Finding Minneapolis in Seattle

The Space Needle
A trip to Seattle is not complete without checking out the Space Needle

Tara and I recently took a trip to Seattle. What a great city. I had been there once before back in 2007 for a brief interview on KOMO-TV regarding the missing person case I’ve worked on for almost a decade, but the trip was very short. In fact, I was in and out in less than 24 hours. So obviously, I didn’t get to see much.

This time was different. We bummed around the city for several days and saw a lot. From the Space Needle, the pier, the Pike Place Market and all the hipster bars in Belltown, we really got a good sense of what the vibe was like. It was great.

The market was crazy. Vendors were set up everywhere and had really neat things to peddle. The artwork was amazing. The seafood was unreal. The list simply goes on. I bought a t-shirt (I know, original, right?), Tara admired what seemed to be miles of fresh flowers. We made our way down into the market and came across a cool store that sold vintage magazines, prints, newspapers, etc. I love stores like these.

A year ago, I wrote a story about Minnesota’s government ‘shutting down’ for a few days. I was disturbed because Minnesota always seemed to do things the ‘right’ way in my mind. But I’m biased. I’m from there. But in the article, I included a link to an article written in 1973 about how great Minnesota was. I even added an image of the cover of that TIME magazine that I found online.

The Good Life in Minnesota
TIME Magazine from August 13, 1973

Tara and I filed through old newspapers looking at old Super Bowl pairings, war reports and celebrity fashion ads, we were just about to leave when I pulled back on the final TIME magazine from the 70s to reveal,  you guessed it, the actual TIME magazine from August 13, 1973, with then-Governor Wendell Anderson on the cover. It was crazy. And for $10.00 it was mine.

I snapped a picture of it on the table that sits on the pier as Tara and I took a break from all of our walking. It would be a literal up-hill climb to get back to our hotel, so the break was much needed.

When I got back to Orlando, I cracked open the magazine. Everyone knows the musty smell of an old newspaper or magazine. The smell was especially strong since the magazine was sealed in its plastic jacket for years.

But before I even got to the actual article, I read the Letter from the Publisher (Ralph Davidson). It was about Chicago Bureau Chief Gregory H. Wierzynski who was covering per-election politics in Minneapolis that year. He was impressed by the civility and fairness of the precinct caucuses. He knew in Chicago, these same meetings would be punctuated by shouting and fistfights. And since my career is in television news, the next part immediately struck a chord:

Later, as he was packing to leave his Minneapolis hotel and return to Chicago, he watched an early evening news report “of snowmobile accidents, city council resolutions, and a pronouncement by the Governor. It was intensely local, Wierzynski recalls, “and, I thought at that moment, boring.” He arrived home that night, just in time for the sort-of late evening television news in which he was more accustomed. “This version, he says, was also intensely local; it featured a series of scandals, murders, police corruption, and so forth. After the short trip to the Twin Cities, I suddenly realized that things did not have to be this way.”

I can tell you one thing, Minnesota still covers news a bit slower than cities I’ve been to or worked in. But as this nearly 40-year-old passage explains (hard to believe it’s 40 years ago), the speed of life in the north is not only appreciated by Minnesotans, but by strangers who visit and are attracted to a slower pace, a chance to actually walk by a rose and smell it for once.

So as I look back at the article I wrote a year ago about how it surprised me that Minnesota was getting away from it’s roots and doing what ‘other’ states do, I realize, it happens. Minnesota isn’t by any means perfect. But it always returns to its beginnings as illustrated in the end of the Letter from the Publisher:

Each trip to Minnesota reminds me that there is a place in America where you can still enjoy uncrowded streets, undisturbed natural beauty and a sense of comfort and security.

I was going to try to track down the owners of this magazine,  Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Kirk from Burton, Washington. It wouldn’t surprise me if I found them in Minnesota.

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About the author

Josh Benson


Josh Benson


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