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A Nod to the Founder
"Wow! I learned a lot trying to put together a Ghost tour. Man-oh-man Keith Rahe, you are some kind of SUPER HUMAN to pull together all those world tours. I can't fathom how much time and money you spent, absolutely amazing," Joe
Keith is the founder and creative force behind the Ghost Players. He's put together events that have amazed major production companies from Chicago to LA and is now working his magic in Dubuque, Iowa. He is the President of the Convention & Visitors Bureau & Event Coordinator of America's River Festivals. Keep it up Keith.
Minnesota Mission: Joe's Reflections
Baseball Bonding in the Dirt
Ghost Players, military personnel, and members of the Chisholm All-Stars
We did have a great group on this barnstorming adventure to Minnesota (click on the link to see the highlights video shot by Darrin and edited by DreamCatcher Productions) and we accomplished our mission to promote the Ghost Players and the state of Iowa while having a great deal of fun. In the beginning the entourage included Steve Olberding, Jim Offerman and his sons Nick and Nate, Tom Wickham, Darrin Butland and myself. Darrin had just driven in from New York state to join us.
Our first appearance was at Fan HQ in the Ridgedale Center Mall in Minnetonka MN, where manager Shaun Hagglund treated us like kings. We signed autographs and promoted the Ghost Player Events at the beautiful New Hope Cinema Grill where a screening of FIELD OF DREAMS followed the GHOST PLAYER: RELIVE THE MAGIC showing.
Next morning we were off to Target Field, home of the Twins where we met up with the US Military All-Star baseball player, Steve Evans and his father. They drove up from Arkansas, stopped by Kansas City to retrieve the Ground Zero Flag, and helped us play some ball, honor a few heroes, and created new stories to tell back home.
What a great time we had with this bunch. After the fantastic Target Field, we went to Nick Vetter's place of business, Low and Inside and met his boys, Sage and Aspen. We were their guests for a BBQ there in Lino Lakes. After the tasty lunch we put in a little batting practice at the wonderful batting cages of Tom Imdieke's, owner of Line Drive Sports, which is located right next to Low and Inside's headquarters. We had such a great time with the Vetters, we took them with us for the rest of the mission.
That evening we went to the Final Score Sports Bar to have really cold beer and excellent thin crust pizza. Don't worry the kids had sodas. It was a really great time enjoying reactions of the owner, Dennis Brennan, the staff, and patrons of the Final Score while the movie screened in the main room and back banquet area. Thanks Dennis and crew.
Reveille was oh-six-hundred so that we could be dressed and present for the line up for the parade.
The 1st Doc 'Moonlight' Graham Days Parade kicked off at 10:00 in the morning. As Ghost Players, we shared Lake Street with motorcycles, classic cars, kilted bagpipers, a Clown Band and an accordion-playing ape. Doc Graham himself honored the parade with his presence in the guise of Darrin Butland. After the parade we were treated to a sumptuous repast at the Minnesota Museum of Mining just outside Chisholm, while the documentary "Relive the Magic" was played continuously for the viewing public in their beautiful full-sized theater.
2 Ghosts and Gorilla?
No, it isn't a new TV show, it is Ghost Player fans, Darrin Butland and Tom Wickham, having a lot of fun with a musical fan.
Marv, Hank, and Shoo showed up in time to joined the entourage to tour the MN Museum of Mining's newly finished exhibit of Doc Graham. I really appreciate how dedicated those guys were to show up. We couldn't have done it without them.
Darin 'Doc' got to put his feet up in his old office chair at the new exhibits at the Mining Museum. The new galleries in the Museum were the culmination of 2 years dedicated work, planning and research. Chisholm basketball coach and retired educator, Bob McDonald donated Doc's office chair from his old Washington School office. We also got to meet Veda Ponikvar, portrayed by Anne Seymour in the film. The new exhibit recreates Ponikvar's Free Press newspaper office and shop with its original equipment. Veda was a blast, she loved us as much as we loved her.
The afternoon festivities started and I could tell Marv felt right at home. He and the team kicked off "The Greatest Show on Dirt" comedy routine by picking kids out of the crowd to bat and run the bases. Marv and the Ghosts sure have a knack at getting kids and audiences to do funny things.
Afterward the celebrity game commenced featuring the Chisholm All-Stars. We even had a few of Chisholm's ballplayers round out the Ghost Players' roster. Dwayne, Lucian, and Anthony--you guys were great.
A special treat was the presentation of the Ground Zero American Flag. Stephen "Steve-o" Evans #21 from Fort Smith, AR, currently serving in the U.S. Navy and a part of the U.S. Military All-Stars Heroes of the Diamond baseball team presented the flag to the standing, respectful crowd.
After the celebrity game the Ghost Players and crew were treated to authentic Italian homemade specialty dishes. The friendly staff at Valentini's Supper Club in downtown Chisholm served the amazing food. Thanks Paul Marturano, staff and thank you Chisholm Chamber for once again helping with the tab. It was a wonderful ending to the barnstorming tour.
The Chisholm Tour goals were to promote Iowa, the Ghost Players, our documentary and book, the US Military All Stars and the Road to Ground Zero Flag. Oh yeah, and maybe has some fun. Mission Accomplished!
Thanks Shannon, Amy and the entire Chamber, and thanks to Chisholm's Park and Rec guru Tammy and all the rest of the Chisholm community. Thanks for keeping the dream alive.
Joe "Clueless" Scherrman
Disclaimer: We are not certain how it happened but no gear went missing during this trip. As far as I know.
Steve Evans, USN, out of his naval uniform to represent the US Military All Stars. So nice to see these service members enjoying a bit of fun, one of the benefits of the freedoms they defend.