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RIP Claes Oldenburg. Heaven Must Have Been Missing a Giant Spoon.

Plus another plan for Hiawatha Golf Course, a drive-in stays closed, and women win again in today's Flyover.

Courtesy of Walker Art Center

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

A Claes Act

Even Minnesotans who don’t pay much attention to art might recognize the name of Claes Oldenburg, the Pop artist who died today at age 93. And even if the name’s unfamiliar, Spoonbridge and Cherry certainly is not. While we wouldn’t want to reduce Oldenburg’s legacy to a single sculpture, we gotta local angle his obituary, right? (And yes, the S&C, created in the late ’80s by Oldenburg and his artistic/romantic partner Coosje van Bruggen, made it into the New York Times obit. And that’s where you’ll find a more considered view of the man’s career.) If you’re anything like the Racket staff, you immediately thought of his soft, giant French fries, but the Walker is stuffed with Oldenburg work. As the Times summed up Oldenburg’s aesthetic in his obituary, he “made the everyday monumental.” As Em Cassel summed him up (approvingly!) in the chat, “His whole thing was like ‘what if small thing, big.’”

Fourth Time’s a Charm?

The Hiawatha Golf Course has needed fixing for years; the area frequently floods, collecting trash and toxic pollutants. But enacting a solution has been in limbo for years, as a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on what should happen to the prime chunk of south Minneapolis real estate. Golf pros and fans want it to stay as a 18-hole course. True to form, historians want to preserve its history, as the course welcomed Black golfers at a time when most facilities were segregated. There’s also a media-savvy faction that believe the area should be turned into a Public Sex Forest. The Minneapolis Park Board will meet this Wednesday in an attempt to give their take on rehabbing it another go. Features of their proposal include nine holes of golf, a setup that should prevent flooding, new clubhouse, public art, kayak and canoe sites, public beach, new trails for bikes and pedestrians, and sustainable parking. Should the plan be deemed agreeable, it may go up to vote early August and be settled by mid-August. You can check out their master plan online. 

Has Vali-Hi Gone to Drive-In Vali-Halla?

For months, rumors have swirled about the death of Vali-Hi Drive-In. The Lake Elmo drive-in movie destination has been inactive all summer, leading its fan page to speculate about a permanent closure; city officials have been flooded with calls from fans and developers, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Biz Journal reports, demanding answers about the future of Vali-Hi. Robert O’Neil, who has owned the throwback theater since the ‘80s, hasn’t returned calls from reporters, including Racket’s. And now, the mysterious forces behind Google have weighed in: Vali-Hi is listed as “permanently closed” by the evil tech titan. That was enough for the Biz Journal to run a headline we’ve been contemplating for months: “Is Vali-Hi Drive-In in Lake Elmo ‘permanently closed'”? Sure seems that way and, if so, the Elko Speedway & Drive-in Theater remains the only drive-in within spittin’ distance of the metro. All hope is not lost, however: Michael Granica, who runs the fan page, recently told the Strib that there’s a chance O’Neil will open the place next year or sell to someone else who might.

Brand-New MN Aurora Headed to Da ‘Ship

Sports-wise (and maybe otherwise!) Minnesota continues to be the land of champion women and dud fellas. Just look at the recently dynastic Lynx and, now, the community-owned Minnesota Aurora, who just punched a ticket to the USL W League championship. Adding to the dream season: The fact the Aurora have never lost a game… ever! It’s the team’s first-ever season, and they’ve so far gone 11-0-1, culminating with Sunday’s 1-0 victory over McLean Soccer at Eagan’s sold-out TCO Stadium. “Our players did a really good job of playing true to who we are and battling through it,” coach Nicole Lukic told reporters after the game that drew 6,200 fans. Next up is Saturday’s championship game against South Georgia Tormenta FC at TCO. Here’s hoping for a perfect 2022 for the newest and best local sports team.