Tricounty News

'Free-standing brooms' make a local impact

By Jean Doran Matua

It started with a mention on the radio about brooms being able to stand on their own because of the autumnal equinox. Deb Reinert and some of her employees at Triple R heard it and, as a joke, tried it. To their surprise, their broom stood up by itself. Two more brooms, same result.

They called me over to witness this strange phenomenon and, sure enough, it was on the level (so to speak).

By then, someone had sent a photo of the standing brooms at Triple R to the radio station. Employees at Kuechle Underground heard about it on the radio and sent coworker Beth Kampa to check it out. Again, it was on the level.

I set out to discover what makes them do this and, to my surprise, found lots of photos but no explanation on the Internet. There have been brooms in various spots around the country (including South Haven) that famously stood on their own. The broom in Gone to Pieces Quilt Shop in Kimball stood on its own without any effort.

Irene Hoffman heard about it and tried it on new brooms in a store in St. Cloud, and it worked.

What these all have in common is that they're slanted brooms, not the old-fashioned straw kind.

So what makes them stand? And does this only happen for short periods each year, or year round? No one seems to know for sure.