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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

TUESDAY TRAVELS

Back in my youth . . way, way back in the 1940's I was captivated by the tales of the gigantic lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his great blue ox, Babe.

He was a product of oral folklore that later found his way into print.

Supposedly Bunyan had logged millions of trees in North Dakota (my childhood home) which accounted for the miles of treeless prairie land.

The stories of his exploits are legendary but I know that the gigantic Bunyan was REAL because I met him once and he called me by name.


I am in the lower left of the photo, standing next to one of Paul's big dogs and in front of the man himself.

Paul would turn his head, raise one arm and greet visitors by name and perhaps the town they came from.

At this time he was located in the Paul Bunyan Amusement Park near Brainerd, Minnesota.

Later the park closed but Paul and Babe were relocated to what is now Paul Bunyan Land, a few miles east of Brainerd.

When I visited Paul back in the day I was also photographed with a chipmunk from his tales.


Everything was outsize in the park, including my long legs.

An uncle of mine owned a cabin on Camp Lake, which was only about 20 miles away so my visit to the mighty woodsman was a natural stop on our way back to North Dakota.

11 comments:

  1. You were a long tall kid. Wonder how Paul knew your name?

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    1. The F.M. principle. Freakin' Magic!

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  2. No! No! Tell me it isn't true! I stood at the feet of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox many times in my youth in Marquette MI. What do you mean he was from North Dakota? No, no, no. He was felling trees in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Every kid in Michigan knew that! In fact, your Paul doesn't even look like my Paul! And pleazzzzzz he did not have a dog OR a chipmunk. You North Dakotans always stealing from the Yoopers!

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    1. Actually Paul left North Dakota after he removed all the trees. I found him in Minnesota. Your argument is with the Minnesotans.

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  3. Long legs indeed. Is one of them hollow? You seem a little young to be downing what looks to be a glass of beer.

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    1. I thought about mentioning that. And anyway the statute of limitations has passed. (hic)

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    2. I'm pretty sure that's an ice cream cone. But I can tell where you guys' minds are at :)

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  4. Your legs do look exceptionally long. I'm jealous.

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  5. Dang! That's a big Bunyan!

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  6. Paul Bunyan and Babe were in many places, mine in Michigan.

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2125

    Search the Roadside America site, and it seems every state got a visit from our large lumbering friend.

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