Silent for nearly 30 years, Pierre speaksIt took a while to work through his agent and then go over with his lawyer what we could and couldn’t ask, but the News-Chronicle got the exclusive this week, the first interview with Pierre the Voyageur.
It took a while to work through his agent and then go over with his lawyer what we could and couldn’t ask, but the News-Chronicle got the exclusive this week, the first interview with Pierre the Voyageur.
Q So Pierre, 50 years. That’s quite a feat.
How do you stay fit?
A Well, thank you. When you’re solidly built and well made, it shows. All this fresh air keeps me young, too.
Q It seems you’re keeping up with the times,
reaching out to a new generation on Facebook.
A People drive by so fast these days, and move so far away sometimes. I thought it would be handy if they could find a little piece of Two Harbors online. I like to know where everyone’s at, and if they’re coming by on the weekend. I have to say I’m very pleased to see so many people remember me from over the years.
Q Some say your time is past. How do you see yourself fitting into the future, especially when cars are no longer going by your spot as we all use hovercrafts or teleporting for transportation?
A Some say newspapers’ time is past, too, sir. I do think there is always a space in people’s lives, whether it’s nostalgia or kitsch or an appreciation of history, for things of the past. Also, I hope hovercrafts don’t knock my head off. But teleporting right to where I am would be great. What a surprise that would be for me, people just popping out of the air in front of me all the time.
Q The News-Chronicle has made you the
unofficial face of Heritage Days. Any plans on heading down to the festivities this weekend?
A I’m so honored with that, thank you. But I think I’ll just stay where I am and welcome people into town. That might be a bit of a disruption if I came down. And I’m not the best dancer out there.
Q Right, you haven’t moved in 50 years.
Still, it must feel good to get some appreciation, given the rancor about the Honking Tree and even the kidnapping of the Chicken down the street a few years back.
A I tell you, monuments like me get nervous when other icons are stolen or vandalized. When the Chicken disappeared, it made the rest of us wonder if we were really safe. I’m grateful people look for me and wave and keep an eye on me.
Q Any thoughts about the idea of moving you to
what is expected to be a new visitors center over by Culvers?
A Well, I’ve been looking at this view of the cemetery and the ore docks and train yard for 50 years. It’s hard to imagine looking at something else after all that time. But it would make me proud to be a more official part of welcoming people to Two Harbors and the North Shore. And, really, sometimes change is good.
Q We imagine you’ve seen a lot over the years.
Anything stick out? What do you see for Two Harbors in the next 50 years?
A My view has certainly changed over the years, but even with all that, Two Harbors is still the town I’ve always loved – as the gateway to the North Shore, it offers so much to both people who live here and visitors. Having said all that, the day my neck stopped moving is certainly a memorable one to me as it limited my vision. I hope I’m around through the next 50 years to see how things change, but I also hope that the things that make our area so special – the natural beauty and the outdoor opportunities – stay the same.
Q Speaking of the neck, any chance you’ll be getting back into your childhood form?
A I have to say the not talking part was a relief. After so many visits, it’s tough to come up with anything original and the last thing I wanted to do was sound phoney. As for the lighted eyes, well, it was a nice attempt but I think it scared some kids. And it gave me a pain in the head worse than the neck thing. I’m pretty much happy with how I am now. Wouldn’t mind a few patches and maybe a paint job though.
Q So this “pantless” thing. Experts say your dress is
actually pretty accurate to the real voyageurs. Are you simply using that tag to capture attention?
A Oh my, no. You don’t think this outfit makes me look ... pantsless? Perhaps it’s a trick of the light.
Q As you celebrate 50 years, what would you like to say to the people of Two Harbors or your many visitors over the years?
A I would like to thank everyone for sharing their memories and photos of me, and for keeping me in mind when they drive through town. I am merely a tiny part of the great things we have in Two Harbors and along the North Shore, and if I can embody that for people, then I feel I’ve done a good day’s work.
Visit Pierre at Facebook.com and search for “Pierre the Voyageur.”