Gadgets In Edgeley, North Dakota: Visiting Dawn and Theresa Paul

This morning, while reading about Caraher’s physical concerns as a field archaeologist, I took the third slug of coffee from the first home roasted coffee batch. To home roast the coffee, I used a corn/maize air popper, and learned how to do this just over a week ago when Molly and I visited Dawn and Theresa Paul who reside in Edgeley, south-central North Dakota. It works great, and there appears to be a huge body of DIY internet information on this (which, like numerous things, I only now am discovering). Here is what the roasting looked like this morning.

Roasted coffee from this morning. Green coffee beans just above that.

Roasted coffee from this morning. Green coffee beans just above that.

Anyhow, I thought I’d give you some quick backdrop on Dawn and Theresa and then share another project they finished in Edgeley. Dawn and Theresa used to live on St. Croix. When they first said this, I responded with, “You’re talking about the Virgin Islands and not Minnesota, correct?” (When someone says they are from Oslo, I always do the same thing and ask, “Norway and not Minnesota, right?”) Yes, they were talking about the Caribbean. They both lived on the island for quite a time, developing a house and setting themselves into a variety of projects. Eventually, though, they wanted to relocate to the northern Great Plains (I think this in part had to do with Theresa’s family connections to the area). They claim to be “retired,” but after visiting with Dawn for over an hour I balked at this assertion, or at least modified it. I said, “You’re retired, but busy as ever.” He agreed.

Below are photos of a rehabilitated and restored circus conversion van. Dawn and Theresa can give you the details way better than I can, but the short and skinny of it is this: they discovered this vehicle years back, the vehicle having been abandoned or nearly abandoned. It is a motor home that early 20th-century circus people would use while traveling the circus circuit. This particular van was owned by “The Great Arturo” of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus shows. The Great Arturo, I learned, was center ring.

Circus people would often winter down in Florida, and then return to the circus life when things warmed back up. Dawn and Theresa decided to do a complete restore on the vehicle, and you’ll occasionally see them traveling the minor and major roads on the northern Great Plains. Here are some photos:

The cockpit of the sweet circus ride.

The cockpit of the sweet circus ride.

Don entering the sweet ride.

Dawn entering the sweet ride.

The front 1/3 of the sweet circus ride.

The front 1/3 of the sweet circus ride.

An interior shot of the sweet circus ride. Note the stove range to the right; sink to the lower left; toilet further back; and bed at the way back.

An interior shot of the sweet circus ride. Note the stove range to the right; dresser just behind that; sink to the lower left; toilet further back; and bed at the way back.


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