s an anthology of his best guest editorials from his 25 year archive of material for North Dakota Public Radio.

And I was surprised to learn that it’s actually his fifth book. Common Grounds, his first, is probably the best-known; his history of Jamestown’s old ball park touches heavily on the glory years of North Dakota amateur baseball, when the league was a stop on the Negro League circuit. In one fabled story, a team of North Dakota all-stars – half of them Negro League stars like Satchel Paige and company, the other half locals – swept the Major League All-Stars, who were passing through by train on their way to Japan for an exhibition series. It’s all in there. Anyway, he’s had others; Writer’s Block, which is a sort of combination geneology and collection of peoples’ reminiscences about the city’s history a collection of his Jamestown Sun columns, and a novel (whose name eludes me, and is self-published so it doesn’t show up on Google).

So congrats, Dad!

In news that may or may not be related, Dad’s asked me (as well as my brother and sister, among others) to write and send him things we remember about the city. I’m not sure if this is for another book project, or just for his own edification – either way is just fine.

But, appearances notwithstanding, I don’t have a lot of time for writing stuff; my “me” time is usually from 5:00 to 6:15AM every morning.

So in the interest of simplifying my life and doing the job, I’m going to add them into the blog, here. They’ll be posted under the category “Five Ate For Owe Won”. If you’re not into Mitch Berg’s self-indulgent reminiscences (or if you’re just a joyless harpy), just scroll on down.

I do, however, invite Jamestown people (you know who you are) to leave comments, elaborations, or what-have-you. (I will most likely be much more ruthless than normal about excising off-topic or dumb comments).

So there you go!

10 thoughts on “Five Ate For Owe Won

  1. This isn’t completely off-topic, I suppose, but feel free to consider it dumb. My first cousin, three times removed, named Elmer Willett was born in Annandale, Wright County, MN in 1895. At the time of the 1930 census he was living on Main Street in Jamestown ND and working as an undertaker (!) at a furniture store. The only other thing I know about him is that he died in California forty years later. He probably did not have any kids, so no use looking for living relations.

    I am going to assume that either “undertaker” does not mean what I think it means, or that Jamestown was too small to support certain trades as individual businesses. I really am very curious about that.

  2. Okay, you’ve set the hook. Now tell us the names of the other books, and where we can get them.


    Aw come on, pretty please.


  3. Undertaker and furniture stores were combined (why? I don’t know) for most of the first 2/3 of the 20th century.

  4. Undertaker may have meant something else; Jamestown had at least one actual funeral home in the thirties.

  5. Most of the other books are self-published, and can only be gotten from bookstores in the region, or from Dad. Common Ground was distributed via Borders and B&Ns in the region, and can be found on Amazon. The others, Dad’s pretty much distributed around to bookstores on his own, although he’s sold a fair number.

    Will post more details as available.

  6. I’m waiting for It Was Twenty Years Ago Today in hard cover. It should make War and Peace look like a magazine.

  7. Just for kicks,I put the first 37 parts – the ones before I converted to WordPress – into Word today. 140 pages!

  8. One day I will write my memoirs of growing up in Fridley in the 60’s and 70’s. I will call it Fridley: The Jamestown of Minneapolis suburbs.
    I would ask you to pre-order copies from Amazon but true Fridley-folk can’t access or understand the intertubes. I make all my comments at SITD via teletype and and a telephone handset equipped with a 2400 baud modem.

  9. Terry, I am writing this from Fridley right now, believe it or not! It is amazing though, because [#$%^&*] Qwest buried two bridge taps under University and Central on the way here from the CO (or so the story went last year).

    Let me know when the book comes out! 🙂

  10. 140 pages? It just looks longer when you have to scroll down. My short attention span doesn’t help.

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