February 1999 Gathering at Tuscany Grill

Attendees: E&H's Mom and Dad, Allison Wonderland, medallionstallion, Radar, Green, Eags, Mr. Mags, Dave Young (with his friends Bob, Scott, and Stanley), Lady Lou and Big B (Buzz) - from Wisconsin, Inks and Terry Valentine, Q (all the way from Texas) and her Mom, Grandma Red.

Our first official STB-L! at Tuscany Grill was a great success. Katie, our waitress is the greatest. She helped us feel right at home. The place is so comfy. The meals are very reasonably priced and you get generous amounts. I'm sure we'll go back there again.

As usual, we arrived in a staggered fashion and left much the same way. Most of us were there by 6 p.m., though Q and her Mom, Grandma Red, didn't get there until about 9 p.m. Q's birthday had been earlier in February and Green's birthday was the next day (Sunday). We celebrated with cake and gifts, sang a very good rendition of Happy Birthday, and the birthday girls blew out their candles. (To avoid number confusion, each birthday celebrant had a "?" candle!)<

We visited, laughed, tried some Trival Pursuit - Baby Boomer Edition questions, and visited some more.

Allison brought a road rally from Rand McNally - "The Valentine Massacre." Stallion volunteered to copy and fax the instruction book (about 50 pages) to those that wanted to participate. The entry is due March 1 so we don't have a whole bunch of time. It should be fun to try it out though.

Q and the rest of her family will be back up in Minnesota this summer. We're hoping to do a picnic while they are here.

Lady Lou and Buzz made the trip again from Wisconsin. We've been invited to their lake home sometime in summer.

We had a great time. Allison and Stallion are good additions to the Crew. We hope they will become regulars at our gatherings.

Why Wear White Pith Helmets?

by Green

Bock a long, long time ago... In northern climes a group of folks met on the Internet to hunt a prized blue disk in a wonderful magical medallion hunt sponsored by a wonderful, loving Mom (i.e., Pioneer Press).

Many of these folks hunted at nite and the Chief Hunter - the one fullest of wisdom and hunt knowledge (Greg Sax) - suggested that all Cooler Hunters (hence forth called, as they are known today, Cooler Crew Members) wear something white on their upper body when hunting so that a) when one Cooler Crew Member came upon another in the heat (what HEAT?) of the hunt they would recognize each other and b) the white would stand out in the dark.

Many an item was worn - a diaper (New Daddy) around the arm, a sock, and even a baseball cap. And so white became the official color of The PioneerPlanet Cooler Crew, a.k.a. Coolerheads!

Time went on in this beautiful locale in the environs of St. Paul, MN... and spring came...

Some of The Cooler Crew got together for a bock hunt - hunting wooden goat heads - at a northern brewery to keep honed their hunting skills for the next Medallion Hunt. At that hunt, one Crew Member (Cheryl) gave all gathered Cooler Crew Members a white plastic pith helmet - white, as it is the Official Colour of The Crew... and a pith helmet as the original Cooler Crew Members first met at that very special, magical *hunt* - The St. Paul Pioneer Press Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt - and first and foremost are hunters!

Medallion Page: The Here and Beyond

Our Medallion Page continues to grow, now with the added shimmer of a front-page St. Paul Pioneer Press article which mentioned our place as one to come to for more medallion information. Okay, so it's not really fair to take glory when "Mom Press" sponsors our community-building efforts, but, hey, it's primarily been an online affair until this year. The e-mails are starting to pour in, some with great new ideas, offers of additional help, and fresh material to add to the site. As with any architectural effort of this magnitude, construction will always include a little help from our fine, union friends. Please continue to send whatever medallion stories and images you have on file; and if you don't have 'em on file, write 'em down. Together we will make this site a treasure trove of medallion lore.

