The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota

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running with Dutch windmills
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Post by running with Dutch windmills »

young dumb and ugly @ Feb 26 2005, 05:13 AM wrote: Ill be going to Rushford, Minnesota this summer to visit some relatives.  Is thatanywhere near Darwin? 
It's about 200 miles NW of Rushford or 70 miles West of Minneapolis.

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Post by Orthography Enthusiast »

Since we're coming upon, if not actually already arrived at, Spring Break, when I CONCLUSIVELY PROVED that the epic vacation referenced in TBBOTIM must have occurred (see upthread), I decided to celebrate by posting a link to this fun little discussion of the twine ball from another message board.
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Post by scottidog »

hehehe... good find OE. Is it any wonder I voted for you for Best Way Surfer? I liked this one:

Imagine if you will, Southeastern Minnesota. Sun and rain intermittently poured on my 89 Acclaim (which would travel its 100,000th mile later that day). I was northbound on U.S. highway 52 (beside which I once made my home in Rochester, MN) towards the Twin Cities and my eventual destination, Darwin and its Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. My belly was full from the generous meal I helped myself to at Rochester's Old Country Buffet with 4 good friends.

I reached Interstate 494 without incident, and passed several landmarks known well to me from the months I spent living in MN. The airport, and the Mecca of Capitalism (Mall of America, otherwise known as). Upon setting tire upon that famed stretch of highway, I made sure to put in the UHF soundtrack by Weird Al Yankovic, on which the Twine Ball itself is immortalized. I then happened upon US 12, which would take me directly into the heart of Darwin.

I had to endure trials and tribulations, such as being stuck behind campers and pickup trucks. Who are these knaves to impede my journey to my calling, thought I? Why do they torment me so by having me drive at 45mph in a 55mph zone (when I would be doing about 62mph)?

But eventually, I truly did reach the fabled town of Darwin. Quickly, I put UHF back in the tape deck, in time to hear the great song by the immortal Weird One, "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota". Soon, I saw a blue sign on my right that stated "HOME OF THE TWINE BALL" and an arrow to the left. With bated breath, I put on my turn signal and successfully negotated the turn which took me down Main Street, and towards the Twine Ball.

I first saw the heralded "Twine Ball Inn," and my spirits rose, for that very establishment is mentioned in the song.

Then, on my left, across a side street from the Twine Ball Inn, I saw it. I saw the object that men have dared to only dream of seeing in their lifetimes. I saw the beacon which serves as a monument to all that was once good in the world -- and what could be again.

I saw The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.

Children played in a playground across Main Street, heedless of the gift it is to be them, growing up in the very shadow of the Twine Ball. A park bench was near it as well, to comfort weary travelers who have made and will make the journey I completed.

Quickly, I parked the car and got out with my camera. The Twine Ball was shielded from the elements and vandals by a large pagoda with plexiglass surrounding it, and a guestbook next to it (which I promptly signed).

The Twine Ball itself is, from memory, about 15 feet in diameter. So it is very big. But its height is somewhat less, as it is not a perfect sphere (such are the tolls of gravity and porting the Twine to this, its current resting place).

Unfortunately, my quest for Twine Ball merchandise turned up nil. Even the famed Twine Ball Inn was closed for the day, since it was Sunday. A local tavern was the only place of business open, and it sold no Twine Ball items.

I took pictures of the Twine Ball Inn, the Twine Ball itself (of course) and other Darwin/Twine Ball features. I happened upon two employees of the Twine Ball Inn, who were kind enough to take my picture next to the Twine Ball. Unfortunately, I was so overwhelemed by its grandeur and the excitement of being in Darwin that I forgot to ask their names or to take a picture of them, to immortalize them in my photo collection.

So, finding naught save for the legendary Ball, I headed out of Darwin. Will I ever return to this sacred ground? Will I remember not to come on a Sunday? Will I stop and have a beer at the tavern in town? Perhaps "no" is the only answer for those questions, but one thing I will always know in my heart of hearts:

I have seen the Twine Ball, therefore I am.

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Post by weird_el »

OE, as much I like your theory (and believe it has merit), it is possible to freeze rhubarb so it can be used at any time of year. On my way to Minneapolis in late December, I enjoyed some rhubarb pie at a great pie joint called the Norske Nook. Sure, it was from frozen rhubarb, but it was still plenty tasty.

Coincidentally, I ate at the Norske Nook the day I visited the Twineball, but I wasn't thinking and I didn't order the rhubarb pie -- I had the raspberry sour cream pie.

...and that post above me is a delightful read.
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Post by Carol »

My mom has a rhubarb plant. She makes loads of pies. She grows more than we eat in your average summer so yes, she freezes it. I HATE it.
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Post by Kevbo1987 »

Very nice find, OE! I enjoyed reading about people's twine ball experiences. There seems to be a great deal of Al fans on that site.
Oh by the way, I've cracked the code.

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Post by Orthography Enthusiast »

My theory had at least as much to do with the sunset times as the rhubarb season. But I still submit that if you're going to be making homemade pie, it makes more sense to make rhubarb in the spring and apple in the fall. At least that's the way my mom did, with the rhubarb plant out behind the barn (right between the barn and US Hwy 101, just in case my upbringing is sounding TOO rural!)

I liked those twineball visitors. Their brains have obviously been thoroughly marinated in Al's song. Their lives will be the better for it. :P
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Post by algonacchick »

I liked the Twineball story Bobbi quoted. I'll have to look at the rest of them, OE, but that's a cool find!
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Post by twinkieweinersandwiches24_7 »

just for the record, one of my personal favorite Al orginals. wonder if Al's taken Nina to see TBBOTIM yet...
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Post by Orthography Enthusiast »

twinkieweinersandwiches24_7 @ Mar 24 2005, 12:09 AM wrote: wonder if Al's taken Nina to see TBBOTIM yet...
Probably not, but he's taken her to Hawaii, so she's not being TOTALLY neglected, poor kid. :P
"Weird Al" has a charisma that's all his own. The awkward, the misshapen, the socially inept flock to his banner.

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