Saturday, August 13, 2022

Maynard Helgaas: Death of a Local Hero: part 3

I continue the posting of the photos I took at on 8/4 and 8/5 during and around the funeral of Maynard Helgaas in  Jamestown, ND.

Tonight's post is a short one. These are photos I pulled out that serve as family portraits, some group, some individual.

The people in them are, for the most part relatives or in-laws. Some of these people I know fairly well, having spent extended time with them. Others are a little closer than acquaintance, and some are people I've only just met. That we all took time out to be there for the Helgaas children and siblings regardless of distance or inconvenience, added to the sense of kinship. You don't have hang out with people for half a century to feel close to them.

Tomorrow I'll post another batch.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Maynard Helgaas - Death of a Local Hero: part 2

 On the morning of August 5th, 2022 there was a solemn funeral mass held for Maynard Helgaas at St. James Basilica in Jamestown, ND. The photos from that service are posted below these. 

Following the mass, we drove to Calvary Cemetery where Reverend Neil Pfeifer, the Pastor conducted the solemn rites for the burial, witnessed by family including Governor Doug Burgum, husband of Kathryn, son-in-law of Maynard, friends, Msgr. James Shea, the president of University of Mary in Bismark, ND, and the the funeral director from Eddy Funeral Home in Jamestown, Charlotte Wunderlich.

I forgot to mention earlier when I posted on the Church service that Msgr. Shea delivered a moving homily. I am not Catholic but I learn wherever I can.

Rev. Pfeifer, a recent arrival at the parish and to Jamestown ran a beautiful service and I could tell from his words that he would have liked to have known Maynard better. At one point he said that Maynard was a "god fearing man." I believe Maynard lived his life in a way that made fearing god unnecessary. I mentioned this to the Reverend. He told me he did not mean it as if the person was afraid, but rather in awe. I believe that is probably true.

I was moved watching some of the children of Maynard and one of his sisters touch the casket for a final goodbye.

I am sure there are few, if any Jews in Jamestown. I had a brief and very pleasant conversation with the Pastor and Charlotte on the differences between the Catholic burial rite and the Jewish. We all learned.

Tomorrow I'll post more pictures, either from the light supper gathering after the visitation on Thursday evening or from the post-funeral luncheon in Jamestown.

Please share with the extended Helgaas clan.


Maynard Helgaas - Death of a Local Hero: part 1

Maynard Helgaas of Jamestown, North Dakota, passed away last week while in hospice care. I don't know the time frame when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease but his decline was rapid. His three daughters and son spent much time with him at the end.

He was my brother-in-law but I did not know him well. He was 19 years older than my wife, his youngest sister and as adults their lives were somewhat separate. She lives in Westchester County, New York and he spent most his life in North Dakota. I'd met him a number of times - the first time when I drove from New York to northwestern Minnesota with Mary to meet her family and experience the place where she was from, at family events that drew us in from all over and when he and his second wife visited New York City. We were always cordial with the potential to become friends. 

At the visitation and funeral I listened intently to his children, grandchildren, sisters and friends speak of him and his affect on them, his city and his state. He was truly a local hero who always gave before he needed to, and when successful, gave back most generously.

His youngest stepson, Tom, spoke of his feelings when Maynard was forced on him at age 17 when his mother introduced them and how he bonded with Maynard. His children reminisced about the man who raised them with a great mix of love and discipline, allowing them to grow into independent adults while always attached to their father.

I am not going to write an obit. If you want to read one, click here.

I flew out to North Dakota with Mary because her family is so important to her, and what's important to her is also important to me. I brought my camera and with permission from the family, photographed the funeral and some of the events around it.

These are photos of a sad event leavened with the joy of celebrating a life well lived. The melancholy lifted by a celebration of family and memory. 

Jamestown, ND is about 100 miles west of Fargo on I-94. It's a small city, the agricultural hub of its area.

I'm posting the photos in groups - today the service in St. James Basilica in Jamestown. Tomorrow I'll post the burial service at Calvary Cemetery in Jamestown. After that look for photos from a gathering after the visitation and from the post-funeral luncheon and then photos of some of the people.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Ron Kolm and Karen Neuman - Death is a Soldier

 This is a very unusual posting for me. Usually I only show my own photos and my own words. Today, I'm moved to post, with their permission, a collaboration between the artist Kaen Neuman and the poet Ron Kolm. It's called "Death is a Soldier." 

The poem and the painting play off each other, magnifying the words, intensifying the experience of the image.

#RonKolm #KarenNeuman

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

NYC Queer Liberation March 6/26/2022 - Foley Square 1

 Before setting off on the march, the protesters and allies gathered in Foley Square.

I wandered around with my camera.

This is the first batch of candid photos taken of the gathering of the people.