Since I first issue is all done, I thought I’d present some “extras” that our research uncovered. The 1983 book Where the Good Men Are is “a look at the most interesting single men of the Twin Cities.” Amidst all sorts of guys (some of whom may appear later on this blog or in Erin & Aaron), one entry stood out: R.T. Rybak, then 28 and working for the Minnesota Star and Tribune. I’ve transcribed the entirety of the write-up below in case the image doesn’t show up well. Feel free to reblog if you want Erin & Aaron to interview Mayor Rybak for the next issue of the zine.
“Just when they think they have you figured out, throw a curve.”
R.T. Rybak is a 28-year-old reporter for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune whose only regret in life is that he “didn’t learn a language well, including English.” He describes himself as a “happy” person who fits i almost anywhere and likes people. R.T. finds his work interesting because he doesn’t let it get boring and it allows him to go places “that should never let me in.”
A colorful dresser and a good dancer, this Minneapolis-born humorist “hangs out” at First Avenue and enjoys eating at Black Forest Inn. Occasionally, he’ll whisk away to the Wisconsin Dells for a weekend. New York City, he jokes, would be his favorite vacation spot “if it had a better beach.” The same city was the site of his most dangerous venture: “walking through Harlem on a Saturday night.”
To keep in shape for such events, R.T. works out twice a week, swims, plays softball, cross-country skis, and “walks all over downtown.” All of this activity notwithstanding, his favorite sport is “parallel parking” his 1976 Vega. Why does he drive a ‘76 Vega? “If you could afford one,” he asks, “wouldn’t you?”
Educated at Boston College, R.T. returned to the Twin Cities lamenting the fact that the bars close too early, and hoping to deter the construction of “more ugly buildings” in downtown Minneapolis. He also returned with a goal — to “[have] the opportunity to talk to everyone in the city.”
R.T. would be particularly interested in talking to a woman who “could spend half the night discussing abstract art and the other half rolling in the mud.” (Interested women should note that his favorite animal is the otter, who “can have fun just sliding down rocks.”) A woman with similar pursuits might meet R.T. at Lund’s or “in the back seat of the number 6 bus.” If she acts smart (better yet, if she is smart) and “has smile lines” around her eyes, chances are she won’t get away from him too quickly.
What’s the most exciting thing he’s ever done on a date? “Looking through all the papers at all the things going on in the city that night, then turning out the lights.” This type of behavior is no doubt enhanced when you consider R.T.’s stated ability to “turn lights off and on with my toes.” Asked to express his opinion of family life, R.T. admits that “the greatest advantage is that no matter what you do, they will never leave you. [And] the worst aspect is that no matter what you do, they will never leave you.”
Somewhat camouflaged by R.T.’s joking is a very serious side. He abhors “negativism, defeatism, distrust… [and] the horrors of U.S. foreign policy.”His hero is William O. Douglas “because he was an example, not just a mold.” And, were R.T. to become President of the United States, he wouldn’t hesitate to “make the First Lady sell the new dishes.” Well, so much for being serious. But what do you expect from a man who, if given the chance, would trade occupations with the host of his favorite TV program — David Letterman?