Burt Shavitz, a vanishing species, didn’t need the cash
Burt — his real name was Ingram — died over the weekend in the backwoods of Maine where he kept bees to make a living after moving there from New York.
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On my list of people I want to interview someday sits Gene Wiley, the more-than-affable shoeshine man at St. Paul’s Hamm Building.
I may have missed my chance.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Wiley has suffered ‘a series of strokes’ that’s left him hospitalized. Read more →
Though it’s heresy for me to say, radio will probably never tie a community together the way it once did, which is why there probably won’t be any more “members of the family” like Joyce Lamont and broadcasters of her day. Read more →
John Doar: The ‘one of us’ who changed America
John Doar was “one of us” in the classic way we proudly claim ownership of legends. But his contributions to the world were often overlooked, especially here, for some odd reason. Read more →
Processing the death of radio icon Tom Magliozzi was easy for most of us. We got to remember the Car Talk laugh machine the way he was.
That’s not the case for his family, his son’s eulogy revealed.
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Myron Peterson, 95, an icon in the skyways of St. Paul, has died. At his funeral last weekend, his remains were placed in a popcorn tin. Read more →
The essential Joan Rivers
I saw a couple of tweets over the weekend from some male funny people who couldn’t understand why Joan Rivers, who died today, was getting Twitter love as she lay in a coma. Sure, she was a funny person and all, but her act was “mean.” Maybe. Maybe not. Comedy is subjective. Humanity shouldn’t be. Read more →
Remembering ‘WeeZee,’ a State Fair icon
Louise “WeeZee” Miner of Bloomington was legally blind but she said she always could tell what a horse was doing at the Minnesota State Fair horse ring, where she passed out the ribbons. Read more →
Louis Zamperini and his lifetime of forgiveness
Louis Zamperini won’t get to be at the premier of the movie about his incredible life. He won’t get to fulfill his appointment as next year’s Rose Bowl parade grand marshall. He died this morning at age 97, more proof that life isn’t fair. He was so impressive as a track and field star at Read more →
Whatever happened to ‘Tank Man’?
It was 25 years ago tomorrow. One guy with a briefcase stood up to a line of tanks. Read more →
Carl retired as an NPR newsreader a few years ago, and last night he taped his final episode of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Of his many accomplishments, proving that a serious news person can have a personality may be the most important, especially for public radio types. Read more →
David Letterman, comedic curmudgeon, hangs it up
It leaked out today that David Letterman is retiring.
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Wait, don’t tell me Carl Kasell is retiring!
The only thing that made Carl Kasell’s retirement from NPR acceptable, was that he’d still be on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me every week. Now, that’s ending too. Kasell announced today he’s retiring from the show. “My favorite time at NPR has been Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! It was loads of fun and gave Read more →
Pete Seeger and the meaning of patriotism
I wrote this post in February 2008 as Pete Seeger approached 90. With his death, there’ll be plenty of words written today about Seeger’s contribution to America, but — like the comments section in the original post — the ones that matter most are the ones that reveal whether we have yet to grasp what defines a good American.
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Hoops giant: Vern Mikkelsen, one of the great Minneapolis Lakers, dies
One of the most famous Minneapolis Lakers has died. Vern Mikkelsen, an Askov, Minn., native, died Thursday night, the Star Tribune’s Patrick Reusse reports. He was 85. He had a stroke in 2002 and found it difficult to talk, so he started writing more and wrote his biography. “My stroke, ironically, gave me something to Read more →