MARQUETTE - With Carl Pellonpaa's 50th year of hosting "Finland Calling" approaching in March 2012, Marquette resident Jerry Harju thought an autobiography on the venerable host would be an excellent idea.
After some cajoling and numerous meetings between the two, "Suomi Kutsuu a.k.a. 'Finland Calling'" was born and released in early September by Pellonpaa and Harju.
"There were several meetings over at Carl's house," Harju said. "I'd go over there and ask him questions, and we started from square one."
A brisk, easy read, the autobiography is stocked with photographs and traverses Pellonpaa's beginnings in Cleveland Location to his current goings-on, which include spending time with a growing extended family. Although he is well-known as the host of "Finland Calling," many may not know of his numerous other exploits throughout his long life.
In chapter 4 alone, entitled "Entering the Real World," Pellonpaa receives a minor league baseball contract from the Boston Braves, is accidentally shot by a friend while rabbit hunting - effectively ending his baseball career - finds work in the Cliffs Shaft Iron Mine, gets married and enters the U.S. Army.
"It's Carl's book and Carl's story," Harju said. "He provided all of the material."
The book also traces Pellonpaa's start as the host of "Finland Calling" and its transformation from a live filming only in Finnish to its current video, bilingual form almost 50 years later.
"This book is kind of a celebration of that anniversary," Harju said.
"Suomi Kutsuu a.k.a. 'Finland Calling'" is available at North Wind Books in Hancock, Copper World in Calumet and other local outlets.