Sunday, September 23, 2007

What about Sam?

Hey, whatever happened to that proposal to rename Grand Forks' Town Square to Sam Silverman Square? I never even got the chance to really meet Sam, but I thought this was a fabulous way to memorialize one of this area's most prominent businessmen and memorable figures. I assume that all the city council would really need to do is issue a proclamation of some sort and buy a new plaque.

I would support either Sam Silverman Square or simply Silverman Square. Actually, I've thought about this and I'm a bit partial to Silverman Square...keep it short and sweet. It would still be honoring Sam and it seems like most cities usually apply only a last name to a public space like this...at least that's what was usually done in the past. I would be happy with either, though.

I've also mentioned this before...how about naming something in town after Hugo Magnuson? He was another prominent local figure whose name - like Sam's - is now synonymous with business in Grand Forks.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Silverman Square - got a nice ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas. Both men were great businessmen with a humbleness about them. They did a lot for the communities and it would be very nice to have a lasting memorial to them.

Anonymous said...

No.

Anonymous said...

They both did a lot for themselves. Their families should be honoring the community for making them rich men. How about honoring someone who gave selflessly?

Charlie said...

I can hardly believe what I read in the two previous anonymous posts.

Did a lot for themselves?! You have to be kidding! Hugo Magnusson and Sam Silverman were the most generous guys on this earth. They not only shared what they worked hard for, they took time to make even the littlest guy feel like he was someone. I can attest for that on a personal level. To name an existing structure after either one of those incredible community-minded individuals would be the very least we could do to show respect.

Perhaps the above posters never had the opportunity to know either of those fellows; either that, or you've not experienced enough years in your own life to appreciate the kindness, wisdom, and generosity of what increasingly appears to be a vanishing breed.

Shame on you. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the cement slab with the concrete steps located on 32nd Ave about where the 32Ave Hugo's is located? It a was an abandoned parking lot and foundation for a new store coming to GF. An Osco-Buttrey building that was abandoned. Once the mayor & city council found out it was to be a competing grocery store and they wouldn't allow them to keep the Osco pharmacy downtown. Maybe the two posters know more about some people than you give them credit for.

I doubt Sam Silverman would have done such a thing but Hugo was well known for it.

local boy said...

With all due respect to Hugo Magnuson, his family was responsible for shutting down the Minnesota Dairy plant in Grand Forks. Hugo and his son Curtis opted to save a few pennies and go with Bridgemann dairy, costing Grand Forks' Minnesota Dairy an amount of business so large, the plant was forced to close, costing many Grand Forks folks jobs. Sam Silverman Square yes, Hugo, no. He has many "monuments" already, they are called "Hugo's" supermarkets.

justme2003 said...

I'm another that is all about naming town square after silverman, I prefer SIlverman Square. But I do not support naming anything after Hugo Magnuson.

Anonymous said...

I am a new person to the area, so I do not know the history of the community very well. The angry post about how much either Silverman or Hugo did to the community does not explain what they actually did - can someone explain? Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Family dispute betwee Sam, Steve, and Robin Silverman. Steve moved store to southend and closed. Sam came south later but closed too. Times change. How about Hoffman Square, for Honest John (clothes and fireworks) and Honest Bob. I shared an office in city center mall with Sam and bought my first wedding suit from Sam. Sam was a modest man, he would not want a plaque. anon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, tough crowd tonight concerning Sam and Hugo. Let some time settle and heal tough business deals, they say behind every fortune there is a crime ? Is there ? anon.

Anonymous said...

What exactly was their contribution to our community besides getting rich (although nothing wrong with that!) and making a couple of donations? Is that enough to name places after them?

Anonymous said...

Hugo was a decent man who lived a pretty humble life. I think his employees would attest to that. He was Mayor of Grand Forks and quietly built his business to what it is today. Saying he made a "couple of donations" is insulting to all the years he personally helped employees and community groups.

Charlie said...

Behind every great fortune there is a crime---de Balzac. Ah, yes...great quote. And "tough crowd tonight," accurate statement.

