1. Hornettes and Cougarettes
Last week's blog post Hornette history told through items in our collection generated a few comments.
Karen McArthur noted that Edina West had its own dance team, the Cougarettes. "We share all of the traditions, dancing from 1972 – 1982. Some of our traditions have become Hornette traditions. For example, one of the kicks I saw in a recent Hornette dance on YouTube was made up by our 1977-78 Cougarette captain, Leslee Owens. I bet someone has photos of the Hornettes and Cougarettes dancing together from that decade. I’ll see if I can find any old photos."
In the mean time, here are the Cougarette pages from the first year Edina West was open (1972-1973). The new squad had just four veterans from the Hornettes.
As you can see by the comments on last week's post or on the many online news stories that readers' opinions are split into two camps:
1. It's a big deal that a 53-year-old name is changing; or
2. It's not a big deal that two letters are dropped from a name.
I'm not going to tell you where I stand on the issue. I don't think it's my role to affect history, just to record it.
You might think that historical societies would automatically campaign to preserve tradition. You would be wrong. Our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret it. There is a difference.
For example, when Clancy Drug closed at 50th and France, the Edina Historical Society didn't lead an effort to save the long-standing Edina business. We stayed on the sidelines not because there weren't a lot of Clancy Drug (and Toyland) fans in our organization -- because there were -- but because business owners must make the decisions that affect their own livelihood. Instead, we worked with the owners to collect menus, signs, dishes, a table, napkin holder, hundreds of photos and other artifacts for posterity.
If you listened to conversations among visitors and volunteers at the Edina History Museum last week, you would find opinions split on the Hornette/Hornet name. But there is one point that everyone supports: we should collect, preserve and tell their story. And I'm glad to say that several people have offered to look for photos and other artifacts about the Hornettes -- and let's not forget, the Cougarettes.
2. Normandale Motel
A couple of people commented on the Normandale Motel, after seeing a postcard recently added to our collection. Brent wrote: "I remember it was across Normandale from the Ho Jo. It was there until at least 1970 if I remember. I think there was a liquor store next to it."
Dan Lapham found a photo of the motel on the Minnesota Historical Society web site. See photo here. The 1953 photo by the Minneapolis Star Journal shows a different address than the one listed on the postcard (7740 instead of 7816 Normandale Road). The sign is also slightly changed, showing "Smitty's Motel."
As I was looking through MHS's wonderful online Visual Resources database, I found a few other Edina hotels and motels.
What are we missing? Can you think of any others that operated in Edina? Do you have any photos or postcards to share?
3. Edina's first fundraiser concert
I hope you join us at our first fundraiser concert featuring the Peterson family on Thursday, June 14, at the Edina Performing Arts Center at Edina High School. Ticket sales support our programs (such as this blog.) We're excited to have the Petersons, not only because they're known throughout the country for their talents, but also because they're local history makers. Matriarch Jeanne Arland Peterson is in the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame as well as the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Her children also are remarkably talented. Daughter Patty has won seven Minnesota Music Awards, son Paul has performed with Prince (among many other big names), son Billy has toured with the Steve Miller band, daughter Linda is internationally known for her original jazz composition “Too Late to Leave Early" and performs throughout the country and abroad. They will be joined by a third generation of performers, including some Edina High School graduates.
Tickets are available in advance at the Edina Senior Center, online at Seat Yourself or at the door the night of the performance. (We sell tickets at the Edina History Museum as well, but our hours are limited. Maybe that will change with proceeds generated from this concert, huh? Fingers crossed.) Tickets are $20. Get a group together and make a night of it!
For more on the Petersons, see this WCCO special on the family. I have to admit that I had heard only Patty and Paul perform before our concert committee booked the group, but now I'm a big Jeanne Arland Peterson fan. Just watch her play piano... amazing!
If you're busy that night, you can still help. Donate any amount to the Society and your name will be listed on the program as one of our supporters. Please send your check to Edina Historical Society, 4711 West 70th Street, Edina, MN 55435. Write "concert donation" in the memo line of the check, or write "anonymous" if you don't wish to be listed.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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Help us bring you Edina history with this web site by becoming a member or donating today. Click on the link to our GiveMN.org site to make a donation with a credit card. The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on contributions to continue operation.