So since I went to public schools my entire life I'm not sure what the fancy word is for 150 years. It's some sort of centennial. And in celebration of Minnesota's 150 years (which confuses me a bit because the U of M, Hamline and other schools have existed for over 150 years but not the stated. Huh? Guess I missed that in my Minnesota history classes) so in celebration of 150 years of Minnesota I've created a top 25 Minnesota list. Please note that not all people were born in Minnesota, but that they all grew up in Minnesota. Maybe someday I'll make a list of top 10,000 Minnesotans. A girl can dream, right?
Starting the list:
25. Josh Harnett: Actually he barely makes it, but I heart him in Virgin Suicides and the debut of Sofie Coppola
24. Nick Mancini: And not just because he passed away recently. The man created 7th Street in St. Paul. The food is fantabulous. And Mancini's is a great intro to St. Paul. I hope the Republicans don't take it over during the upcoming convention, that would be a damn shame.
23. Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy: The dynamic duo of Soul Asylum. Still loved by those of us loyal to 1st Ave. And c'mon they met at the Uptowns Lunds parking lot to create a band. It's prolly one of the better things to have occurred in that parking lot.
22. Jesse Ventura: The outspoken politician made a name for himself in 1998. I'm glad I couldn't vote yet. But he is only on the list because of Jon Woodle and Bill Hillman two people that helped shape the body into a governor.
21. Peter Kruase: Who doesn't love Nate Fisher from Six Feet Under. Plus his other gem includes the shortly lived Sports Night. Although Krause loses a few points for attending Gustavus. No points from this lady for being part of the MIAC. Damn Minnesota and it's plethora of private schools. What do you think we are? The East Coast. Moving on to #20.
20. Matt Birk: He went to Harvard. And will be the first of several Cretin Durham-Hall alums. Sadly his younger brother Ben got into the worst thing I've ever heard in my life. As a pitcher for the U, Ben took a ball in the face off of an aluminum bat at the Dome. Instantly down with instant blood everywhere. Wooden bats, people. Wooden bats, ONLY!
19. Winona Ryder: She channeled early Audrey Hepburn and is in great flicks like Reality Bites, Beetlejuice and the cult hit Heathers. But then she broke up with both Johnny Depp and Matt Damon, starred in an awful Adam Sandler film and started shoplifting. But keeps her cred for having the "Save Winona" t-shirts created by the masses. But loses points for being named after Winona, Minn. Not her fault. I guess she remains a par at #19
18. Paul Molitor: Only person to enter the 3,000 hits club with a triple. But the guy is just so not likable outside of baseball. Wish he could be higher on the list, but his personality only gets him to #18.
17. Joe Mauer: He has tremendous upside potential. But that's what Kevin McHale thought of Ndubu. Which is why Kevin McHale will not make this list and Joe prolly has the potential to move up in the next decade or so. All @ good guy. Great ballplayer and gets extra points for turning down to play football for FSU. However he resides in Florida, which I don't get. Maybe it's because I've never golfed in my life. I would prefer to drink and drive the cart. A solid selection at #17.
16. Judy Garland: A native of the Northland, so I'm biased. Wizard of Oz is a right of passage for any child. But Judy loses points for giving birth to Liza Mannelli. Liza is a freakin' mess.
15. Craig Kilbourn and Lizz Weinstead: First Lizz, people don't recall her co-creating The Daily Show, one of the few reasons to watch TV these days. Craig gets the nod for a variety of reasons. He appeared on Sportscenter, was the inspiration for the Peter Krause character Casey McCall in Sports Night and gets the nod for creating the "Daily Top 5 Questions." Also is surprisingly funny in his a-hole role in Old School.
14. Don Lucia: Another native of Grand Rapids, like Judy. Unfortunately played hockey for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. But brought back the Minnesota mullet to Mariucci arena and led the Gophs to back-to-back titles (and riots) as well as during the Golden Gophers into the Yankees of college hockey. Sidenote: STOKED that Okposo is returning to play. E. Johnson, a bit overrated and not that good of a D. But Okposo he joins Brent Burns as my other hockey crush. I feel so coo-coo-ka-chu Mrs. Robinson about both of them. If only I could seduce them Bancroft style. Kidding ........kinda.
13. Ann Bancroft: First female to cross the North Pole. She gets to be in the middle of the back for a cool feat like that.
