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The name ‘Blue Earth’ shows up in the strangest places

From the Editor's Notebook

May 4, 2009
by Chuck Hunt, Register Editor
One would think Blue Earth is a pretty common name. It really isn’t.

Around these parts, it is the name of a town, a county and a river. But elsewhere it is not that common.

If you ‘google’ the name you get hits on the town, county and river, as well as a few odd items.

Samsung has a new solar powered phone called the Blue Earth. There is an artist society called Blue Earth bent on saving the planet.

And an outfit named Blue Earth Biofuels, LLC, is located in Hawaii.

So when folks spot the name Blue Earth somewhere other than Minnesota, and it refers to the town in Faribault County, it can be unusual.

Gene and Janet Zabel did just that. They were on the recent Community Ed sponsored bus trip to Washington, D. C. Gary Agren was the guide, and they toured Gettysburg, Williamsburg, and other historic sites.

While in Washington, the two went to the National Postal Museum, part of the Smithsonian. Janet Zabel says it is a bit off the beaten path.

“We went there because my husband, Gene, is a rural mail carrier out of Bricelyn,” Janet says.

She adds that it was quite interesting. There were displays to do with the postal system and the press.

One of the exhibits had probably over 100 very old newspapers on display she explains. They were from all over the United States.

Gene was busy trying to spot one from Minnesota, expecting to find an old Minneapolis or St. Paul paper.

Instead, what he spied was a copy of the Blue Earth Post from 1875, much to his shock and surprise.

Who would have thought a Blue Earth newspaper would be the one to represent Minnesota.

On another note, the Register received an e-mail this week from a man in San Antonio, Texas, who was driving to the car wash.

In front of him was a maroon car with a Blue Earth, Minnesota, bumper sticker.

The man, Bob Fields, says it was an interesting name, one he had never heard before. So he was writing to find out more about it.

Oh, and he also invited us down there for their ‘Fiesta!’ celebration which was happening last week.

My third reference to Blue Earth is actually not connected to the name, but to something else which is synonymous to Blue Earth’s mascot.

You may (or more likely, may not) remember a ‘From the Editor’s Notebook’ column from last year which dealt with an older Italian couple biking around the U.S.

Sue Hauskins at the city hall had quite a conversation with the couple when they were here, and I took their picture and wrote about them in my column that week.

We also sent them a copy of the paper.

Sue wondered how they had fared during the recent earthquake in Italy, and sent them a note.

They responded this week with a note back, saying they were fine, and thanking Sue for her concern.

They also noted they had received the copy of the Register which we sent, and thanked me for the article and picture.

Also enclosed was a label from a can of Green Giant corn which they had found – and purchased – in a market in Italy.

Alberto and Gabriella Sala say that when they spotted the can of corn, it brought back many memories of their brief stay in Blue Earth, where they spent the night right near the big statue of the Green Giant himself.

Or should I say, the ‘Gigante Verde.’

They say they survived the earthquake, are doing fine, and enjoyed the canned corn from Blue Earth.

I don’t have the heart to tell them it was probably canned in Glencoe, and not here.

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