College, Day 8

June 28

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. ~ Marvin Phillips

And so it ended. No pomp and circumstance, no diploma, no overdue library books. One morning class, one breakfast, hit the road . . .

Take your risks now. As you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible. And I mean that literally. I hurt my knee this week on the treadmill, and it wasn’t even on. ~ Amy Poehler

Graduation photo . . .

June 17

The first day of school is always a fashion show. The rest of the school year? A pajama party. ~ Unknown

[My last class, on 17th century Dutch paintings with Esther Ham. This was a class you can’t get just anywhere . . . ]

[She was very Dutch, with the accent to boot . . . ]

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. ~ Albert Einstein

[This was cool. Professor Ham showed examples from three 17th century Dutch artists, and then displayed a fourth to see if we could name the artist, one of the first three. I won, I won, an all expenses paid trip to Alumni Hall for breakfast . . . ]

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. ~ Lily Tomlin

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. ~ Marty Mcfly [Editor’s note: I tried a Vulcan mind meld. It didn’t work.]

[It’s not pronounced “Hooch.” It’s pronounced like a cough sounds (her description, as I recall) . . . ]

[The Friday morning breakfast farewell . . . ]

I guess I’m sated? ~ Super

You can never be overdressed or overeducated. ~ Oscar Wilde

[After the morning breakfast farewell, we drove back to Nashville to spend the night with Rita before the next early morning getaway to home . . . ]

[The Grand Carillon on campus . . . ]

[The famous Brown County State Park in the beautiful “mountains” of Brown County . . . ]

[The 18-mile trip from Bloomington back to Nashville on State Road 46 . . . ]

[Very scenic, but you’d better be paying attention . . . ]

Not all those who wander are lost. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

[Coming into Nashville . . . ]

[A tourist destination artist community . . . ]

[We beat the tourists . . . ]

[Oh, here they are as we hit the main intersection . . . ]

[The Brown County Art Gallery marks the turn to Rita’s house . . . ]

[Arrived at Rita’s in early afternoon. Reetz was excited to discover her road was paved while we were gone . . . ]

[The front of ye olde log home – we presented the back on the first day. Rita has lived here since before the Pilgrims landed . . . ]

June 18 – Home Again

[Home after a 12-hour, 791.6 miles drive from Nashville, Indiana, with another college diploma in hand (OK – not!). A big thanks to Jami for watching the babies all week (though she snuck off last night before I could get a photo of her). The babies got along great with her but were happy to have nap time again with Mom. That was our first trip in 2 1/2 years. Have to get started on the months of afterwards catching up now . . . ]

June 19

[The babies helped us unpack . . . ]

[It’s always nice to have household staff . . . ]


We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school. ~ Peter De Vries

[A few more photos from the Super . . . ]

[Gwyn Richards, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean Emeritus,
Professor of Music (Choral Conducting)]

[He lead the tour of the Musical Arts Center . . . ]

[Sang an opera piece by Mozart for us. Got a standing ovation. Don’t remember his name.]

[And now some samples from our 2017 class by Ann Schertz, the attending professional photographer who took photos again this year . . . ]

[The Super really likes this photo (must be the model?) . . . ]

[And this is the photo I took of Ms. Schertz as she was shooting the above photo . . . ]

[The princess and prince of Fort Wayne . . . ]

[My (green shirt) class on finances, as I recall . . . ]

[Fine dining with the same group we had this year . . . ]

[I think it must have been a departing shot . . . ]

You have to stay in school. You have to. You have to go to college. You have to get your degree. Because that’s the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education. And it is worth the investment. ~ Michelle Obama

I took the speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It’s about Russia. ~ Woody Allen

What’s another word for thesaurus? ~ Steven Wright

Up Next: Summer . . .

College, Days 6 & 7

June 28

The Founding Fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called an education. ~ John Updike

Most schools have a loud system of loud bells, which startle the students and teachers at regular intervals and remind them that time is passing even more slowly than it seems. ~ Lemony Snicket

June 15

The 2022 class photo . . .

