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Bill's Talented Campaign Manager


James ("Red") Nelson - a bit older than in this photo taken in the early '60s but just as cool. The photo appears in a book, "West Bank Boogie", about Nelson and his colleagues.


Red Nelson agreed to become Bill McGaughey's campaign manager when he was assured that he wouldn't have to work too hard and probably wouldn't go to prison.

This is the same Red Nelson who, as owner and manager of the 10 O'Clock Scholar in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota campus, played host to notable musicians in the off-campus music scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His late-night parties were legendary.

Equally remarkable is what Red Nelson managed to accomplish as chair of the Metropolitan Council's Environmental Committee during the administration of Governor Jesse Ventura. Drive east from Red's house on 37th Street N.E. in Columbia Heights and turn left on Silver Lake Road. A few blocks north, on the site of the old Apache Plaza, lies a dazzling new commercial development in the village of St. Anthony. Silver Lake itself is being developed as a public park for Columbia Heights. Red Nelson played a critical role in putting these developments together.

Now Red is immersing himself in a book on solar technology for a house in Minnetrista that he is building.


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