Lofgren, 1991
                  Lofgren, 1984
Lyle, Spring Grove MN, June 1991
(Photo: Elizabeth Lofgren)
Liz, Geiranger, Norway, July, 1984
(Photo: Lyle Lofgren)


Selections of Liz's photographs and other artwork from over the years. More pictures will be added as she gets them ready for web publication. The thumbnail collections are broken up into pages for faster loading. (2/8/2010)

Birds & Other Fauna
Art Viewers
City Scenes
Public Art
Creative License


(NEW: 2/8/2010)


BLUEGRASS AND OLD-TIME MUSIC DIRECTIONS -- Lyle's notes and comments for an 8-part series broadcast on Phil Nusbaum's BLUEGRASS REVIEW radio program during the summer of 2007.

THE BRANDY SNIFTERS -- Old -Time Appalachian stringband music. Read our story and buy our recordings -- including the newly-released (2012) 2-CD set Practice Night with Uncle Willie & the Brandy Snifters. Also includes pictures and recordings of some memorable old-time musicians we've met, as well as articles of interest to afficiondos of traditional music. It even includes a guest article, Bluegrass Sources, by David E. Wunsch.
(Updated 1/10/2012)

THE LEGEND OF UNCLE WILLIE & THE BRANDY SNIFTERS, OR HOW TO ENJOY PLAYING OLD-TIME MUSIC WITHOUT THE PITFALLS OF WORLDLY SUCCESS -- Reprinted from the Old Time Herald. History of the band, including some information about the mid-20th-century old-time Appalachian music scene in Minnesota.

TRADITIONAL MUSIC PHOTO ALBUM -- Photos of old-time musicians we've met, from 1961 - 2007 and counting. This is the same site as the link on the Brandy Snifters page. We're listing it here also, because people were having a hard time finding it. (2/8/2010).

TRADITIONAL MUSIC SONIC ALBUM -- A collection of some things that happened to happen while the tape recorder was running, and which may be of interest to others besides ourselves. Features Mississippi John Hurt, Mabel Hillary, Rev. Gary Davis, and Elizabeth Cotten. This is the same site as the link on the Brandy Snifters page.(6/9/2005).

REMEMBERING THE OLD SONGS -- Articles from Inside Bluegrass (Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association Newsletter) about traditional songs. Bob Waltz and Lyle take turns writing the monthly articles. [The series ended December 2011.] (Updated 11/19/2013).

LOFGREN, JOHNSON, SWENSON FAMILY HISTORY -- A Brief, Extended History of the Lofgren, Johnson and Swenson Families Who Settled Near Harris, Minnesota. The geneaology given is intensely boring if you're not a relative, but some of the family stories might interest others. They prove that truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is indistinguishable. Warning: the introduction contains philosophical thoughts on personal history that some may find bizarre (Updated 12/2/2013).

THERE WAS A PLACE CALLED VALLSJ÷BOL. THE YEAR WAS 1948 -- Written by Alf Gunnarson, 1995. A detailed memoir of life on a small Swedish farm and its environs. Translated by Lyle, 2004. Alf has a website (in Swedish),, devoted to his family's history (1/28/2006).


Note the dates, as these entries are presented mostly as they were originally written, without updating to account for more recent information or changes in my opinions. If you have any comments, I'm at

WEST COAST BUSINESS TRIP, 1967 -- June, 1967, edited and with commentary added in the summer of 2005. A peon's-eye view of a small part of the Military-Industrial complex as it was in the late 1960s. (9/12/2005).

THE DEEP WELL OF DEATH -- June 1978. This short diatribe seems quaint now, but I'm not sure why, because the topic is still current. (5/3/2005). (NOTE ADDED, 4/25/2011)

THE LAMMERGEYER IS ONE OF OUR PRETTIEST BIRDS -- July 1978. Reading Peter Matthiesen's The Snow Leopard sent me to the library for some research on the Lammergeyer (or Lammergeier) and Tibetan burial practices. It got me to thinking about which element I want to return to when I die: earth, water, fire, or air. Air burial sounds like a neat idea, except -- what if I end up being consumed by chickens? (11/26/2007)

WYNDAWEED INSTRUCTION MANUAL -- October 1979. Read carefully before assembly. If I were to write it over, I'd put in a lot of pointless WARNINGs and CAUTIONs, but  I didn't foresee all those consumer  lawsuits.  (5/3/2005)

ARKADY -- January 1981. I try my hand at memoir, attempting to reconstruct the thought-processes of a 7-year-old. The result is  juvenilia, even though I was 45 when I wrote it. People still get irritated with me and say, "will you stop that humming?" But, of course, I won't. (5/3/2005)

LITERARY NEWS -- October 1981. I never would have guessed, back in 1981, that I'd ever be nostalgic about microfische. Sure enough, I'm not, but I am nostalgic about walnut card catalog cases in libraries, just like I was back then. (5/3/2005)

IMPULSE FROM INFERNAL WOOD: A TRILOGY -- 1983. An olio using wood as the organizing theme. (7/1/2005)

THE FIRST ORGAN DONOR -- September, 1991. A poem honoring Napoleon's legacy (NEW: 4/20/2011)

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: HULA-VILLE, RAMONA, TIJUANA -- January, 1992. A roadside attraction; a retired movie director; a Tijuana racetrack (12/5/2010)

SAFETY PROCEDURES -- March, 1992. Thirteen years after the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, there were still lessons to be learned. Unfortunately, I don't see how learning the lessons will make us any safer.

