A Toss Of The Hat: Minneapolis Flash Mob Pays Tribute To Mary Tyler Moore

By Mary Lynn Smith
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In a special tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, women gathered for a “flash mob” in Minneapolis to toss their caps in the air just like Mary Richards did during the opening segment of the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Maureen Mook remembers the parting words of her father as she left her small Iowa hometown in 1992. She was filled with youthful confidence that she would make it on her own in Minneapolis.

Her father expected her to give up and be back in Iowa in three months.

Instead, 25 years later, she stood Friday with more than 150 other women and a few men who came to fling their hats into the air, … la Mary Tyler Moore. The flash mob, orchestrated by a local radio station, crowded the Crystal Court in the IDS Center to pay tribute to the television icon and her award-winning 1970s show, which was set in Minneapolis.

Friday’s group hat toss was a show of love for Moore, who died Wednesday at the age of 80 in Connecticut. Her show just didn’t make them laugh; it inspired a generation of girls to be just like Moore’s spunky television character, Mary Richards, an independent single woman with a can-do attitude.

“I came [to Minneapolis] with a degree and no job,” Mook said. And then she proved her father wrong, getting a communications job, marrying and having two kids. “I made it,” she said.

So did Schwei, who left West Bend, Wis., as a bartender and waitress in 1996 and started a new life in Minneapolis. “I wanted to say thank you to Mary,” she said. “I came to Minneapolis because it was far, but not too far. It was a big city, but not too big,” she said. “Twenty years later, I’m working as an IT director.”

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