Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wilbo Asks Famous Poet, James Lenfestey, "Walter Mondale is honored by the Walter Blondale Ale, produced by Pigeon Hill Brewing Company. How Do We Inform Mr. Mondale?"

May 22, 2016
Dear James Lenfesty,

I have enjoyed our correspondence of the past few years, mostly about poetry at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Hoping to make your excellent programs, at least one, this summer. The Dorothy Parker program is of immense interest because just Thursday I was watching elementary school children playing during recess with a woman who performs a one-woman show as Dorothy. Sherri Slater and I were "floating guest teachers" together at Muskegon's Oakview Elementary, and I we chatted about the Algonquin Round Table as we kept an eye on the children. I'll make sure Ms. Slater and her husband know the date. Her husband knows the UP well, serving as a marketing agent for BOSS snow plows, if I understand correctly.

She often performs this evening as a benefit, as documented in this article:

I write to you today, however, concerning Walter Mondale, a leader from Minnesota. I am wondering if you are connected to Mr. Mondale through your tenure as editor of the Star-Tribune. My local pub, Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, has apparently a great regard for Walter Mondale, calling their first mainstay beer, "Walter Blondale". It's a fine beer, and the house promotes it with its own webpage and even has the beer running for President. "Walter Blondale for President" is the motto of this Facebook page. Posters have been promulgated and tee shirts silk-screened in support of this candidacy.

If that were the end of it, I probably wouldn't bother Mr. Mondale. However, their Walter goes on missions. To wit, Walter Blondale is mixed with different flavors, and so Walter has gone to Belgium and Thailand and a list of postings that would make any ambassador proud. This recalls Mr. Mondale's service as America's ambassador to Japan. Even once, Walter Blondale was mixed with Drip Drop Drink coffee to make, "Walter Gets Buzzed". We can be sure that the versatile Blondale will be called into service many times in the future by the master brewers.

It's a big request, but could you advise on how to reach out to Mr. Mondale to let him know of the singular American honor, to be the inspiration of a fine American beer? I wouldn't go out on the limb except the brewing team has done its civic duty during their two years in town.

Three times running, all the children of Muskegon have been entertained with an Easter Egg hunt, courtesy of Pigeon Hill.

The local running and cycling clubs all either begin or end their exertions at Pigeon Hill.

Plus, Pigeon Hill has become a museum for local history. Partnering with the Lakeshore Museum Center, the house hosted a sold-out event on Muskegon history lead by a historian recently. Historian often fall short of sell-outs; at Pigeon Hill, historians get ovations from full houses.

The house honored the local Fraternal Order of Police by opening their brewery to a "brewer in blue", and put the results on tap for all to savor, just one more fundraiser for a good cause.

Three vacant buildings, all historical, have been lovingly restored thanks to the PH team, including the Muskegon State Bank of 1888. This has helped kicked off the Muskegon downtown renaissance.

Best, the Hill stands next door to the AFL-CIO union hall, and has long opened the tap room doors for the Labor Day Parade so that the marchers can refresh themselves after marching through town. On that day, all of Muskegon's Democratic leaders lift a glass of Pigeon Hill.

Another personality from the Twin Cities, Garrison Keillor can vouch for Muskegon as a city that well receives its guests. Keillor has returned three times to perform his "Evening with Garrison Keillor" show at the Frauenthal Theater, all sold out evenings. I understand Mr. Keillor has been conveyed through the streets by fellow book store owner, Deb Lambers, who borrows a vintage Mustang convertible for the occasion.

I have copied Michael Brower, Esquire, on this note as he is part of the management team at Pigeon Hill and the creator of the Walter Blondale posters.

I wish you a good summer on Mackinac Island and even better writing on the island. I passed an entirely agreeable week in the Twin Cities in early April, and hope to return back soon.


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