We started our day at a fundraiser for Petrell Hall, a Finnish meeting house that has held weddings, funerals, rallies, dances, dinners, plays, and political debates for almost a century.
In fine Petrell Hall tradition, a Finnish journalist gave a lecture on Gus Hall. I liked the stage backdrop. During the Q&A session Matt told an agitated self-described Communist to sit down and let the man speak, and then later an older woman tried to get the journalist to admit that the U.S. was an oligarchy.
The Swedish-Norwegian-Irish Menshevik listens to the Finnish Socialist Democrat and ponders history.
That evening, a senate candidate came to the biker bar outside of town for a campaign stop. I got a picture of him with the kids.
Matt wanted to talk to Franken about the possible steelworkers strike, only hours away, but the bikers in line kept cutting in front of him to ask Franken about where he stood on helmet laws.
On Labor Day, Matt slept off a 12-hour shift that ended at 9 a.m. while I took the kids to the Duluth labor picnic. The biggest draw of this event is the inflatable obstacle course.
Several years go, we were at a small DFL function and I was wrangling the kids while Matt participated in the meeting. It's hard to tell who had the more annoying job. In any case, I kept telling Maia that she had to sit still and be quiet until Jim Oberstar came, and then we could go. We just wanted to see Jim Oberstar, and then that would be it, the meeting would be over. She was about 3 and I guess all my talk about Oberstar must have really built him up, because when the door opened and he came in and I whispered, "OK, Jim Oberstar is here, we can leave pretty soon," she leaped off my lap and gasped and said in her little amazed toddler voice, "JIM OBERSTAR!" She ran to him like he was her grandpa, and he was awesome. "Oh! Oh! Oh my!" he said, just as amazed as she was. "Well, hello there! Hello! I'm so glad to see you!" He picked her up -- and, I mean, I know he's a tough old Ranger, but she was sturdy even at 3 -- and she laid her head on his shoulder like she was ready for a nap. In the meantime, John walked right up to him and held out his hand to shake the congressman's. And did I have a camera? No, I did not. But I did yesterday!
And after Labor Day, of course, is the first day of school. The first day of kindergarten and the first day of fourth grade. The house is awfully quiet today.