Archive for June 23rd, 2012

The Pioneer Spirit of Vernon Pick

June 23, 2012

Vernon Pick (photo courtesy of Pick’s nephew, Jim Hanson of Maple Plain, Minnesota)

The more I read of this brief biography of Vernon Pick, the more and more awestruck I became. How could one man know so much and do so much? I guess some people are just born to wield power over the material world. I am not one of them. The day I build my own dam and power plant is the day I fly to Saturn on a gasoline-powered broomstick.

Pick truly is the definition of the rugged American hero. Although his story reads like science fiction to me, I am grateful that people like him exist. Stories like his inspire me to do the best I can and be the best I can.

The following story was written by Bill Morgan of the St. Cloud Times in my home state of Minnesota.

VERNON PICK: A LIFE WELL LIVED
by Bill Morgan

People knew Vernon J. Pick was in town when they saw his red Ford pickup, long hair, battered hat and torn leather jacket.

In 1942, Pick, a self-educated electrical engineer, bought a 25-acre plot three miles west of Royalton in Morrison County’s Two Rivers Township. A four-story flourmill, built in 1875, and three-frame buildings stood beside the picturesque stream that still flows through the site today.

Pick, who dreamed someday of finding a place to erect a hydro-electrical plant, spent the next decade building a dam and a concrete structure to accommodate a power plant. Pick also used the old (more…)