I’ve been living in faraway places for a decade, finding my way to Duluth this past year. Prior to these journeys I spent 16 years in Mpls. I was lucky enough to know Loren, to get to know and spend time with him in work, art, Mayday, and many other things. Loren provided the mascot for our softball team ‘the Squirrelskins’, and his house as everyone knows was filled with the curios of Borges’. I worked for Loren as his assistant for a while, watching how he could figure out ways to fix most anything. Loren and I grew up in the same county of Lac qui Parle and so knew that part of each other well.

One of the many stories I remember of times with Loren is this: in the early 90s, we were having a party out at Pete’s. I was in charge of roasting the goat, which we procured from some farm nearby. We brought the goat home, assembled a crew, and David’s flute music began slowly. We drew straws, though of course it was merely a formality: Loren drew the short straw, the straw of the man who would slit the goat’s throat in preparation for our roasting.

The flute music grew stronger, more staccato, and the goat was agitated, and Loren drew the knife across his neck. We held the goat as his blood and life drained. We processed the goat, and I rubbed it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, mint leaves and lemon zest, storing it overnight in Pete’s ancient basement in the cabin. Loren took the lead the next day in preparing the firepit, and I stayed by the roasting goat all day.

That late afternoon, the goat was delicious and we fed scores of people. This was one of many things Loren had done for generations. Loren, I never imagined you passing, you seemed so ancient already. You are a leader, a pied piper for children and adults. You are missed, but your stories are emblazoned in us like pathways across the land. Pipe on my man.

-Randy Hanson

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