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Prince Charles’s New Watercolor Exhibition Launches Amidst Royal Drama



Prince Charles’s New Watercolor Exhibition Launches Amidst Royal Drama

Prince Charles on December 16, 2021 in Dartmouth, England. Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Given that the British Royal Family is the steward of one of the largest private art collections in the world, its no surprise that some of its most prominent members have nurtured artistic pursuits: this week, the Garrison Chapel in London launched the largest exhibition to date of paintings by Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth who’s also next in line for the throne. The Prince’s preferred medium is watercolors, and he heavily favors richly hued landscapes and tranquil scenes. At the exhibition, he explained that he initially took up painting because he found it to be more fulfilling than photography.

“Quite simply, I experienced an overwhelming urge to express what I saw through the medium of watercolor and to convey that almost ‘inner’ sense of texture which is impossible to achieve via photography,” Prince Charles said. “I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent! They represent, more than anything else, my particular form of ‘photograph album’ and, as such, mean a great deal to me.”

The exhibition’s start date comes at an extremely fraught time for the Royals. On Thursday, Buckingham Palace issued an announcement that Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second-eldest son, would be stripped of his military titles and royal patronages and no longer use the title “His Royal Highness;” this is a striking development in the ongoing saga of the sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the prince by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 years old.

On Wednesday, a Manhattan federal judge had ruled that Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew can go forward. Previously, Prince Andrew’s legal team had contended that the Duke of York was shielded from the lawsuit by a 2009 settlement Giuffre reached with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Charles’s New Watercolor Exhibition Launches Amidst Royal Drama


Readers and writers: Memories of an Indian boarding school and a tender (yes, tender) crime novel



Readers and writers: Memories of an Indian boarding school and a tender (yes, tender) crime novel

You’re probably getting ready to grill and putting the last touches on the potato salad right now, but when the celebration is over, take time to look here for the memories of a Native American woman who survived life at an Indian boarding school, and a tender crime novel (yes, tender) by a former “Seinfeld” writer. And we’ve got a couple of guides for your stay-close-to-home road trips.

“Golden-Brown Indian Girl: A Small Voice Gets LOUDER” by Donna F. Council (Independently-published, $19.99)

In my mind I pictured this golden-brown Indian girl in a little green dress with a trace of red around her collar and green trim in fringe around her waist, and long, black braided hair, as she stepped into our childhood nightmare. I was going to help this little Indian girl who stuffed so many losses for so long. I will accept her, appreciate her with her golden-brown, perfect round lips that seldom ever had a real smile. She never got a chance to grow up to live fully without the embarrassment and shame I feel. She also wanted to forgive herself, knowing it wasn’t her fault, not doing or saying anything to them. It was their fault.

— from “Golden-Brown Indian Girl”

On the the cover of Donna Council’s new book is a picture of a little Indian girl. With her big, sorrowful eyes, puzzled expression and a bottom lip that trembles with hidden tears, she is the scared, abused, confused child Council was when she was a child. Council and her four little sisters were taken from their parents and sent to Marty, the St. Paul’s Indian MIssion boarding school about 70 miles south of the family home in Mitchell, S.D.

Donna was 12 at the time and her terrible years at the school included bullying by other kids and nuns and dozens of rules that brought punishment if broken. The frightened children, who didn’t understand why they were taken from their homes, were told their parents didn’t love them and treated as though they were “just Indians.”

The U.S. government-run boarding schools for Indian children, begun in the 19th century to integrate the Indians into white society (which meant taking their land), lasted into the early 1990s in some places. Nobody knows how many children died, or were killed, in those bleak buildings that housed three generations of Indian children, some of whom committed suicide.

Yet, there was no one to protect them. The Catholic Church controlled the schools and the kids’ lives. If they survived, many grew up to feel worthless and afraid. Like Council, many later learned they had PTSD but they had stuffed their feelings The author’s mother and grandparents were in the boarding schools but never discussed their experiences. “They kept their pain deeply hidden inside,” Council writes of the generations before her.

Now, she is opening the door to let light shine into those dark corridors, dormitories and punishment rooms.

Council grew up, had two children and was a counselor for Indian youth. But that little Indian girl was always inside her. She acted like an adult, but the generational trauma from the boarding school never went away.

When she turned 55, Council faced her past and returned to Marty, now under control of the Yankton Sioux. With her daughter, she roamed the grounds and went into rooms she was forbidden to enter as a student.

In her mind, Council took the trembling little hand of the golden-brown Indian girl who was anxious, looking around.

