Virgin Mary no-show leaves its legacies


April 7, 2023

Courtesy Kristin Halvorsen

Kristin Halvorsen, Ben Small and John High made a pilgrimage from Duluth to catch the expected sight of the Virgin Mary in a field outside of Kettle River in 1993.

Mike Shannon was such a curmudgeon - with a capital C - a picture of him could be expected next to the word in any illustrated dictionary. I had many maddening conversations with him in low light at the Gaslight tavern in Sandstone. This small town in Pine County had an inordinate number of talented musicians at the time, now nearly 20 years ago.

Just when Mike would tear at the last remnant of likability I may have had, he would shuffle over to the piano and start playing.

He was transformed. His reputation saved for yet another circular, despondent conversation some other time.

I thought of...

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