[Lest you’re interested, I’m in the 2nd row, non-red shirt, with the Supervisor next to me and Reetz in the front row slightly to the left of the Super . . . ]

High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up. ~ Stephen King

[First class of the day, a light little ditty on eugenics and CRISPR. As you will recall from a previous class, IU’s first president, David Jordan, lost his campus naming rights because he was a eugenicist . . . ]

[Steve Vigdor, professor emeritus physics, led the discussion on CRISPR. Our nonfiction book club read “The Code Breaker” this spring, so I was able to follow it with a 3rd-graders degree of comprehension . . . ]

An intellectual is someone who has found something more interesting than sex. ~ Edgar Wallace

[While Tim Londegan, professor emeritus theoretical physics, led the discussion on eugenics. I don’t recall how two physics professors knew about these subjects, but they were excellent . . . ]

[This is Ann Schertz, the professional photographer for this week long event . . . ]

[She’s trying to get all we students in place for the photo at the top of this page . . . ]

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. ~ Woody Allen

[This was the class I was least excited about it. It was nice to be surprised . . . ]

[It was a big class so the others were obviously excited about it . . . ]

My father wanted me to have all the educational opportunities he never had, so he sent me to a girls school. ~ Jack Herbert

But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret. ~ Ronald Reagan

[The nitty gritty of classes . . . ]

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. ~ Benjamin Franklin

[Jeff White, professor emeritus of environment science, spent many years studying this phenomenon in Greenland . . . ]

[And here we have it . . . ]

A restaurant is a fantasy—a kind of living fantasy in which diners are the most important members of the cast. ~ Warner LeRoy

[Fortunately dinner with some old friends saved the rest of the day. This was at Janko’s Little Zagreb in downtown Bloomington which specializes in large portions of MEAT. We all found it quite satisfying though I opted for the salmon . . . ]

[You can see a bowl of meatballs in the center of the table – ordered for all by the locals. As ye olde commercial used to say, they were some spicey meatballs!

In a restaurant, choose a table near a waiter. ~ Jewish Proverb

[Oh, and Jennifer got the shrimp, so our end of the table went seafood . . . ]

[Super got a 4-pound steak . . . ]

[I always wanted to have a dinner date with a co-ed . . . ]

I never eat in a restaurant that’s over a hundred feet off the ground and won’t stand still. ~ Calvin Trillin

[The far end of our side of the table . . . ]

[A chance to fine dine with Katie, a young lady we’ve known through her close personal relationship with Reetz since she was a little girl. Katie is now a junior at IU in environmental studies, as I recall . . . ]

[Jeff and Jennifer, like Vickie and Scott, are from Fort Wayne. We first met them at Mini-U in 2017 . . . ]

[Rick and Mary, longtime Bloomington residents, set up this gig. First met them, like Vickie and Scott, many years ago at IU’s Camp Brosius in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Their daughter and son-in-law live in Minneapolis, and Rick and Mary recently bought their “retirement” cabin near Ely . . . ]

June 16

No wonder the teacher knows so much; she has the book. ~ Edgar Watson Howe

Our class on this morning couldn’t have been more topical . . .

[And this was quite a prelude to what SCOTUS has been doing to us this week . . . ]

[I remember taking this class from Professor Cate five years ago . . . ]

[When it comes to SCOTUS, she knows whereof she speaks . . . ]

Does college pay? They do if you are a good open-field runner. ~ Will Rogers

[Amazing, only the EPA case has yet to be decided, and the court is 0 for 3 so far!]

[This a Super photo somewhere on campus. I wonder if it ever had a moat?]

[This photo (sneakily by the Super) reminded me that back in the day, IU did not have a mortuary science program (likely still not?). I knew that then because we had friends in the dorm from Indiana who were at the U of M for its mortuary science degree, one of four universities in the country that offered such a degree . . . ]

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. ~ G.B. Trudeau

[Next we students trod off across campus ISO the Musical Arts Center (MAC) . . . ]

[Both the temperature and dew point were approaching 100. To the best of my knowledge, we didn’t lose any students enroute . . . ]

[Alexander Calder’s Peau Rouge Indiana outside the MAC . . . ]

Gwyn Richards, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean Emeritus, Professor of Music (Choral Conducting), was our host . . . ]

The Musical Arts Center (MAC) seats 1,460 patrons and features advanced acoustical design and technical capabilities, making it one of the grandest performance venues in the United States. Regularly compared to [2nd only to] the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the main stage is 90 feet wide by 60 feet deep. The backstage area occupies more than half the building and provides a state-of-the art theater space for technical work (

[Different angle on the Calder . . . ]

[I took a whole bunch of photos here: Discover the heights and depths of this wondrous facility as you wander through its costume, paint, and carpentry shops; dressing rooms; rehearsal rooms; and recording studio. Explore what few get to see with your guides Gwyn Richards, Tim Stebbins, and Tom Wieligman (Mini University Directory) . . . ]

