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Giant Twine Ball Rolls To A New Home

Moving JFK's twine ball.

The giant twine ball of the late James Frank Kotera (a.k.a. JFK), all 12 tons of it, was safely trucked to its new home in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, on September 21, 2023. The move was organized by one of JFK’s neighbors, Terri Nelson, who suggested the idea at his January funeral. According to Terri, JFK’s sister was surprised by the idea, because she had planned to bury the twine ball, thinking that no one would care about it.

JFK called himself “World Famous Dump Man” because he had spent years working at a nearby transfer station sorting the dropped-off trash and recyclables. The transfer station has been named in his memory, and it became the final destination of the twine ball — not to be recycled, but to be permanently displayed on a new concrete pad. It’s also next to the town hall: a place of honor.

Moving JFK's twine ball.

Special equipment had to be brought in to handle the massive orb — all of the labor was donated — and Terri told us that she feared that the ball would fall apart when it was lifted from the spot where it had sat outdoors for the past 40+ years. But JFK had always boasted of his tight winding technique, and the ball held together to make the move with all of its twine in place.

For now, the twine ball is covered by a tarp. Terri said that the town plans to build a permanent canopy over the ball, similar to the one that had sheltered it in JFK’s back yard, before the winter snows arrive.

Twine Ball Preservation team.

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JFK's World Famous Twine Ball

9360 County Rd S, Highland Township, WI
This is in Highland Township in northern Wisconsin, not the town of Highland in southern Wisconsin. From US-2 in Brule turn south (no stoplight) onto WI-27. Follow WI-27 south 10 miles. Turn right, west (no stoplight) onto County Rd S. Follow County Rd S for four miles. The twine ball will be on the right. Pull into the transfer station, just before Highland Town Hall.
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