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You Know You’re From St. Cloud If…

Aerial Shot of Downtown St. Cloud
Downtown St. Cloud by air. (Steven Sohlstrom,

This fall I’ll be celebrating my 25th anniversary of moving to and becoming a citizen of St. Cloud.  That got me thinking about all those wonderful things that make our area what it is.  So I put together a list.  Help me out — tell me how you would finish the phrase, “You know you’re from St. Cloud if…”  Here’s my list to start things off.

A nickel

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

…you love a bargain so much, you ask someone at a garage sale if they’ll take a nickel for something marked at a quarter.  

…you repeat the rumor (or maybe truth — I don’t know) about the Dairy Queen on 25th Avenue being the highest grossing DQ in America!

…you know about the old Apollo High School unit of time measurement – “the mod.”

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

Paramount Theatre …you can easily translate “Stearnie” into the more mundane language known as “Minnesotan”, hey!  (Oh, for not!)

…you’ve explained to a “newcomer” the history of the phrase “Stearns County Syndrome.”

…you ever necked on a movie date at the Paramount Theater.

…you’ve seen several community theater musicals up-close-and-personal at County Stearns.

Beer Glass

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

…you ever put on pajamas and headed downtown for a cartoon kegger during SCSU Homecoming Weekend.

…you understand and have taken part in the cultural phenomenon that is “Thirsty Thursday.” (Hiccup.)

…you can remember when the “Trader and Trapper” was pretty much the edge of town.

…you went to DeSoda’s just because it was “the” place to be and be seen.

St. Cloud Superman

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

…you ever shopped at Fandel’s Department Store.

…you shake your head every time you see the building that replaced the “Saffron Sorority House.”

…you had to answer the question “What’s up with that guy dressed like Superman?”

…you’ve felt bad about someone referring to our city as “White Cloud.”

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

Municipal Stadium, 1961

…you first heard about the Beaver Islands near St. Cloud State not because of it’s a recreational trail, but because of the “Vampire Murder.”

…you’ve partied at the granite quarries – and lived to tell the tale.

…you wonder whatever happened to home plate from the old St. Cloud Rox Park. 

…you went to Dick Putz Field to see President George W. Bush.

…you don’t care that technically, it’s Minnesota Highway 23 – you’ll call it Division Street if you want to!

Knife and Fork

You know you’re from St. Cloud if…

…you would list “giant popover with honey butter from Anton’s” as part of your final death row meal.

…you know the satisfaction of feasting on fresh white bread and bologna for lunch at the Pearl Lake Lodge.

…you already have next year’s date for  Trobec’s Chicken Fry marked on your calendar .

Mexican Village enchiladas

…you tell friends they have to go to Val’s Rapid Serve if only to place their order by touchscreen in the little burger shack.

…you miss the “Anytime Special” at the Townsedge Café.

…you ever took a bunch of friends and family to the Mexican Village on your birthday so you could get a free meal.

…you took home your meal from McMillan’s because you filled up on the soup and salad bar.

Mighty Ducks, Catch Me If You Can VHS tapesYou Know You’re From St. Cloud If…

…you can remember going to the dollar theater downtown – but paying full price for concessions.

…you have a VHS copy of filmmaker and native son Stephen Sommers’ first movie “Catch Me If You Can” because it was filmed here and you hoped to spot people you know.

…you nosed-around the Stearns County Courthouse, hoping to get a glimpse of Emilio Estevez shooting the Mighty Ducks back in 1992.

You KNow you’re From St. Cloud If…

Jacob Wetterling

…you know 5 people who worked at Fingerhut.

…you refer to the Electrolux plant as Frigidaire or Franklin — anything but Electrolux.

…you can rattle-off to friends and relatives who come to visit the reason Clemens Rose Garden came to be.

…every time you cross the “Bridge of Hope,” you still wonder if Jerry and Patty Wetterling will ever find out what happened to their son, Jacob.

Help grow our list.  Add your two-cents below by finishing the phrase, “You know you’re from St. Cloud if…”

(PHOTO CREDITS: St. Cloud Downtown: Steven Sohlstrom,; Nickel: Flickr user yaybiscuits123; Paramount Theatre: St. Cloud Heritage Preservation Commission via YouTube; Beer Glass: iStockPhotos; St. Cloud Superman: Abby Faulkner, WJON News; Rox Stadium: Stearns History Museum Archives; Knife and Fork: iStockPhotos; Enchilada Plate: Mexican Village website; Mighty Ducks and Catch Me If You Can VHS cases: Amazon; Jacob Wetterling: Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.)



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