Road Trip: Day 30

Posted: August 26, 2016 by timjollymore in Uncategorized

Dateline: Cromwell, small town America is very much alive. And I mean vibrant and tiny (by Oakland standards).

I’ve already reported on Irene’s Favorite things (Maytag story) and now my second favorite stop Cromwell, Minnesota.  On last year’s tour, Observation Hill, a novel of class and murder, returning from Baxter along 210, I took on gasoline at the Cromwell crossroads.sag 5
“Look there [kittycorner from the Clark station]! A bookstore!” And so the saga began. I’m in Jim Northrup‘s neighborhood, (1943 – 2016), Walking the Rez Road, an august literary influence from Saginaw, just down the road. So why shouldn’t there be a bookstore here?

Doug Peterson runs the place Fish ‘n Tales and was tickled pink to take on both Listener in the Snow and Observation Hill. When he sold his first copy, he shouted out on face book with the enthusiasm of a newly published author. That’s what makes ‘rural’ so good. I think it takes a dram of isolation and a drought of ‘down-to-earthness’ to create joy out of thin air. He’s doing a fair job of servicing the reading community in Cromwell/Tamarack/Sawyer metro area. You go guy!

If you are having trouble finding the bookstore, stop in at Aardvark Septic Systems next door. Ask John for the key and make your selections. It’s a trip! Stop in, too, at the Sawyer Store which sells everything – if we don’t have it, you don’t need it – and boasts a 2 hour US post office, 5 days a week, a community center icon.


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