August 2007 Letters to the Editor

Comments from readers on the last issue of <em>Minnesota Monthly</em>

Cattle Call

Many of us in Lanesboro that have read the article about the new theater (“Dramatic Difference,” July) are disgusted by the nerve of those involved who assume they are responsible for the boom in business here. Lanesboro is known for its state bike trail and most of the people that visit are unaware that we have a theater, too, until they get here.

The Sales Barn employs many more people than the theater, and it thrived long before tourism started. This is an agricultural area, and cattle is big business around here—the mainstay of many in the area. We don’t mind a little bit of smell from the cattle yards because a lot of us grew up on farms. Millions of dollars of livestock go through here monthly, and farmers will remain long after the actors and theater are gone. How do you like your steak?

The theater draws only a small fraction of the tourists who come to Lanesboro. I just hope those involved with it don’t break their arms patting themselves on the back.  


Façade with Fries

I appreciated your critique of the new Guthrie (“The Guthrie Reconsidered,” July). I have been alternately so angry and depressed about this architectural wart. Why does our community have to roll over and pant for the approval of Eastern architecture critics who are only passing through? Now we’re stuck with this abomination.

For this we can thank a vaunted French architect: He spends half an hour looking out at the river that is apparently the only reason he deigned to apply for the job, and what are we left with? A huge blue monster with two French fries stuck on top. Is anyone still impressed by the long blue tongue sticking out of the façade? Who cares if enough steel went into the support beam to build 400 cars? Why not give us a roof garden like the one atop the fabled Metropolitan Building?

The arrogance of an architect is all I see.


Here’s the Beef

I read with interest the places you selected in outstate Minnesota for good eating, such as best burgers, best brats, etc. (“Epicurean Expedition,” July 2007). But you missed one: Spectators Bar and Grill on Highway 10 and Sunfish Lake Road between Anoka and Fridley has the best hamburgers I have eaten in Minnesota. The burgers are cooked exactly to the customer’s specifications, and the prices are reasonable.

St. Cloud

Sweet Memories

I enjoyed your article on the Mars Candy Company (“Candy Bar Combat,” March 2007). My mom worked for the company while it was here in Minneapolis. She really liked working for this family: She said they were good to their employees. When they moved the company to Chicago, they offered her a position with the company. My mom wanted to go, but my father didn’t want to leave the Northern Pacific Railroad. (He dearly loved that railroad!)

While researching my family’s history, I went through old city directories and really had a good laugh. While Mom was working for Mars, her occupation was listed as “Dipper.” She would have really gotten a kick out of that. She told me years ago that there were a few candy bars that went out without caramel in them, because she would sometimes scrape the caramel off the bar before dipping them in chocolate. You guessed it—they ate it!

Thanks for the good memories.



Submit letters via e-mail to, or the old-fashioned way to The Mail, Minnesota Monthly, 600 U.S. Trust Building, 730 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402. Please include your daytime phone number and city of residence. Text may be edited for length and clarity.