Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Anderson: Fire singes Bud Grant's dream

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 25, 2013 - 11:28 PM

Another phone call followed, and another, and soon Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was driving to the now-closed team offices to see if Grant was there.

He wasn’t.

And everything that had been living in his now-scorched 400 acres was dead.

• • •

Fast-forward again.

It’s last Wednesday, and Grant and Smith, in Grant’s Suburban, are driving among the charred ruins of Grant’s lifelong dream, his hunting and fishing land.

The former coach hadn’t been in his 400 acres when it burned. Instead he was still en route north.

Now he was recounting old times.

“When I got out of the service,’’ he said, “I had $300. With $100 I bought an Ithaca shotgun. I used another $100 for civilian clothes. So I had only $100 to buy land.’’

But Grant wanted the 1,500 feet of lakeshore badly. So he took on a partner, splitting the parcel 50-50. Then he borrowed $650 from a bank, and enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where he would play football, basketball and baseball, eventually being drafted professionally in each sport.

“I didn’t have a job at school, but I had to pay the bank each month for the land, so in summers I pitched town-league ball for $25 or $50 a game, whatever they’d pay me,’’ Grant said. “And I’d scalp the tickets I got for Gopher home games. Each ticket had a face value of $3.50. But I’d get $25 for a pair. Sid [Hartman] helped me with that.’’

Grant paid the $650 back in two years. Then his partner decided to get married, and needed cash.

“I bought him out,’’ Grant said, “borrowing another $750 from the bank and paying it off during my junior and senior years, again by pitching town ball and scalping tickets.’’

In 1968, after Grant came to Minnesota from Winnipeg to coach, he built his northwest Wisconsin lake home on the 1,500 feet of shoreline. The structure was untouched by the forest fire.

Now Grant, touring his charred hunting and fishing land, was pointing at a big ghost of a tree, its long limbs blackened.

“That white pine, every one of my kids has climbed to the top of it,’’ he said. “You can climb a white pine because its limbs alternate. You can’t climb a red pine as easily.’’

Here and there, some life was evident among the ruins. Black-capped chickadees flitted. A pair of drake mallards rose from a beaver-dam pond. And Canada geese honked overhead.

But through binoculars, Grant could find no sign of a loon that nests each year on his small lake. And there wasn’t a deer or deer carcass to be found.

  • related content

  • In fighting invasives, Minnesota boaters navigate more inspections

    Saturday May 25, 2013

    The forecast this summer calls for extra checks in lakes big and small to stop the spread of invasive species,...

  • Retired Vikings coach Bud Grant walked a portion of the 400 acres he’s owned for about a half-century in northwest Wisconsin. The land, where Grant hunts and fishes, was totally consumed in a recent wildfire inferno started by a logging machine.

  • A smoke plume rose high above a roadblock at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., on May 14. A fire started by a logging machine burned 8,700 acres.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close