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Buzz over Obama visit still lingers in Zumbrota

Buzz over Obama visit still lingers in Zumbrota
President Obama speaks with Coffee Mill Restaurant owner Carol Jackson during his visit in August. The photo was provided to the Jacksons by the White House.

ZUMBROTA — Carol and Dean Jackson’s lives changed on Aug. 15 when President Obama stopped for pie at their small restaurant in Zumbrota. There hasn’t been a day since that someone hasn’t asked them to recount the events of that day.

Dean was eating at a restaurant in Goodhue recently when several people stopped to talk to him about friends who were at the Coffee Mill when Obama arrived. And while Carol was interviewing for this article, a customer interrupted her to ask if she had any Obama memorabilia to sell.

Carol purchased numerous copies of the local newspaper’s special edition about the President’s visit. She has given those papers to customers who’ve asked for a souvenir. And while she'd like to be able to sell a meaningful item that is representative of the President’s visit, she hasn’t come up with anything she's deemed appropriate. She welcomes suggestions.

Carol had the Obama newspapers and a story she wrote about the day’s events framed and hung on the wall near the front of the restaurant. She also framed the pie plate that Obama took with him and later returned.

Zumbrota business woman Sarah Durhman placed a photo of Carol helping Obama to select a pie into the center of the pie plate before putting it under glass and framing it. Carol hung the plate next to the pie cupboard where it has become a focal point of conversation for many customers.

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She would like to see the city capitalize on the Obama visit, bringing more business to Zumbrota. She believes President Obama’s stop in Zumbrota should be marketed, along with the city’s historic Covered Bridge.

Carol said the President’s visit transcends politics. A staunch Republican, who didn’t like Obama before his visit, Carol admits she was impressed with his kindness and warm personality. She still doesn’t agree with his politics, but said, "I now pray for him and his family every day."

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