Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Is that Maureen Dowd writing for the Strib?

Kristine Holmgren.

Just say that name to my wife and fire comes to her beautiful blue eyes.It was 4 ½ years ago that Ms. Holmgren, an ordained Presbyterian minister, wrote an op-ed in the St Paul Pioneer Press entitled “Faith of Our Fathers.” The piece appeared in the Father’s Day 2001 edition of the St Paul paper.

The essence of Ms. Holmgren’s column was to decry Northfield High School’s use of a Christian evangelist to speak to kids at a drug-abuse prevention assembly. Holmgren was all up in arms, claiming this was a Constitutional violation.

My wife, a public school teacher herself, decided to take issue with Ms. Holmgren’s erroneous claim. After all, no law was made respecting an establishment of a religion during the aforementioned assembly.

Ms. Holmgren’s response?

So what are you implying? Do you approve of our school district’s behavior? In that case, I would like to know the school district that employs you. I’m sure they would be very interested in the radical agenda you are imposing on the young minds you oversee.

What???!!!!You mean you don’t have an intellectual response, Ms. Holmgren? Someone disagrees with your assertion that the Northfield school district was getting ever closer to the “edge of social engineering and fascism” and all you can do is accuse that someone of having a “radical agenda”?

But I digress.

I share that anecdote to give you our impression of one Kristine Holmgren when we read this in the Star Tribune on Valentine’s Day.

When my Valentine first called last Feb. 14, he had no idea I already loved him.


He was easy to love. Middle-aged, gray and craggy, his face was lined with laughter, experience. And I thought I saw something else as well. His smile projected an irresistible knee-jerk honesty. When I looked at him, I saw my soulmate -- another baby boomer with a hunger for truth, justice and the American way.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!! Your soulmate was Superman??!!

From the first day I saw him, I knew he was a champion. I marveled at how my Valentine flattened the mendacity of colleagues at the office. He was a fearless soldier of sincerity, a warrior in the battle against the reckless lies of the sometimes silly employer we then served.

What, did you work for Air America?

And so when he offered to buy me a Valentine martini, I thought the gods were delivering me to bliss.


I was easy to get. He told me he loved me on our first date, and I believed him. I believed everything he said.

After meeting him that same day?? I guess I missed something.

My eyes were unforgettable. No one had skin as soft as mine, teeth as white, arms as welcoming, kisses as warm. He'd searched for me for more than 30 years. I was his treasure, his sweet, blue-eyed girl.


So I will think of him today, as I watch my coworkers open cards attached to bouquets of red roses.


I will remember the plans he made for us. Paris in May.


Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca", right?


Biking Lake Superior in July.

Garrison Keillor, "A Prairie Home Companion?"


And I will remember the lesson I learned. I am easily deceived, and I live in a land of deception.


Bill Clinton did not have sex with that woman. George W. Bush had evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Richard Nixon was not a crook.


When John Kerry is President, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk.


With lies as grand as this, how can I punish tiny lies like his? It is not easy to be true.


It may not be easy but it is so worthwhile.


Simple, decent people assault us with tidy, well-considered lies each day. The check is in the mail. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. It was nice meeting you. James Frey is a great memoirist.


I feel your pain.


We'll keep your résumé on file. The war in Iraq can be won. Samuel Alioto….


You say Alioto, I say Alito.


….has no opinion on Roe vs. Wade.


Now, this won't hurt a bit.


You know, the Twin Cities could use their own version of Maureen Dowd. I think we have found her in the person of Kristine Holmgren.


OK, Kristine. Are Men Necessary?

2 comments:

Kristine Holmgren said...

Hey, Brad - - You're right. . I was "all up in arms" about the unconstitutional programs at Shakopee. And Monday the state settled with me for almost a quarter million. Maureen will write about it within the week - so stay tuned. And thanks for the publicity! You're the best.

Brad Carlson said...

While I'm sure you're the type who craves publicity, you're commenting a on FIVE-YEAR OLD blog post which no one cares about. That and the NYT is largely irrelevant, so I'm sure your story will pass with a woeful indifference.