On the Porch

Currently, there are two temporary displays featured at the Lyon County Museum. “The How to Talk Minnesotan” display in the museum’s entry and the Snowmen and Father Time collection display in the museum’s Heritage Room. Both displays end on March 31. This week I will write about the “How to Talk Minnesotan” display and next week about the Snowmen and Father Time collection display.

The book, “How to Talk Minnesotan,” by Howard Mohr was first published in 1987 by Penquin Books. Howard and Jody Mohr live outside of Cottonwood. Here is an excerpt from the first page in the book: “As a writer for A Prairie Home Companion, Howard Mohr created more than two hundred scripts and spots, including Raw Bits, Worst Case Scenario, One-Minute Romances, Pentagon Overstocks, and The College of Lo-Technology. He frequently appeared on the show in his own material as Howie Humde (owner of the Walleye Phone Company), Herb (of Herb’s AcuAuto, the Midwest’s only acupuncture garage), Bob Humde (inventor of The Cow Pie Key Hider), and as a Minnesota voice in the ads for the long-running Minnesota Language Systems.”

In 1992, a half-hour video version was produced and directed by John Whitehead for Twin Cities Public Television. The video was partly filmed in and around Cottonwood and starred many of Howard’s friends and neighbors. In January 1997, Howard’s musical version of “How to Talk Minnesotan” opened to a five-year run at the Plymouth Playhouse. On Jan. 29, 2010, the show opened again at the playhouse for a run through October. In 2013, Penquin Books released “How to Talk Minnesotan Updated for the 21st Century.”

The display at the museum is a personal collection of items from Howard and Jody Mohr. The display includes copies of the books, newspaper articles, award certificates, items related to the musical such as posters, programs, and ticket stubs.

Lyon County is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Programs and events are being planned. Visit www.lyoncountymn150.com and Facebook for more information. The Lyon County Historical Society is a non-profit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.


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