Sunday, October 04, 2015


It’s been 77 years and we still don’t know answers, but his daughter, Marda Liggett Woodbury,  has compiled the “evidence” in her book “Stopping the Presses: The Murder of Walter Liggett.”
Cut to the chase:  Minneapolis (Murderapolis) was a hot bed of organized crime and corrupt, inept law enforcement in the Depression/Jazz Age.  Liggett, a newspaper editor,  was a crusader against local gangsters at a time when reporters who wrote the “truth” were on the mobsters’ “list.”
Also, Liggett called for the impeachment of Farmer-Labor Gov. Floyd B. Olson who Liggett saw as a betrayer of Farmer-Labor socialist goals.  Liggett suspected ties between the “Olson Gang” and organized crime.  There was no love lost between the governor and the newspaper editor.
Olson died of cancer a short time after Liggett was gunned down in 1938 in the alley behind his home at Lake and Harriet streets, now a trendy business district.  
Liggett’s wife and children witnessed his murder and his wife testified that Minneapolis gangster Kid Cann (Isadore Blumenfield) fired the shots from a moving car that fateful night.  Further confusing the story were accounts that other gangsters resembling Cann could have been the killer.  Minneapolis and Chicago combined had no shortage of gangsters.

The Liggett family lived a tough life during trying times that were made dangerous by Walter’s crusading attempts to destroy the powers behind organized crime and the Farmer-Labor Party.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Defying the Odds, Man Stands Up to Volcano

When I last saw my Roosevelt Grade School buddy Jack Malone in May 2009, he gave me the LP his company distributed honoring Harry Truman who is an iconic figure associated with the Mt. St. Helen’s volcanic eruption.  In a narrative that Jack wrote for the album cover:  “On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens blew its top and according to authoritative sources, buried Harry (Truman), 84, under hundred of feet of ash and debris.”
“A Jack of all trades” is how Mr. Malone sees himself with a career that included managing an FM rock radio station in the Portland market.  Now there’s got to be a book in 1970s FM rock in a major market, but Jack didn’t write it as far as I know.

The LP is a collection of blue grass/country songs similar to the sound track of several popular movies.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bad Movie "Bride of Monster" Featured in Classic Images

The October 2015 issue of “Classic Images” magazine has a big feature on Ed Wood’s epic horror movie “Bride of the Monster” which was made 60 years ago with Bela Lugosi.  The movie is the product of the chemically addicted talents of Wood and Lugosi and I just bought the DVD this past spring.  
I first saw it at a midnight screening in 1971 on the U of M Campus with my ex-wife.  It’s a cult classic and is the focus of Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” movie.  The actress (Landau) who plays Loretta King is a dead ringer for Ms. King.  "Bride" needs to be seen with Monogram's "The Corpse Vanishes" (1940) which has a very similar plot about an aggressive reporter and a mad scientist with Lugosi in the lead and Luana Walters as the journalist.
At least the later may be on YouTube and possibly even "Bride" as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Dave Frazier did the driving and I took photos on our way to the Minidoka Relocation Center.  We ate at an "elegant greasy spoon."  Twin Falls is a must.

Monday, September 07, 2015

More on Japanese Relocation Center, Jerome, Idaho

This was a surprise visit to Jerome on Aug. 25, 2015  and not much remains of the original site.
It was 95 degrees.  The sight is located near a river and not farm from Twin Falls.  Not many Idahoans know about Minidoka.  Tribute to Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. armed service during the war is also featured at the site.

Japanese Relocation Center Meant Disruption For Loyal Americans in WW2

JEROME, IDAHO — The Japanese American Relocation Center is remembered with a display and recreation of the guard tower near Jerome, Idaho.  This center is referenced in a novel I read for a class at the U of M OLLI this past winter.  Dave Frazier, former Statesman reporter, did the driving and we dined at an elegant greasy spoon in Twin Falls.

Six Supreme Court justices during World War II were responsible for this sorry chapter in US history because they were convinced by Justice Dept. officials that some Japanese Americans might be disloyal which was not true, according to Ian Millhiser in the book “Injustices.”

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


BOISE —  “The state needs to empower parents with options for pre school education,” conservative Republican Rep. Christie Perry said Aug. 26 at a City Club Northwest Nazarene University forum on early childhood education.
Perry, chair of the Idaho House Ways and Means Committee, said the biggest obstacle to state pre-school is the paragon shift needed to overcome the present culture where policy makers fail to look outside of their own experience, ignoring the needs of others.  For those arguing that public funds need to go into infrastructure, our children are the roads and bridges of the future, the Republican legislator said.
Pre school tailored to local needs can enable children to comprehend math and reading when they enter third grade.  Presently two thirds of Idaho’s children lack reading skills when they enter third grade.
Perry called state sponsored pre-school a “conservative investment for the future” and the state will save millions by paving the way for successful educational experiences that will lead to productive career options.  Idaho is one of six state that lacks state pre schools, while Mississippi has devised a collaborative plan involving communities that provide state pre school.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton advocates for state pre school and Minnesota legislators would be well advised to seek the council of Rep. Perry as she charts the way to Idaho’s early education revolution for children.

Also on the program was Beth Oppenheimer, Idaho Association for Education of Young Children.  Attending the forum in the Grove Hotel were Lt. Gov. Frank Little. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, several Boise City Council members and Kathie Johnson, Head Start for South Idaho Migrant Workers’ Program.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Big Stink Over the Beatles Concert 50 Years Ago

MINNEAPOLIS — The Beatles left Minneapolis this date 50 years ago and never looked back, at least until Paul returned last year for a sold out concert.  The big stink was over girl fans who breached security after the Met Stadium concert and entered the hotel rooms of the Beatles.  (I am sure they were gathering autographs from the mop head singers.)  A representative of the rock group’s entourage said Minneapolis was a “narrow minded town” when police demanded that the girl leave Paul’s room or they would break down the door.  Indeed!
On the anniversary radio special the police chief commented about the welfare of the “kids” and wished the Fab Four would never return to the Twin Cities.  And they never did.  
The anniversary show aired last night on WDGY included the press conference for the concert that was “hosted” by WDGY but that didn’t prevent cross town rival KDWB from horning in on the action.  WDGY DJ Johnny Dollar was the anchor for the radio coverage of the concert. 
Dennis Mitchell’s anniversary show was actually a tape from a Hollywood Bowl concert with screaming Beatle fans who are now grannies. 
The show includes a promo for “Help,” the movie.

I was living in Berkley at the time and not a Beatle fan.