Friday, August 14, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 76: A Final Word

Minnesota Book Awards, 2001, A Man's Reach. Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

On April 20, 2001 Elmer was recognized by the Minnesota Center for the Book with an Honor Award for his memoir A Man's Reach, edited by Lori Sturdevant. "This Honor Award was created to recognize Minnesota books of unusual achievement or significance that fall outside the ten standing award categories. The Minnesota Book Awards committee is empowered to present up to three Honor Awards each year. A Man's Reach was the first book to receive this special honor since the award's creation in 1999 and is recognized as an important work that spans memoir and history in the retelling of extraordinary moments in the private and public life of Minnesota's leading citizen."

Toward the end of his speech at the Minnesota Book Awards, Elmer made this observation: "I think we're coming to the end of a materialistic age, where money was more important than anything else and the heart of a future is going to be in meetings like this. And in Minnesota, the heart of the culture is right here because it's in the expression of the poetry in the lives of people, the history of politics, the generations that have gone before that should stand as a springboard for future citizenship that will be more appreciative of our government, more respectful of the views of others, dedicated not to private gain but to public service for the welfare of all. That should be the mission of all of us."

This marks the end of the exhibit. We hope you've enjoyed this insight into the life of "Minnesota's leading citizen." We enjoyed the opportunity to share it with you.

Our special thanks to those who helped make this exhibit possible: the family of Elmer L. Andersen, the H. B. Fuller Company, and the Minnesota Historical Society. Special thanks as well to Katie Goetz for her tireless work in digging through the many boxes and files and finding some wonderful treasures; Darren Terpstra for his continuously amazing and delightful creativity and design; Karen Hoyle, Maggie Ragnow, Kathy Allen, and Elaine Challacombe for the initial ideas and assistance; and Kris Kiesling, Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections, for her energizing support, ideas, humor, and so much more. It is a pleasure to count you all as colleagues.

Tim Johnson
Curator, Special Collections & Rare Books

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