Ramsey County History podcast

Following his gubernatorial defeat in 1978, Rudy Perpich (1928-1995) spent a few years in Vienna, Austria, working as a trade representative for Control Data Corporation, but it wasn’t long before he began planning another run for the state’s highest role. Voters remembered him fondly and ushered him back into office in 1982, making him the first (and only) governor of Minnesota to serve noncontinuous terms. Perpich returned to the governor’s seat with a new outlook on bringing economic health to Minnesota, working with and not against big business. No longer the slightly rumpled and lovable character with crazy ideas, he was polished and confident and worked to attract international companies to the state. He was reelected yet again in 1986, making him our longest-serving governor. He might be remembered for the high drama he often brought to the office, which eventually earned him the nickname Governor Goofy, but he was much more than that. His legacy in the advancement of women in law and politics and in education reform lives on today.

Direct download: perpich_2_for_posting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am CDT

Growing up in Frogtown

In 1941, young Wendy Ham’s Gumpa Guy Metzger built a dollhouse—a replica of the family home at 435 Charles Avenue in St. Paul. In 2023, Wendy Ham Rossi donated the “two-story,” six-room dollhouse complete with “indoor plumbing” to Ramsey County Historical Society, a gift for which we are grateful. She also penned a companion memoir about growing up on Charles and, later, at 554 Arundel Street surrounded by the love of her grandparents, parents, and little sister, Joyce. And she graciously recorded a reading, which you can hear online. The retired St. Paul public school teacher weaves memories of the dollhouse and her two childhood homes, her love of books—especially Little Women—and her absolute distaste for household chores into a delightful story that will bring smiles to readers’ faces and likely spur memories of your own growing-up adventures from decades’ past.

Direct download: Wendy_Rossi_Final_-_5_16_24_5.58PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm CDT