[Of local interest, the son of Theatre L’Homme Dieu’s executive director recently graduated from this school . . . ]

The freshmen bring a little knowledge in and the seniors take none out, so it accumulates through the years. ~ A. Lawrence Lowell

I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I’ve yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing. ~ Gloria Steinem

You can lead a boy to college but you can’t make him think. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nobody gets through college on their own. ~ Michelle Obama

A college education should equip one to entertain three things: a friend, an idea and oneself. ~ Thomas Ehrlich

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car. But if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

When they hand you your diploma, keep moving. Just in case they try to take it back. ~ Unknown

I could have said something profound, but you would have forgotten it in 15 minutes – which is the afterlife of a graduation speech. ~ Art Buchwald

My dear terrified graduates, you are about to enter the most uncertain and thrilling period of your lives. ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda

You are graduating from college. That means that this is the first day of the last day of your life. No, that’s wrong. This is the last day of the first day of school. Nope, that’s worse. This is a day. ~ Andy Samberg

At graduation you get to wear a cap and gown, but it’s a good idea to also wear something underneath it. ~ Greg Tamblyn

If anyone needs me, I’ll be reading. Please don’t need me. ~ Unknown

[The sign on the wall as one exits the costume department . . . ]

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. ~ Groucho Marx

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly. ~ Sir Francis Bacon

[An opera solo for our departing pleasure . . . ]

[The Super got a close up of the soloist (in the last post), but we can’t remember his name. He received a standing ovation . . . ]

Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it’s in Hamburger Technology. ~ Clive James

[A little word play with the professor . . . ]

[I had Professor Hamburger for a class in 2017. I was impressed, thus the reason for taking this class. At that time, he was part of a six person scientific team (as an expert on earthquakes) under the Obama administration that traveled the world offering their expertise where requested. The program was ended under the Trump administration . . . ]

[While his class was very informative, I wish I would have opted for “A History of Hell.” It was the one time period in the entire week where I was conflicted as to which class to take . . . ]

[Our old “friends”, the Shindells, patrons of the Art Guild . . . ]

[This was the last supper, Thursday night, in Alumni Hall . . . ]

[a/k/a, the Faculty Reception (dress was business casual) . . . ]

Colleges are like old age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges. ~ Bob Dylan

If hard work is the key to success, most people would rather pick the lock. ~ Claude McDonald

[I somehow manage to catch the attention of the professional photographer . . . ]

[Is there enough mustard to cover this ham?]

[And then one of favorite professors, James Madison, stopped by our table . . . ]

Professor Madison, I think I just stepped on a Hoosier?

[But we settled in for a team photo . . . ]

[And with Vick and Scott as well . . . ]

80 percent of the final exam will be based on the one lecture you missed and the one book you didn’t read. ~ Unknown

[And then the best is always saved for last . . . ]

[“Protecting Our Democracy: How Well Does American Politics Do That?” with Marjorie Hershey]

[Marjorie Hershey, Political Science professor emeritus, Indiana University, should video her lecture and demand it be played on all major media networks. She beautifully distilled how election fraud (enough to change results) is impossible. And she got good laugh from all when she said that those who think there was election fraud are “batshit” crazy. Then she told us not to tell her grandchildren she said that . . . ]

Apparently, reading during lunch and ignoring others is considered ‘rude’. ~ Unknown

This is the sixth book I’ve written, which isn’t bad for a guy who’s only read two. ~ George Burns

Up Next: The last day of college . . .

College, Days 4 & 5

June 20

Youth is to wander! Adult is to act! Age is to assimilate the beauty of thoughts. ~ Debasish Mridha

There were approximately 450 students in this year’s class. There were 74 classes available in these desciplines: The Arts; Business, Computing, and Technology; Domestic Issues; Education, Health, and Human Development; Humanities; International Affairs; and Science. From Monday through Thursday, we had one class each morning and two classes each afternoon, with an evening class on Tuesday and Thursday, and a morning class on Friday. You sign up on-line for the classes you want, just like your college days . . .

