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Wednesday - July 12, 2017 8:44 am

Bond was in charge at the brewery, 29 years ago

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In the summer of 1988, Australian Alan Bond had owned La Crosse's Heileman Brewery for just about a year...completing a hostile takeover the previous fall.  Bond was making a deal to sell the Heileman baking branch to the R.T. Holding Company of Belgium.  The change would add about 12 jobs at what is now the Bimbo bakery downtown.  Meanwhile, Machine Products president Joe Webb and retired president Alex Skover were hoping to buy the company away from Bond and return it to local control. 
Michael Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for president that July, over a field that had included Jesse Jackson, and Senators Al Gore and Paul Simon.  Dukakis had not campaigned in La Crosse before the April primary, but the other three men had visited the city.
At Riverfest that year, John Prine was the big-name performer.  Jim Wand was the featured hypnotist in '88, and acrobat Bobby Hunt juggled flaming clubs.  It also marked the first year of the "Puttin' on the Lips" contest for the best lip-sync performance.  That was an imitation of the syndicated TV show "Puttin' on the Hits," which ran for four years.  La Crosse's version lasted many more years than the TV show.  And the La Crosse Center brought in Def Leppard and Crosby, Stills, and Nash for shows in the summer of 1988.  Twenty-nine years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.

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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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