Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Vining, But Were Afraid to Ask

July 23

Taking a short break from blogging the Russia trip to . . .

Those familiar with this “not fake news” social media post are aware that once a month a few buddies from the Alexandria Class of ’65 have lunch together at some venue outside the confines of the Greater Alexandria Metropolitan Area.  It’s a never ending, but generally successful, quest to fight off the ravages of full-blown senior citizenship.  Today we visited Vining . . . 

[Vining is in Ottertail County and has a population of 78It is located 31 miles due north of Alexandria and 28 miles due east of Fergus Falls.]

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[The statue above and below is next to our restaurant, and it’s creator will be introduced soon . . . ]

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[Our place of fine dining . . . ]

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[The boys outside . . . ]

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[The boys inside . . . ]

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[Bradley could hardly contain his excitement about the well-placed sign to his rearage.]

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[The history . . . ]

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[Burgers and broasted chicken . . . yummy!  We gave the restaurant 5 stars . . . ]

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[Our host behind the bar – a one woman operation . . . ]

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In 1989, Ken Nyberg seemed like just an average guy. He worked in construction, and in his spare time he would make little sculptures out of scrap metal, such as an arboreal “family tree,” or a dog.  Coffee so thick it defies gravity: a tribute to Ken Nyberg’s favorite beverage.  Then he decided to build an 11-foot-tall human foot.  “I wanted to make something bigger and better,” Ken explained. “And I thought, ‘A Big Foot. There couldn’t be many of them around. I’d hate to make something that there’s a lot of already.'”  Ken worked on Big Foot in secret for over two years.  [H]is neighbors loved Big Foot so much that they placed it in a permanent spot of honor next to the main road through town. “Now I can get by with anything,” said Ken (roadsideamerica.com).

[A clothes pin . . . ]

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[Another town building, interspersed with Nyberg statuary . . . ]

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[It’s knotty . . . ]

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[Ken at work?]

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[I thought the fork ran away with the spoon?]

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[Mayo in the background gives perspective on the size of these things . . . ]

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One of the sculptures in Nyberg Park is of Ken’s daughter Karen, a NASA astronaut who’s flown two missions to the International Space Station. Was she pleased with her father’s tribute? “I can’t really say,” said Ken. “I never discussed it” . . . ]

Astronaut Karen Nyberg.
Ken’s astronaut daughter has flown two missions to the International Space Station (roadsideamerica.com).

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[Pest control?]

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[Spearfishing . . . ]

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[Tow chain . . . ]

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[I thought this was quite realistic . . . ]

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[Was Mayo sexing?]

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[Of global import . . . ]

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[Yep, good form . . . ]

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[And here’s the aforementioned coffee . . . ]

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[Don’t mind if I do!]

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[I was shocked when the figure to the right of the sign began moving toward us . . . ]

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[And Big Foot . . . ]

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[Before Christopher Columbus . . . ]

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[And then we visited Nyberg’s “studio” about a mile out of town . . . ]

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[And this is where we had just been.  The boys could now check Vining off their Bucket List.  The Super and I have been here a few times before . . . ]

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There is a comfortable feeling in small towns.  It is salubrious.  ~  Andie MacDowell  [Editor’s note:  And whom amongst us doesn’t like being salubrious?]

Up Next:  Back to Russia . . .

One thought on “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Vining, But Were Afraid to Ask

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