February 1999 Gathering at Conway

Attendees (Names often given as Water Cooler Message Board handles): Snohuntress, hubby and SnoHunterJr, Ian (Micki and Kollin made a cameo appearance), Hollywood, Pablo, medallion stallion aka Stallion, SueBee, SueBees' huney, E&H's Mom and Dad with Emmy and Hannah, New Daddy with spouse and 13-month-old son (congrats on the soon to be 2nd child!) Green, Inks and Terry, Allison Wonderland, Wright Winger stopped in but couldn't stay, Wish You Were Here also made a cameo appearance, MJ with hubby TT and daughter LuLu, Eags, Dave Young, and a special appearance by Aaron Niedorf who led a parade of medallion seekers out to see where the prize had been found. Several people sent regrets that they couldn't make it because of previous engagements. We hope they can make it to one of our other events this year and the Third Annual Rehash Bash next year!

[Note from Webmaster: We will be promoting the third bash like no other. Two years in a row we've had the medallion finder(s) with little to no advance advertising. The past two years have been grand, next year will be stellar.]

STB-L! Images

images courtesy of Dave Young
for the full set, visit his Cooler Crew Photos web site.

The Obligatory Group Shot

Look at those tans. It sure don't look like the hunt is on.

Action Photo

There is something very pleasing about cards at the bar.

January 1999 STBL Gathering

Attendees (Names often given as Water Cooler Message Board handles): Eags and her friend Vickie, Eags son Magnus and his friend Brent, MJ, Green and her friend Sue not the Vet (SnotV), Radar, Dave Young, Ian and his family - Micki, Kollin and Kris, Mom and Dad, Reid - aka Goat Boy, SueBee and SueBee's Honey and his friend, last years medallion finders - Maureen Hursey, her husband Dan and her brother Steve, Inks and Terry Valentine, and two families totaling five people (including SnoHuntress and Marie G. Clark) that came because they knew we'd be there! I sure hope I didn't forget anyone. That makes 29 people!.

It was great seeing so many people all suffering from medallion fever. Some were people we knew before and others were new friends.

The two families that totaled 5 attendees included a young man named SnohunterJR who had a special Coleman shovel he brought to show the rest of us. He is a serious hunter! They had folders of information they had printed out from our web site. It was wonderful to see all that information being put to good use and being noodled over. These families have only hunted a couple of years, but they have medallion fever big time!

Some might recall Reid is the hubby of Cheryl Straight who posted quite often during last year's hunt. They had also gone to Duluth with us for the Fitger's Bock Hunt. On that note, Ian's son, Kris, found one of the three bocks found at Fitger's. That is a family of serious hunters!

Sue not the Vet (SnotV) had Winter Carnival buttons to sell. That was great. People without buttons yet had a chance right then and there to get them. (No scalping, we promise, okay Winter Carnival organizers?)>

The Legend of Joe Medallion

by Greg Sax

Most online forums have their nuisances, and the Medallion Hunt discussion group has been, unfortunately, no exception. Flamers, ranters, potty-mouths...they all turn up now and again. Oftentimes, the troublemaker will suddenly go mum as the group moderator clams them up with magic knobs and switches at Pioneer Planet headquarters. But one young fellow (at least we presumed he was young based on his k12.edu e-mail address) was a reasonable enough flamer to NOT have posting privileges taken away. He called himself many things, but mostly he was Joe Medallion.


Cooler Crew -- A History

During the 1990's, the St Paul Pioneer Press opened online discussion forums. These forums were called Water Coolers. The forums had discussion topics related to sports, politics, news, and current events. Each year, the Pioneer Planet — the online section of the Pioneer Press — opened a discussion forum as a media for hunters to discuss the clues for the Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt.

During the earlier years, one might find a few hundred posts during the hunt. As more hunters had computers, those numbers jumped. From 1997 to 1998, the number of posts increased from the hundreds to the 5-digit thousands. It was during the 1998 hunt the Cooler Crew was born.

The community spirit and teamwork displayed in the Pioneer Press Medallion Hunt thread was inspiring. The group of hunters found themselves at the end of a hunt not wanting to let go of new friendships and the camaraderie found on the Water Cooler board. The idea emerged to do what anyone would do in the middle of winter in Minnesota. A picnic in Cherokee was planned - the first Rehash Bash!

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