Harry Drabik


Content By This Contributor:

Thu. May. 22nd, 2014

There are two kinds

Harry Drabik

I much prefer the attitude of “Live and let live” to one of confrontation and contention, but being too “Live and let live”-y can get us into trouble if we’re too damn nice to ask why we’re digging all the person-sized holes we’ve been asked to dig

Thu. May. 15th, 2014


Harry Drabik

Do you get the impression I find this pretty damned silly? I can grasp how high-spirited students might not understand the difference between actual indictment and an accusation.

Thu. May. 8th, 2014

I’ve killed Bambi

Harry Drabik

Some might prefer to call it lively weather, but I prefer the simplicity of good weather said in hopes it might someday (as my parents wished of me) rise to expectations.

Thu. May. 1st, 2014

View over the big lake

Harry Drabik

Unable to tell what it was, I got out Father’s old binoculars. I’d used them on the cutter for confirmation. In this case they were basic to figuring out what the shape was that rode so distinctly in a slow-moving

Thu. Apr. 24th, 2014

Spigot Season

Harry Drabik

In past years I looked forward to spigot season. Lugging 40-plus gallons of sap from widely dispersed maples into a boiler needing round-the-clock watching might give a gallon of syrup if you’ve also observed other steps to get there.

Thu. Apr. 17th, 2014


Harry Drabik

There are different ways to view the pieces, but I see the combat stage set for Afghanistan and Iraq back when Carter was in office. Remember him? Like most of us and the West in general, Carter had no concept of what was in store when Iran’s Western

Thu. Apr. 10th, 2014

The Razor Blade of Life

Harry Drabik

Flummoxed because I’d stopped on gravel to avoid this sort of thing, I was doubly stumped when after a 70-foot sleigh ride the Avalanche stopped with sudden scrunch of gravel and abrupt halt.

Thu. Apr. 3rd, 2014

A day is simply not enough

Harry Drabik

In nature, organization is real enough but not always convincingly so (especially in the minds of fools). In ways that would seem to the orderly-minded a bit messy.

Thu. Mar. 27th, 2014

Drat this weather

Harry Drabik

It is tempting, very tempting, to go on about this particularly nice winter. But like talk of medical ailment, what can one accomplish by talking about it? I have a hip that howls and a bladder that enjoys midnight strolls.

Thu. Mar. 20th, 2014

Frozen Corn

Harry Drabik

A possible explanation was that the seed and plant selling companies were located far south and had no notion of northern winter extending into an annual gestation of nine months that produces a sudden gout of black fly, tick, and mosquito

Thu. Mar. 13th, 2014

Awfully Nice

Harry Drabik

I think our cultural habit of looking to nature for perspective and balance is part of what makes Minnesotans nice.

Thu. Mar. 6th, 2014

Things not connected

Harry Drabik

Not long ago I heard one of my neighbors mention her son (in his mid-teens) reaching success as a surrogate parent for having taken care of a pretend infant.

Thu. Feb. 27th, 2014

Didn’t see it coming

Harry Drabik

If you’re like me you didn’t see it coming. I could in fact say I had no idea the state of Kansas was under attack from something other than tornados or the corn weevil.

Thu. Feb. 13th, 2014

Life on the rock

Harry Drabik

Near daily I pass Five Mile Rock east of Grand Marais. To show its size I took a few shots, but decided against their use. In telephoto the rock looks too large while in normal view it’s hardly noticeable against the expanse of lake.

Thu. Feb. 6th, 2014

More Deviltry

Harry Drabik

You’d not be alone wondering why I so often return to the theme of church/state separation. Why don’t I write about pretty, happy things like seagulls wheeling above sparkling ice floes?

Fri. Jan. 31st, 2014

Great Satan

Harry Drabik

Is there any devil in you? I think most of us don’t have to reach too far to find a side of ourselves bearing some devilish potential. There are some who wish it wasn’t the case that I took so often to playing devil’s advocate.

Thu. Jan. 23rd, 2014

The darndest things

Harry Drabik

It is not easy to parse these things out. I am quite often stymied at tangles of issues. I’ve frankly no firm grasp just how a new Y M Christian A in Grand Marais escapes separation of church and state concerns when built on public land with collecte

Thu. Jan. 16th, 2014

Slip-Slide Through Winter

Harry Drabik

In the years when I was better able to get out and enjoy the snow my view of winter was without complaint.

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