“No, I grew up in the cities,” she replies. “That is, the TWIN CITIES. Not the QUAD CITIES. Gotta be specific about that around here. MINNEAPOLIS. When I was little, we lived downtown. Even in those days downtown MINNEAPOLIS – at street level anyway – was a ghost town. The sidewalks were barren. Buisnesspeople would drive downtown, park their cars in ramps, and walk from building to building in the SKYWAYS – they never had to go outside. Though I absolutely loved the SKYWAYS at that age, I’ve since learned that the SKYWAYS are to blame for downtown MINNEAPOLIS’s creepy state.
“To escape, my mother used to take me to LORING PARK, an oasis of green on the WETERN edge of downtown. It was a one mile walk from our building, which felt like a super long way for my young legs. But once we could see the edge of the park, my mother would always let me run the rest of the way to my favorite fountain.
“Situated on the NORTHEAST corner of the park, the DANDELION FOUNTAIN rose out of a terraced set of pools. From the central pool rose a long, straight pipe topped with a sphere. Embedded in the sphere were dozens of long, thin nozzles, whose tips released misty showers of water, giving the fountain the appearance of an immense DANDELION letting loose its seeds to the wind.
“My mother would sit in on a bench, blow cigarette smoke and read Butler paperbacks while I played in the fountain. I’ve since learned that was this against park policy – both the cigarettes and the fountainswimming. My lack of siblings and the tight-arsed parents of the luxurious apartments adjacent to LORING PARK meant that I played in the fountain alone. But I didn’t mind. I’d hop from pool to pool, splashing water and tossing pennies left by wishful passersby. When my mother would finish her last cigarette, she’d stand up, her silent signal that it was time to go home. On the walk back to our building, I’d imagine myself as one of the DANDELION’s seeds, floating into the blue, far above the skyscrapers, hoping that one day I’d find my own place to sprout, a new place to grow. Somewhere. I didn’t know where.”
COACH pauses, staring into space. She shakes her head, and laughs a quiet laugh. “When I started kindergarten, I told everyone I wanted to be a DANDELION when I grew up! I was a funny kid, I suppose.”
What do you do?
ASK COACH to tell you more about her life
Talk to the DART PLAYERS
Talk to the CYCLISTS
Talk to the FAMILY FEUD WATCHERS
Eat some SNACK MIX