North Mankato’s Fred Lutz likes flyin’ high in the western sky in his Beechcraft 33 Bonanza, tail flaps up, headset on, sippin’ straight 7UP through a cocktail straw. It’s another ideal Saturday afternoon for a businessman who still has Uncola coursing through his veins. His 7UP-green Lincoln LS parked next to the green hangar at Mankato Airport has “UNCOLA” plates; and his Beechcraft 33 the registration number “N77UP.” Old allegiances die hard.
Lutz was a high-profile, national figure in the soft drink industry in the ’70s and early ’80s. He served as national president of the 7UP Bottlers Association and also the Dr Pepper Bottlers Association, and as state president of the Minn. Soft Drink Association. And he lobbied Capitol Hill as a board member of the National Soft Drink Association.