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MARILYN HAGERTY: Spring brings thoughts of peonies, poetry

Dear Shirley,

It’s spring. Tra la. And I am thinking of peonies and poetry today. These days are the reward for people who have hung tough around here all winter

There is a move afoot to revive the Peony Show that was a tradition of June in Grand Forks in years gone by. I heard about it from Marlene Maxon, Shirley. They don’t have officers anymore, but she is the leader of Grand Forks Horticulture Society.

She says they are looking at holding the show at the Myra Museum, maybe June 11. That’s when peonies are at their peak. And there even is someone among us who knows where all the old milk bottles are.

You remember milk bottles?

Yes, they were great vases for the peony show.

Along with peonies, I am thinking about poetry today, Shirley. I well remember when you and sister Helen would close yourselves up in a room and read poetry to each other. And I was never included in those sessions when you read from, “One Hundred and One Famous Poems.”

Well, tonight in Grand Forks, everyone is invited to an Evening of Poetry at the North Dakota Museum of Art. Madelyne Camrud will read from her “Oddly Beautiful” book. There will be music by Alejandro Drago on violin and soprano Anne Christopherson.

People of the community also will read their own favorite poems. I do wish you could be here, Shirley. I would forgive you for not including me in your poetry readings at home so long ago.


With spring in the air, I went over to Thief River Falls last week to help judge the King of the Wings contest. Let me tell you, Shirley, you have all the wings you need when you savor samples from ten contestants.

Winners were the surgical team from Sanford Surgery Center, which was the beneficiary for the big event. They turned out more than 400 wings. The team was all gussied up like surgeons. They called their booth Carpal Tunnel Cavern, and they had a Gastro Gulch.

The Taster’s Choice trophy went to the Black Cat Sports Bar and Grill. It’s run by Al. They didn’t tell me his last name because it is too hard to spell. I found out it is GRZADZIELEWSKI.

He thinks wings should be crisp on the outside. And he likes jumbo size wings with plenty of meat in them.

Sue Johnson, who organized the second annual wings event, said they raised $21,400 in sponsorships and ticket sales for the Northwest Medical Foundation of Sanford.

Love from your sister Marilyn eating Mr. Goodbars while rhubarb pops out of the ground along the banks of the Red River of the North.

Reach Hagerty at or (701) 772-1055.