by Bruce Karnick Gas was 27 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was 10 cents, a new car was $375 and the average price of a new home was $3,224. The Dow Jones Industrial was at 75.81 and gold was $20.67 …
by Bruce Karnick
Gas was 27 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was 10 cents, a new car was $375 and the average price of a new home was $3,224. The Dow Jones Industrial was at 75.81 and gold was $20.67 per ounce. For pop culture, the number one novel was “Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis, the number one song was “Margie” by Eddie Cantor and the number one movie was The Passion Flower staring Norma Talmadge. At the time, the world population was 2,022,020,830 until three famous people were bom, Elizabeth Wilson, an American actress that died in 2015, whose career spanned 70 years with roles in TV and film. Elmer Bernstein, the American composer and conductor, famous for a huge list of movie soundtracks such as The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Rookies, Animal House, Airplane, Cape Fear and everyone’s favorite, GHOSTBUSTERS!
By now, you have figured out the famous date, April 4th, 1921, but who is the third famous person bom that day?
Lyle Biscoe of Cottage Grove was bom April 4th, 1921 and on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, residents celebrated Lyle’s 100th birthday with a parade. At the start, 64 different pieces of farm equipment, cars, trucks, tractors, lawn mowers, snowmobiles (on trailers), horses and horse drawn wagons registered to be part of Biscoe’s big day. By the time the parade started, that number was over 100. 100+ families wanted to join in on wishing Lyle Biscoe a Happy 100th Birthday.
Biscoe was bom about a mile from where he currently resides in Old Cottage Gove near 77th and Lamar. At a young age he started working on the family farm with his dad and cutting wood for nearby farmers. Biscoe eventually left the farm to try his hand at other professions. He tried meat processing and mail delivery before he landed at 3M for 19 years. Despite all his experiences, his heart was always in farming, so he left 3M and started his own farm.
“I’m now a farmers dad,” Biscoe said with a sense of pride. “I grew up on a farm, then I turned it over on my own, I run up to 1,000 acres, with the help of five boys” Lyle has been married for more than 74 years of his life! 41 years to his first wife who lost her battle with cancer and over 33 years to his current wife, Emily who is 97. Emily and Lyle met in sixth grade. He has six children, three stepchildren, and more than 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including five sets of twins!
Up until a few years back he would also do lawn maintenance for the nearby church and cemetery. Lyle continues to donate all the squash for the annual church Thanksgiving feast from his garden. To this day you can still find him outside in the summer mowing grass (his yard and his neighbor’s) or working in one of his three gardens, and in the Minnesota winter plowing/blowing snow from his driveway Biscoe, sitting in his golf cart, was in awe of the number of people out to celebrate his birthday He had no idea what was about to come around the comer.
“I know they put a lot of work into something,” Biscoe said.
The parade started with the Ames Construction company horse drawn wagon. That on its own sounds way less impressive than it is. This wag- on was pulled by six gigantic, beautiful black horses. It was a beautiful display and the perfect way to start the parade.
The parade then progressed through the history of Biscoe’s life featuring vehicles and tools that were used from the moment he was bom. An old US Postal truck that was restored delivered packages to Biscoe much like he did when he was a delivery substitute. His grand children drove or towed many of the old vehicles he drove, like his old pickup truck, an old snowmobile and lawn tractor Biscoe owned. The parade was not limited to farm equipment. Many folks joined in with their old cars that Biscoe saw growing up. As it progressed through the years, the equipment grew in size until the very last piece, a brand-new tractor and planter combination that was as big as a house. It was so new, it had not even been in the field yet.
After the parade, Biscoe was in happy shock, “I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “I can’t believe it, it was wonderful!!”
In all, the celebration was a success, hundreds of folks from the area came out to support a man that has clearly supported his area for a long time, fun was had by all, but the best part was seeing the smile on Lyle’s face that didn’t leave for the nearly 40-minute parade.
Thank you to the friends and family of Lyle and Emily Biscoe that contributed to this story and thanks for inviting us out for such a wonderful event. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LYLE!