When you travel to Minnesota, I hope you're not expecting to be met at the border by a bunch of hyper people in colorful clothing. Our black-and-white signs at the state line say it all: MINNESOTA. If a smiling group of people with colorful clothing does meet you at the border, lock the doors and don't get out of the car. They probably escaped from someplace.
Minnesotans do not favor the big hello. We do it, we just don't overdo it.
A few years back two brothers from Minnesota ran into each other at a highway restaurant near Alexandria. The restaurant keeps a picture of the brothers by the cash register. The eastern newspapers carried the story and used it as evidence that Minnesotans' obsession with winter was reflected in our manners and feelings—what they meant was that we were a cold people.
The two brothers—Frank and Gary—had not seen each other for sixty-four years, not since they were split up somehow on a MIssissippi paddleboat. It involved a young woman from a river town and a girdle—and a catfish. I don't remember the exact details. They were twenty-two and twenty-three years old when that incident happened, whatever it was.