The ‘U’ Part II


[In recognition of yesterday’s beginning-of-winter weather, we’ll lead off with the mall from the Alumni Association’s Christmas card.  Thanks, Chad!]


[We last left you entering Coffman Memorial Union.  Now we’re going out the back door – the side that faces the Mississippi River.]


[And again.  The backside is all new from my day.]


[Working our way down the thousands of steps to the river flats.]


[East River Road . . . we’ll walk up and around to the Weisman Art Museum.]


[Cam, the landscape architect (in practice, if not yet in name), said this hillside is beautiful in the growing season.]


[Cam shooting back up the hill from river side.  The Gopher’s rowing house is just behind him.]


[A beautiful day getting warmer.]


[For students, the famous (or infamous) Washington Avenue bridge, across which we used our university stride to reach classes on the West Bank.]


[Our first street level view of the Weisman.]


[Comstock Hall, an original women’s dorm.  In my day, the ultimate destination of a panty raid.  I imagine such has since been outlawed?]


[Back up top, heading around to the entrance.]


[The bridge, and the two buildings on the left that contained the West Bank classrooms for upper division liberal arts classes – the Social Science Tower (SST) and the Business Administration Tower (BAT).  Those were pretty much brand new buildings in my era.]


[Initially, there was no covered walkway over the top of the bridge.  Uffda, was that cold in the winter!]


[The Minneapolis skyline in the late 60’s consisted solely of the Foshay Tower, now totally obscured by the surrounding behemoths.  The IDS  Tower (the building just to the right of the 2nd light globe from the right) joined the skyline in the early 70’s and was the sole city skyscraper for many years.]


[Inside the Weisman, the kids pose on an outdoor balcony overlooking downtown.]


[Yup, art.]


[Annie Oakley by Andy Warhol]



[The supervisor with art.]


[The subject on the left (as noted below) was created by an artist from Alexandria, Minnesota, of all places?  The subject on the right created by a joint collaboration of John and Natalia Obert.  It’s still a work in progress.]



[Despite my many years as an Alexandriaophile, this artist was totally unknown to me?]


[  🙂  ]



[Looking back to the museum entrance.]


[Cam in deep analysis.]


[By an Atwater, Minnesota artist.  The supervisor captures it on her tablet.]



[Another Duane Hanson.  🙂  ]


[Always available to provide perspective.]



[The Pedicord Apts.  This was weird, as you could hear discussions behind each door.]


[The idea is to eavesdrop.]






[Interactive art.]






[Can’t remember the who or by whom.  Thought he looked like the old character actor, Paul Ford.]


[Comparing beaks.  For obvious reasons, museum staff kept a sharp eye on the Brothers Obert!]



[What greets you at the museum entrance.  Don’t know why I didn’t shoot it first?]




[Getting ready to leave after the requisite potty break.]



[Downtown’s still there.]


[Back on the mall, Walter Library.  Cam, as is his wont, is checking out a huge American elm that somehow has survived the Dutch Elm assault.]


[Morrill Hall (administration), where I’d drop off my quarterly tuition of $97.00.]


[Northrop Auditorium recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.  Cam tried to break in, to no avail.  I once had an Econ 101 class here from Walter Heller, President Kennedy’s economic advisor – thousands of kids in the class.]


[Looking back at Coffman from Northrop.]


[Folwell Hall, a classic of its genre.  Once headed for the wrecking ball (I seem to recall), rightly saved if at great expense.]



[Platonic Figure by Andrew Leicester amidst the science and engineering buildings.]



[The back road home to The Commons.]


[Ah, home again – a nice walk.]


[To quote our internationally-famous Uncle Dick (though born in Eau Claire), “Damn, Badgers!”]


[Can’t remember . . . but we’re heading to lunch.]



[A university landmark since long before my time, “Sterbs” is still hanging in there.  But we were on our way to Campus Pizza, which is now in at least its 3rd different location since my day, but all within a couple block radius so it’s essentially the same place.   😉  After fine, and excessive, ‘Za dining, the supervisor and I went to the hockey game.]


[After the hockey game. still stuffed with pizza, the supervisor decided she needed a DQ Blizzard to calm her tummy.  At the DQ, a sign of the times?]


[Back “home,” we decided to explore the 2nd floor where the Princeton team would be breakfasting the next morning.  And here’s my attempt at art.]


[Looking down into the main lobby.]


[Say good night, Ruthie!]


[Sunday morning we noticed (finally?) that the lobby chairs contained the names of the neighboring area streets.  🙂  Then, after breakfast, we decided to take another walk, recalling for some reason we didn’t trundle out on the Washington Avenue bridge for the classic photos of the Weisman? . . .]


[And so we did!]


[As I venture further onto the bridge, the supervisor decided this was far enough for her.  It was a much chillier day than Saturday.]


[I decided as long as I had gone this far, I may as well go “all the way!”]


[The “Mighty Mississip.”]



