Published: November 20th 2012November 20th 2012
I remember meeting one of Minnesota's favorite sons back in 1972. It was Senator Hubert Humphrey, who was running for President. The Senator was a pharmacist, and also served as Vice President under Lyndon Johnson. Minnesota was also home to my favorite pacifist,, former Senator Eugene McCarthy. Everyone knows that Minnesotans elected former professional wrestler, Jesse Ventura to the Governor's office.
Senator Humphrey had an illustrious career, serving two terms as a U.S. Senator, and a term as Vice President. His most important role may have been as the Democratic Majority Whip. He also served a mayor of Minneapolis from 1945 to 1948. He was the Democratic nominee for President in 1968, losing to the less than honorable Richard Nixon.
Middle name was Horatio
His father was a pharmacist in South Dakota, eventually having Hubert Jr. earn his pharmacy degree from the Capitol College of Pharmacy in Denver, CO. He completed the two year program in only six months. Much like me and about a few thousand other pharmacists, he was not happy as a pharmacist. He went back to college to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree, in hopes of reaching his dream of becoming a political science professor at the college level. He never finished his Ph.D., instead running for mayor of Minneapolis in 1943.
I will not even try to bore you with interesting facts about "The Land of 10,000 Lakes." I did not know that Minnesota was our most northern state, other than Alaska. Actually, Minnesota has 11,842 lakes over ten acres in size. Actually, both Wisconsin and Alaska have more lakes. Of greater importance, the headwaters of the Mississippi River begin here at Lake Itasca. The first time one of my dearly departed friends told me about ice fishing, I was totally in shock. Now, I can't wait to try it. Just kidding! But the annual lake herring cook-off will be held this week, with a big $1000 to the winner. A paltry $20 will allow anyone to taste all of this lovely lake herring, not to be confused with the salt water herring used to make pickled herring. What I really want to see is a big pick up truck stuck in the ice, next to a portable ice fishing shack! Sidebar: my favorite name for a city in this state is Mahtomedi.
More importantly, this state has produced many famous Americans. Not only Senators Humphrey, Mondale, and McCarthy, but also Judy Garland, Charles and William Mayo (the famous Mayo Clinic), Sinclair Lewis, Charles Schultz, Walter Mondale, Roger Maris, John Madden, Garrison Keillor, and Warren Burger. Many others: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan), James Arness, Loni Anderson, Mary Tyler Moore, Charles Lindbergh, and Betty Crocker. Famous companies founded here are: 3M, Target, General Mills, Pillsbury, Medtronic, Cargill, and the Jolly Green Giant.
I have a few friends here as well. Lou, Warren, Mort the Sport, and Jesse all hail from here, including my dear neighbor and famous realtor, Rosetta (no rivets please). And the state seems to produce well known legislators, like Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Jesse Ventura (the former pro wrestler who became Governor). So, they are famous for both lakes and politicians.
Senator Eugene McCarthy was my hero for his anti-war beliefs
Former professional wrestler, Jesse Ventura
So, enough boring stuff about Minnesota. They do not need me to espouse their great Scandinavian heritage. Just let me say that the few people I know from this state are all high quality people. That cannot be mere coincidence!!!