Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Travel to St. Paul via the spring issue of Minnesota Moments March 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:21 PM

The Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul.

A Princess Kay of the Milky Way butter carving in the Minnesota History Center's MN150 exhibit.

IF YOU ATTENDED a Minnesota school in sixth grade, you likely toured the state Capitol after a year of studying Minnesota history.

But, do you remember what you saw, heard and learned while on that tour?

If not, look for the just-published March/April issue of Minnesota Moments magazine and my travel feature on St. Paul. The publication is available on newsstands, by subscription and online at www.minnesotamoments.com.

I’ll take you inside our state’s center of government and inside two other St. Paul landmarks—The Minnesota History Center and The Cathedral of Saint Paul—via a 20-page feature that includes 27 photos.

I’m proud of my work, especially because shooting photos in dark places with high ceilings can present technical challenges. I relied mostly on natural light, which requires a steady hand at slow shutter speeds.

But I think, I hope, I captured the magnificence and essence of the places I visited.

The magazine also includes my regular reviews of three Minnesota-authored books and a short story on an old parish hall with Irish roots in the tiny Rice County town of Shieldsville.

You’ll find lots of other interesting stories in this issue of Minnesota Moments such as features on Tom Rudy, who runs the Pearl Lake Lodge up around Lake Wobegon way, and Tom Dietman of Pierz, who makes Uncle Pete’s Mustard. My husband grew up near Pierz and attended high school there, so this story especially interested me. Check it out, and if you happen to find Dietman’s sweet and spicy mustard anywhere near Faribault, let me know. I’d like a jar.

Finally, take time to admire the final page of Minnesota Moments’ spring issue, which features a stunning photo by Kaylyn Wirz, a talented young photographer from Faribault. I’ve known Wirz since she came to America from India more than a dozen years ago. You’ll find more of her images on the magazine Web site.

That said, I need to get back to writing. I’m already working on stories for the May/June issue of Minnesota Moments. And, I promise, you’ll find plenty of interesting stories and photos in that edition too.

The Cathedral of Saint Paul inspires.

The Virgin Mary, one of my favorite Cathedral of Saint Paul art pieces, found in a lower level museum.

I was awed by the Italian marble columns embracing the grand French marble stairway inside the Capitol.

My favorite photo from the Minnesota Capitol was taken in the Governor's Reception Room and shows the painting, "Father Louis Hennepin Discovering the Falls of St. Anthony." I love how the light streams through the window, slanting onto the floor.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling