Author: Amy Rea

Natedogs Food Truck: A Business Born from Passion

Nathan Beck may not seem, at first glance, like the most likely candidate to run a food operation that was named one of the best food trucks in America by Expedia and Thrillist. His background isn’t really food-based, although he describes himself as a self-taught cook. Instead, the affable father of five daughters has a background in musical theater. “You know how that goes,” he said. “While you’re waiting to break in, you either wait tables or work retail.” He did the latter and ended up as the manager for Birkenstock stores at 50th and France in Edina and Grand Avenue in St. Paul....

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Fort Snelling: An Important Point of Minnesota History

On a bluff overlooking where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers meet is Fort Snelling. Its construction began in the 1820s with the idea that it would be both a fort and a trading post, although the latter never came to pass. The timing was influenced by the recent conclusion of the War of 1812 and the U.S. government’s wish to stop any British influence in the Northwest Territory. Upon opening (under the name Fort St. Anthony—the change to Fort Snelling was made later to commemorate Josiah Snelling’s oversight of the construction), the fort played multiple roles: to oversee the region’s growing fur trade, keep the...

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Ernie Crippen World War II: A Veteran’s Perspective

Ernie Crippen learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 as many people did—from the radio. He was 19 years old, and had already registered with the U.S. Navy. “I wanted to travel, see the world,” he said. He’d been waiting for his draft card, which came after the Pearl Harbor attacks, and he was classified as 1A, putting him at the top of the list for recruitment. On Sept. 28, 1942, he underwent training first at Great Lakes, IL, then Norfolk, VA, and finally Little Creek, VA, where he was assigned to the Seabees construction group. He was then sent for...

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The Comics and Cartography of Artist Kevin Cannon

By Amy Rea If you’ve ever picked up a copy of City Pages, the Star Tribune, or Vita.MN and seen some distinctive illustrations that include whimsical, not-quite-to-scale maps, you’ve probably seen the work of Kevin Cannon ( Cannon is an artist who was tapped by City Pages to create a map of the Twin Cities’ rock ‘n’ roll landmarks, including places like First Avenue, the Electric Fetus, and the Turf Club. That was in 2007, and today he frequently does maps for various publications and for private collectors (he’ll do custom pieces around favorite intersections). It’s a logical career trajectory for someone who knew he...

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