Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Meeting Bono: “…that’s kind of a strange name.”

As the Twin Cities basked in the afterglow of the big U2
concert, a funny anecdote involving former DNR Fisheries Chief Ron
Payer came my way Monday morning.

In the mid-2000s, Payer and other DNR officials were in
Washington, D.C. gathering support for some federal resource
funding. While they waited outside then-U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s
office, suddenly an upbeat, well-dressed chap bounced out of
Kennedy’s office and shook Payer’s hand while introducing himself,
“Hi, I’m Bono.”

“Hi, I’m Ron,” Payer replied, then commented to his co-workers as
the gentleman skipped away, “Pleasant guy, but that’s kind of a
strange name.”

Payer’s flabergasted coworkers quickly explained that he’d just
shook hands with the frontman for arguably the world’s most popular
band, U2. Payer chuckled when recounting the story to me on

“Back home, everyone in my family was like, ‘What?!’ when I told
them about it,” Payer said. “Of course, since then, I’ve followed
(Bono’s) humanitarian work, but back then… I don’t know. Maybe I
needed to get out more.”

Those of us who followed his tenure know Payer worked hard and
probably didn’t devote much time to pop culture. He says he’s
enjoying retirement now, including a new granddaughter, and
planning an archery elk hunt out West this fall.

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