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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Menahga Minnesota

I'm a relative newcomer to Minnesota, having moved here just 42 years ago. (Minnesotans are well known for taking time to accept strangers!) Back in the late 1960's I soon discovered The "Good Morning Show" on WCCO-AM. 'CCO still had about a 50% share of the audience at that time (No, that is not a misprint!)

Every March 16th, hosts Boone and Erickson would tell the "ancient story of how St. Urho drove the grasshoppers out of Finland." I was not a believer. St. Patrick and snakes in Ireland, maybe, but St. Urho and the grasshoppers? Surely, a myth!

Now, as I pulled into Menahga, Minnesota, I noticed a large statue and commemorative plaque set in a carefully landscaped park. What's this? I pulled around behind the statue and walked up to have a look at this neat little monument.

Well, here he is! St. Urho complete with a grasshopper impaled upon his trident.

The story is recorded in bronze.

And for more details, there is a full museum.

Moral to the story? Don't be a skeptic when you hear the locals describing their cultural background. This monument even rates an entry on the marvelous Roadside America site.

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