I was very sorry to read of the recent passing of 66-year-old Mike Stevens. Stevens left a great legacy in this area...
- The Fargo-Moorhead Walk of Fame-Stevens started it in 1989 after visiting Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Similar to Mann's Theater, Stevens persuaded more than 100 celebrities visiting Fargo-Moorhead to put their hands in wet cement and sign their names. The handprints and signatures were then displayed in concrete blocks in front of Express Press, which was Mike's business located in downtown Fargo. Stevens humbly paid for all the expenses.
Mike was a master at convincing virtually every famous person passing through the area to do the Walk of Fame. Many of them were musicians, who were in town for concerts. They include Garth Brooks, Aerosmith, Glen Campbell, Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, The Monkees and Tim McGraw. Other notables in the Walk of Fame are legendary actress Debbie Reynolds, entertainers Louie Anderson and Steve Allen, sportscaster Bob Costas, author/sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, sports greats Kirby Puckett and Phil Jackson, and entrepreneur Bill Gates.
The Walk of Fame inductions were always great events. There were large crowds, enjoyable speeches and laughs. The celebrities loved it. I had the pleasure of covering several of the ceremonies, and they were always fun. My favorite interviews of Walk of Fame inductees were with the Moody Blues and George W. Bush, a few years before he was elected president. The Moody Blues were sincere and appreciative. Bush was funny and down to earth.
The Walk of Fame has since been moved to outside the F-M Visitors Center. It's something we can all be proud of, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mike Stevens.
- Speaking of the Moody Blues, it's great to see them finally selected for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have had several outstanding concerts in Fargo-Moorhead. Perhaps the most memorable, was when they performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra at the Fargodome. That was fantastic!
- As the Bison play in yet another FCS championship game today, we should remember the vision of former North Dakota State University President Joseph Chapman and former Athletic Director Gene Taylor for their decision to move the university up to Division I. There were many skeptics and critics at the time, but nobody is complaining now. I suspect even Chapman and Taylor are pleasantly surprised that NDSU has become a perennial football powerhouse.
- Speaking of football, I love the touchdown celebrations the NFL is now allowing. There's nothing like watching huge grown men wearing helmets and lots of equipment, having a fun time.
Some of the best ones were the Kansas City Chiefs' potato sack race, the Philadelphia Eagles going bowling, the Pittsburgh Steelers playing hide-and-seek, the Baltimore Ravens having a tug-of-war, and the Detroit Lions' Rockettes dance. However, my favorite was the Minnesota Vikings playing Duck, Duck, Goose.
Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV new director. He can be heard Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., on WDAY AM radio. Email email@example.com