The Artist Formerly Known as Prince 1994 to 674-weeks-ago Tuesday
How can you kick off a memorial note to the Twin Cities without a little ‘The Artist?’ Love Symbol #2 is gone, Prince is once again Prince, and this is left behind:
Douglas J. Dayton 1925 to two-weeks-ago Friday
Doug turned his grandpa’s 1903-founded Dayton Dry Goods Store into “the best of the fashion world with the best of the discount world, a quality store with quality merchandise at discount prices.” The company’s since grown from a single storefront to a worldwide corporation with more production than Puerto Rico. He leaves behind an independent, privately-run crime laboratory (seriously); the home of the Minnesota Twins; 361,00 jobs; and 1,860 one-stop shopping destinations for dormitory-bound college first-years.
Amar G. Bose 1930 to two-weeks-ago Friday
Amar founds Bose corporation. Bose invents noise-canceling headphones. Said headphones keep yours truly sane through years of living in New York. Ergo, Mr. Bose leaves behind not only my sanity but the mental health of anyone else who’s escaped the din of city life through acoustic science.
Steve O’Neil 1951 to last Monday
The Mother Teresa of Duluth, Steve was called. This might have a little bit to do with the fact that he was known and adored by many of the homeless people that he befriended over his six decades. A three-time county commissioner, Mr. O’Neil somehow found the time to spearhead the campaign to end smoking in restaurants and bars. And did I mention he raised 25 foster children in addition to his two own? A Benedictine sister recalls what he leaves behind: “For people who were poor, people who didn’t have a voice, people who lived on the margin, he helped give them hope.”
The Egyptian Government 2012 to three-weeks-ago Wednesday
Egyptian democracy, we hardly knew ye. The people of Egypt (read: military) overthrew a popularly elected Islamist government in exchange for an enormously-popular benevolent military (go figure) government. Morsi’s government leaves behind the “hypernationalist euphoria” of a nation united against The Muslim Brotherhood. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Douglas C. Engelbart 1925 to three-weeks-ago Tuesday
Journey with me to 1964. Our dearly departed sits at a computer terminal staring at the great grandfather of that pointy cursor on your screen–then called a CAT–and eureka! What if, Engelbart thought, there was a little pine box with three buttons that you could push around with your right hand and move the cursor around the screen? And so the mouse was born. He leaves behind this condition-of-possibility for Microsoft Windows and perhaps shares in the blame for the trail of frustration left behind by that operating system.
Charles Foley 1931 to three-weeks-ago Monday
Chuck Foley gave birth to the most titillating thing to come out of Minnesota until Prince. His game–dubbed ‘Sex-in-a-box’ by its competitors–and its sales fell victim to scruples (Sears refused to carry the sinful diversion). That is until on May 3, 1966 when Eva Gabor and Johnny Carson played together on ‘The Tonight Show’ and the sales shot off. Mr. Foley leaves behind this game, Twister, and all of the awkward moments that followed someone calling out “Right foot, red.”
Cover photo courtesy of flickr user JD Hancock