12. Justice Warren E. Burger: Not sure if I agree with his dissenting opinions, but he beats the other alternative who has Minnesota ties from the Supreme Court. That would be Rehnquist. So Burger -- cheers to the robe!
11. Terry Gilliam: Co-creator of the Monty Python. The only American associated with the group. Proofing that Minnesota humor is transcontinental, even if you don't like the rabbit.
Now drum roll for the top ten:
10. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Better writer than that guy for Sauk Center (Sinclaire Lewis). Created the phrase "jazz age" and had a wife named Zelda. All of those things solidify him as a top ten. Plus he wrote The Great Gatsby, a better book than movie, like most books.
9. Hubert H. Humphrey: Because of all the things named after him in Minnesota - ha! He and Fritz Mondale were big players back in the day. Although Humphrey lost to Nixon and his son would go on to lose to Ventura, HHH is responsible for a lot of DFL triumphs in the state.
8. Herb Brooks: "Do you believe in Miracles?" Ok, so the Miracle on Ice will always be solidified with Brooks, but my fave Herbie memory is the following. After all the achievements and accolades his greatest accomplishment outside of his family was playing in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. Now that's a true Minnesotan.
7. Charles M. Schulz: Not to be confused with the Charles Schultz in politics or the dreaded David Schultz from Hamline, Charles M. created the Peanuts which ran for 50 years of something absurd like that. And while millions of people have fallen in life with Charlie, Lucy, Snoopy and the gang, Schulz loses points for having St. Paul put freaking Peanut characters everywhere in the darn city. However, Rob Codrroy did a Daily Show sketch about the Peanut characters in the middle of winter and how freakin cold it was in St. Paul. So that's all right.
6. Paris Bennett. JUST KIDDING - Garrison Keillor: He has made Prairie Home Companion a staple in Minnesota and even got a great cast to partake in the film. However if you don't listen to the show, you prolly won't understand the film. And Keillor is a fan of the "pretty good" such as Jim's Pretty Good grocery store, he's a "pretty good" ballplayer. Yep, here in Minn-E we believe that all things are "pretty good."
Now here is where it gets tricky. How do you pick the top five Minnesotans? You flip multiple coins. Make them draw straws or arm wrestle for it.
5. Paul Wellstone: Although not born in the state, he became a key figure for the DFL party. And if you remotely follow Minnesota politics, you know where you were the day Wellstone died. Sadly his death became a tipping point for the GOP party. Here's hoping the long awaited Wellstone Medical Act will pass in US Congress -- who knows though?
4. Coen Brothers: Raising Arizona, classic. Fargo - a classic. Their dark, dry humor is perfect for those of us having grown up in Minn-A-sooo-duh. While they have also created some duds, who doesn't. I am excited for their summer film and they totally deserve to be #4.
I struggled with who should be #2 and #3. So I flipped a coin and Fritz lost.
3. Walter Mondale: The losingest presidential candidate comes in at #3. Did so many great things for Minnesota politics and as ambassador to Japan, although I suspect if he never ate sushi again he would be ok. He and his wife created one of the first royal Minnesotan families. Good old guy. Gets extra points for stepping up to the plate after Wellstone's death, even if in a losing effort. It takes a big leader to do that.
2. Prince: The bite size 5'4, stiletto wearing male has earned himself a place in Rock N Roll History even if he has not anointed his place yet. Just wait, he's a first ballot write in. From Purple Rain to the amazing Super Bowl half-time show this year, the little Prince Charles Nelson from South Minneapolis sure has made a name for himself and Minnesota, even if it's been a bizarre and strange ride.
So after all of this who could be #1?
1. Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan that's who.
The man created folk-rock and one of the best Rock songs of all time "Like a Rolling Stone."
His insights into the world, traveling with The Beatniks and later with the Traveling Willburies along with creating the masterpiece Blonde on Blonde Dylan is a Minnesota staple. Many of his songs include Minnesota landmarks "All Along the Watchtower" about the Watchtower near the U of M's SE bank, Highway 61 revisited, about Hwy 61. His imprint on pop culture, social justice and music is beyond phenomenal. He made Rolling Stone a magazine. He helped created awareness about Rueben Carter and the countless number of hits. Our own Bobby Zimmerman is king of my Minnesota. Who is the royalty of yours?