Traveling must have agreed with ….
Traveling must have agreed with me as, after getting home from two weeks in Florida last Saturday, I jumped into the car and drove down to see Sue and Mark in Holmen.
It was kind of a pre-planned day as Sue had everything worked out. Her yoga studio was having an open house and she had at first said she couldn’t come. When she explained why, they said, “Bring him along”. So I got introduced to yoga. It wasn’t so bad, as a few years back when Florence had been in the hospital, Jo Elmer came by to get her started on some exercises. They weren’t too tough and she wouldn’t do them unless I did them too. Worked well at the time.
Next she took me to Grand Dad’s Bluff to see the national weather station at the top. Let me tell you, the view of the Mississippi Valley is great. Then it was down to the waterfront and the park. Been a few years since I’d been there with my two grandsons.
On the way back, we drove by the old Erickson Holiday Station where I was working when Florence and I got married. It no longer is a gas station but the design of the building was a dead giveaway.
Last stop on the way home was a place called The Pines, west of Onalaska, where we had lunch. It is an out-of-theway place right on the river, but everyone in the area seems to show up there for lunch on Saturdays.
When we got home there was barely enough time left for a little visiting before leaving for home with some of her bean soup and ginger snaps.
Talk about the luck of the Irish. Since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I think I’m the luckiest person alive. Seems that last fall I lost a set of keys. I always carry two sets, one with my car key and the other with my house and post office key. That’s the set I lost, but besides that, it had some sentimental value, like the key ring itself that I had purchased when we visited the Army Transportation Corps Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia, on one of our trips to Washington, D.C., in the early 80’s.
Then there was the old army C-ration can opener that I had been carrying since my army tour in ‘51-‘53 and a little plaque from my #1 daughter, otherwise known as Jackie, the spoiled one. It reads, “thank you for being the dad you didn’t have to be”.
Another thing on there was a little tab I’d gotten at the library, which I think contained some important data like my name, address and phone number. Anyway, on Monday I got a call from Pick ‘n Save and they had something of mine and could I pick it up when I came to Marshfield. Well, I was headed that way on Wednesday to pick up some medicine and then stopped at the service desk. I was in such shock to see my key that I’m not even sure I thanked them. I don’t recall when I lost them, but it would have been around the time Shopko Pharmacy closed. Like I said, what a lucky guy I am.
Talk about luck. I have to tell you about the two Minnesota Twins spring training games I saw in Florida. It was part of the what I call pre-arranged adventure put together by #1 daughter and her cousins, Charlie and Kent.
Charlie had promised me the Twins game, but for some reason ended up with tickets for two games.
The first day we saw the Toronto Blue Jays and had seats just above the bull pen. Since the starting pitcher only stayed two innings and the rest only one, we saw lots of action as the new pitchers warmed up.
The second day we saw a game with the Boston Red Sox and our seats were right behind the catcher, eight rows up. As the game proceeded, I noticed a guy just ahead of us in row four with a timing gun. He timed every pitch and had a score sheet to keep track. That number also flashed up on the score board. Charlie assumed it was probably a scout but the next day, as we were watching a game on television, there was someone sitting in the same seat doing the same thing.
The Twins won both games and the Ball Park hot dogs were just as good as those I had in the old Met Stadium many years ago. Another thing about the spring training games was the personnel running the stadium. They were about as friendly and courteous as you could get. We even entered the stadium in the VIP entrance, right next to the elevators.
When asked about my favorite thing about the trip, I had to think a bit and finally decided it was the Thomas Edison/ Henry Ford Museum. Not so much the exhibits that you would expect, but the trees and vegetation around the museum. They were awesome, like nothing I had ever seen before. It is said that they were started by Edison and Ford in an attempt to grow rubber for Henry’s Model T’s.
The day we attended I was wearing my Lucky Badger shirt and as we waited outside the museum someone in the audience, also wearing one, had to inquire where I was from. When I told him he asked if I knew Ertz Stegier. When I said, yes and I knew Ken as well, he added that was his father-in-law. Sure is a small world.
The displays in the museum were simply great. One of the cars was a 1914 Model T. That was the same model as my parents, three brothers and my sister rode in when they moved from North Dakota back to Wisconsin to take over the family homestead. When I was growing up, what was left of the old Ford, sat in our pasture. Of course the top was gone and there weren’t any tires left but we sure had fun playing that we were driving the car. I recall the gas tank was under the front seat on the passenger side. My Dad told of trying to drive up the hill at St. Croix Falls and since it didn’t have a fuel pump, gas didn’t run to the carburetor, so he had to back up the hill.
By the time the Model A’s came they moved the tank to just ahead of the windshield.
The Edison Museum had a number of old phonographs like we had when I was growingup.Someof theoldiesIremember are “Oh Those Golden Slippers”, a song about the Red River Valley and The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
I’ve shared some jokes that an old TRG employee, Doug Zaleski, had alerted me to, now Scott Schultz wants to get in the act. He claims the Osseo library is so busy that they had to start a reservation system. He called to make one and was told they were all booked up.