By Scott Carlson
The holidays and closing out 2021
It’s hard to believe that 2021 is nearly finished.
Where has the time gone?
It seems like it was only yesterday that we were reporting on St. Anthony Park Community Nursery School reimagining its classes in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic—in our January 2021 issue. Or one issue later, how the corona virus was affecting residents of local nursing homes.
If there is any topic that has dominated our news columns over the past year, it has been the pandemic. We have had a plethora of Covid 19-related stories examining the pandemic’s impact on schools, businesses, churches, art and music, amateur sports, nursing homes, construction and annual community events, just to name a few.
With the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines late last year and government and health professionals urging all Americans to get immunized, there are signs of some return to normal life. Generally, schools have resumed in-person learning. Restaurants and bars are open again. And entertainment venues, including Vikings football and art festivals such as the Chroma Art & Mural festival, were back again for spectators.
And don’t forget about St. Anthony Park’s 4th in the Park annual parade for July 4. Although organizers instituted festivities with some protocols, the mere return of activities for this summer holiday was a boon to people’s spirits.
Yes, we are not out the woods yet. The delta variant is proving to be a menace. And in November, there was a new surge in Covid infections in Minnesota. There are still far too many people getting infected—or reinfected—and dying from the corona virus.
Still, there is hope that we, as a nation, can gain the upper hand on batting down the pandemic. Close to home, the Bugle will continue to chronicle the “resilience stories” of how our community is facing the corona virus and overcoming its scourge.
In our December issue, we share “resilience” tales from a couple of local businesses. In her Voices story, freelance writer Christie Vogt shares how restauranteur Rekik Abaineh, co-owner of Bolé Ethiopian Cuisine, has overcome the pandemic and a building fire in 2020 that forced her to relocate her business from St. Paul’s Midway district to Pascal Street in Como Park.
Meanwhile, in our January issue, freelance writer Cigale Ahlquist will recount how, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging a year ago, Cicerón CEO Andrew Eklund returned to his boyhood roots for the next chapter of the digital marketing firm he founded in 1995.
Eklund and his staff of 30 left their Minneapolis warehouse district offices a year ago for a quiet corner of St. Anthony Park. The new headquarters, in a former commercial photography studio at 2412 Valentine Ave. W., is within a stone’s throw of the home Eklund lived in as a teenager on Chilcombe Avenue.
These stories remind us that despite all of the challenges we are facing these days, life goes on.
That is certainly true too for 14 nonprofit organizations, which the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation has awarded grants to support their continuing operations in 2021-22. The grant recipients include the Park Bugle. We thank the foundation for its ongoing support that will enable us to further our mission to help connect readers and build neighborhood identities.
In the coming months, look for more inspirational tales in the Bugle’s news pages as we seek out “resilience tales.”
Meanwhile, a final note, before I forget: As we gather around dinner tables later this month to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays, the Bugle board and staff thank all of you for your continuing support. May your holiday season be filled with peace and joy.