Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A real-life Minnesota leprechaun

The only story I clicked on the local bankrupt newspaper website happened to be about the husband of a woman I used to work with. I had never met her husband but she often told tales of his job as a grave digger. She had some hippie-esque qualities and I knew that her husband was Irish. Upon seeing his photo and quickly reading through the story of the southern Minnesota Leprechaun-looking guy whose job is making the final resting place for dozens of rural Minnesotans in my old neck of the woods each year I felt a connection.


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Tom Donnelly digs graves in the countryside between Austin and Albert Lea in and near towns like Clarks Grove, Blooming Prairie and Hayward. I could go on with listing the small towns where he digs graves in the blazing sun or numbing cold. This is the sort of personal storytelling that newspapers need. It's not a happy-clappy type of story but it focuses on a rather unique job and connects that job to a unique person and it's timely based on today being St. Patrick's Day.

Check out MinnPics and see what local St. Patrick's Day festivities looked like through the lens.

3 comments:

Beth said...

I went to the link and read the story. You’re right – we don’t often get a chance to read stories like this. Fascinating man.
(Only 85 lbs.??)

Hammer said...

Looks straight out of an old movie.

Sheila said...

Who are you. This is Sheila Donnelly. I just blogged this story and you came up. Hippie-ish am I?