July 30, 1971: For 68 years, he rolled his own – and then some
May 2, 2011 — 12:51am
Al Bossard of St. Paul began making cigars by hand in about 1903. At his peak, he rolled 400 to 500 cigars a day, and his clientele included "fine people … doctors, lawyers, businessmen." He had reached his 88th year when he was featured in this Minneapolis Star photo. "I’ve had to slow up some now," he said, "because there are days when I can’t feel the tenderness of the cigars right." He didn’t spend his entire life hunched over tobacco leaves. At 15, he ran away from home and joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as a performer, playing "800 or 900 state fairs around this part of the country."
Al Bossard's photo accompanied a story previewing a Victorian craft festival in St. Paul that featured "calligraphy, crewel work, hair work, lacemaking, macrame, needlework and other Victorian crafts."
Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
Have you read "Canoeing With the Cree," Eric Sevareid's engaging account of his 1930 canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay? Sevareid, 17, and a 19-year-old friend paddled more than 2,200 miles that summer. A few decades earlier, another 17-year-old boy from Minneapolis and two friends set out on a canoe adventure that was nearly as ambitious.
The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there:
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in the Twin Cities for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
Angry lawmakers heaped another round of blistering criticism on Wells Fargo's CEO, pressing Thursday for details about what senior managers knew about allegedly illegal sales practices and when any concerns were disclosed.
Fourteen-year-old Malik Causey loved the way gangs took what they wanted from people on the street, the way members fought for each other, the way they could turn drugs into cash and cash into $400 jeans.