Monday, October 4, 2010

History Lesson

I went out to lunch today with Mitch and his brother (true) and we got to talking (true) about my home town, International Falls, and who is from there that is famous (true).  OMG, there are a lot of people from there that went on to do amazing things!(kind of true, "a lot" might be stretching it.)  There must be something super special in the water that causes a lot of people to go on to fame and fortune, but for a lot more people it causes brain tumors. (probably true)  Seriously, there are a scary amount of people in that town with brain tumors. (absolutely true) Could it be pollution? (probably) (IT'S NOT POLLUTION, OUR ONLY BI-PRODUCT IS STEAM!(doubtful) ~ Boise Cascade Inc.)  Thank you very much, Boise, but this is MY blog post (true) so keep your nose out of it (yeah! Preach, girlfriend!).  I just said it may be pollution of some sort, I didn't accuse anyone of anything.  (true) Geez.  Touchy!

Anyway, when we were talking about the famous people from International Falls of course the first people that come to mind are Rocky and Bullwinkle. (False.  They aren't people and we didn't talk about them.)  Sure, they say they are from Frostbite Falls (true), but everyone knows that is just a nickname for International Falls(true) It's true, go look it up on Wikipedia.

Here is a list of people I KNOW OF who are from my hometown who went on to become famous, and my brushes with them:

1.  Tammy Faye Baker - I went out with her relative, Jake Lavalley, for one summer. (true)

 Tammy Faye Baker, nee Lavalley (true)

2.  Tennessee Williams (False.  He's from Mississippi.  Didn't you ever take an English class?  I can't believe you believed that!)- Did you know he died by choking on the cap of a bottle of pills (true)?  He did. (true) And when I was in high school I worked at a pharmacy (true), but way after he died (I'm pretty sure). Did you also know he wrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (true) during a heat wave (maybe) while he was staying in a houseboat on Rainy Lake (False) with his beloved pet cat, Maggie (How the hell would I know if he had a cat and if it was named Maggie and it was beloved?)?  He did. (no, he didn't.) But it was originally titled Cat in a Hot Tin Room(False) His editors made him change it. (maybe) Probably for the best. (false) He had a brother named West Virginia Williams (now that's just stupid.  False) but W.V. didn't amount to much.  I think he won a hotdog eating contest during Ice Box Days once (False.  West Virginia Williams, brother of Tennesse Williams DID NOT win a hot dog eating contest at Ice Box Days). (but who hasn't, am I right? (true))

  TN Williams

3.  We're not exactly proud of this so it's not widely known (true), but Dick Cheney was originally from International Falls (False).  One time about 15 years ago he was up there fishing (maybe) or something and he (accidentally?)  pooped his pants while walking to the bathroom in Menards (Could be true.  But as far as I know it's false).  When he took his pants down to finish the job the turd was a dry pancake because of his tight pants and it flopped out onto the floor in front of the toilet and nobody who worked there wanted to clean up Dick Cheney's dry pancake turd (True.  Would you want to clean up Dick Cheney's poo?).  I think someone may have actually quit over it (False).  I would have (true).  I count this as a brush with fame because I've been to the bathroom in Menards (true) as well, although, my trip wasn't nearly as eventful (false.  Don't Ask.).

 Vice President (true) , and pooper of dry turds (probably) that don't make it into the toilet but instead end up on the floor of public bathrooms (maybe false.  maybe true).

4.  E.W. Backus:  He was a timber baron (true) and built the dam on the border between Fort Frances, Ontario, and International Falls (not personally, but true). One time, in eighth grade I played in a band concert in the Backus Auditorium (true) and Eric Rasmussen, who was in the choir (true), threw a paper airplane randomly in the air (true) and it flew all over the place (true) but eventually crash landed in my crotch (unfortunately true), which, judging by the uproarious laughter, was wildly amusing to the audience (true) and the rest of the band, but was horrifying for me (true) because I sat in the very front row and everyone saw it. (true)

Backus Auditorium.  I was seated towards the middle, right in the front.  (true)
Seems like yesterday. (false.  Seems like this morning)

5.  Ernest Oberholtzer - Author (true), conservationist (true).  He kept E.W. Backus from damming up and clear cutting the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (true).  He also built some cute cabins (true) that are still used as an artist's colony on an island on Rainy Lake (true) that I've been to (true)  (See?  That whole thing was true!).

 Ernest Oberholtzer, maker of tiny cabins (and other things, true)

6. Mike Yurosek - "inventor" of the baby carrot (true).  I think calling him the inventor of the baby carrot is a stretch (true) because carrots have been around for a long time (true) but nobody ever accused ole' Mike of not knowing how to market himself (maybe)!  He says he invented them and made billions of dollars (False.  I didn't know anything about him until I googled "inventor of baby carrot").  I don't think I believe that (true, because I made it up) because he also claims he's from California (true) which makes me ask this, Mike; Why, with the long growing season of California, would anyone need to pick their carrots when they are so small? It makes no sense! (true) It seems like something more likely to be discovered (not invented) in a state like Minnesota. (obviously) 

Not finger stumps (false) (no, true).  Baby carrots. (true)

That's it for the (9% true) history lesson.  You're welcome!


  1. Bronko Nagurski, sort famous big dude... :o)

  2. I was going to mention Bronco, too. Also, I'm on the Megabus outside of Chicago right now. Also, poop talk makes me vomit a little.

  3. Okay okay, huge oversight not including Bronko Nagurski. But I've never had a brush with him so I couldn't really include it. Also, Other Sarah, toughen up. I can't help what Dick Cheney does, I just report it.

  4. Tammy Faye and Baby Carrots! I am moving there! LOL

  5. Weird. I dated Tammy Faye's niece for a short time: Leslie Thayer, right? Thoundth like I'm lithping...

  6. Don't forget Magnum's double. He did all the stunts for Tom Selleck.

  7. Ummm.. ew on the Dick Cheney poo thing.

  8. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligOctober 5, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    Jamie Langenbrunner lived in the Falls when he was little. Don't know if he was born there though. And I ran out of fingers when naming NHL players from the Falls. Clearly, more famous than E.W. Backus. AHEM?

  9. Jamie Langenbrunner is the captain of the New Jersey Devils! And he lived in the Duplex above us when I was in 3rd grade. LOL His parents are John and Patrice, and I think they still live in Cloquet, MN. Here's Jamie's Wikipedia page:

    (I SOOOOOOOO need to get a life. I know.)


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