Morgendämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer theologirt.
Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit id es semper esse puerum.
Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
Homo sum humani nihil a me alienum puto.
Semper idem sed non eodem modo.


Verbum domini manet in aeternum. The word of the Lord endures forever.
1 Peter 1:24-25, quoting Isaiah 40:6,8. Motto of the Lutheran Reformation.

Fayth onely justifieth before God. Robert Barnes, DD The Supplication, fourth essay. London: Daye, 1572.

Lord if Thou straightly mark our iniquity, who is able to abide Thy judgement? Wherefore I trust in no work that I ever did, but only in the death of Jesus Christ. I do not doubt, but through Him to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Robert Barnes, DD, before he was burnt alive for "heresy", 30 July 1540.

What is Luther? The doctrine is not mine, nor have I been crucified for anyone. Martin Luther, Dr. theol. (1522)

For the basics of our faith right here online, or for offline short daily prayer or devotion or study, scroll down to "A Beggar's Daily Portion" on the sidebar. For what that stuff in the banner means, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar.

08 March 2009

Rochester MN

The last week or so, I notice Rochester MN has been in a tie for fifth place on my blog stats for cities from where I get visitors!

Well, guess what? That's where I grew up!

So, if the rest of the readership will indulge me, this is for the Rochester guys.

Who are you guys? Not asking for anything you're not comfortable posting at all -- your discretion only.

Now, I haven't lived there since 1968, and haven't been there since 2001, when the last of my parents died. I'm sure the Rochester of 2009 is different than that of 2001, let alone 1968. But here's a few items and questions:

1) Did the Highway 52 expansion take out the Colonial Motel across from Miracle Mile?
2) Is the Elizabethan Room still a damn cafeteria instead of a first class restaurant?
3) How about the Pinnacle Room -- still a snazzy place? Or the Kahler Coffee Shop?
4) Is there still an Eagles Cancer Telethon?
5) Are Wong's Cafe, the Green Parrot, Huey's Cigar Store and Ebb's Hobby Shop still there?
6) What was the pizza place down the street from Wong's and Ebb's? Still there?
7) How about Lucy Wilder's Bookstore and M.C. Lawler's?
8) Any of you guys belong to Trinity Lutheran Church, or where do you belong?
9) Just Rite Supermarket still there?

and finally, for those of sufficient vintage,

10) Can anyone help fill in the rest of the rap-before-it-was-mainstream jingle for King Leo's?

Just fifteen cents all you ladies and gents
Get a taste filled burger that will light up your eyes.
Want something to eat, something to drink?
King Leo's the place, and what do you think.
Plenty of parking, free ...

I'll be interested in your responses. Hell, maybe someone remembers the product name of Smith-Douglas product that used to advertise on morning KROC all the time. Bugs me that I can remember the whole thing except for sure on the product name. Trell, or something.

Wake up, wake up, the sun is on the rise,
And it's time, it's time, it's time to fertilise!
Increase the yields from your fields,
Watch your profits swell.
You never lose, when you choose,
Smith-Douglas fertiliser, with ????

PS -- other Minnesota cities showing up in the stats are Winona (about 40 miles East of Rochester, by whose bishop I was confirmed), Chanhassen, Edina, Prior Lake, Minneapolis, Cambridge and Alexandria. You guys are welcome to chime in too. Ironically, one of the cities with which Rochester is tied for fifth most frequent city location of readers is Chicago IL, where I was born. We moved to Rochester when I was three though. Oh, and the guy from Innsbruck -- I loved my time there! As long as I could make it back to the Maximilianstrasse, I wasn't lost!


Bethany said...

Past Elder,

Thanks for your post about Rochester! I work with Kahler Grand Hotel in downtown Rochester and thought I'd answer some of your questions. There's been numerous changes to the hotel since the era you're describing, so I wanted to take a minute to update you on where the Kahler Grand is today!

#2 The Elizabethan Room is no longer serving as a restaurant - it's now popular for weddings, meetings and conventions. The hotel has made multiple renovations to room over the years, and they've done a great job of maintaining the room's history and elegance. It's a beautiful room!

#3 The Pinnacle Restaurant
The Pinnacle restaurant on the roof was definitely a favorite in Rochester. Today, the top two penthouse floors are home to luxury suites that run anywhere from $400 to $3,000 a night. These floors are considered a "hotel within a hotel" called the International Hotel. The rooms are very popular with affluent international guests who are in town for medical care at Mayo Clinic. Guests who stay at the International Hotel have a "no check-in" policy, and even get personal escorts to and from the hotel!

If you ever happen to be in the area, you should definitely stop by the Kahler Grand and see how it's changed over the years. We recently opened up Martini's, a restaurant and lounge on the lobby level of the hotel. It has Rochester's largest martini menu, and looks out to downtown's new Peace Plaza. You mentioned the Kahler Coffee Shop, which is now called the "Grand Grill," but still serves up a great Sunday brunch. It's open for lunch and dinner too, along with our other restaurant, Lord Essex, which has an awesome selection of seafood and dinner entrees.

