Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press wrote a delightful obituary of a citizen best known for his bounty of body piercings, tally of tattoos and weekly hair-color changes.
"On Jan. 8, 1997, a man walked into the Blue Earth County Courthouse named Fred Lynn Williams. He walked out named Punk Rock Freddie, Officially. No Kidding," begins Murray's well-crafted ode to the odd but apparently well-loved town character, who died Sunday at 69.
A native of Iowa, Freddie moved in 1981 to the Mankato area, where he became immersed in the local punk rock scene because the young people in it liked his style. In 1990 he was in a motorcycle accident that left him brain damaged, he told people.
Residents told Murray that though Freddie didn't always have a firm grip on reality, he was always friendly and always hard to miss because of the things he did to his body, such as when he stuffed AA batteries into the holes in his ear lobes to enlarge them. Apparently he did it all in the name of punk.
"If you wanted to track him down in the phone book, he was there," Murray wrote. "First name Punk. Middle name Rock. Last name Freddie."
You can see some of Mr. Freddie's body art and read Murray's whole inspired piece here.