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North Dakota farmer plows Prince tribute into field

EDGELEY, N.D. -- Gene Hanson is an artist with a plow and his fields are his canvas. In the wake of Prince's death, he thought: Let's go crazy. The 75-year-old retiree from Edgeley recently plowed a football field-sized version of the unpronounce...

Gene Hanson, a retiree who lives in Edgeley, N.D., recently created a football field-sized replica of the unpronounceable "love symbol" used by Prince to honor the late pop star. Hanson said he taped a drawing of the symbol to the hood of his tractor and started plowing. "I couldn’t believe it myself that it turned out so well," he said Monday, May 2, 2996. He expects the symbol to be gone in a couple of days, plowed over as the farmers who rent his land plant their crop. Photo by Gene Hanson.
Gene Hanson, a retiree who lives in Edgeley, N.D., recently created a football field-sized replica of the unpronounceable "love symbol" used by Prince to honor the late pop star. Hanson said he taped a drawing of the symbol to the hood of his tractor and started plowing. "I couldn’t believe it myself that it turned out so well," he said Monday, May 2, 2996. He expects the symbol to be gone in a couple of days, plowed over as the farmers who rent his land plant their crop. (Submitted Photo by Gene Hanson.)

EDGELEY, N.D. -- Gene Hanson is an artist with a plow and his fields are his canvas. In the wake of Prince's death, he thought: Let's go crazy.

The 75-year-old retiree from Edgeley recently plowed a football field-sized version of the unpronounceable symbol the late pop star Prince used to represent himself.

"I thought to myself, maybe I should try something like that," Hanson said Monday. "I didn't tell anyone I was going do it, I didn't even tell my wife I was going to do it. But it's been fun."

He used a drawing of Prince's "love symbol" that he pulled from the internet as his guide, he said.

"I don't have a cab on my tractor. I just have a three-point disk in the back," he said. "I taped that little sign on the hood of the tractor and just went by that."

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Hanson then hopped into his airplane and took a photo of the results, which almost made him delirious.

"I couldn't believe it myself that it turned out so well," he said. "I was probably the most surprised. This one just happened to turn out first try."

He said the photo of the symbol has been seen on television and Facebook "and all over. It's been fun."

Hanson also plows other signs into his fields: "Happy Easter," "Happy Mother's Day" and "Pray For Rain."

Up next is something for Memorial Day, Hanson said.

Prince Rogers Nelson, the singer, actor, record producer, prolific songwriter and virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums, was found dead in his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn., on April 21. He was 57.

The homage to Prince won't last nearly as long as his music, Hanson said. The farmer who rents Hanson's land is getting ready to start planting corn.

"I guess by the time I get home, it will be gone," Hanson said.

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"I like the song 'Purple Rain.' I'm normally country western. I guess everyone's a fan of Prince right now, since he passed away. I guess that's how life goes."

Related Topics: EDGELEYFARMINGAGRICULTURE
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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