Readers Write: (Dec. 31): The Metrodome, spending priorities, Cassim case

  • Updated: December 30, 2013 - 6:01 PM

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THE METRODOME

Oh, the memories. Oh, the memories!

The end of the Dome — it’s amazing the things that have occurred in that white Hefty bag. I was always amazed by the cheapness and lack of sophistication by which the Metrodome was built. In today’s sports world, there are high schools that have better facilities. Heck, I have more parking at my house.

Now, in advance of demolition, they’ve been selling the seats. At first I wondered who (besides that enterprising young farmer looking to refurbish the two-holer out back) would want one. They’re an ugly blue and are about as comfortable as concrete. For a giant like myself, they are the stuff from which nightmares are made. But on further review, from what I have heard about the new stadium’s proposed ticket prices, a $60 retired Metrodome souvenir seat may be as close to attending a game as most Vikings fans will ever come.

JOHN WINDOLFF, Hudson, Wis.

• • •

I spent more than a decade working in the Metrodome as an employee of the Minnesota Twins. The Dome has taken its final breath, but not before leaving those of us who toiled in its underbelly full of memories. For me, it wasn’t the games won and lost so much as the experiences shared with special people. Sitting with legendary public-address announcer Bob Casey in his “hole” behind home plate while mice he affectionately dubbed “Sid” and “Charlie” scurried about. Sharing a farewell to my friend and Twins legend Kirby Puckett with the thousands who ventured to the Dome in a blizzard. Coordinating the first game following 9/11 and the tribute to the fallen of that tragic day one year later. Climbing atop the Metrodome roof with Kent Hrbek and his family on the Fourth of July to get a 360-degree view of fireworks around the Twin Cities.

The Metrodome may not have been the prettiest house on the block, yet it wasn’t the size or shape that made it Minnesota’s collective home. We celebrated there, mourned there, came together there. I don’t need a chair or any other piece of the building to remember the Dome. My memories are much more valuable.

PATRICK KLINGER, St. Paul

PRIORITIES

If spending, could we do it for the future?

Two excellent opinions regarding college sports and education as extracurricular were published Dec. 30 (“College sports: Special treatment really is a problem,” Readers Write, and “If only education were extracurricular,” Opinion Exchange). Again the point is made that our singular attention is toward sports, with emphasis on football and basketball. A new temple to that end will be built shortly. All energy will be directed to it, even as public schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis try to make every dollar stretch as far as it can. Meanwhile, some will continue to wring their hands at the learning gap between white and minority children, and more newsprint will be devoted to that discussion.

Yes, the United States lags in quality education results. Will we continue our quest for ever-more-gleaming temples dedicated to football and hope education of our children will quietly exist without too much bother (unless it is a path to playing sports)?

PHILLIP L. BAIRD, St. Paul

• • •

I sympathize with the writer of the Dec. 29 Letter of the Day (“New Medicaid rules save money, but at what cost?”); however, I don’t see tax dollars allocated for elder care and providing braces for a child as an either/or proposition.

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