It bothers me, I guess, that we are quick to condemn the success of others who have a proven track record. The above quote sums up my association with Hugo Magnusson, as well. One only needs to notice the longevity of his employees to realize there was something decent about the man and his philosophy regarding humanity. It would have been difficult to find a more kind person who had time for everyone. Granted, he had to make some tough business decisions along the way; not much different from any of us would have done.
Sam Silverman? Legendary...simply an example of the contrast of today's community versus that of his era. The trust and belief he had in his fellows were exemplary, shown again and again as he helped those who were without means to buy decent clothes to make the right first impression at a job interview. If he made a single mistake, it might be that of allowing the roof to built over Third Street---and even with that, he was a visionary, preceding Columbia Mall by years.
To say thanks in a small way by attaching a person's name to a structure---a way of reminding those that follow of values that seem to be eroding, yet are integral to society, reminding them by the examples of men who exhibited those values---seems a decent thing to do.

(And I am also encouraged by the politeness of others that have contributed to this discourse, btw.)

ec99 said...

I remember Hugo used to drive from store to store picking up receipts, instead of hiring an armored car. I thought that was a little crazy.

Anonymous said...

In light of recent failures of the federal government and local communities to effecively deal with flooding, maybe Pat Owens did more than she has been given credit for. I think Pat Owens Square would be more reflective of downtown as it exists today.

Zaya said...

One thing has always stood out to my husband about Sam Silverman: This is the way I understand it, doesn't mean it's 100% correct. If anyone can elaborate, please do so. Years ago when someone damaged the lights for the trees by the Demers overpass into downtown, the city wasn't going to replace them due to the cost. Sam Silverman bought new lights for the trees and donated them to the city. He doesn't even celebrate Christmas, but felt it was important enough to the town as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Pat Owens ! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

how about establishing a moron honor roll in place of a memorial plaque. Previous blogger would be the first inductee.

Anonymous said...

The pumpkin patch at Nelson's north of Emerado is AMAZING!! Incredible value ($2/person) with lots of activities, including a hay ride, corn maze, Haunted Hallow walk, kids games. Great place for families.

Anonymous said...

how about "Fighting Sioux Square"?

Anonymous said...

To anon - I am sure Hugo was a decent man and helped his employees - is this a reason to name a square after him? I am looking for concrete examples - what did Hugo do to our community that was so outstanding? I am not trying to insult his family here, I am just looking for justification of naming the square after him. Why not name it after a bunch of other decent men who help their employees and build their businesses humbly?

Anonymous said...

I personally like Walmart better than Hugo's for grocery shopping, so I think we should name the square after Walmart.

ladybug said...

Oh no, don't start the Wal-Mart debate all over again. :-)

ben said...

I think that the square shouldn't have a name after some particular person. Everyone has contributed to the building of that square, and downtown as a whole through hard work, tax money, and staying (or coming) to a town after a major disaster. I think the whole town should be honored in some way through the name, not just one person. The two people mentioned as possible namesakes are deserving of community honors, but maybe something different.

C. Y. said...

I agreed with Ben, let's call it "Taxpayer Square."

Charlie said...

Or perhaps we can simply leave it unnamed.

Really. That'd be okay, too.

Anonymous said...

I like it ! Pat Owens Square. It has a nice ring to it too. Wal Mart Square that was funny. There often is a crime behind most family fortunes. Car dealership, Printing Business, keep the thread going. How about the counterfeiters at GF Herald ? anon.

Anonymous said...

Both Hugo and Sam were great businessmen, who's stores brought a lot of jobs to this community. Several of my family members have worked at one or more of the Hugo's locations and they were always kind and friendly people to work for. I also know personally that Mr. Hugo Magnuson was a friendly caring man who went out of his way to help people. So, YES let's name the square after a great man who was also the mayor of Grand Forks. If MARILYN can have a lift station or anything in town named after her let's atleast name soemthing after someone more prominent in the city's sucess.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if greenglass also thinks there are no homosexuals in Iran...

