Memories from the mountain top (5×8 – 4/5/11)

Another listen to ‘the speech,’ the airport cart capital of the world, the presidential intersect, the music man of Grand Rapids, and can boomers retire?


Today is Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His last speech in Memphis is remembered mostly for a few paragraphs. But it actually went 43 minutes. Here’s the entire speech:

The next day, of course, he was dead:

update 9:35 a.m. Reader Bob Moffitt reminds us of this moment…

Just two months later, Kennedy was dead, too.


MPR’s Nikki Tundel was peacefully driving along the happy highways of Wanamingo yesterday when this appeared on the horizon:


A farm field full of airport carts, and nary an airport terminal in sight. What’s the story here? The possibilities are endless. A pyramid scheme of business opportunities gone bad? A boneyard of obsolete carts, the result of putting little wheels on luggage? Hedging a bet that Mayor Rybak will be able to force the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport to relocate to Wanamingo?

Reality is nowhere near as interesting. It’s a company that refurbishes airport carts and then distributes them to airports around the world. Wanamingo — admit it: you didn’t know this — is the airport luggage cart capital of the world.

More pictures here.


Former governor Tim Pawlenty answered President Obama’s re-election announcement yesterday with another of his trademark ads:

Where have we seen this before?


Lloyd LaPlant is a Grand Rapids fixture. He makes musical instruments for bluegrass artists. This video appeared this morning.


Rural Minnesota is going to get a lot different now that the baby boomers are retiring, MPR’s Tom Robertson reports. It may create a labor shortage at places like Polaris, and at hospitals where nurses are retiring. In Roseau, doctors are retiring as are accountants and lawyers, and there’s concern there aren’t people to replace them.

Is this good news or bad news? First, it means baby boomers are retiring, which means they can retire. That’s different than what we’ve been told as the economy continues its nosedive. Just today there’s a poll that shows 25 percent of baby boomers saying they don’t plan to retire.

Overall, nearly 6 in 10 baby boomers say their workplace retirement plans, personal investments or real estate lost value during the economic crisis of the past three years. Of this group, 42 percent say they’ll have to delay retirement because their nest eggs shrank.

Though the first boomers are turning 65 this year, the poll finds that 28 percent already consider themselves retired. Of those still working, nearly half want to retire by age 65 and about another quarter envision retiring between 66 and 70.

Two-thirds of those still on the job say they will keep working after they retire, a plan shared about evenly across sex, marital status and education lines, the survey finds. That contrasts with the latest Social Security Administration data on what older people are actually doing: Among those age 65-74, less than half earned income from a job in 2008.

Bonus: Minnesota Culture Club, Salon Saloon, and Works Progress are looking to fill a crying need in the Minnesota culture — a new Minnesota Twins anthem.

They’re looking for people to sing along with this and send it to them for a full video later:

Project: Twins Anthem from MN Culture Club on Vimeo.

Bonus II: A 92-year-old woman has been honored as the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon. She says last week she ran 45 miles, “which is nothing,” she says.


After a Southwest Airlines jet developed a hole in its roof and had to make an emergency landing, the Boeing Company is recommending widespread inspection of some of its products. How much confidence do you have that America’s commercial air fleet is safe?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Video gaming in Minnesota?

Second hour: Southwest jets and airline safety

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Congressional scholar Steven Smith analyzes the politics of the federal budget debate.

Second hour: .A tribute to journalism legend David Broder.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The long battle over sex discrimination at work.

Second hour: Are the jobs really coming back?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – St. Paul public schools are considering raising the price of school lunches. School officials in the state are concerned about a particular group of families who make just too much to qualify for free or reduced price meals, but struggle to feed their kids. MPR’s Julie Siple will have the story.

With the proliferation of cheap, yet high-quality recording equipment, there’s been an outpouring of material from musicians. Some are putting their creativity to the test. Chris Roberts spent some time with guitarist/songwriter Terry Eason, who at the beginning of 2011 pledged to write and record a song a day for the entire year.

MPR’s Dan Olson reports that Hennepin County juvenile population behind bars is approximately 90 percent African American, way out of proportion to their numbers in the general population, at a time when the overall juvenile population behind bars is at a near record low. He profiles a community coach hired by the county who counsels young black men.