Gibraltar Schools graduate wins Norbert Blei scholarship, will major in journalism / Green Bay Press Gazette

7 06 2020
FISH CREEK - Solomon Lindenberg, a 2020 graduate of Gibraltar Area Schools, was awarded the seventh annual Norbert Blei Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the late, well-known Door County writer. Photo: Lucas Smith/Courtesy Door Guide Publishing

FISH CREEK – Solomon Lindenberg, a 2020 graduate of Gibraltar Area Schools, was awarded the seventh annual Norbert Blei Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the late, well-known Door County writer. Photo: Lucas Smith/Courtesy Door Guide Publishing

Lindenberg plans to move to Chicago this fall to pursue a degree in journalism from DePaul University with a minor in music. He was presented with the award during Gibraltar’s virtual senior banquet May 27 by guidance counselor Chelsea Roberts. It normally is presented in person, but this year it became a virtual affair because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blei award is a $1,000 scholarship offered to a graduating Gibraltar senior in memory of Blei, a lifelong writing teacher, writer and author, and lover of words and the literary arts. Lindenberg has been writing for the school newspaper, The Viking Voice, since his freshman year and was editor-in-chief during his senior year, when it received a third-place award in the General Excellence category from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. In collaboration with English teacher Linda Fey, he began a program that made student essays and opinion pieces eligible for publication in the student publication.

The school newspaper experience gave him a taste of many aspects of the newspaper profession.

“I learned so much about not only writing content from scratch, but also the world of copy editing, advertising and publishing,” Lindenberg said in a press release.

In October, Lindenberg became an intern with the weekly publication Peninsula Pulse, gaining real-world experience in writing stories and columns of local impact, editing and website design.

His desire is to provide knowledge, insight and entertainment through his writing.

“I believe that as a writer, I will be able to create work that will profoundly affect people, create awareness, and potentially bring about change,” Lindenberg wrote.

Blei’s career began in Chicago, where he was a contemporary and friend of urban writers, newspaper columnists and media figures like Mike Royko and Studs Terkel.

He moved to Door County in 1969 and famously wrote his many books in a converted chicken coop, including his seminal Door County nonfiction book, “Door Way.”

After Blei’s death on April 23, 2013, his chicken coop/writing studio was moved to Write On, Door County, a writing arts organization in Juddville, where it is used as a meeting place for writing seminars and other gatherings.

In the essay he submitted for the scholarship, Lindenberg wrote about growing up in Door County and his newfound appreciation for it.

“I’ve considered Door County to be the comfort zone that I needed to break out of in order to reach my standards of leading a successful life,” he wrote. “I’ve always had my eyes set on living in a big, densely populated area where the vastness of opportunities is immeasurable. As a result of putting myself in this frame of mind, I unknowingly shut out the similar vastness of opportunities Door County had to offer.”

Asked if he had a favorite Blei quote, Lindenberg said, “While I’ve only scratched the surface of Norb’s writing, I like his views on the Door County Advocate … and his column ‘Shut the Damn Door.’

“My favorite quote is, ‘You write to find out about yourself. If you’re in areas where you’re not finding out about yourself, it’s futile. You’re wasting your time.’”


Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or cclough@doorcountyadvocate.com. Christopher Clough Green Bay Press-Gazette / Published 2:41 PM EDT Jun 4, 2020