Happy endings and real life (5×8- 12/3/12)

The Monday Morning Rouser:


Real life is complicated despite our desires for happy endings. Last week, the nation was struck by the generosity of a New York City cop, who spent his own money to buy new boots and socks for a homeless man who had none. It was a great story, the ending of which should take nothing away from the cop.

But the homeless man, Jeffrey Hillman, is shoeless once more. He says he hid the new boots because they’re worth a lot of money.

The New York Times says…

“Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,” Mr. Hillman said in an interview on Broadway in the 70s. “I could lose my life.”

Mr. Hillman, 54, was by turns aggrieved, grateful and taken aback by all the attention that had come his way — even as he struggled to figure out what to do about it.

“I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?” he said. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.”

He did not recall the photo being taken but remembered well the gift from Officer DePrimo. “I appreciate what the officer did, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I wish there were more people like him in the world.”

Related: Jared Irmas is blogging the SNAP (Food stamps) challenge at “Oooh, SNAP.” He’s attempting to live off food stamps for a week, and providing interviews with people who are actually trying to live…


At least in Sweden, Hibbing can’t catch a break. A newspaper in Sweden sent two — two!!– reporters to Hibbing to get to the bottom of this ongoing rumor that Bob Dylan and Hibbing just can’t get along.

Aaron J. Brown has seen this before

The story is a marvelously composed version of a common theme: Bob Dylan’s hometown doesn’t seem to understand him. And as much as I’d like this not to be the case (great improvements have been made in recent years) I personally witnessed what the reporters saw — prominent Hibbing people remarking about Dylan’s perceived disdain for Hibbing, something I thought had been debunked ages ago.

Says the English translation of the piece…

LeRoy Hoikkala played with Dylan in his first band, The Golden Chords. The two used to hang out after school: listening to music, watching motorcycle boots, thief read newspapers and watch James Dean movies at the cinema Lybba where Dylan got in for free because his uncle owned it.

On Sundays they would go up and down Howard Street with their Harley Davidson motorcycles. LeRoy Hoikkala has not had any contact with his childhood friend after he left Hibbing in the early 60’s.

“It’s just people from outside who want to talk about Dylan with me. I let Linda make a selection and then she calls me and tells me when I should come down here. Hibbing is a mix of people from all over the world: Italians, Croatians, Finns, Swedes – all have their gangs. Here you are just one person, and Bob was just one person. For many years I talked never about Bob Dylan.”

h/t: Aaron J. Brown


It was an interesting day for football commentaries yesterday.

Paul Charchian went off on the Vikings after their loss to the Packers. This one won’t be online very long. Watch it while you can.

On NBC last night, Bob Costas railed against handguns…


Jim Frankard’s donation to the Winona Toys for Tots program is the largest the organization has ever received. He donated 450 toys, the Winona Daily News reports.

He made every one of them.


Fifty percent of men and 70 percent of women will eat food off the floor if they pick it up within 5 seconds. The floor, on which people walk with shoes, 93 percent of which have traces of feces on them.

Bonus I: Back when Northwest Airlines and Delta merged, many analysts said the move spelled doom for hubs in Cincinnati and Memphis. The airlines insisted that was not true. It’s true. (Cranky Flier)

Bonus II: How girls are trafficked in Minnesota and what some organizations are doing about it. (Downtown Journal)

Bonus III: The “Wits” game show: None of us can relate to that…


A working group has recommended that Minnesota move away from its reliance on levy referendums as a means of K-12 education funding. The Education Finance Working Group says that the levies promote inequality among school districts. Today’s Question: How should Minnesota finance K-12 education?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: What do young voters want?

Second hour: What is causing megafloods?

Third hour: Holiday advice with Carolyn Hax.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Economists Dean Baker and Kevin Hassett analyze the Social Security and medicare reform conundrum, at an event held recently at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – It’s believed that most young Americans infected by HIV, don’t know it. Now, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force wants an HIV test for every American between the ages of 15 and 65. But some worry about the cost, and about privacy. Plus, the weekly read of the Opinion Page.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Genome sequencing for newborns. It will likely be common one day for parents to determine their child’s entire genetic blueprint at birth or even in the womb. That’ll provide a crystal ball for the child’s future diseases, and many ethical dilemmas for parents and doctors.