"A beautiful mess" is the phrase the current and fifth Mrs. Denny Hecker uses to describe her time with the disgraced and incarcerated auto magnate in June's "as told to interview" in Minnesota Monthly.
Christi Rowan-Hecker talked to senior editor Tim Gihring, who's been working on this since before she began serving her 14-month sentence in a prison camp for bank and bankruptcy fraud convictions. In November she was released from a halfway house and is now on five years' probation. The man she married over the phone is serving time for bankruptcy fraud and defrauding auto lenders and is looking at a 2019 release, although if anybody can get out earlier for good behavior, the loquacious Denny Hecker can.
Based on the article, this regular mass-going mom of two is as good a raconteur as the man whose face once seemed to be on every transit bus in the metro. That's saying something, because over the years I believe Denny's spun a fair number of yarns in my direction.
After reading the article that's on newsstands this week, I wanted to know: How much of what Rowan-Hecker said did Gihring believe in his gut?
"I completely believe her when she says she loves Denny and I believe she feels he is, at heart, a great man. She told me she thinks he should run for governor when this is all over. I think she takes some pride in helping rehabilitate this fallen giant. If you read his letters to her, he has really put himself in her hands and I think it's very fulfilling to be needed like that. She never denied her wrongdoing to me, but she also never confirmed it. There's a bit of Bonnie and Clyde in them, I think -- the righteousness and the dependency."
As Rowan-Hecker tells it, six years after they first met at Randy Shaver's 2001 Celebrity Golf Classic, they had their first private meeting when she was making a commercial pitch to Hecker. Hecker hugged her at that meeting and then a couple of weeks later, at another business meeting, he declared, "I want to marry you."
Tiny detail: They were both married to other people. "I quickly learned that Denny had a plethora of relationships going on at once, all very sex-driven," reads the article, which isn't all $500 worth of roses from the man she thinks is irresistible and completes her as a soulmate.
"Make a list of all the women you've slept with in Minneapolis, just so I don't run into them without knowing," Rowan-Hecker said she told the man she didn't think always told the truth.
It's juicy stuff with claims of a Hecker Vicodin addiction and her comparisons of him to biblical figures. There's also Hecker's decidedly un-biblical admiration, in the letters he writes every day, of assets his wife displays when walking away.
'Bachelorette's' Minnesota man
A Bieberlicious Minnesotan is among Emily Maynard's suitors on the current installment of ABC's "Bachelorette."
Alessandro Goulart is a Twin Cities grain merchant, who said he's from Brazil. "I never heard a Minnesota accent combined with a Brazilian accent," reads Twitter's @NatalieGetz, writing for TVFanatic.com. "It's 'Minnzillian.'" WetPaint.com noted Goulart's "unfortunate Bieber haircut at the age of 30."
I know stylists who could improve the hair on Goulart's head and face. While his accent is jarring, it's not as grating as this field of pretentious yet unimpressive husband applicants.
Ramsey Lewis quintet
"No, no, there's no rap musician on my iPod," said Ramsey Lewis.
The Grammy-winning, preeminent smooth jazz composer and pianist of "The In Crowd" fame will be at the Dakota on Sunday and Monday with his Electric Band, which also includes Joshua Ramos (bass), Charles Heath (drums), Henry Johnson (guitar) and Tim Gant (keyboards).
"Not for any other reason than I didn't grow up in that era," is there no rap among his nearly 15,000 iPod play list, Lewis told me via telephone. "Now I'm going to get in trouble here, [but] I think basically rap is what it is: It's prose, it's poetry," said Lewis, who doesn't hear many melodies from rap. "To me a musical piece can be performed by others [who may choose to interpret its different musical genres]. Rap is such a personal art form that each rapper ... has his own catalog. I don't know of any other rapper doing anybody else's repertoire, do you?"
Lewis grew up in an era when musicians learned to read and play music in tune and in time, unlike some of today's performers who seem to me to rely on fixing it later in Auto-Tune.
"The thing about young people is they impress each other," Lewis told me. "I'm not trying to make fun of them. They get to make a record because their own age group doesn't demand the credentials I'm referring to; they more or less go for a sound. When you put searching for a sound before you have your music credentials, often your career is short-lived. The flavor of this year is not the flavor of the year a couple years down the line."
Preach, musician with 80 albums to your credit.
C.J. can be seen on Fox 9's "Buzz" Thursday mornings.