Who Says I Can’t Do Fluff?

Al Franken in NorthfieldGriff just called me on the phone. He was racing down the highway in response to a Fluff Alert. I told him to slow down and I’d step up to the plate.

Here’s my swing at some fluff. US Senate candidate Al Franken (and SNL alum) was hanging at Goodbye Blue Monday this (Thursday) afternoon.

Yo Griff, if Tina Fey shows up in Downtown Northfield to campaign for Al, please give me another call.

Update 5:45 pm: More photos, submitted by Jane McWilliams, who wrote:

Ross, I caught Franken in conversations about the schools, Hager for mayor, and health care before he and his entourage walked over to The Sketchy Artist where, when I left, he was doing a sketchy candidate bit. (I couldn’t get close, but I think he was drawing blue states.) His aide said they were going next to OoLaLa and Rare Pair: Franken wanted to visit local businesses run by women! All that in beautiful downtown Northfield.

Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield

Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield Al Franken in Northfield

Update 9:30 PM by Griff: Robbie and I stopped by The Sketchy Artist to buy a sympathy card tonight and store owner April Ripka was nowhere to be found. However…

Linda Ripka and Sarah Ripka
April’s mom, Linda Ripka and sister, Sarah Ripka were tending the store, and were quite happy to display the drawing of the United States sketched earlier in the day by Al Franken.

15 thoughts on “Who Says I Can’t Do Fluff?”

  1. Robbie and I stopped by Sketchy Artist to buy a sympathy card tonight and store owner April Ripka was nowhere to be found. However, April’s mom, Linda Ripka and sister, Sarah Ripka were tending the store, and were quite happy to display the drawing of the United States sketched earlier in the day by Al Franken. See the photo above, added to the blog post.

  2. yeah, sorry i missed you guys. i was over at Art on Water putting up a show. btw, it’s THE Sketchy Artist. i know it’s dumb, but it weirds me out to see the name without the The. 😉
    on Al Franken…i was totally ready for him yesterday, but today took me a little by surprise. mostly because i was busy getting some pieces ready for Dean and didn’t even think about Franken possibly stopping in today. i should have known. i got about a 1 minute notice from someone from his entourage. argh! so yeah. i would have loved to have had him pose with Pee&Poo then i could have had my own campaign: “Al Franken supports Pee&Poo!” great promo for the store! hee hee.
    i did have some issues ready to discuss with him. unfortunately he didn’t seem to have much time. oh well. i’ve got the states. and funny thing – he told me he didn’t do alaska and hawaii because when he was in school they weren’t states yet so he never really learned to draw them as well as the rest of the US. and he started out drawing MN first. very interesting day. fun! oh, and thanks for all the photos! can i have copies??

  3. What a great map! My first real memory of Al Franken was his appearance on SNL’s “News” right before the 1988 election. That night, he drew the United States on a poster board, adding each state individually in red or blue, while explaining how Michael Dukakis could pull off an upset win over Bush in the electoral college. I was humbled by his skill, and inspired to work harder on my geographical knowledge.

    15 years later, a geographically-challenged medical student from Rhode Island asked the following astounding question of a group of displaced Wisconsinites:

    “Wisconsin… that’s near Washington State, right?”

    It was met with silence, followed by a discussion of the myopic, parochial perspective of Northeasterners. In response, he questioned whether midwesterners weren’t just as parochial and oblivious to the details rest of the country.

    The gauntlet was thrown, and there was no other option: I challenged him to a map-off.

    He managed about 10-15 lumpy states, scattered around an amorphous blob vaguely resembling the USA.

    Summoning my inner Al Franken, I then pulled out a piece of paper, and proudly and accurately drew all 50 states in their proper places – including an insignificant little dot representing Rhode Island.

    So Al, thanks a lot for helping me put that pompous little twirp in his place.

  4. Patrick, that is a great story about the map. When I was a kid, we had a wooden puzzle of a map of the USA, with the capitals of each state listed. I put that thing together a million times, sometimes upside down, backwards and with the print facing downwards. In geography class, I kicked ass. Sadly that knowledge, at least of the capitals has diminished greatly.

    Anyway your story of the humble, virtuous midwesterner triumphing over the swarmy, east coast elitist (ok, I added my own adjectives, don’t tell Felicity) reminded me of the story from the locally grown thread about presidents-in which Missouri’s Truman took the easterners to the woodshed:

    https://locallygrownnorthfield.org/archives/3070/

  5. Lots of firsts for April Ripka…including being a guest artist in our art photography exhibition at ArtOnWater Gallery…including Northfield’s first vegan sushi exhibition opening reception tonite from 5 pm…ataway April

  6. Weird call of the day:

    I picked up the phone, and the voice on the other end said, “Hello Patrick – this is Al Franken.” Surprised, I paused for a second, expecting the robocall to go on with its message (while trying to figure out how it had managed to address me by name.)

    But no, it was a real, live person on the other end of the line, who did in fact seem to be Al Franken, and he was calling to invite me and my wife Felicity to a little cookout he was putting together in Dundas this weekend.

    (I assume, of course, that it will be held at the Morlan residence.)

    As I said: weird.

    Apparently, donating a couple hundred bucks to Barack Obama has made us important people, worthy of wooing.

    Oh, I can feel the power of political influence coursing through my veins. So I ask: to what great purpose should we aspire? When we whisper in Mr. Franken’s ear, what special considerations should we seek?

  7. I was out carousing with the Northfield Newcomers’ group and missed this call. What a shame! But the Newcomers’ group was full of zip. If anyone’s interested, watch Northfield.org for a picnic event in August.

  8. If Al is planning on using my house he must be doing worse than I though in terms of numbers of followers. (or is that “The Al”, kind of like “The Donald”?).

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