Today, 8 million adult Americans, more than the entire population of Michigan, have not finished 5 years of school. Nearly 20 million have not finished 8 years of school. Nearly 54 million – more than one-quarter of all America – have not even finished high school. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

[This year’s professional photos are not yet available. But here we are with the graduating class of 2017 – I’m in the back row, far right; The Biddies are in the front row, far right . . . ]

[Where our classes were held – and yes, just like high school, we had to pick up and change rooms after each class . . . ]

[Where our classes were, part 2]

June 13

The sentiments of an adult are compounded of a kernal of instinct surrounded by a vast husk of education. ~ Bertrand Russell

[The first day of classes day began with an opening convocation in Alumni Hall . . . ]

An adult friend of Lincoln’s: Life was to him a school. ~ Doris Kearns Goodwin

[Here we are convocating . . . ]

[Jumping into the learning process. My first class was great fun. And Professor Weinberg was quite knowledgable and entertaining . . . ]

[I wanna get his book. Creationists are anti-evolution on a morality basis: it’s against the Bible, it’s bad science, it’s the root of all evil (why yes, I did take notes) . . . ]

[Then another superstar professor for my next class . . . ]

[Slavery was very profitable and was the largest system of forced labor in the history of the world. Great replacement theory isn’t new – it began in 1923. The KKK was essentially dead by 1930. The confederate flag became the white supremacist flag long after the Civil War . . . ]

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death. ~ Albert Einstein

[I told Professor Madison I didn’t understand the white supremacy argument when 9 out of 10 people on this planet are people of color. He gave a wry smile and shrugged . . . ]

[Now even more fun with Caty Pilachowski . . . ]

[The universe is 68.3% dark energy, 26.8% dark matter, and 5% ordinary matter. The James Webb telescope is in the L2 orbit (one of 5 Lagrange Points) a million miles from Earth.  “L2 is ideal for astronomy because a spacecraft is close enough to readily communicate with Earth, can keep Sun, Earth and Moon behind the spacecraft for solar power and (with appropriate shielding) provides a clear view of deep space for our telescopes” (

[Mauna Kea is the best land based site for telescopes. The first stars formed 560 million years after the Big Bang. Bloomington will experience a solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 – order your porta potty now!]

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. ~ Andy McIntyre

[That evening, a taste of Mini U in Alumni Hall . . . ]

The more expensive a school is, the more crooks it has – I’m not kidding. ~ J.D. Salinger

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~ Will Durant

Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ~ John R. Wooden

[Senior citizens letting their hair (if available) down . . . ]

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ~ Ben Franklin

[The outdoor temperature was a “feels like” over 100. What a nice time to gather round the fire . . . ]

A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. ~ Vince Lombardi

Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated. ~ Lou Holtz

It’s kind of hard to rally around a math class. ~ Bear Bryant

The Biddies at the Biddle . . .

June 14

One of the greatest gifts adults can give – to their offspring and to their society – is to read to children. ~ Carl Sagan

He who opens a school door, closes a prison. ~ Victor Hugo

The Arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important. ~ Elliot W. Eisner

[This was our only ZOOM class, which was fine on a large screen. P. David Polly on National Monuments in Utah: Dinosuars, Science, and Politics. Grand Staircase – Escalante (established by Pres. Clinton) and Bears Ears (established by Pres. Obama) were both significantly downsized by Pres. Trump but then restored by Pres. Biden. Both are important research centers for paleontology. I suggested they were probably brought to Trump’s attention by Orrin Hatch, who hated all the federal lands in Utah. The professor would neither deny nor confirm my postulation . . . ]

[The Minneapolis StarTribune had a major story on these two national monuments in today’s paper (June 21, 2022) . . . ]

Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives. ~ Andy Rooney.

[In the Indiana Memorial Union garden . . . ]

Winston G. Shindell was hired as director of the Indiana Memorial Union in 1981 and served 23 distinguished years in that capacity before his retirement in 2004. In 1995, his title was changed to executive director of the IMU and the IU Auditorium to reflect his additional responsibilities for the oversight and programming management of the IU Auditorium. As someone who was dedicated to the cause of education, he served as an adjunct lecturer in the School of Education from 1995 to 1997. (

[Ruthie & I met Winston and Sue on our Miami to Los Angeles cruise in January 2018 . . . ]

[The Indiana Memorial Union garden . . . ]

[The Biddies in the garden . . . ]

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. ~ Oscar Levant

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Allegedly pointing at some insects . . . ]

[Always nice to discover the geography building . . . ]

[The Biddies lead me off campus for lunch during an excessive heat warning . . . ]

[I call the area across the street IU’s Dinkytown . . . ]

[Enjoying a sandwich at Potbelly . . . ]

Indiana, our Indiana, Indiana, we’re all for you!