Matthew said...

It would save everyone time and all of us money of they left it unnamed.

Whistler said...

I'd like to say that I knew Sam well and would love to see him associated with the Downtown square.

I didn't know Hugo Magnussan well but I respect him for being a great businessman. However his name is on a number of large buildings in town and that's a pretty good recognition.

I think the voters let people know about the job that Pat Owens did.

Anonymous said...

Pat Owens and other leaders in both cities took it on the chin after the flood. It was predicted that everyone would be in a big group hug for a year and then the anger would rise. I admired her courage and leadership then and I still do. She learned how to lead by working for several mayors over the years-I think Hugo was one of them.

Anonymous said...

The Marylinn Hagarty thing is pretty embarrassing. She shamed the city of GF into naming a poop house after her. She kept writing about it until a couple guys felt really sorry for her...it was so dumb.

river man said...

What about the "Citizen Square"... Sure Sam, Hugo and others made great accomplishments to this city. But this city wasn't built built by them alone. It took thousands of people over a 110+ plus year period. Each person in this community, past and present, has added something to the the greater Grand Forks area. Small contributions are just as important as big contributions.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn Hagerty had a running gag about the lift station. I would guess the men who made the two signs had as much fun with it as she did. What's so embarrassing about that?

ec99 said...

Pat Owens was an object lesson in how not to run a campaign. While people wanted to move on, her speeches continued to harken back to the flood, until voters got sick and tired of hearing about it. In retrospect, what we got for a mayor afterward, a guy who ran as an outsider, but who immediately became an insider, was no better.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Rudy Giuliani.

Anonymous said...

Here's a new idea: How about Memorial Square? Then, in a few years we can tear it down and build condos in its place.

Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

Re: what about Sam. "I never even got the chance to really meet Sam". That statement is a bit confusing. You stated in your profile you are a lifelong resident of Grand Forks; yet you never met Sam ? What's up ? greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

My family shopped at Sam's store for years & I never once saw him in person. What's your point greenglass4?

I do miss Tom Szymanski though.

GrandForksGuy said...

"Re: what about Sam. "I never even got the chance to really meet Sam". That statement is a bit confusing. You stated in your profile you are a lifelong resident of Grand Forks; yet you never met Sam ? What's up ? greenglass4."

Why is that confusing, greenglass? If you've read my posts over the last couple of years, you would know that I'm in my 20s. Other than that little store he tried to start up a couple of years ago by SuperOne, Sam hasn't sold suits for years so I never was a customer of his. Of course I used to see him around town now and then, but only in the sense that someone would say "Oh look, there's Sam Silverman." I'm a lifelong resident of the Grand Forks area, but most twentysomething males in Grand Forks probably never got the chance to meet Sam.

BTW....since when have you started calling other people's statements confusing? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Anonymous said...

Ive lived here since for 21 years and I never met Sam either...

Anonymous said...

Well by looking at your photo and profile I thought you were in your 40's or 50's. Most of the people I know bought their first suit or second from Sam in the 1980's or for many in the 1960's. Buy our work boots and jeans from Honest John and fireworks and bikes from Honest Bob. Did anyone get their hair done by Cher of the Heaqdhunters ? A whole story there. But back to Sam. Many and most people I know either worked for Sam or bought several suits and ties there, that was my point ! greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know of an educator who has had a profound and longlasting impact on the community- College or K-12? IF there's a drive to name the square something other than Town Square, which is a fine name, why limit it to a businessperson? It's Town Square, not Retail Square.

Anonymous said...

I think it's quite fitting that Marilyn Hagerty has a lift station named after her. I've always equated her writing ability with human waste.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, for the life of me, I've never been able to figure out how a woman who writes so inanely, at a third-grade level, has made a living in "journalism."

ec99 said...

Fairly simple: Mike Jacobs was the protégé of her husband, Jack. He'd never get rid of her, despite her twaddle.

GrandForksGuy said...

"Well by looking at your photo and profile I thought you were in your 40's or 50's."

