Harry Drabik


Content By This Contributor:

Fri. Aug. 16th, 2013

North Shore Notes

Harry Drabik

Are There North Shore Guinea Pigs?

Thu. Aug. 15th, 2013

North Shore Notes

Harry Drabik

Are There North Shore Guinea Pigs?

Fri. Jul. 5th, 2013

July is for Freedom

Harry Drabik

Last week I listened to an articulate, impassioned speech including American history and principles, particularly freedom of religion. It was a good speech; well delivered with passion and convict

Tue. Jul. 2nd, 2013

When television was furniture

Harry Drabik

Going through the house last week I decided to get rid of an old TV in the spare upper room. It was of the size that in my growing-up days was called a portable. That meant it was port

Fri. Jun. 21st, 2013

Unshared Celebrations

Harry Drabik

This past Father’s Day reminded me we do not all share celebrations in the same way or find in them the same or similar messages. The first time I t

Fri. Jun. 14th, 2013

Ah, Simplicity!

Harry Drabik

fhis time of year when school lets out and there is a hint of possible summer arriving sometime in July my mood grow soppy with recollection of days long past when I packed for the summer to live at camp. Other th

Fri. Jun. 7th, 2013

They are clever little vegetables

Harry Drabik

Cold and downright nasty as it’s been I’d not know it was early summer if not for the blast of dandelion yellow driven from earth in splendid ha

Fri. May. 31st, 2013

This is summer?

Harry Drabik

OK, it’s actually not the first time I enjoyed the start of summer wearing a heavy coat to ward off the chill, but I think it is the first time I wore a parka to stand at the barbecue and worried

Fri. May. 24th, 2013

Say what?

Harry Drabik

For reasons I easily understand from my part in another forum of discussion, I was approached by someone intent on pinning my ears for being a “racist Islama

Fri. May. 10th, 2013

Things I’ve Thought

Harry Drabik

Even here along the soothing pacific of the North Shore are those who have had an impoverishing experience with another fellow human or two. In my case it is more than two, so either I’ve found what I deserved or there are more buttheads out there than I can count

Fri. May. 3rd, 2013

Not always suddenly

Harry Drabik

This part of the year, springtime along the North Shore, feels like water-drip torture. I begin to fantasize (after weeks of deciding which shoes to ruin this time) a sudden glorious onset of spring where we’d zoom from mud misery to May fl

Fri. Apr. 26th, 2013

On Being

Harry Drabik

As a writer I find myself often pulled back to revisit an earlier theme. This is understandable as whatever it is each of us finds important is a thing we will return to time upon time. In m

Fri. Apr. 19th, 2013

Month of mud and musing

Harry Drabik

It’s here: Earth Day, when we sacrifice an entire day paying possibly injurious tribute to an environment mostly ignored the other 360+. But isn’t it nice of us? Isn’t it good to hope the day of reverence might inspire thoughtful respect for the planet on a more

Fri. Mar. 22nd, 2013

Religion according to me

Harry Drabik

Powerful beliefs are a fascination of humankind and have both motivated and enslaved us for longer than history records. As it’s an area of such great importance, it only makes sense for me to scrunch it down to a thousand words.

Fri. Mar. 15th, 2013

A whole lot easier

Harry Drabik

Did you ever think how much easier it is being bullheaded and stubbornly rigid? People with the gift of seeing things one way, their way, are spared the trials of needing to be reasonable or understanding. It’s a great life when you can make others jump a jig to your horn

Sat. Mar. 9th, 2013


Harry Drabik

For a few nights over the weekend I played short stage bits as Mark Twain, using mostly my material but all of his style, which in aping manner I try to imitate. His style seems to suit me. It’s said imitation is a sincere form of flattery. I hope the dead author would feel fl

Thu. Feb. 28th, 2013

Me and other darned fools

Harry Drabik

Over years of writing Reader pieces, I’ve not received much response. Once in a while comments get bounced my way. I’d say roughly fifty-fifty favorable and not, about what I’d expect. A recent one was a little more detailed. It wondered if I was turning into a “bitter old conservative.” There is

Fri. Feb. 22nd, 2013

New forms of winter fun

Harry Drabik

When I was younger (a time that now seems as far removed from present reality and recollection as racial memory) I believed that if faced with a terminal illness, I’d confidently take matters in

Sat. Feb. 16th, 2013

Multi in vitamins and cultures

Harry Drabik

I know a few people who react to the term “multicultural” as if a rocket launched. They soar off exploding over the “destruction” of American culture by outside interests or forces. Versions of this feeling have been tumbling about near long as I have political recollection. Generations far past, the fire was ov