[Above and below . . . ]

[Heading back to class . . . ]

[It was hot! Damn hot!]

[Fortunately, as alums, The Biddies knew the shaded route back . . . ]

Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private but should not be taught to young children. ~ Francis Crick

[We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it . . . ]

[Rising to great heights . . . ]

[I had some background in this as the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division covered:

  • The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping. The MSPA also requires farm labor contractors (FLCs) and farm labor contractor employees (FLCEs) to register with the U.S. Department of Labor and to obtain special authorization before housing, transporting, or driving covered workers.
  • The H-2A visa program establishes standards related to recruitment, wages, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping for employers of temporary non-immigrant agricultural workers admitted to the country under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.]

[I thought I was sitting too close in class to take a photo so I grabbed this shot of Professor Mora off the internet . . . ]

[I thought this class was going to be about water shortages brought on by climate change. Actually, it was about how water is distributed in specific localities . . . ]

[Like Flint, Michigan stuff . . . ]

[As usual, it’s a black-white, have-have not issue. Many cities or communities have issues of equal distribution, where water lines will go right through have not neighborhoods to hook up to farther out wealthy neighborhoods . . . ]

[The census used to include questions such as running water in the house, indoor plumber, et al that provided useful information for planning purposes. That stopped in the 1990 census?]

[Wrapped up the day with an evening class on From Dixie to Swing: Traditional Styles Anchoring Jazz’s Mainstream . . . ]

One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz. ~ Lou Reed

If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know. ~ Louis Armstrong

Jazz stands for freedom. It’s supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don’t be a perfectionist – leave that to the classical musicians. ~ Dave Brubeck

[With Detroit Lakes, Minnesota native Tom Hustad who graduated from Edina (recognizing he is a “cake eater”) . . . ]

As far as playing jazz, no other art form, other than conversation, can give the satisfaction of spontaneous interaction. ~ Stan Getz

Though the Jazz Age continued it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was like a children’s party taken over by the elders. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

[Red Nichols and His Five Pennies, 1929 . . . ]

A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Look. Art knows no prejudice, art knows no boundaries, art doesn’t really have judgement in it’s the purest form. So just go, just go. ~ k.d. lang

Up Next: More college . . .

Addendum: June 22

College, Days 1 – 3

June 20

Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~ Charles Kuralt

The Super and I had not been outside the borders of the state of Minnesota for two and half years. The farthest we had been away from home was to the Twin Cities in late 2020 – and that was to adopt the babies. Ruthie was gettin antsy . . .

The Middle Way included the largest public works project in American history: the Interstate Highway system, which updated American roads for a driving generation with leisure time on their hands, but expanded the federal government’s purview. ~ Heather Cox Richardson

[We had done Mini Unversity one time previously – in 2017. I think she who must be obeyed wants to do it every year from now on . . . ]

We didn’t build the interstate system to connect New York to Los Angeles because the West Coast was a priority. No, we webbed the highways so people can go to multiple places and invent ways of doing things not thought of by the persons building the roads. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

June 10

[That morning we somehow got thru the Cities in record time and here were approaching Wisconsin in a little over two hours since leaving home . . . ]

We weren’t visiting. We live here!!

[Hudson, the first city in Wisconsin after one crosses the St. Croix River . . . ]

[Crossing over the St. Croix . . . ]

Interstate highways dull the reality of place and distance almost as effectively as jetliners do: I loathe their scary monotony. ~ Jonathan Raban

High-speed rail would revolutionise interstate travel and would also be an economic game-changer for dozens of regional communities along its path. ~ Anthony Albanese

[There once was a woman from this place who worked in the same Department of Labor office as me. I’ve always thought the school nickname should be the Hawks . . . ]

[When you come to the fork in the road . . . ]

[Take it . . . ]

[We thought this was either a yellow submarine . . . ]

[Or a Henry Moore sculpture . . . ]

[Home of the Fighting Illini . . . ]

[But, are they still the Illini, and are they still fighting?]

[The Super selected a motel in Urbana because of its proximity to a Steak & Shake . . . ]

[But because it was we who were traveling, the Steak & Shake was closed for renovations . . . ]

[We settled for Toro Loco, which was fine . . . ]

Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way. ~  Emma Chase

“Driving is boring,” Rabbit pontificates, “but it’s what we do. Most of American life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why the hell you went. ~ John Updike

A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car. ~ Emile Ganest

June 11

Arrived at Ruthie’s sister Rita’s in Nashville, Indiana, where we enjoyed a day of rest . . .

