A board member looks back

The Southeast Angle in its later days.

The monthly newspaper of Southeast Minneapolis has been an active part of my life since 1982 when I phoned in some news about the Southeast League of Women Voters unit and somehow ended up an occasional writer for the paper and a board member of Southeast Publications, the nonprofit owner of Southeast.

The first board meeting I attended was a potluck breakfast at the home of Kate Donahue. This appeared to be an easy duty; the board only met four times a year, and it seemed cheerfully friendly. Then it didn’t meet at all for about 15 months. Rumor had it that the president and the secretary couldn’t agree on who should mail the meeting notices. Editor Ted Tucker certainly must have had his doubts, but it didn’t stop him from producing a paper every month from a tightly organized closet on his third floor.

Volunteer typists, writers and advertising managers helped him hold the paper together. The delivery people did get paid, even when your paper landed in the bushes.

The board regrouped in time for a lovely 10th anniversary celebration in 1986, held in the former Marshall-U High Library. There was never a time when money wasn’t a problem, but we developed a unique fundraiser, the Anti-Bake Sale that helped with special needs. “No cakes to bake, no spaghetti to serve — Just send us your money!” And suddenly it was time for a 15th anniversary bash, held in the truncated remains of Marshal-U High’s auditorium. And then a 20!

Longtime editor Ted Tucker deserves the credit for ensuring that Southeast Minneapolis had its own monthly journal recording our events. (And he faithfully mailed each issue to the Minnesota Historical Society.) Business Manager Penny Petersen supported his efforts by holding the money side together. Ted gave the board two years’ notice that he would retire his press credentials at the time of the 20th anniversary.

We were able to conduct a measured search for a successor and for a new way of publishing the paper — a contract with Dan Nordley’s Triangle Park Creative to produce the renamed Southeast Angle.

Our recent history is better known to readers. In a soul-searching process, Southeast Publications board members concluded that we needed to accept Nordley’s recommendation to combine the Angle with Triangle Park Creative’s other paper, the Seward Profile. Former editor Tucker provided the new name, The Bridge, as a statement about joining communities on both sides of the river by means of a newspaper.

As far as we’re concerned, it’s been a fruitful experiment that would have succeeded were it not for greedy financial manipulations in distant places far beyond our simple understanding and control.

— Katie Fournier, Southeast Como resident, longtime Southeast Publications board member and former reporter

last revised: June 16, 2009