I grew up without the blessing of a close-knit extended family. My maternal grandmother died just 6 weeks after I was born and while I knew my other grandparents we weren't close. We saw each other a few times a year, I got cards with five dollars in them, but mostly we lived too far away for me to have grown up in an "aura" of grandparenting. When I met Cary Steeg, although he claims that his own grandparents aren't much interested in his stories, I immediately thought "this is what I missed."
I was introduced to Cary through mutual friends who live out his way in the hinterlands past Finlayson, MN. I told him I was interested in old stories about the region and he told me to come on over. He lives in the woods just up the hill from a secluded lake: an idyllic north woods setting.
I didn't have a script or a list of questions. I sat down with him on his screen porch and he started talking. Every so often I'd get in a question or ask him to clarify but mostly he talked and told