My June 2, 2005 interview with Chuck Strinz, writer and producer of a TV show featuring the Hastings Spiral Bridge that debuted on Twin Cities Public Television and other PBS affiliates on June 27, 2004 as part of the Grand Excursion 2004 celebration.

Q: What is the name of the TV show featuring the spiral bridge?

A: The show is called "Back On The Mississippi -- Hidden Trails, Offbeat Tales".

Q: What is the show about?

A: It's been described in the Pioneer Press as a "humorous travel documentary." I describe it in more detail as a film that "reveals some of the more interesting oddities on the Mississippi’s shores. It ties the best of the past to the realities of the present, with a tone that is definitely on the offbeat side."

Q: How can I find out more about the show?

A: You can check out the show's production website, www.backonthemississippi.com . The show is the work of Strinz Creative Inc. and ZIBI Video, LLC., now incorporated as Back On The Mississippi, LLC.

1. When you're there, click on the Paper Clip icon to see a clip from the show (streaming video). The clip happens to be the one about the spiral bridge. Unfortunately, they cut it in the middle, before the crew went to the spiral bridge replica that Steve Bauer and his "band of Merry Craftsmen" created.

2. There are some other fun things on the site, like promos, news clippings, radio features about Back on the Mississippi (all in the PR section -- click the newsboy icon). There's also a short blog about making and promoting the show (click on the Updates Clock icon).

3. My Pioneer Press article is on the "Back on the Misssissippi" web site, too, along with a piece I wrote for the Star Tribune about Duluth that's kinda cool.

Q: Where has the show aired?

A: It aired on Twin Cities Public Television last June and July (2004), and was viewed in over 100,000 Twin Cities households. Since then, it has been seen on or is slated to be seen on about 30 other PBS stations and networks across the country. On Sunday June 5, 2005, it was on in Knoxville and Topeka. So some people in eastern Tennessee and central Kansas will know about the famous Hastings Spiral Bridge next week than they do today.

Q: How can I get a copy?

A: Three ways: Call the toll free number, order on-line, send a check. The details are found by clicking on the Flotsam and Jetsam icon at the top of the home page of www.backonthemississippi.com. VHS is $19.95, DVD is $24.95, both plus $5, S&H. Note the correct toll-free ordering number is 1-800-525-8474, not the one posted on the web site as we speak. Or just be happy knowing the show is out there. Nobody in California picked it up yet (call your local affiliate and bug them!). The show was aired in Washington and Oregon, but nowhere else on the west coast.

Q: How did you like my web site?

A: I really like your web site. All content, minimal form. That always appeals to me. The info about Castle Rock was interesting. I tried to find it once or twice, but never got out of the car to ask permission. Too bad. It would have been a nice addition to the other stuff in "Back On The Mississippi". Thanks for putting up the link to my Pioneer Press article.

Q: What else is new?

A: I read in today's (June 2, 2005) Pioneer Press that there are going to be some town meetings about constructing a landing and docks just upstream from the present bridge. Fastest way to the Pioneer Press (sez me, anyway) is www.pioneerplanet.com.

Q: How can people reach you?

A: The best address to reach me is cstrinz@comcast.net

END OF INTERVIEW
Alan Lubke of www.ojlubke.com


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