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The 57th anniversary of the day Congress passed the Peace Corps Act was Sept. 22, and thanks to an Eagan, Minn., man's efforts, the anniversary was marked with pomp and circumstance in his hometown of Plainview, Minn. The first Peace Corps marker to be placed in the United States was officially dedicated in Plainview thanks to the efforts of Ken Flies, who back in 1962 was one of the four original Peace Corps members from Plainview, a town that at the time had only 1,400 citizens. Plainview is about a half hour northeast of Rochester.
The marker dedication was followed by a book signing event for Flies’ memoir, Into the Backlands, which was held at the American Legion Hall in Plainview. At the time of the marker’s conception, Flies was encouraged by the Minnesota Historical Society to write a memoir of his experience in the backlands of Brazil in the early days of the Peace Corps. This event marks the public launch of the memoir.
Preview stories about the event were published in the Eagan Sun This Week, Fleis' current hometown newspaper, The Rochester Post Bulletin, KROC-AM in Rochester and the Wabasha County Herald. There was also a story previewing the event on KIMT television, and The St. Paul Pionneer Press and KAAL ABC 6 in Rochester covered the event. The Bemidji Pioneer picked up the Pioneer Press story.
It seems at a time when there’s a lot of attention on the opioid crisis and addiction in general, what once was the biggest health crisis of an entire generation has been all but forgotten, but not by Rosemary Davis.
The Minneapolis woman was a well known AIDS activist here in the Twin Cities when the crisis was at its peak. In the mid 1980s, she volunteered with the AIDS Project, sewed patches on the national quilt, and participated in numerous AIDS marches.
Recently, she published a memoir in which she keeps the memories of those she lost to the disease alive. Before They Left Us, launched the evening of Sept. 13 at a private party in Minneapolis. Books are available online now through Amazon.com.
Teen author Justin M. Anderson appeared at the Delano Public Library in Delano, Minn., on Sept. 12 to share the story behind his publishing company, Sigma's Bookshelf, and let prospective authors in the audience know how to submit their own books for publication. He also promoted the upcoming novel writing workshop he will be co-teaching over MEA Break (Oct. 18 & 19).
To sign your child up, or learn more about the activity, go to the www.SigmasBookshelf.com. The resigistration link is on the front page. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Sigma’s Bookshelf is a project of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts services organization.