Mary Swenson Ettl describes herself as "just a regular librarian-Realtor sports-fan car-and-motorcycle-enthusiast." Oh, another one of those? Yes. A Twins enthusiast and a house-seller. Next time you feel a pang of self-pity, consider that.
Take the librarian gig first. They have an image as quiet, sensible people. Minnesotans have an image as a quiet, sensible people. So are Minnesota librarians very quiet and supersensible?
"We still may wear sensible shoes, but we go way beyond the card catalog. Librarians organize collections and provide specialized reference service, and we also manage databases, design websites, and develop social media outreach. The Twin Cities has a wonderful group of librarians -- public, corporate, government, et cetera. I'm on the Board of the Special Libraries Association's Minnesota Chapter -- "
Of course, the SLAMC. Is there an official board policy on the right way to shush a noisy patron?
"No. But I do own a little librarian doll, which has shushing action."
She says she's a true "Twin Cities gal," born in Minneapolis, grew up in St. Paul, lives in the burbs, loves to get out of town on the new Gold Wing motorcycle -- with heated seats, which come in handy this summer. So she knows the territory. Question: If you're trying to sell a house to an out-of-towner, what do you talk up? Besides the brief, mild winters. "My personal favorites are all the incredible car shows like Back to the '50s. ... The arts and sports scenes really draw people and keep them here."
Speaking of sports: How about those Twins?
"I'm on the season ticket-holder advisory council with the Twins. Fifty of us were selected to meet with the front office staff to see what kind of perks the season ticket holders want." Perks? They get perks? "Yes! Like watching batting practice. I'd like to sit with the official scorer. Maybe that's part of being a librarian, learning all the details."
How about input like: Hey, win more games?
"I appreciate the team's success the last 10 years, but I don't need championship banners to love the Twins. My memories go all the way back to being a young girl, listening to the games on the radio. When Herb would describe a double play as a twin-killing, I remember thinking it was an insult at my Twins. My fave moment of every game is a simple one: when the Twins take the field to their theme song."
Ah, the moment of promise, when anything is possible. Then the game starts, alas -- but one can always hope. Realtors and fans alike have the same refrain: Maybe next year!