Greenglass, you're starting to scare me again. My profile and my picture lead you to believe I'm in my 40s or 50s? My picture is of the smiley faced water tower in town and my profile reads "GrandForksGuy is a lifelong resident of the Grand Forks area and a news junkie when it comes to local matters. Politically, he leans towards the left, but you won't find much national politics in his blog...just discussion of the events and happenings that make up life in Grand Forks." with my interests listed as "Grand Forks, North Dakota, University of North Dakota, Blogs". I've always repeatedly mentioned that I was very recently still a UND student. What's leading you to think I'm in my 40s or 50s?

Anonymous said...

For the record...

GFG, I've always considered you a young man in your 20's. Why? That's simple, you still live in G.F. ;-)

Anonymous said...

GFG-

I guess I haven't given a lot of thought to your age. As a mostly life long resident of EGF/GF, I appreciate your positive comments and quite frankly, am impressed that you have such knowledge of the people and history of greater GF. So thankyou. And I hope you are not a water tower or I'm in trouble just like greenglass.

Anonymous said...

Campells fresh has a "for rent" sign on it, and there is no activity what-so-ever

Anonymous said...

Are you saying Marilyn Hagerty and her writing is crap ? The hammer and nails talking to her sister in Arizona, is that crap ? Her husband was editor of GF Herald. How about the counterfieters at the GF Herald ? They printed $20 bills and also at Commercial Printing in EGF. They were passed all over Europe and they were caught at Canadian border. Little more interesting than food places closing. greenglass4.

Whistler said...

Sam used to be in the store everyday even after he had given up control of the store. I'm fuzzy on the time frame but I think that he and Steve had a falling out about 1995 or so and he was no longer in the store.

But when he was in the store I greatly admired that he always said hello to every customer as they walked through the store. If you remember Silvermans used to be the best way to enter the mall from the parking area. Lots of people would walk right through but Sam always greeted them.

MattFacingSouth said...

Greenglass, reading you is more interesting than listening to Art Bell.

Why, you ask?

Because your accusations and non-sequitur paranoid-freak-out style posts are just plausible enough to either get someone thrown in jail or get your own butt sued for libel. Either way, they're entertaining.

I need a bucket of popcorn.

MattFacingSouth said...

... and a shower.

river man said...

Our tax dollars could be used on more worthwhile projects than renaming a town square. If it is going to be renamed, funds should come from private donations instead of the city coffer. (Although it should cost less than $500 to rename the square) My final word on the matter, leave the square as is!

Anonymous said...

Well mattfacingsouth or north, at least Art Bell was interesting ! Well here is your shower and popcorn. Jail is good for criminals and good for GF Herald workers and former owners of Commercial Printing of EGF. As far as libel lawsuit, when it is the truth, it is not libel. greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary. You live in a glass house yourself. Let's not go throwing stones.

Anonymous said...

I think both men are deserving of this honor but I don't have any of the facts others have on the subject. But I doubt if either family would want so much debate.
If the naming rights can't raise money for some worthy cause by calling it Acme Corp Square after some Fortune 500 Company.
Then how about Fido Purpur or Serge Gambucci they have an arena named after them but what they did for Grand Forks and Hockey is as great a civic achievement as either of these business leaders.
Just google Fido Purpur and see who has more listings.

Anonymous said...

I hate to have the last word in all this but I should have known the issue was resolved but no one came back. Since I moved long time ago but remember both people as a teenager would not being privy to the inside of the facts.
So if you can name a football stadium after a bank. Why not try and make a free money?
I suppose this blog will stay until the domain or host expires but the question is still floating around in cyber space. A forgotten book in the basement of the library that survived the flood of 96.

Anonymous said...

Sam Silverman was a sweet man, with a cute sense of humor. I only met him a few times, my mother used to work for his quite a few years ago. His business was always a nice place to be, and he was always a happy person, one you always want to be around. To have Town Square named after him would be a great honor to not only him but also all of the amazing businessmen/women like him.