“I told her, ‘No one will harm you or punish you. No nun will hit you or tell you that you are uncivilized, no good, or not loved.’ I reassured her she will not be staying; we are going home together.”

“Carolina Moonset” by Matt Goldman (Forge; $15.99 paperback, $29.99 hardcover)

Book jacket for "Carolina Moonset"
“Carolina Moonset”

It showed the dark marsh in heavy brushstrokes. A sprawling oak in the foreground framed an expanse of reeds. A tidal creek snaked through the reeds. The tide was out, and the creek’s muddy bottom reflected the moonlight. A clump of more oaks in the distance lay dark under the full moon shining above them. And behind those oaks, the dark shadow of an immense home, no light in the windows except for one on the second floor…A small brass plaque was affixed to the frame, not much bigger than a dog tag. It was engraved: CAROLINA MOONSET. The painting terrified me when I was a boy.

— From “Carolina Moonset”

Who is looking across the marsh at that lighted window? And who is in that room? That’s the mystery at the heart of Matt Goldman’s compelling and intricate new novel, a stand-alone after he wrote four crime stories featuring private investigator Nils Shapiro, beginning in 2017 with “Gone to Dust.”

It is impossible to categorize this book because it is seamlessly made up of so many parts — a family, old friends and enemies, secrets, characters so perfectly drawn you see them in your mind, impeccable dialogue, and a no-nonsense love story that turns two 40-something people into first-love teens. A starred review in Publishers Weekly described the novel as “…isn’t to be missed.”

Then there’s the Gothic nature of the lowlands, the weepy oaks, forbidding marshes, sun dancing on the water, feasting on freshly beheaded shrimp.

Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, N.C., to look after his father, a doctor who dedicated his career to working in a low-income clinic. Now Marshall Green has Lewy Body Dementia, a form of the disease in which the person loses short-term memory but can remember the past clearly.

When Joey’s mother leaves for a short respite trip, she warns her son that his dad must be locked in the house all the time because he wanders. Joey’s a dutiful son, a nice divorced guy with two kids. He’s responsible, too, but he’s also falling in love with Leela, whose parents live next door. She, too, is divorced with kids and, like Joey, is in her mid-40s.

The one night Joey forgets to lock the back door, a member of the wealthy, influential Hammond family is shot near the Greens’ house. Joey finds his dad standing among the bathrobe-clad crowd, watching the police do their work. Joey can’t find the old gun with the ivory handle his dad kept in his tackle box.

Then, the plot gets complicated. The dead man had a private will that even his wife, Gail,  didn’t know about. He gave a considerable amount of land to the Greens and to Ruby and Lawrence. Ruby used to work for the Greens and is considered family. Joey is interested to discover that the land given to the two families was in the path of an entrance to an expensive development being built on that island.

When Marshall Green begins to hallucinate, he talks to his old friend, Trip Patterson, as though he’s in the room, and seems to be arguing with someone else nobody can see. Is it the beautiful African-American woman whose body was found caught in a shrimper’s net long ago?

As Joey talks to the characters, trying to find out who killed the rich guy so his father won’t be taken to prison, each fills in another part of the old story that involves two rich brothers and how they influenced so many of Joey’s inner circle.

Goldman, who lives in Minneapolis, writes perfect dialogue. Conversations between Joey and his fading dad are heart-breaking, and the half-pretend half-real conversational games Joey and Leela play are touching. They know they have only a week or so together but they will make the best of that time before they have to separate to go back to their kids.

It’s no surprise Goldman writes dialogue so well. He has written almost 500 TV scripts, including the first two seasons of “Seinfeld”  and the episode of “Ellen” in which Ellen DeGeneres’ character comes out as gay.

Please put “Carolina Moonset” at the top of your spring TBR list. You will love it.

Goldman will introduce his book at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at Edina Pubic Library, 5280 Grandview Square, Edina, in partnership with Once Upon a Crime mystery bookstore; 1 p.m. June 18 at Barnes & Noble, 3230 Galleria, Edina, and  7 p.m. July 27 in the Literature Lovers’ Night Out series, Zephyr Theatre, 601 N. Main St., Stillwater.

If high gas prices are keeping your travel plans close to home, here are two guides that will help you plan.

“Minnesota State Parks” by Anne Arthur and Signy Sherman (Adventure Publications, $22.95)

Book jacket for "Minnesota State Parks"
“Minnesota State Parks”

Filled with detailed maps and pictures, the book is arranged geographically. The fifth edition of this handy guide to all 75 state parks and state recreation areas is subtitled “How to Get There, What to Do and Where to Do It.”

