Nick Mancini’s long twilight has ended. He died last Tuesday at the age of 80.

For those of you who don’t know the West End of Saint Paul, Mancini’s Char House is nothing less than an institution. His boundless energy and grace made it what it was through nearly 60 years, growing from a humble bar into one of the most renown spots in Saint Paul. People come there from all over not just for the steaks, but for the style and service served with every meal. It is a guaranteed great time.

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It’s no secret to people here that the publishing industry is in disarray. The cost of printing is up due mainly to the cost of paper and labor. At the same time, publishing companies have an archaic system that allows unlimited returns of unsold product, resulting in about one third of all books being remaindered or repulped. Strange as that is, getting rid of it is the same as killing the last proud independent bookstores.

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Honor and Sense

Suppose that you want to honor a great writer or other person whose work helped to make you who you are.

Would you do this through a cheap parody that you wrote quickly without ever thinking it through? Would you take just one of the themes that you loved and use it completely out of context, never trying to relate it to the rest of the work? Would you toss the works you love into a pile and let them fall into disrepair?

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King O’er the Water

My daughter recently learned “The Skye Boat Song” in school. For those of you who don’t know it, the song recounts the flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie, legitimate heir to the throne of Scotland and England, away from his lands and into exile. The King Over the Water. It’s a beautiful, longing song of melancholy and hope mixed together.

Sad that it’s all a load of crap.

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