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Updating columns and stories from past Register editions

By Staff | Jun 8, 2009

Do you remember a story we had in the Register last August which was about Blue Earth native Marjorie Engesser?

She and her husband, Bryan W. Simon had produced a documentary about ventriloquism entitled “I’m No Dummy.”

The film recently had its world premiere in Seattle. In addition, several major distributors have stepped forward and would like to release “I’m No Dummy,” Engesser reports. They are currently negotiating with them for the film rights.

She says the premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) was an amazing experience.

“Huge crowds packed the SIFF Cinema and the Pacific Place Theaters for both “I’m No Dummy” screenings,” she said.

After the showing, several ventriloquist’s – and their puppets – held a live question and answer performance. Among them were Jay Johnson and Bob, Lynn Trefzger and Chloe, and Tom Ladshaw and Thelonious.

“The film and the Q and A’s received standing ovations,” Engesser said. “The film enthusiasts were enthralled beyond our wildest dreams.”

She says the critics loved it as well. Jessica Baxter of Film Threat said it was “downright impressive” and “mind-blowing.” She also proclaimed, “You are sucked into the film, even if you are never sold on the act itself.”

Brian Miller of the Seattle Weekly gave the film a ‘Seattle Weekly Pick’ for the opening weekend and called it “unexpectedly fascinating.”

Marge and Bryan, as well as some of the ventriloquist’s, appeared on TV and radio in the Seattle area doing interviews for print and internet sites.

You can actually watch – that’s right, ‘watch’ – a radio interview on the internet by going to www.bobrivers.com and type in “I’m No Dummy” in the search window.

The film producing and directing couple had hoped to have the film at festivals last winter, and released on cable or DVD by this time. They hope now to have it shown later this year.


In another update, A. B. Russ referred us to a map which appears in the Blue Earth Sesquicentennial book. It shows an artists rendition of Blue Earth in 1879.

A column I wrote some time ago about Blue Earth’s streets and address numbering system prompted the map reference.

On the map, all of the north/south streets are the same; Holland, Linton, Nicollet, Moore, Galbraith, Ramsey Gorman and Rice. Except for one notable exception; Main Street is called Valucia Street.

The east/west streets, however, are not all the same. First through Sixth Streets are identical. But the current Seventh Street is called South Street on the 1879 map.

Likewise, Eighth is named Washington, Ninth is Jefferson and Tenth is Douglas.

So while I now live on the corner of Main and Tenth, in 1879 that was the intersection of Valucia and Douglas.

While this map explains a few things, it raises a lot of question as well.

For instance, it appears the city planners started with the far north east/west street and named it First Street. They then proceeded south to Sixth Street. But after Sixth, they switched to streets with names, not numbers. Why?

And at some point in time, city fathers continued with the numbers and changed South to Seventh, Washington to Eighth, Jefferson to Ninth, etc.

Again, we wonder why.

My guess is they wanted all the east/west streets as numbers, all the north south streets with names. Just like many cities have streets one way, and avenues the other.

At any rate, after a year and a half, I can find my way around and the street names and numbers no longer matter as much.

And like many residents, I am just happy to see a lot of our streets getting fixed and resurfaced.

Should we tell the city council that their Eighth and Moore Street project would have been called Washington and Moore Street Project if the 1879 names were still in place?

Who cares as long as they are smoothly paved.