Some parks, such as St. Croix, 16 miles east of Hinckley, are well known. But have you heard of Savanna Portage State Park, seven miles northeast of McGregor? Named for a route indigenous people used to transport canoes overland, the park can be explored on foot, skis or snowmobiles. Or how about John A. Latsch Park, 12 miles north of Winona? It’s essentially a wayside stop, good for a picnic, with a half-mile trail that leads to a  view of the Mississippi River valley.

If you want to wander farther, “Destination Heartland” (5 Fields Books/University of Illinois Press, $19.95) will help you roam from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to the grounds of an ancient Native American city.

The author tells you how to get the most out of your visit and includes historic restaurants, small-town museums and other overlooked locations. It covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.


Winding Trail Books is vacating its space in Milton Square at 2230 Carter Ave., St. Paul, while married owners Sue Costello and Rick Gahm look for new digs after being at their current location since July of 2019. Costello says they are working on a new location but it is not finalized and they don’t yet have an opening date. The effects of COVID, including closing the store for a while, slow customer return and author cancellations, made it difficult for them to stay in their building in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood they love. During the transition the store will host off-site author and reading events, Costello said. They encourage readers to order books online at Everything at the current location will be for sale, including shelving and some fixtures. 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, and Thursday; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday. Satu5day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is closing day.

J.P. Der Boghossian
J.P. Der Boghossian

A new podcast, “This Queer Book Saved My Life,” debuts June 21. The podcast, created by J.P. (John Parker) Der Boghossian, will feature interviews with LGBTQ guests sharing the queer book that saved their lives, then meeting with the book’s author. Der Boghossian is founder and curator of the Queer Armenian Library and is past president of the Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota. He is equity and inclusion officer for Normandale Community College. Since 2015, J.P. has delivered keynotes and presentations at conferences throughout the Midwest on topics such as intercultural competency, LGBTQ health and racial equity, implicit biases and culturally responsive organizations. In 2020 Der Boghossian launched the Queer Armenian library, the world’s first devoted to books and media about Queer Armenians. He will release three podcasts June 21, then produce a weekly episode. The first programs will feature an array of authors including National  Book Award finalist Carmen Maria Machado and Minnesota award-winning children’s book author David LaRochelle. For information go to:

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What Happened To Sherri Papini



What Happened To Sherri Papini

Heart in the mouth, limbs numb with shock, and worrying about death are how anybody would react to close kin being kidnapped. Ransoms, murder, rape, and assault are what kidnappings are done for.

The kidnapping of one leaves the entire community heaving bated breaths.

However, what if a kidnapping is staged, a hoax? It defrauds the kin and community and mocks their care, concern, and mental trauma caused due to near ones in danger. It shatters those worried about death and mocks the severity of true crime cases.

Arguably, the most notorious example of staged kidnapping was one of an American Woman from California named Sherri Papini.

An elaborate web of lies and deceit is what Sherri Papini gifted her husband and children, along with the authorities, as repayment for care and concern about her well-being.

The Premise

It was a normal morning in the Papini household comprising her husband and two children, a boy and a girl, in Redding, California, on November 2, 2016, when Sherri Papini, 34 at that time, left her house for a jog. Unsuspecting any upcoming life-changing events, his husband, Keith Papini, went on his job as normal.

His concerns multiplied manifold when he found out on the turning from the office that his wife had yet not returned from her jog; he then used the application ‘Find My iPhone’ to locate her phone and found her phone and earbuds at the intersection of Sunrise Drive and the the the Old Oregon Trail. Obvious chaos ensued when she could be tracked or found, and the family was beside themselves with worry.

The local authorities were under pressure to find her while the entire community supported the Papini family emotionally and financially.

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving on November 24, 2016, about three weeks later, that she reappeared on the side of County Road 17 near Interstate 5 in Yolo County, about 150 miles (240 km) south of where she disappeared, reportedly being freed by her captors at wee hours of the very morning.

She was found restrained and seemingly assaulted, including chopped hair, burnt, bruised, branded on her right shoulder, and seemingly emaciated.

The family and the community breathed a heavy sigh of relief, and overwhelming sympathy poured at what she reportedly suffered at the hands of the perpetrators.

1653754327 794 What Happened To Sherri Papini

The Investigation

Investigation of the case further revealed a lot of new information. Sherri claimed that she had been abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women, who spoke mostly in Spanish. She also reported being branded on her right shoulder by a supposed verse from The Book of Exodus.

According to her, the elder one was more meaningful than the two Hispanic women( both always keep their faces masked, according to Sherri). They also played loud music, and the windows were always boarded up. She also told the police about a dark coloured SUV that the two used.

