Chi Miigwech -- Big Thank You

by Louise Erdrich

Dear Store Supporters,

A huge thank you to all of you. When we sent out invitations to come to a benefit for the bookstore, replies flooded in. Some of you donated even though you could not attend the festive event--just smacking a check on the counter and leaving Susan with a tear in her pretty brown eye. Many, many of you made a point of buying stacks of books. The response was so sudden that I got a call from our ever-courageous bookkeeper Diane. She had been about to do the usual grueling little dance -- decide which bills to pay, which bills to beg off -- when she looked at our account. Double take! What happiness!

I'd like to publish an online list of Friends of Birchbark Books, names only, if there is no objection. If anybody doesn't want their name on the list, please raise hand. I have sent out mail and email thank yous, a few have come back -- so those of you who weren't personally thanked by me please receive my warmest thanks. Your generosity startled me, and moved me. After over ten years of running the bookstore it feels good, no, it feels terrific, to know we aren't alone!

A personal word regarding our new next door neighbor, Don Saunders of In Season. First the food. Don thinks like an artist about his menus, but is one of those rare unpretentious chefs. Please try his restaurant In Season -- it is lively, has wild wall art, and is friendly place. The food is based on utterly fresh local ingredients and prepared by a Minnesotan with a touch of genius.

Okay, but plenty of people were hoping for something like the Kenwood Cafe, and are worried about an upscale joint upscaling a beloved location where people could hang out. But the special forces that aligned to make the Kenwood Cafe cannot be duplicated. And I think we have a winner moving in next door. The Kenwood (or whatever it will be called) will be an all day place, with breakfasts, brunch-lunch, snack time, and then grown up dinner time. And Don is sensitive about not pricing the food out of reach. The other day I met him as he came around to gather mail. What he said should reassure and excite everybody.

A local resident had visited In Season and said if Don served breakfast he would be there every day. Don's face lighted up and then went a little dreamy. He said, "I'd like to make that man the best pancake he's ever tasted."

That pancake dangles at the end of the next few dark months of construction like a fluffy golden little sun . . .

Please come visit us and enjoy Susan's Amazing Morning Coffee. I am now hooked and have a cup at my elbow at this very moment.

So long, book lovers, and Thank You again