The hero vacuum (5×8 – 8/27/12)

Who are the next heroes, writing a life’s story one peck at a time, welcome to Grand Forks, the things you learn playing football in Stillwater, and another BWCA video.

The Monday Morning Rouser…


Two events over the weekend have me wondering who tomorrow’s “heroes” are going to be. Not “heroes,” like the average people we profile here all the time doing heroic things, but the true icons of a nation, or — sometimes — a planet.

Neil Armstrong, of course, was one of them. When he died on Saturday, we had one less connection to a time when we explored another celestial location. He and his colleagues went there with the full knowledge that they might not come back.

And then, rather than be fed by never-ending adoration, Armstrong retired almost immediately to his native Ohio, and lived a quiet life.

One of the last interviews, which was also one of the only interviews Armstrong gave, he gave to the CEO of an auditing company in Australia, because his own father was a government auditor.

There’s something about Ohio and astronauts. Yesterday in Cleveland, John Glenn and his wife threw out the first pitch at an Indians game.


“I told Neil a couple of times that, I’m not by nature a jealous person,” Glenn said. “I’ve had some opportunities in my life that I treasure and been lucky myself, so I’m not given to jealousy. But for Neil I’ll make an exception. People have looked up for tens of thousands of years and wondered what was up there and all at once in our time Neil was able to go up there and make that first footprint on the moon. That’s pretty big stuff, so I told him, ‘That’s one I could be jealous of.’ ”

Glenn is 91 now, and, like Armstrong, lived a noble life, though he was touched by the Keating Five scandal in Washington.

Americans don’t go exploring much anymore. The human space program is mostly a ride to the space station, which has been going around in circles for 12 years.

As these icons pass, who will replace them? Who, as Neil deGrasse Tyson said on NPR this morning, will embody our dreams?2) ONE PECK AT A TIME

Could you write a book about your life? What if you had to type using a stick in your mouth? Meet Randy Krulish of Lyle, Minn., who has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident when he was 12.


If you didn’t fall in love with Marilyn Hagerty when she wrote the famous restaurant review of the Olive Garden Restaurant in Grand Forks, what’s wrong with you? Now, she welcomes the incoming class at UND with a Marilyn-sized look at all things Grand Forks. Here are some of her “wonders” of Grand Forks.

• Themis, the goddess of justice atop Grand Forks County Courthouse.

• The Greenway along the Red River where you can bike or walk or skate to your heart’s content.

• The Red Pepper restaurant on University Avenue.

• The Ralph where UND teams play hockey built with the generous gift of $100 million from the late Ralph Engelstad.

• North Dakota Mill and Elevator, the only state owned business of this kind, where they turn out Dakota Maid Flour.

• Mayor Michael Brown. He’s everywhere, everywhere and wants people to be happy visiting or living in Grand Forks. He does his share to keep the population growing by delivering babies at Altru Hospital.

She also reveals that there is a sewage lift station, named in her honor.


Kudos to the coaches of the Stillwater High School football team, who closed the two-a-day practice schedule by putting the kids on a bus, shipping them off to Coon Rapids and having them help pack food for those who need a meal.

The players packed 5,256 plastic bags containing rice, protein, mixed vegetables and vitamins, enough to feed 86 kids for a year.


We’re one day closer to a long weekend, people.

Boundary Waters 2012 from Maureen H on Vimeo.

Update 12:53 p.m. – Maureen Hains, who created the video, has made some changes to it and it’s reprocessing. She writes, “I highly recommend Windcradle Retreat Center in Grand Marais, MN. Mary Ellen Ashcroft led the adventure into the Boundary Waters earlier this month. No moose or bear – just loons and swans.

“Also – as a side note, I am from Richmond, Virginia and this was my first trip to Minnesota. I absolutely love the state and am looking into relocating!”

Bonus I: Jack Bauer makes cupcakes.

Bonus II: Two conventions. Two hurricanes. What’s going on here? (Comedy Central)

Bonus III: How Pacific Island missile tests started the Internet. (

Bonus IV: Last week, the Minnesota Twins slipped under the .500 mark since moving to Minnesota, officially becoming a losing franchise. But it hasn’t been all bad (Hardball Times).


A Coon Rapids woman was convicted last week on charges related to a road rage case. An Anoka County jury found that the defendant had pointed a gun at a motorist who honked at her. Today’s Question: Have you felt personally threatened during an incident of road rage?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: What can be done to make sure the middle-school years are the best they can be?

Second hour: What makes a protest effective?

Third hour: Political campaign slogans (rebroadcast).

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): From the Minnesota State Fair, Stephen Smith hosts “Bright Ideas” with his guest Brian Horrigan of the Minnesota Historical Society. They’ll be talking about the legacy of Charles Lindbergh.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Connecting veterans with jobs.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The University of the People. There’s an education entrepreneur who believes that everyone deserves a college degree. Especially those with the least opportunity. So he’s put his money where his mouth is by creating a free, online university for poor students around the globe. It’s ground-breaking, but with no tuition, is it sustainable? NPR has the story.