Beyoncé's nephew is a Rebel Ink Baby.
"MY AUNTIE ROCKS" T-shirts, created by Todd Turfler, have been flying out of his St. Paul store (rebelinkbaby.com) since various websites published a photo of Beyoncé's nephew Julez wearing the shirt Monday (tinyurl.com/m2nv8j). "I'm not sure if she picked it up at one of the boutiques or if she got it online or if a customer sent it," Turfler told me Friday, "but one of my customers sent me the link Tuesday saying, This is your shirt. Sure enough, it is. We have been running around the country, Vegas, Atlanta, New York, doing the baby shows and we sell to boutiques around the country. I did contact Beyoncé's publicity and Matthew Knowles, her manager and father, down in Houston, trying to get more shirts to the nephew."
Aunts are an "under-served market" in the T-shirt world, Turfler said. "It's always 'My Mom Rocks,' 'My Daddy Rocks,' 'My Grandma,' 'My Grandpa.'" Turfler prides himself on unique kiddie T-shirt sayings: "We sell a 'I Heart My Gay Uncle' like there is no tomorrow. Do you know how many gay uncles there are out there?" That one has a genuine and a prankster market created by "sisters picking on their brothers," Turfler said. "The sister puts that on the kid and she's got three brothers and they are all looking at each other like, 'Who is Gay?'"
I'm not a Beyoncé fan, but she did put on an eye-popping Target Center show. She's interesting, because despite the girly-girly gowns and mini-skirts, she's something of tomboy. She did that goofy rapper move known as "the stanky leg." Maybe Julez needs a T that reads: "My Aunt Does The Stanky Leg." Turfler laughed and said, "I could maybe throw one out there."A man's still got to eat
After a hard Wednesday on the witness stand, at the first of what may be a series of bankruptcy hearings, Denny Hecker went to dinner at Manny's.
"Please don't say I picked up a big check," Hecker said Thursday. I reminded him that this column tried to put an end to the popular lie that Hecker previously dined there and picked up the tabs of everybody at the restaurant. Hecker dined last week with his father-in-law and a woman whose connection he defined as a "personal relationship."
"Getting over the hearing was kind of a big moment," said Hecker, the fallen auto mogul. "We spent a great deal of time with the communications director for the city of Minneapolis police. I think it's Jesse Garcia. Just a good guy."
Garcia confirmed that he was at Manny's with someone he would identify only as "an old high school friend."
Hecker's female dinner companion was, of course, more intriguing because of bankruptcy documents about the money and pricey gifts he's given a woman. The fact that Hecker's father-in-law was there even though Denny and his wife, Tamitha, seem to be going through a divorce made it even more curious.
It is wise never to get too interested in divorce papers filed by this tumultuous couple. Denny and Tamitha have had more reunions than lots of high schools. Really moving on this time? "You know, I've been moving on 10 times. You know that better than I do," Hecker said. "But I really am moving on. How many times do you try before you give up? I think right now, for the kids and everybody, it's best to go in a different direction."
People have told me that Hecker appears to be man with few worries, when that can't be the case. "Before the [hearing] started, I was real concerned," Hecker told me. "One of my best friends said, Denny just pretend you're the guest speaker, talking to [bankruptcy trustee Randy] Seaver and nobody else. You know what it's like looking around at a bunch of people you don't know and you're nervous. With what I'm going through, if I walked around like the world was coming to an end, it would."Best of luck, Brian
Wishing Mpls.St.Paul editor Brian Anderson all the best as he takes on an acute leukemia diagnosis.
"It's going to be a knock-down battle, but knowing my Dad, he'll prevail," Dave Anderson wrote me in one of the e-mails we exchanged last week as I tried to get a handle on what to write. "Do what you need to do. But right now Brian just isn't in a place to talk about it."
Dave's flying in from L.A. to be with his dad. I told Dave to tell Brian that Rev. Ma, my dear late mother-in-law, lived with leukemia for 20 years before heart problems caused her death. She swore by flushing her system with water after treatments and said that some days you just have to give yourself permission to be tired.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org.