Even with these clues, the local authorities could not track the accused, and how would they have, considering there were no such people in the first place.

The Quest For The Truth

With such an elaborate web of lies, how was the police able to reach the truth?

After searching for the said two women, months after Sherri had returned that the police found a piece of evidence that made them change their tactics. The DNA found on her clothes made them question Sherri’s entire story. The DNA found on her clothes was of a male person while she had claimed that her abductors were women, and it also did not match with her husband.

Shasta county’s sheriff’s office Captain Brian Jackson saw it as it was- ‘the key to crack the case.’

Finally, in 2019 with the help of his FBI colleagues, the mystery of the DNA was decoded. The DNA sample belonged to Sherri’s Ex-boyfriend, which finally explains a lot of inconsistencies in Sherri’s story.

The Truth – Explained

Shayari Papini had staged the entire abduction since the start, complete with all the planning to web lies to befool everyone.

When her x boyfriend was questioned, many of the mysteries unravel. She had told her Ex-boyfriend that her husband abused her and she wanted to get away. He agreed, and then they planned how she would go with him on November 2, 2016.

He was unaware that she had planned to represent it as abduction. She has purposefully starved herself, got herself deliberately and frequently hurt to create the bruises, and even asked him to do so. She had cut her hair herself and asked him to brand her, to which he was reluctant. It was weeks after when she started missing her children that she decided to appear back. The Ex also reported that he never hurt her but allied with her efforts in the hope of getting back with her together.

 A huge bundle of lies and deceit was all it was, and it got a huge media coverage making it notorious and a subject of many case studies and podcasts about staged crimes.

The post What Happened To Sherri Papini appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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What’s next for Ellen DeGeneres as her talk show goes off the air?



What’s next for Ellen DeGeneres as her talk show goes off the air?

Sixteen-time Emmy Award winner Ellen DeGeneres bid farewell to daytime-TV viewers on Thursday during the series finale of her long-running talk show. And it could be a while before audiences see her again on the big — or small — screen.

After more than 3,000 episodes, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” host isn’t jumping on any major projects right away — even though she’s had “an incredible offer” lined up for months. Instead, she’s taking the advice of former daytime TV queen and pal Oprah Winfrey to take time “to sit and reflect,” even though she concedes that she’s not very good at it.

“I am going to try to take her advice, which is, ‘Don’t do anything for a year. No matter how good the offer is, just sit for a year,’” DeGeneres said in a Hollywood Reporter interview published Wednesday. “And I’ll tell you, I have an incredible offer right now that I actually got several months before I finished. It’s really, really hard to say no to and I’m asking to delay it because I am really trying to sit still. This is my first self-imposed break. The last one was not.”

That “last one” refers to the three-year break she took from television in the late 1990s after she came out on her hit ABC sitcom, “Ellen,” and then faced a backlash and abrupt cancellation by the network.

“And three years at the time seemed like an eternity but, looking back on it, it was a blip, and so I can do one year. I’m going to start traveling in a couple of weeks and try to enjoy my time,” the host said.

This time around, a workplace scandal was a major catalyst in the once-beloved program’s undoing and could eclipse its legacy. The syndicated show ended Thursday with an appearance from actor Jennifer Aniston, the show’s first and now final guest, and performances from Pink and Billie Eilish.

The 64-year-old comedian has said she’s also being offered private gigs and Las Vegas jobs. She’s unsure yet whether she’ll return to stand-up comedy or acting but is planning to produce documentaries. In fact, she’s traveling to Rwanda in a few weeks where she’s opening a 12-acre campus focused on saving wild mountain gorillas. While there, she’ll be shooting a documentary about the operation.

DeGeneres is also contracted for another comedy special for Netflix to follow up 2018‘s “Relatable,” THR reported, and is contemplating a potential film role.

Elsewhere in DeGeneres’ THR interview, the host acknowledged the “very, very difficult” scandal that engulfed her show in 2020 with allegations of a toxic work environment.

DeGeneres said that she had planned to end the daytime show three years ago but was talked into carrying on with it. And now it’s “for sure the right time” to end it.

“There was a lot that happened during that time that was unfortunate, but it is what it is — you go through stuff in life and you just keep learning and growing. That’s how I have to look at it. But it’s definitely time to stop. And the producers, we’ll all stay in touch. Andy [Lassner] still texts me at least three times a day,” she said.

DeGeneres added: “I have to just trust that whatever happened during that time, which was obviously very, very difficult, happened for a reason. I think that I learned a lot, and there were some things that came up that I was shocked and surprised by. It was eye-opening, but I just trust that that had to happen.”

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