Lindenberg Awarded Blei Memorial Scholarship

by Marise Redmann

The 2020 Norbert Blei Memorial Scholarship – the seventh annual – has been awarded to Gibraltar High School graduate and Peninsula Pulse intern Solomon Lindenberg. 

He’s been writing for the Gibraltar school newspaper, The Viking Voice, since his freshman year and was editor-in-chief during his senior year. The young journalist was also instrumental in helping to raise the newspaper to its award-winning standing.

In collaboration with Linda Fey, a Gibraltar Schools English teacher, Lindenberg began a program that made student essays and opinion pieces eligible for publication in The Viking Voice.

“Among my contributions was to create an opinion page in the paper so students had a way to express any grievances, opinions or views that they have,” Lindenberg said. 

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,” he said.

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

“During my eight months with the Pulse and working under many great writers, including Myles Dannhausen Jr., I have learned so much about creating content and telling stories that impact people,” Lindenberg said.

Solomon Lindenberg at Norbert Blei’s “Coop” at Write On, Door County in Juddville. Photos ©2020 by Lucas Smith.

His desire is to provide knowledge, insight and entertainment through his writing. Lindenberg will pursue a degree in journalism at DePaul University, where the talented musician will minor in music.

“I would have loved to study music in college, but it just came down to price,” Lindenberg said. “They are both mediums of expression, but journalism is very broad and allows you to find new interests and creates a lot of connections. Music is always going to be there.

“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.”

The $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a Gibraltar graduate in honor of the late chronicler of Door County people and places. Blei moved to Door County in 1969 and famously wrote his many books – including his seminal Door County nonfiction book, Door Way – in a converted chicken coop. After Blei’s death on April 23, 2013, his chicken coop/writing studio was moved to the Juddville grounds of Write On, Door County, the nonprofit writing-arts organization. There it functions as a meeting place for writing seminars and other gatherings. 

In the winning essay he submitted for the Norbert Blei Memorial Scholarship, Lindenberg wrote about his life growing up in Door County and his newfound appreciation for it.

Solomon Lindenberg at Norbert Blei’s “Coop” at Write On, Door County in Juddville. Photos ©2020 by Lucas Smith.

“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.”

He shared how the pandemic isolation gave him a chance at a new view of his home surroundings.

“The silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is that it has caused me to become much more aware of myself and my surroundings,” he said. “I’ve developed a stronger relationship with Door County through getting outside and exploring its offerings outside of what is seen on travel brochures. Specifically, I’ve conducted extensive explorations of the backroads and public trails.”

The solitary journey is what brought Lindenberg to a deeper realization of the “natural artistry” that Door County provides. “Being alone is a big part of it,” Lindenberg said. “It’s been an opportunity to explore myself and explore what’s been around me all along without other people. It has allowed me to have a certain relationship with the landscape and with myself.”