Travels with Jerry


Travels with Jerry 2013During early childhood Jerry Harju was frequently gripped by an eccentric need to visit places that few other people wished to see.  In 1970 he had to drive the length of the Baja California peninsula – 800 miles of very bad dirt road – because the Mexican government was on the verge of paving it.

The community of Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories was so cold and desolate that men sent their wives south for the winter to keep them from committing suicide.  Naturally, Jerry had to check this place out.


He attempted to reach the North Pole THREE times.  If you think that you might have this kind of luck, then do NOT try that trip.

Upon reaching senior-citizen status Jerry began mellowing out on his trip selections, often sailing on cruise ships.  These large ships are well known for providing totally relaxing and trouble-free vacation.  But as Jerry found out, maybe not all the time.


“Travels with Jerry” is a collection of his off-the-beaten-track adventures all over the globe.  Some of the journeys are WAY off the beaten track; definitely not your run-of-the-mill shopping excursions to Green Bay or Milwaukee.




“The Snowshoe Priest” was the perfect name for Reverend Frederic Baraga. As he carried out crucial missionary work with the Chippewa Indians on the Lake Superior shore, he did not let heavy winter snows halt his work. Each winter he trekked hundreds of miles on snowshoes to bring assistance, comfort and blessings to tribal members in remote villages.

Frederic Baraga was born June 29, 1797 in Slovenia. His family’s wealth afforded him … Continue reading

Northern Reflections

Jerry Harju’s first book, now in its seventh printing, has become an endearing favorite among readers of all ages. Northern Reflections is a collection of humorous and reminiscent short stories spanning the 1940′s as the author was growing up.

But these stories aren’t just about Jerry Harju; they’re about people in small Upper Michigan communities. Every town … Continue reading

Northern D’Lights

Ever wonder what it would be like to sneak onto a ski jump when no one was looking? Jerry Harju tells you how it’s done in Northern D’Lights. Harju’s second book continues his wacky anecdotal remembrances of growing up in Michigan’s U.P., introducing a whole new cast of wild and wooly characters to tickle your funny bone.
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Northern Passages

Northern Passages is Jerry Harju’s third collection of short stories about the trials and mistrials of growing up north in the 1940′s, and is just as outrageously funny as his first two books. In “The Kindergarten Chronicles” Harju’s scholastic career gets off to a shaky start when he’s kept after school on his first day of kindergarten, although …
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Northern Memories

Jerry Harju’s Northern Memories is the fourth in the ever-popular “Northern” series. Northern Memories is a collection of reminiscent stories that will jab the funnybone as the reader is transported to Upper Michigan back in the 1930′s and ’40′s. Live through the high excitement and danger when Jerry’s mother tries to learn how to drive his 1930 Model A Ford with severely defective steering. Watching Frankenstein
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Northern Tales No. 5

The fifth book in Jerry Harju’s hilarious “Northern” series revisits the primitive Upper Michigan of his youth, giving the reader a uniquely humorous flavor of the 1940′s to mid ’50′s era when life was full of risks. Jerry’s introduction to public speaking got off to a bad start with a Sunday school Christmas recitation that quickly went wrong. At age ten …
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Here’s What I Think…

Want some ideas on getting even with telemarketers?  Or avoiding road rage in supermarket aisles?  Humorist Jerry Harju shares his thoughts on dealing with these and other baffling complexities of modern-day living in this collection of selected columns published over the years in The Mining Journal, Upper Michigan’s largest newspaper.
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Way Back When

Want to go back in time? Humorist Jerry Harju tells how it was when kids could bring knives to school but not marbles. And what was on the menu when his father was the first stay-at-home dad. Jerry will jog fond memories of 1940′s radio commercials and Christmas goodies, the Great Depression Syndrome of saving string and tinfoil, and when the phrase “trick or treat” …
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Our World was in Black & White

Have you ever experienced the utter panic of being trapped inside a 1940′s snowsuit? Jerry Harju has. How about repelling a home invasion with your bare hands? He’s done that too. Our World was in Black & White takes the reader on a rollicking trip down memory lane, recounting the thrill of wallpapering, the origin of nicknames …

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Cold Cash

Ever wonder what it would be like to be an average law abiding citizen, so far in debt that you’d consider pulling a bank robbery?  That’s the dilemma of two Upper Michigan heroes in Cold Cash, a wacky, fast-moving adventure novel by Jerry Harju.

These two guys have a plan.  Hold up a bank and pay off their debts with the stolen loot.  It’s actually a very good plan – walk into the bank Continue reading

“Finland Calling”

A lively autobiography by the host of television’s longest-running variety program.

For many, Carl Pellonpaa has been an icon in both America and Finland as the host of the 50-year-old “Finland Calling” television program.

But there are other facts of Carl’s life that his fans will find fascinating. Born on the onset of the Great Depression in Ishpeming, a hard scrabble iron mining town in Upper Michigan, Carl shared close quarters in a drafty old house with his parents and three siblings. As a youngster, sports were his passion. He became an accomplished ski jumper, and his fastball was so extraordinary that in his teens he attracted the attention of the major league Boston Braves. Fresh out of high school, 17-year-old Carl got a job as a radio announcer, often struggling with words he had never seen or heard before. Continue reading

Saving Our Sons

The major events of the first half of the 20th Century–The Great Depression and World War II–fully engaged U.P. residents for 16 long years. Larry Chabot’s new book from North Harbor Publishing, Saving Our Sons, recalls the U.P.’s Depression recovery through the work of the legendary Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
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The U.P. Goes to War

Upper Michigan and Its Heroes in World War II. At last-a book celebrating the Upper Peninsula men and women who helped win the war! Read tales of incredible bravery, daring escapes, homefront patriotism, and why Yoopers made such good soldiers. You’ll meet a Navy carrier pilot saved by a bottle of ammonia, a Yooper who knew Hitler, and a rifleman who ran a jungle sawmill…
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Life With a View

An award-winning Mining Journal columnist presents a witty slant on life in Upper Michigan.
For several years, Marquette resident Deb Pascoe had worked as an assistant editor/columnist for the Mining Journal, Upper Michigan’s largest newspaper. Her columns have won several awards, including honors from the Michigan Associated Press.
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