Mon. Feb. 11th, 2013

Things that were

Harry Drabik

I’ve said before: I live in what remains of what I’d call “the real North Shore.” Out on our limb near the border, we are sometimes smiled or laughed at for being so behind the times and out of synch. Indeed we are, but there is a certain compensation (shall I say

Thu. Jan. 31st, 2013

Crossing the line

Harry Drabik

Living where I do, crossing the border to Canada has been a common event. Sorry, Duluth-Superior, but it’s over two hours each way to you and an hour to Thunder Bay. More often than not, th

Fri. Jan. 25th, 2013

Sack Cloth and Ashes

Harry Drabik

I’m not positive the origin of the expression, but for some this is a time of mourning in true sack cloth, ashes fashion. (I think the ancient Romans dumped ash on themselves as a symbolic gesture. I doubt doing so was symbolic of good times and merriment.) For som

Fri. Jan. 11th, 2013

Elephant with Mismatched Ears

Harry Drabik

Stirred by chance, recollections of childhood rise with sudden vividness. The color-swirl of a long skirt, buzz-whirr of a playing card against bicycle spokes, or the oily smell and pump-hiss of an air rifle hold bytes of memory. For me the words “Red Ryder” bring an image of being dressed in clean white shirt and bow tie for family Sunday visits to my grandparents’ high-ceilinged ho

Fri. Jan. 4th, 2013

Bambi’s Revenge

Harry Drabik

No, this piece is not about the gal you may remember named Bambi found hiding out in Thunder Bay some years ago, or a vengeful hooker of my acquaintance. My life is not that colorful. I get no more exciting than an ongoing tiff with the four-legged members of the Cervidae, Odocoileus virginianus. It’s a lot easier to c

Thu. Dec. 13th, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so don’t muck it up

Harry Drabik

I went to a Christmas concert last night. There is a decades-long tradition of performing parts of the Messiah as part of holiday celebrations. The performance was ecumenical, or at least non-denominational, though it took place at the Lutheran church. In the past, certain types of religious observances often to

Fri. Dec. 7th, 2012


Harry Drabik

I didn’t start out with collecting in mind, but after six years as a Scout and more afterward at summer camps, I had enough “stuff” to form a collection. Somewhere (I think well past a decade) in time I began actively adding to the stuff in addition to accumulating this

Mon. Nov. 26th, 2012

How I became a guide

Harry Drabik

We moved to the North Shore when I was twelve, recently shot up in height to look Mother in the eye. She didn’t like that, and in case increased size would make me truculent, she went to greater pains to keep me in my place. I was used to it, and besides, there wasn’t a

Fri. Nov. 16th, 2012

Home to roost

Harry Drabik

I’ve frequently used the local post office as a focus for articles because it is ground both public and common. We mail a couple of letters, find out how a neighbor’s illness is progressing, and bump into someone we don’t see often. A rural

Mon. Nov. 12th, 2012

The Death Of Bambi

Harry Drabik

The slow-coming arrival of winter cheers those looking forward to use of their snow machines, skiing, ice fishing, etc. Spring is a favored time by others as long-awaited relief from shoveling snow and hard frozen ground. Summer has many admirers looking to spend the l

Fri. Nov. 2nd, 2012

Bare Naked Sex

Harry Drabik

It’s important for a writer to grab the reader’s attention. So, how did I do? I hope okay. Also important is honesty. So I may as well get to that right off and admit I don’t have anything of special value to say about sex. I’m old enough that most of what I did know is bogged way back in memory. I kn

Fri. Oct. 26th, 2012


Harry Drabik

It’s a long while since I was allowed the pleasure of annoying students with lessons they didn’t desire to learn. I thought part of a teacher’s obligation was to get them beyond their present into a place with a little more challenge and

Fri. Oct. 19th, 2012

Happy Birthday Bungee

Harry Drabik

Neither planned nor expected: I’m helping celebrate a lowly bungee’s 32nd birthday. Its age is not precisely known. At a minimum 32 because it’s that long since I stopped use of the canoe carrier where I bent the S hooks to a 90. A middle-aged bungee may not seem much cause for celebration, but compared to its kin expiring in their childhoo

Fri. Oct. 12th, 2012

It’s Emotional

Harry Drabik

Autumn is my emotional season. I could credit the environment with human passions, but I dislike anthropomorphism toward nature as much as I detest when the habit lumbers us with thinking dogs and talking mice. This isn’t to say the fall season lacks emotion-p

Fri. Oct. 5th, 2012

2 A 4 M

Harry Drabik

Postal and religious killers are less entertaining. Both go for numbers and old scores, though postal death dealing favors self-justice in evening scores and takes that as its highest aim. To my mind, this explains the tendency toward aimed-high head shots. The modified AR 15 and 2,

Fri. Sep. 28th, 2012

Stained red bellows

Harry Drabik

The first hints of autumn in the air sharpen up the political season from muggy to crisp. How nice when it will be over and we’ll be able to enjoy a lull before the turmoil of political life begins to build like social magma under a non-dormant volcano. The title above comes fro

Fri. Sep. 21st, 2012

Our Light?

