20you asked/jf/ twj

With a lifetime of sweet corn-eating seasons under my belt, I concluded that the normally formed ear of sweet corn always has an even number of rows of kernels. So what’s with the Seneca ear-of-corn water tower having 17 rows of kernels? I have looked at that thing all my life and always thought there was something unreal about it. My suspicions were confirmed by the Factoid in Monday’s paper. Seventeen rows of kernels indeed — fraud on the cob! — Dave Dunn, Rochester

Well, dip me in butter, you’re absolutely right, Dave. An ear of corn always has an even number of rows, generally in the range of 14 to 16 rows. But ear-of-corn water towers are different — they always have 17 rows.

How many kernels long is the average ear of corn? The answer’s at the end of this column.


BLENDED, NOT STIRRED: An item in last week’s column about the long-gone bar at the Rochester airport produced a veritable happy hour of peach daiquiri recipes. All sound rummy, except for the one with the can of frozen lemonade.


But Bill Hollenhorst of Rochester has the inside track, since his dad owned and operated the restaurants and Bill was a bartender there for several years. He says Skyways was the first restaurant in the airport terminal, opened in the early 1960s by Mel Dubbels. Bill’s dad joined the business shortly after, when the upstairs restaurant and lounge were opened. The Chanticleer Room and the Condor Lounge obviously "had a bird motif and the prime spot to sit was right by the windows so you could watch the planes take off and land," Bill says.

Sure, the peach daiquiris were a hit, but so were the onion rings and marinated beef. "Airline pilots used to call ahead to the control tower to order onion rings so they could pick them up and get back on the plane before taking off again," Bill says.

The downstairs restaurant closed in the late 1970s when security became an issue, but Chanticleer and Condor were high-fliers until they closed in the late ’80s.

OK, Bill, enough history — give us the recipe!

Here it is: One scoop of sliced peaches (canned in very light syrup), and one ounce each of rum, simple syrup and lemon juice, all blended with crushed ice.


TALLEST TOWER: Last month, I teased readers by promising to reveal at a later time the identity of the tallest structure in Olmsted County.

The magic day has arrived and it’s not the Seneca water tower: It’s the 1,056-foot KNXR broadcast tower, built in the mid-1980s about two miles north of Chester.


Read to the end of the Answer Man’s column every Friday to gain maximum wisdom. Most ears of corn are 40-50 kernels long — so if the ear has 16 rows and 40 kernels per row, you’d have 640 delicious kernels. If you want to know how many kernels long the Seneca tower is, send that question to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or

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