Category Archives: Minneapolis

I Love Target

On the shelf and in the Emerging Authors Section at Target
Ever since my first visit to Target while in Ohio visiting my in-laws I’ve been in love with its quality, selection and convenience.  We jokingly pronounced it Tar-jeh back then because it was far and away the classiest big box store ever.  And since, at the time, I was living in Manhattan where the closest thing was a rather crappy Lamston’s variety store on Sixth Avenue, Target seemed even more spectacular.  It was created by the Dayton-Hudson department store chain in Minneapolis and imbued with their historically stylish and trend conscious DNA.  Dayton’s is the store in front of which Mary Tyler Moore tosses her beret in the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore show.  It was also where my stepmother Sarah, always very stylish and classy, worked for a time.  So for all of these reasons as well as such fantastic access to new readers, I am thrilled that the beautiful Chanel Bonfire paperback can be found at Target!

Hooray for Hump Day! Summer Pleasures

Robbie learns to ride a bike.

Summers with our dad in Minneapolis meant the simplest joys — bright summer nights of tag and kick-the-can, running over the neighborhood with a pack of kids with no schedules or agendas, wearing clothes we could get dirty and shoes we could wear out, and of course riding bikes.

Smiles of a Summer’s Day

Robbie’s gap-toothed smile.
One of the great treats of our summers in Minneapolis with dad was the neighborhood park (Thomas Lowry aka Seven Pools) which contained a water feature you could play in — seven pools varying in temperature and depth strung along a manmade stream.
Thomas Lowry Park aka Seven Pools
The park was built on land donated to the city park system (at Douglas and Mt. Curve Avenues) by Thomas Lowry the man who built and owned the street railway system in Minneapolis.  The neighborhood, Lowry Hill, was developed by him.  The park had been called Douglas Triangle and then Mt. Curve Triangles (yes, plural for some forgotten reason) before finally being named for Lowry.  Of course all the kids in the neighborhood just called it Seven Pools.
As it looked to us.
Another little piece of our childhood heaven in Minneapolis with our dad — much thought of and much missed after our return to our mother in New York.

Sunday In The Park With Dad

One of the unexpected joys of publishing Chanel has been the unearthing of photographs from friends and distant relatives.  (This one is from a series taken by an old Minneapolis friend one our last summers with our Dad.)  As you can imagine after reading the book, not very many pictures or keepsakes made it through with us — things were lost in storage, destroyed by our mother or simply left or abandoned by us as we tried to run faster and faster from our past through a long series of houses, rooms and apartments.  


Summers with Daddy — Carnival Rides

Robbie & Me

One of our last, if not our last summer, with our dad (James Lawless).  I’m not sure where this rickety old ride is but I think maybe the Minnesota State Fair.  You can still find these old warhorses at county fair grounds and little mom-and-pop amusement parks all over the country.  They may not have the scientifically engineered spills and thrills of the giant rollercoasters at Six Flags or Cedar Point or Disney World but, like Coney Island’s famous Cyclone, they have their own special kind of terror: they may fall apart at any minute!  The old herky-jerky movements, loose nuts and bolts and shakey scaffolding seem to have been a part of rides like these since they were new.  There even used to be tiny ones driven around on flatbed trucks that would come to neighborhoods like an ice cream truck bringing little thrills for a quarter.  Our Mother (Georgann Rea) took us to Disneyland once on a trip to Beverly Hills–the Beverly Hills Hotel and its Polo Lounge being more her idea of amusement.  But as wonderful as Disneyland was, its calculated charm couldn’t quite match the grinding gears, sunburned shoulders and sticky days of fairs with our dad.  What are your memories of local amusement parks and fairs?  Let me know in the comments or email me at  

Rags to Riches

From Kansas City to Versailles in one blog post!

A much quicker version of my mother, Georgann Rea’s journey from Iowa orphanage to Kamsas City Plaza dweller to Minneapolis actor’s wife to Dakota dwelling Broadway Producer’s wife to wealthy American Divorcee in London!  Thirty years from there to here and in ten more she’d be broke again.  

Here we are on an ASL trip to Versailles.  Note the crazy 70s styling.


Summertime Girls on Chanel Bonfire

Minneapolis Summers…

One of our summer babysitters, Beverly, with Robbie, her summer hair going wild, holding her teddy bear Guthrie (named for Sir Tyrone) and our friend Grettie. I think I took this picture.  Daddy would hire a girl to watch us while he was in rehearsal.  After a production started he’d spend the days with us himself and the babysitter would only come at night to put us to bed.