Hope that helps answer some of your questions. Be sure to stop by the Kahler Grand and say hi the next time you're in Rochester!

Past Elder said...

Thanks Bethany!

I don't have a clue what the Peace Plaza is. Some years back I recall some plans being discussed. Is the Peace Plaza what became of the Damon Parkade to the West of the Kahler -- which in turn is what became of the Damon Hotel.

Sounds like there is no rooftop restaurant these days. That was part of what was so cool about the Pinnacle -- the modern styling, and the view.

So where in the hotel is this Lord Essex located? Last I knew there was a night club just inside the door across from the Methodist.

And, Coffee Shop or Grand Grill, still got that Kahler chocolate ice cream that was the best anywhere, any time, any place?

L P said...

Not from Minnesota as you know, but I would like to ask permission if I could credit and post your exposition of sola scripture that you comment at Schultzie's place. I thought that explains well what we mean by sola scriptura.

Have you written something on this blog on it?


Past Elder said...

Certainly you can, brother.

I'm flattered that you find it useful, and ask! Thanks.

We've been having quite a shoot-out over there, huh.

I don't think I've posted anything quite like that here.

And I'm glad you're reading Past Elder!

L P said...


If you do not mind, I will cut and paste in my blog and of course, credit to you.

Hope you write some more on it, please, that was the best I have seen contra nuda scriptura.


Past Elder said...

Thanks, Lito!

Bethany said...


Thanks for your response! The Peace Plaza is an outdoor community gathering spot right outside the Kahler Grand that spans 1st Street SW between Mayo Clinic and the University Square complex. It hosts outdoor concerts, markets and events and is basically the "hub" of downtown's shopping, restaurants and attractions. It opened up in June last year, and is a really nice addition to downtown. Martini's looks out to the Peace Plaza, so it's a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a drink or a quick bite to eat.

You mentioned the Damon Parkade - that was demolished in 1998 and replaced by Mayo's Gonda Building (2001), an awesome building with a marble and glass exterior. Sounds like a lot has changed since you last visited Rochester!

You’re right, there is no rooftop restaurant anymore, but you’d be very impressed with the International Hotel that took the Pinnacle’s place! It’s the only AAA Four-Diamond hotel in Southeast Minnesota, and its typical guests are foreign dignitaries, royalty, celebrities and other A-listers from around the world. If you're ever in the area, be sure to ask for a tour, you’d be surprised at how luxurious the top two floors have become.

Just like you guessed, Lord Essex is located inside the door across from the Methodist, replacing the nightclub that you mentioned. It’s a great spot for a classy meal out and guests are always raving about the fresh seafood.

And last but not least, I'll agree that the Grand Grill still has awesome chocolate ice cream! I’m not sure if it is the same that you tried in the past, but it’s definitely delicious. The Grand Grill's Sunday morning brunch is also a must for any visitors in town – the best morning spread around!

Again, I hope that helps bring you up to speed on the latest Rochester news, especially from the Kahler Grand. Don’t forget to stop by next time you visit!



Past Elder said...

God bless me if I don't know what University Square is. Last time I looked there were no universities in Downtown Rochester. From the location you give, and some scattered memories, maybe this is the thing in front of what used to be the Chateau Theatre.

Growing up, Rochester had three single-screen (the only kind then) theatres, the Chateau, the Lawler, and the Time, all downtown. Then the mall theatres came in about high school time for me -- Apache and North-something near Silver Lake.

I'm sure there's more now, and probably not a single theatre downtown!

Bethany said...

Past Elder,

Thanks again for your reply! After doing a bit of research, I have some more answers to your questions and comments.

To start, University Square is a shopping complex (formerly the Galleria mall) located on Broadway Avenue right in the middle of the downtown skyway system (adjacent to the Kahler Grand to the east). It has a variety of independent specialty shops, national chains and restaurants too. The mall was re-invented as the Shops at University Square a couple years ago when the University of Minnesota-Rochester made it its official building. They gave the entire complex a facelift, and remodeled the third and fourth floors to be UMR’s campus. Rochester is the University of Minnesota's newest campus, and it's exciting to have a great university downtown.

You mentioned the Chateau Theatre – what a beautiful, historic building. It’s still in downtown Rochester, although today it houses a Barnes & Noble Bookstore and Starbucks Café. It was refurbished in 1994, but they maintained much of its historic elegance, including the famous sunburst design on its exterior, which I’m sure you remember!

From your comments, it sounds like Rochester has definitely changed since you last visited. Hopefully you get a chance to come back soon.



Past Elder said...

Well I had no idea there was such a thing as UMR! I wonder which building it's in, maybe the old Wards, or was it Sears? I'm sure Dayton's has long become something else. That was THE department store, and the windows, inside and out, a Christmas tradition. Along with the star on Jack Grindley's house above the river off Silver Lake.