Harry Drabik

For over a hundred years there has been a light marking the east side of the Grand Marais harbor entry. The first houses to hold these lights above the water were sturdy wooden towers built in the days of the Lighthouse and Rescue Servic

Fri. Sep. 7th, 2012

Holier than I am

Harry Drabik

The season changing to autumn has long been my emotional and reflective season, not that any reflection off my side is likely to blind anyone with illumination. Coolness in the air and the de-greening of foliage are visible signs of time passing in the block form of the season

Fri. Aug. 24th, 2012

Polly Ticks

Harry Drabik

I was tired of it quite a while ago, but it’s going to go on (only getting worse) until the November elections, when discord takes a ten-second intermission before the workup for the next round of cacophony. (How wonderfully apt that caca and phony unite politically.)

Thu. Aug. 16th, 2012

The end of the free lunch

Harry Drabik

It’s said age turns people conservative. The young firebrand becomes the gloomy clinker. The majority of those unfortunates calling me friend lean distinctly in the direction of advancing age and increasing conservatism. Some acquaintances come across far right of the Great Khan and would rule by sword and decree. One has to tolerate much in friends, my case especially, because I

Fri. Aug. 3rd, 2012

Abject Apology

Harry Drabik

I’m afraid I too highly sang the praises of the carrot last week. I stand corrected and rebuked. The carrot has less high favor than I wrote. First there are those who dislike its sugar content, but the poor carrot also fits into that group of vegies some see as not-so-innocent. It’s the shape, you see. Leading the objectionable shape category is the banana, objection to it and similar shapes being of a religious nature based on the finding that cert

Fri. Jul. 27th, 2012

Arty Artful Artiness

Harry Drabik

Honoring tourists and tourism, those great gods of eat, drink, and commerce, the North Shore indulges in serried waves of butt-lifting obeisance to that which does make us wealthy along with popular and silly looking. In addition to a gallery here and a galleria there, we sally out a regular flow of art fairs, festivals, and celebrations

Fri. Jul. 20th, 2012

And for the defense

Harry Drabik

One of the trickier parts of life in a collection of compacted communities is jury duty. Jurors are almost bound to know something of the parties involved. We are not blank slates. When called, you do your best to be impartial. You suspend ju

Fri. Jul. 13th, 2012

Just one little thing

Harry Drabik

Here it is near the middle of July already. It’s almost time to start looking in the closet for the winter clothes, except that here in Minnesota we really never put them away as my family did back in our Illinois days, when winter arrived December 20 and was long gone by balmy Easter Sunday. The climate near the

Fri. Jul. 6th, 2012

Political Religion

Harry Drabik

As I’ve mined my 50th high school reunion these past weeks I’ve been advised (a tactful word) to do a follow-up. Well I have to say the 50th for what was formerly Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School was fairly well attended. Roughly half the 100 graduates made it. Seventeen of us having been embarked on the permanent rolls of the deceased did not attend. Those absent were no less present

Thu. Jun. 28th, 2012

Things I’ve learned

Harry Drabik

Not long after my adult life on the North Shore began, I needed excavation work done around the cabin. I made a list, drew sketches, and worked out all the important details in my head. I was abundantly prepared to have the project done. When the contractor arrived, I was in fine form, explaining just ex

Fri. Jun. 22nd, 2012


Harry Drabik

There’s no escape. The pending 50th A-HL high school reunion has embedded deep and dark in the brain cavern. I think it’s the number. Fifty is too big, like having to pay fifty for a gallon of gas. It’s not right, plus I’ve never much liked numbers. A long line of dead math teachers would bear witness. An open book of arithmetic before me had the effect of hypnosis. I saw, heard, and

Fri. Jun. 15th, 2012

Counting To Fifty

Harry Drabik

After the past rainy weeks, the grass took off. As you know, for unpaid entertainment few things surpass the fun of mowing long wet grass, but the plains of Hovland had to fall and the only way was via the pains of Harry. I don’t like mowing. I detest it; have ever since I was thirteen, when Mom and Dad set eyes upon the prize of best lawn and realized they had a slave to accomplish the goal. The initial fun was