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Cooler Near the Lake

Fifty-two Favorites from Thirty-four years of Deadlines

by Jim Heffernan



Zenith City Press is out of stock of Cooler Near the Lake, but you can order the book directly from Jim Heffernan himself at his blog—just click HERE.

Writing as both a columnist and as a reporter, Jim Heffernan has entertained and informed readers of the Duluth News Tribune and the Duluth Evening Herald for half his life. Jim has hand-picked fifty-two of his and his readers’ favorites, from his “Blanch” and “Ethnic Editor” columns to his encounters with celebrities who visited the Twin Ports throughout his career, and of course the poem that became his most-requested column: “Cooler Near the Lake.”

Praise for this book:

“Every newspaper needs a storyteller and Jim Heffernan served his native city well. He wrote about those living in the Northland and those who touched them from the era of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy to the present. Heffernan’s columns were a slice of unique humor and insight.”

— Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune

“Returning to my hometown Duluth over the years, I always took great pleasure in reading Jim’s column. It was like catching up with a member of the family, and finding that, despite fads, fashions and the occasional absurdities of the times, the old hometown was still essentially the same, and in very good hands.”

— Rick Shefchik, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Jim has become the unofficial historian of Duluth’s role in the last days before ‘The Day the Music Died’ when singer Buddy Holly appeared here shortly before he and others were killed in a plane crash. I sponsored and emcee’d the show; Jim was there and has written movingly about it.”

— Lew Latto, veteran Duluth radio talk show host

“They say laughter is the best medicine. If that’s the case, Jim Heffernan left a lot of people healthy with his News Tribune columns. Amidst the headlines of crime and mayhem Heffernan’s column brought a dose of light-hearted humor that lifted the spirits and always made it a better day.His droll sense of humor and easy wit often made me laugh out loud.”

— Barbara Reyelts, KBJR_TV News

“Jim Heffernan’s columns have moved us to laughter and tears, troubled our conscience, confronted our humanity, and made us recognize ourselves through the lens of these gifted verbal sketches.”

— Jim Oberstar, U.S. Congressman representing Northeastern Minnesota

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