ALPHABET SOUP -- September, 1992. I wish I'd had the imagination to make this up. (11/10/2007)

INNOCENCE -- December, 1992. A short essay on the subjects. (11/10/2007, footnote added 1/18/2009)

THE FOOD CHAIN REEL -- June, 1993. A little ditty to calm your fears. (10/17/2006)

TRAVEL JOURNAL: NEW MEXICO -- April, 1994. Musings about The Land of Enchantment and what it means, if anything. Photos by Liz. (5/18/2005)

TWO CHEERS FOR SMALLPOX --September, 1994. Fighting all evils regardless of size might be bad for you. (5/10/2005)

TRAVEL JOURNAL: WASHINGTON DC & ALEXANDRIA VA, 1994 --September/October, 1994. The contradiction of a Rober Frank exhibit at the National Gallery. A bit of commentary on Alexandria. Overheard MAWDL conversations at the Phillips Collection. (3/2/2009)

GATED COMMUNITIES -- September, 1995. Except for the white-collar variety, Minneapolis suburbs probably have the lowest crime rates in the world. Nevertheless, the denizens are scared. (11/10/2007)

FIRE IN THE MIND, WATER ON THE BRAIN -- May, 1996. I try to throw cold water on an overused metaphor.(5/10/2005)

CORN BORERS -- July 5, 1996. Something about Independence Day got me to thinking about parasites, religion, and greed. (5/9/2005).

THE LOCATION OF THE SOUL -- March, 1997, with a note added 7/15/2010. Another spiritual mystery solved. (12/6/2005;7/15/2010)

CALIFORNIA COMET -- March, 1997. A bizarre event enlivens a winter vacation. (1/3/2006)

SPILLVILLE -- May, 1999. A short visit to the Czech community of Spillville, Iowa. (updated 4/11/2012)

CHESS -- November, 2000. Al Gore reminded me of a weird little guy who was once my opponent at chess. (5/9/2005)

A RANDOM WALK DOWNHILL-- January-February 2001. When Alan Greenspan is worried, I'm worried, although not for the same reasons. (Written before the World Trade Center attack -- honest!). (4/14/2005)

TERRORIST ATTACK -- September 15, 2001. Written four days after the World Trade Center attack. (11/10/2007)

TROLL FIGHT -- December 11, 2001. Written on the 3-month anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. (11/10/2007)

TOM CLANCY CAN'T SCARE ME -- May 2002, edited 2005. Why do supposedly scary movies so grossly underestimate the danger of nuclear terrorism? (updated 8/24/2005)

MIRACLES -- October 2002. A scholarly essay on the subject, complete with an unlucky 13 footnotes. (6/18/2005)

SOCIAL SECURITY SOLUTIONS -- Or, why no one listens to me. Started 2001, completed 2005. (5/3/2005)

A SCOUT IS ... -- July 2005. Thoughts about the troubles at the Jamboree. (2/8/2006)

WHY WE ARE HERE -- October 2006. If you've ever wondered about the purpose of your life, here's your answer. (10/19/2006)

FOUR PRINCIPLES OF MONEY -- December 2006. I transmogrify Michael Phillips's The Seven Laws of Money into four principles, three more than Suze Orman has. (7/8/2007)

COMMENTARY ON THE BALLAD OF HOLLIS BROWN -- March 2007. Written in response to an essay by Kurt Gegenhuber. (NEW: 11/5/2011)

CORRUPTION -- July 2007. I can define it, but I don't know it when I see it. (8/8/2007)

THE IDIOT VS. IMBECILE QUESTION -- August, 2007. (11/10/2007)

REALITY -- November 2008. A talk I gave at a Unitarian-Universalist church. (12/1/2008)

MOVIE COMMENTARY (MOSTLY): 1992 - 2010 -- (2/14/2011)

LITERARY COMMENTARY (MOSTLY): 1992 - 2010 -- (3/4/2011)

MUSIC COMMENTARY (MOSTLY): 1992 - 2010 -- Mainly Music Miscellany.(1/31/2011)

MISCELLANY: 1991 - 2011 -- A lot of really miscellaneous journal entries. On the up side, they're all short. (8/9/2011)

SPIRITUAL ART -- March 2010. (8/31/2010)

REINCARNATION -- July 2010. My answer to a hospital questionnaire about my religious beliefs.(9/1/2010)

WHY MATTER? -- October-November 2010. A long-winded discussion about the world's simplest question.

SCIENCE AS A FAITH-BASED ENTERPRISE -- January 2011. An examination of some of the similarities of science and religion. 

OVERHEARD -- A potpurri of things I've heard people say over the years.
(UPDATED -- 5/14/2013)

AN INTRODUCTION TO SILOSOPHY -- Completed February 2012. A critique of the theory that observation creates reality. Some people will find this really boring. (Minor Update -- 5/10/2013)

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