HELLO Twin Cities!!!!!!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve had the good fortune to visit Minnesota, but I’ve discovered that many page hits to Vinman’s Verbosity have been coming from there lately according to my hit-tracking software. My first intuition is that it was the story of the drunken Russian who decided to (can we say whiz) on the bus stop in sub zero weather after drinking all night that Minnestoans and Michiganians (especially those of us from the UP, eh?) had in common. But on further review it was our sentiments about the French government and The Sun’s portrayal of President Chirac as “The Worm” on its front page recently.

But his is not a political column, back to Minnesota.

As I write, it is 12 cold freakin’ degrees outside. It is 17 in Minneapolis, probably only five degrees warmer because it’s a big city instead of the “rural” area I’m in. People in Minnesota are a lot like Michiganians….of hearty midwestern stock with down to earth values. I recently got back in touch with a dear friend Kevin Featherly who, like me, returned to his midwestern home state after a stint in sunny California. I visit my wife’s cousins and aunts when I can and northern Minnesota is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been.

Say what you want about Jesse Ventura, but it says a lot about Minnesotans that they not only elected someone from such a diverse background but worked with him for his term of office. The world needs more open-minded thinking and willingness to try different talents in politics.

But, I have one complaint about Minnesotans — they need to swear more often. I say this not in judgement, or even as a proponent of vulgarity. But it’s possible that they need to let it hang out a bit more…relieve some of that built up stress from being so darn nice ALL the time.

I mean even in Michigan, a group by the name of Norweigian Bachelor Farmers would be referred to in more base terms……..but again that’s not what I’m getting at.

After watching a demolition derby in Park Rapids on the fourth of July a few years back two things really stood out. First: The drivers in the derby — while definitely out to win and smashing each other as hard as they could — were extremely polite after head-ons or other bashing moves to the other drivers. They were almost congratulatory. Second, the crowd only hurled mild irritations upon their least favorite drivers. “Hey! That’s not nice!!!!” or “Oh, you are a mean, mean man, not Batman!!!!” came from the crowd (even those with beer) when a dirty turn came about. And these people were serious!!!!

Since it was my first live demo derby, I was expecting more vulgarity from what I had heard about rowdy crowds at Michigan State Fairs. But I have to say, I still feel refreshed to this day by the experience. It served to prove that people could be genuinely nice and still enjoy demo derbies with CLASS and style. This is how these people LIVE, not a pretense.

Oh, I’m not naive enough to think all of Minnesota is any different than Park Rapids and Osage, but what a place to go and get away from the world for awhile.

I might make it there this summer….and if I do I’ll be bringing the laptop to verbose more from a place where you can still eat breakfast in a room off the local gas station with people who know everyone in town and are genuinely glad to say god morning. It’s a place where they wash your car when you get your oil changed and don’t even think it’s a special service.

And it’s a place where a lot of rugged good-looking blonde-haired, blue-eyed men and women treat each other as they would want to be treated.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why the Featherman and I returned to our respective home states after hanging with some pretty phoney people on the west coast. Oh there are plenty of great people there, too…..but believe me, not like the states with the M’s for first letters.

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