Humans of Minneapolis: John, Columbia Park

September 12, 2016 by Janette Law

In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation teamed up with Humans of Minneapolis street documentarian Stephanie Glaros to produce a series of 15 portraits of visitors to Minneapolis neighborhood parks.

Here, we’re re-posting Stephanie’s series of portraits of parks visitors from her Humans of Minneapolis blog. Look for all portraits in the series on this blog – 2016 and, coming soon, 2017 – by clicking on the Humans of Minneapolis category.

John, at Columbia Park

“I’m practicing archery. I started as a little boy in Wisconsin with my grandparents. My brother and I both had bows and we’d spend most of our summers out shooting around their place. I like it because it’s a good way to take my mind off of work, relax, and improve my skills. It’s good eye-hand coordination. You learn to know what distances look like. You can see the tangible results of what you do and whether you progress or not. A lot of it is muscle memory and eye memory. So it’s good to stay with it through the summer. And then it prepares you for the fall hunting season, too. I haven’t hunted archery for eight years and I wanted to get back into it this year. I look forward to a nice fall. It gives me a reason to be outdoors.

The rewarding part of archery is the closeness of your target. So whether you’re shooting paper, like I am here today, or deer hunting, there’s a proximity to your target that makes it challenging. You have to be really mindful of your surroundings, so you absorb a lot more of your immediate environment. You’ve got to be aware of which way the wind is blowing, where the sun is, what’s behind the target. If I’m hunting, I look at which way the game could approach, which way they would exit. If there’s anything that would prevent a shot, you don’t want to take that shot. You wouldn’t want to injure the deer in any way. You want to make it a good, clean shot. So you have to be really aware of everything that’s going on around you.

The phrase that’s popular now is ‘field to table,’ and that’s exactly what it is. It’s great food. I actually picked up a love of cooking as a result of my love of hunting. It also makes you aware of where your food comes from and you appreciate that a little bit more. The types of meat you can enjoy and how you cook it expands as well. It’s definitely organic.

And it’s more than just the hunting part. It’s what kind of birds are out, what other animals you might see. It’s quiet. It brings everything a little bit closer to you.”

Listen to John’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

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