Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Connecting & helping one another December 18, 2012

I HAVE, on numerous occasions, connected buyers to sellers here on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

Ron and Peggy's elephant slide

I connected a New Yorker to this elephant slide in Faribault.

Within the past year, for example, I facilitated the sale of a $700 vintage elephant slide. A New York resident came across a blog post I’d written several years ago about the elephant slide spotted at a garage sale. She wondered if it was still available for purchase. It was and so Valerie and her husband made a whirlwind trip to Faribault to buy the slide after I connected her to the seller, Peggy.

A snippet of the cross Bud Paschke crafted honoring veterans from all branches of the military.

A snippet of the cross Bud Paschke crafted honoring veterans from all branches of the military. An Arizona woman saw this photo on my blog and inquired about the cross.

Just last week I connected an Arizona woman to Bud, a local craftsman featured in a post about a holiday craft sale at the Faribo West Mall. Bud creates the most stunning fretwork pieces and Rachel wanted one of the military crosses he’s made. Rachel’s check is in the mail and the cross will soon be on its way from Faribault to Arizona.

The photo by Eric Lantz illustrates the cover of Scott Thoma's just-published book.

A photo of the Tracy, Minnesota, tornado by Eric Lantz illustrates the cover of Scott Thoma’s book.

A few days ago Scott Thoma, who authored Out of the Blue, a book about the 1968 deadly tornado in Tracy, Minnesota, inquired about a tornado video I once highlighted on this blog. He thought perhaps it contained footage from that devastating tornado; it doesn’t. Scott has been searching for that elusive video. If any of you possess a video from the Tracy tornado, submit a comment and I will connect you with Scott. He wants to show the footage as a lead-in at book signing events.

A print of Harvey Dunn's "The Prairie is my Garden."

A print of Harvey Dunn’s “The Prairie is my Garden.”

On Saturday I received a snail mail inquiry about a print of the painting, “The Prairie is my Garden” by Harvey Dunn. I bought the print several years ago at a yard sale, featured it here and now a woman from northwestern Minnesota wants to buy it. June tells me her mother purchased the painting for her grandmother’s 80th birthday in 1968. But the print was lost in a fire several years ago.

I wanted to help June, but I love the Harvey Dunn print too much to give it up. Perhaps you have this Dunn print to pass along to June.

That brings us to today and an article I read in last week’s The Gaylord Hub, republished from the Fairfax Standard-Gazette. The request is much greater, much more serious.

An 8-year-old Gibbon boy is in need of a kidney transplant. His kidneys are failing. Fast. The article by Publisher/Editor Daniel McGonigle does not detail the cause of the kidney failure, only that a transplant is needed soon and that Samuel Forst’s mother is no longer a qualified donor. The family is seeking a healthy donor (18-40 years old, in good physical shape, not overweight or with high blood pressure) with type O blood.

If you match these requirements and are interested in testing for a live kidney donation to young Samuel, contact Ann at 612-625-9658 at University/Fairview Hospital here in Minnesota. Or call 612-672-7270.

Here in blogland, I’ve grown to appreciate the power of social media in connecting people, in meeting needs, in helping others.

I know asking for a kidney is huge. But I must try, for Samuel’s sake.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

My latest art-at-a-bargain find from the Salvation Army August 7, 2011

My Jose Maria de Servin painting.

WHAT’S YOUR PREFERENCE in art?

Do you shop for mass-produced art at a big box retailer?

Or are you the gallery type, purchasing one-of-a-kind fine art?

Maybe you shop flea markets, rummage sales or thrift stores for hand-crafted or vintage art.

Perhaps you’re artistic enough to create your own art to hang in your home or workplace.

If you know me as well as I expect you may from following Minnesota Prairie Roots, you would rightly guess that I prefer to find one-of-a-kind art at a bargain by shopping second-hand. Notice that I didn’t say bargain art. I said art at a bargain. There’s a difference.

My collection includes original paintings by hobbyist painters, prints by unknown artists, embroidered pieces by someone’s grandma… I’ve purchased most at unbelievably low prices—try 50 cents or $3.

Through the years I’ve even acquired an original Jose Maria de Servin painting and a vintage print of South Dakota artist Harvey Dunn’s  “The Prairie is My Garden” at steal prices. Both times I had no idea what I was purchasing. I simply liked the art.

That’s the thing with me and art. I buy a piece of art not as an investment, but because I like it.

That said, I recently picked up a three-dimensional rendition of  “The Last Supper” at the Salvation Army Store in Faribault. I debated whether I should pay $14 for the made-in-Spain art. In fact, I set the 24 x 17-inch piece down twice before watching another woman pick up and admire it. At that precise moment I decided I really wanted the unique art. I had to restrain my urge to run over and snatch it up after she set it back on the shelf. I waited until she was well out of grabbing range.

The Last Supper three-dimensional art I bought at The Salvation Army Store.

Later, the woman stood behind me in the check-out line and told me how she wished she had “The Last Supper” I clenched in my hands. “Then I saw you pick it up,” she said.

I responded with a seemingly casual remark: “Yeah, if you see something you think you might buy, you shouldn’t set it down…”

HOW ABOUT YOU? Where do you shop for art and what deals have you found?

Close up with Christ and the disciples at The Last Supper.

I hung the three-dimensional The Last Supper in my dining room.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling