Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Spatial Anomaly

On our way back from a trip to the Jeffers Petroglyphs in SW Minnesota, a friend and I passed a road sign: New Ulm 5.

New Ulm is a historically German town at the confluence of the Cottonwood and Minnesota Rivers, best known for its fine local beers and its "Herman the German" Memorial.

“I've always wanted to check out New Ulm,” said my friend.

“We'll have to go some time,” I replied.

A few miles later, we passed another road sign.

New Ulm 5.

“That's weird,” said one of us.

Some miles on, we saw yet another.

New Ulm 5.

We kept driving, both of us with a crawling sensation at the back of the neck.

Two more New Ulm 5 signs later, it was clear that something was wrong. Something—or somewhere—would not release us from its gravitational orbit.

New Ulm 5.

Finally, I couldn't stand it any more.

“Let go!” I cried out loud, raising my arms. “Release us! We'll come back, I promise! Just not today, OK?”

New Ulm 7.

New Ulm 10.


Some months later, my friend and I fulfilled our vow.

We spent a pleasant afternoon in New Ulm, and poured a libation to Hermann (“warband-man”) the German—known in Latin as Arminius—who ambushed an invading Southron army in the Teutoberger Forest and so—for a while—saved his people's freedom.

Indeed, the beer was very good.


For "Granny" Ro Reyburne




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Tagged in: uncanny weird Wyrd
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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