‘Diggin’ up bones’

‘Diggin’ up bones’

Remember the song “Diggin’ Up Bones” by Randy Travis?

The first part of the chorus goes like this, “I’m diggin’ up bones, I’m diggin’ up bones

Exhuming things that are better left alone

Whether my past is worth digging up or not, I’ve been gathering up articles, photos and other memorabilia from my 30 years in journalism so that I can organize it into a scrapbook.

The idea is that my children and grandchildren will be curious after I’m gone to know what I’ve been up to for most of my life.

I know they could care less now, but hopefully one day they will be curious about a career that I love and the stories that I’ve cherished.

It’s a little daunting. I have a huge pile of stuff on my dining room table and it’s been there for four weeks as I try to figure out how to organize or maybe not organize it and just wing it.

The problem is that I still have boxes of magazines and articles in our garage back in North Dakota that I probably won’t be able to retrieve until next summer.

I won’t be able to put all of the articles I have written into the book, but that’s OK. I have been going through and cherry picking my favorites. The plan is to write a note about why the articles are special to me and provide some behind-the-scenes information so they know why I saved them and included them in the scrapbook.

Some of the articles I’ve saved will not need an explanation, for example I wrote about a private detective who found the pants Elvis Presley wore in the movie “Frankie and Johnny,” while searching for a Halloween costume in a thrift store in Dilworth, Minn. I am a huge Elvis fan and luckily the detective knew that and called me. He is also an artist and made me an “assembledge” that features threads from the pants. I also wrote about an Elvis look-a-like who worked at a Mini Mart convenience store in Grand Forks, N.D., and an Elvis impersonator who held his first performance in Roseau, Minn. The headline, of course read, “Viva Las Roseau.”

Then there are other stories that require a little extra explanation like the one I wrote about a couple who raced sled dogs on Devils Lake in North Dakota. The memorable part of this story that I couldn’t report on, so as not to insert myself into the article, was that they let me take a sled dog team out on the lake all by myself. It was a truly exhilarating experience. It was a sunny, still day and all I could hear was the panting of the dogs and the sound of the sled runners on the ice.

If you all don’t mind, I plan to occasionally write about some of my favorite articles as I go through my “Diggin’ Up Bones” process as a way to break up my rants, raves and general grousing about ag politics and ag bashing.

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