Mary Tyler Moore Immortalized In Bronze

A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate…, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile–Mara Buxbaum

Mary Tyler Moore’s passing was a huge blow to Hollywood and fans around the world; however, female journalist particularly took her passing extremely hard, but for far different reasons.

The television icon was more than just a ground breaking actress, brilliant business entrepreneur and philanthropist; she was a role model who also influenced a generation of women to become journalist.

Over a long career spanning decades, Mary Tyler Moore’s signature role was Mary Richards from the eponymously titled “Mary Tyler Moore” show.  The 70s sitcom was based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and centered around a young single career woman working as a news producer.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-9-49-51-pmThe series ran from 1970 to 1977; it received numerous awards for the cast, crew, and the star: Mary Tyler Moore (MTM). In fact, during its run the series won a record 29 Emmy Awards.  A record that stood for 25 years.

In 2001, MTM was immortalized by TVLAND when a life-sized bronze statue of Mary Richards tossing her tam into the air was unveiled. This iconic image captured the exuberance and excitement of a professional woman who ultimately did “make it on her own” in a new city and career.

When interviewed about being immortalized by a bronze statue, MTM said, “Forget about it, this is a unique situation. I never thought I’d have anything like that.”

0012The statue is exclusive to minneapolis and quite popular. Fans from around the state and the nation flock to the statue to pose for pictures and mimic the legendary hat toss.

When Minneapolis put the statue in storage due to downtown road construction, public outcry prompted city leaders to place it back on display.

Visitors to Minneapolis who wish to see the statue can find it quite easily at the visitor center. A Crow’s View suggests taking the light rail to the Nicollet Mall stop. This will allow people to avoid parking hassles and place seekers right at the statue’s location. After exiting the train, the statue is only steps away from the train station on the southeast corner of S. 5th St.

The visitor center’s hours are limited, but the statue can easily be seen from the large display windows if travelers show up after hours. Later in 2017, the city plans to return the statue outdoors for 24-hour access.

Visitor center hours are: 10:00 am–6:00 pm, Monday-Friday; and 12:00 pm–5:00 pm, Saturday-Sunday.


Visitor Center

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

MTM Statue Facts



Shifting The Paradigm

“We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human.”Charles Eisenstein

NOTE: This was a profile for a journalism class, but the story is too good not to retell here.

Patrons of the Fox Den Eatery would be surprised if they knew about the background of the clerk behind the counter. Beth Wellborn is a petite five-foot-four-inch tall mother of three who works nights at a local lottery retailer/deli  in Roseburg, Ore.

Customers are wise not to let her size fool them because she does not fit the paradigm of a person working that job. She has a combined ten-years experience working in aluminum and wood products manufacturing . During her stint in those industries, she gained experience as a machine operator and learned how to drive over sized mobile equipment, but what is most surprising is that she’s a certified underwater welder and a volunteer firefighter.

Wellborn always had a predilection for physical work that is typically dominated by men. She enjoys the challenge of proving herself in a situation where she can break the stereotype of petite woman. After suddenly becoming unemployed due to lay offs, she decided to turn the job loss into an opportunity to pursue her life long dream of becoming an underwater welder. To further that goal she researched schools and read up on becoming a commercial diver. Wellborn became a self-taught welder by working on projects around her home and started skin diving – an underwater dive without the air tanks – to gain experience in the water.

In late 2009, Wellborn loaded up her 2001 Jeep Cherokee, took $20,000 cash from her 401k, and drove to Erial, N.J., where she enrolled for classes at the Divers Academy International commercial dive school. After an intensive six-month course she graduated with her certification in SCUBA, rigging, and underwater welding; Wellborn then went to work for Precision Marine (PM) as a commercial diver. Her first underwater welding job was a four-hour project on a platform extension in the Elisabeth River Estuary in Portsmouth, Va. She also worked on dismantling wreckage, reinforcing docks, and repairing vessels in shipyards along the Eastern Seaboard.

As a young girl Wellborn wanted to be a commercial diver, and now she is one. Wellborn’s sister, Rose Wellborn, recalls that, “It was a tough time with her back there because I had her youngest son. It was hard on Beth being away for so long during the training, but she loved learning the job….”

Due to family issues Wellborn returned to Oregon. She took a job at the Fox Den Eatery and joined the Oakland Rural Fire Department (OFRD). The ORFD is an all-volunteer force that responds to emergency calls for the city of Oakland and surrounding rural areas. They meet weekly for communication meetings, gear checks, and training. Wellborn hopes that she can utilize her experience as a commercial diver to help better the ORFDs response to water-based calls. She says, “If I can’t do underwater work here [in Oregon] then I can still get in the water and maybe use my skills to help somebody….” Wellborn hopes that by volunteering with the ORFD she can make contacts that may lead to becoming a rescue diver or develop into other commercial diving opportunities. In the mean time she will continue to break the paradigm of petite women by responding to emergency calls with the ORFD.Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 7.41.08 AM