I remember having a haircut once alongside Roy Watson in Skeet Swanger's barber shop, then in a lower level location on the "subway". Before there were skyways, that was pretty nice in Minnesota Winters!

I'm sure Roy is long gone. I don't even know who owns the Kahler now.

So what happened to the Junior College -- which probably became a "Community College". When I was a kid, it was just South of St John's, my parish growing up, then moved to the Southeast side just past the old State Hospital, which probably isn't there anymore either!

Bethany said...

Past Elder,

Roy Watson is still around! Although he’s long retired from being the president and general manager of the Kahler Corporation, I know Mr. Watson continues to be very active with our current management. Having worked with the Kahler for so many years, he’s an awesome resource for our managers. He has so much experience with the hotel and knows its history better than anyone in town. Our managers love to tap into his insight!

Sorry I can’t help answer some of your other questions – some of the things you mention pre-date me a bit. I did a bit of research, and I think your best bet is to check out Rochester’s Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site at It is designed to help visitors get acquainted (or re-acquainted in your case!) with Rochester, and I’m guessing it’ll answer a lot of your questions.

I’ve enjoyed refreshing your memory on Rochester! Hopefully we’ll see you soon!


Past Elder said...

Holy Moly, I can't believe old Roy is still around!

At the time I started second grade, we moved to the folks' "dream house" on S 7th SW just North of Memorial Parkway. For some time, there was an empty lot, a great place for a kid, me, on his way to hang out like Tom Sawyer (in his mind) at the Zumbro River.

Some years later, Roy bought the lot and built a house on it! I was bummed majorly! However, dinners at the Pinnacle and the ER being what they were, it didn't stop my patronage of the hotel!

Now I think the Zumbro itself has been tamed, with the riverbank being all landscaped and everything, so a Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer sense of things isn't possible now anyway, Roy's house or no Roy's house.

If I recall, this landscaping was a response to a flood after my time there (haven't lived in Rochester since 1968) which among other things had a fatality at an old folks home across from the Y when an elevator got trapped in the basement.

You know what -- just North of that area, the Chrysler, Dodge, Ford and Buick dealerships were all present, in an area less than the size of any one of them at the present locations!

Can I ask you one more thing? What happened to Marquette Bank? They showed up from Minneapolis after my time, but now apparently ceased to exist, and I think someone bought them but I have been unable to find out who.

I'm glad downtown Rochester has kept, or developed a new, vitality. It got pretty grim there for a while when the first malls started showing up.

Bethany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...


Unfortunately, I have not heard of Marquette Bank. Try contacting the History Center of Olmsted County ( at 507.282.9447 or at They have a quick call desk that can answer questions just like that, and give you the historical details of how the city has evolved. Hope that helps!

Take care!

Past Elder said...

Thanks for your help, and I hope you continue to visit Past Elder!

Martin Shellabarger said...

Hello, I am the step-grandson of Lucy Wilder. I remember always receiving books (what else!) from "Lucy" (she would not tolerate the word "grandmother!"), and am happy to say it made me a confirmed bibliophile. Here's to the one-and-only Lucy Wilder Bookstore!

Markk Roberts said...

I just stumbled upon this... I was born and raised in Rochester... my father once owned Huey's cigar store and I worked there as well when I was in high school and for a few years after that as well... 1978-1982 or so... Huey's was eventually sold and turned into a lawyers office for a bit, I too have been long gone from Rochester...

#6. The pizza place you are thinking of is Bilotti's, and from what I have heard... still there.


Anonymous said...

Hi Elder, I grew up on 7th Ave SW. The evergreens in Soldiers Field along 6th Ave were great for climbing. Went to Edison for grade school samee as my mom, Central for Jr High and Mayo for High School. The Edison is now the school district administration building, Central is now a parking ramp. The Jr College (Coffman Bldg) you're talking about was used for Central 9th grade. We had tunnel between the two buildings, nice in winter. It's gone too. St John's is moving. The pizza place is Bilotti's and still there. The Peace Plaza is in btween the Chateau and Mac's Restrurant. Daytons is being used by Mayo and is the south end of the University Square. Which Uof M is setting up house. U of M wants to take over downtown from there to the Y. Benny's building is still there but its a computer repair shop was a dog groomer at one time. Ebb's Hobby Shop is long gone, it's a resturant now. I spent a lot og my paper route money there. Huey's is a law firm. I really liked their limeades. Marquette is still there but a different name. Ward's is a post office and part of a motel along with Osco's. The old stone public library is still there but part of the Mayo Medical School. King Leo's now has a MacDonald's on the site. The Dairy Queen on Broadway is still there. The A&W on 4th is a take rib joint. Lot's of changes. I was gone for a long time and came back in 99.

Nancy Campbell said...

A lot of Rochester history. I was born and raised in Rochester. My dad owned a little restaurant across from the old Methodist hospital. Anton's Grill. Anyone remember that's?

Anonymous said...

markk roberts
my great grandfather started hueys cigar store