[The West Bank]


[A real example of a “shoe tree.”  🙂  ]




[And so for the first time in 45 years, I’ve hiked over the Washington Avenue bridge.]


[This is new, the Elmer L. Andersen Library.]


[Now I have to go back.]


[I think I’ll go back on the other side . . .]


[So I did.]


[Made it.]


[Some parting shots . . .]



[And back to The Commons and a future East Bank light rail stop.]


[In parting, with a final shot of the Weisman borrowed from the internet, we hope you enjoyed our campus tour.  Come back and see us anytime!]

Up next (finally?):  The hockey games!

Readers write:

You’ve covered a lot of miles and loads of sports, the arts, memories of your family, our class, and growing up in Alex etc.   What a trip!  500 congrats.   Thanks Diane.

 Tom: Today I made the big breakthrough on tracking the Danish side of my family back from my first great grandfather, Neils Lindberg, who died in 1911, to my sixth great grandfather, Christen Pieder, born in 1670 in Hjordy, Nordyland, Denmark (somewhere in Jutland).  This is not easy because the old Danes modified the names with each generation; e.g., Old Christen could name his offspring Piedersen or Piederdauder depending on the sex.  Sometimes they used first names in the next generation.  No matter, but I did find Uncle Ole about five generations back, so I wanted you to know.  I will try to research his joke telling ability and my ability to translate his humor.   He did not make the great trek to America. ~ Marcus

I’ll tell you what’s really crazy – 2 people who have a condo in Sarasota,
FL, but are staying in Salem, MA, until mid March.  That couple would be
the McMullens.  ~ Rosie

Dear Ole:  I’m sitting on my back lanai with a vodka tonic in hand. I just saw your
weather report on my IPad and wondered what that white stuff was  (some kind
of mold maybe?).  Mrs. Crazy Dave just shut the sliding door on the porch yelling “doncha’ know the air conditioning is on?” Too bad we aren’t there to help you shovel the mold.  ~ Cheers (ya’ betcha’), Crazy Dave
P.S. Tell Paul Donley I love him.

Due to the weather conditions?
All activities for this evening are cancelled.
All High School and Middle School activity practices/rehearsals will be
held but must conclude by 5:00 PM this afternoon.
Sheree Oberg
Activities Department
Alexandria High  School

The following is a conversation between The Nanner and Crazy Dave (about moi).  They have never met and live thousands of miles apart.  One is a Wolverine and the other a Buckeye.  Scarey!:

I keep hoping you will grow up, but I don’t think it will happen!  ~  The Nanner

As soon as he is committed to a nursing home, he will realize!!!  ~ Cheers, Dave

Funny! Somehow I think he will be even worse. ~ The Nanner

I believe he is prepared…I’ve been around him enough…btw he can’t get any worse… ~ CD

 I think you are right!  ~  The Nanner

Hi Tom!!  Spencer’s [Christianson] band, PHO, made it into the Star Tribune in the Friday music section. If you still have the paper, check it out. They even gave them a good review. They are playing at First Avenue on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Pretty exciting stuff!!!! ~  Jo

She [Josie Nelson CD’s] will spread Christmas joy to the East Coast.  What do I owe you?  I have some Redskins tickets I could part with. ~ Thanks, Marcus

We live in a wonderful area!!  ~ Sue

I enjoyed the article, Tom. Thanks for sending it. I knew Alexandria was growing like crazy, but I didn’t know about Osakis! ~ Karl

I knew you always wanted to be a “street walker”.  Good job.  ~ Carolyn

Tell the supervisor to check out Shanee’s Facebook page.  She posted a picture of you and the Annens.  I finally joined the Facebook seen but have no clue how everything works yet.  ~ Marnee’

Great idea and pretty impressive accomplishment.  ~ Sara

Nice local history lesson. If we don’t appreciate where we have been, we will never get to where we want to go!  ~ Ken & Jeanne

Tom, Thanks for the great collection of clippings about Alexandria and your dad!   I got a kick out of seeing the “new” sign on the corner of the bank. I’m so old I can remember when it was a clock instead. The clippings brought back a lot of memories for me.  ~  KBT

I am so blessed to have known John and Natalia Obert. Wonderful, brilliant people.  ~  The Nanner

Fun memories. Thanks, Bill H.

Wow, that was pretty cool, Tom, thanks for sharing. See you later. ~ LL

Haha! Maybe my East Coast Fan Club was afraid I was a – what’s the PC word? Little Person? Midget? Height-challenged? 5’6″, for the record! Haha! ~ LL

Well done! I like the way you orchestrated the wind blowing the corn-husk thingy on the lamp post behind me. Sweet. See ya’ll in December! ~ LL

Well put, Tom.  Victory Heights was Alexandria’s first suburb.  And a beautiful one at that.  ~ Paul M.

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The ‘U’ Part II

  1. Taryn says:

    Enjoyed your photos of the U of M campus from here in Sweden. Me: class of 1978 College of Education, and shared them with my daughter, class of 2000.
    Taryn and Chuck Flolid

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s