June 12

[The rear end of Rita’s house in Nashville. It was built in 1935, but logs came from another building from some 75 miles away. Nashville is a small (population 1,000) artist community and a lot of homes there are in this vein . . . ]

[Two blocks from Rita’s house – downtown Nashville . . . ]

I can imagine no sweeter way to end one’s life than in the quiet of the country, out of the mad race for money, place and power – far from the demands of business – out of the dusty highway where fools struggle and strive for the hollow praise of other fools. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

[The town’s main intersection. The white building on the left is the Hobnob, a 5-star Michelin restaurant (well, maybe not quite) . . . ]

[This is the road from Rita’s in Nashville to Indiana University in Bloomington . . . ]

[It’s a joy ride through the “mountains” of Brown County . . . ]

AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ is the greatest meshing of vocal, guitar, and content I’ve ever heard. That’s what I aspire to. ~ Bonnie Raitt

[We’ve completed our trip and are settling into our room in The Biddle Hotel and Conference Center, located in the Indiana Memorial Union where our classes were. How convenient!]

[The Biddle (canned photo) . . . ]

1810-28_10.CR2 1810-28 IMU Exterior Photos donated by SFL Oct 19, 2018 © Copyright 2018 – Indiana University Student Affairs Marketing

[Our window view – ensuring that our neightbors would be quiet . . . ]

[It’s a privately owned cemetary located on campus, the creek on the left was the River Jordan. Jordan was IU’s first president. However, Jordan was a eugenicist – the name of the creek was recently changed to the Campus River . . . ]

[And so the menage a trois with The Biddies began . . . ]

[Not to worry, we’ve been a traveling trio over the years . . . ]

[He seems happy about it . . . ]

People would far rather complain about high gas prices and blame those who have nothing to do with it. ~ Jacqueline Brux (Strib 6-14-22)

[The campus, from our portal . . . ]

[Rita’s son David told us to check The Biddle for art from his friend, Joel Washington . . . ]

[We found this one . . . ]

[Whom amongst us doesn’t like a good banquet . . . ]

[The Sunday night welcome dinner for the students . . . ]

[Which included the DOM, a longtime friend from IU’s Camp Brosius . . . ]

I’ll never forget when I was, like, 17, and ‘Highway to Hell’ came on the radio, and I was like, ‘Dude, listen to that guy’s voice!’ ~ Tommy Lee

[The Tudor Room, the next day classes would begin . . . ]

Throughout U.S. history, competent public investments have been an essential complement to private investments – from the Louisiana Purchase, to land-grant colleges, to the Interstate Highway System, to the Internet. ~ Felix Rohatyn

If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you are talking about! ~ Barbara Ann Mojica

Up Next: College continues . . .

Unstormy Weather

June 6

Spring is the time of the year, when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade. ~ Charles Dickens

We waited impatiently for six months. We finally got a couple of chamber of commerce days. We did our best to enjoy them.

Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. ~ Gustav Mahler

[The late afternoon of June 4th – couldn’t have been better along the shoreline of Lake H2Obert . . . ]

June 3

In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed. ~ Ernest Hemingway

[The Salty Dogs were performing here. We decided to make an entire evening of being 18 miles away from home by dining with the performers at the Backroads Steakhouse, a couple blocks from this performance site . . . ]

[The Saltiest Dog, Erik, in set up duties . . . ]

How’m I doing?

[The Art Center is conveniently located just across the street from an area landmark . . . ]

[Steven Wright once noted that he wasn’t afraid of heights, he was afraid of widths. That would have worked for him here. I couldn’t get far enough away from the quartet to get all four of them in the same photo. Annie, Erik, and Tom are here with Greg off the photo, stage right . . . ]

[Greg arrived with new electronic implements that allowed him to, on occasion, play his fiddle as a bass . . . ]

A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring. ~ Jane Fonda

[The aforementioned Greg . . . ]

[The singers . . . ]

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~ Proverb

Early spring is the time for vigorous change, a preparation for the heat-driven oppression that is to come. ~ Henry Rollins

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~ Henry Van Dyke

An optimist is the human personification of spring. ~ Susan J. Bissonette

The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball. ~ Bill Veeck

Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn. ~ Marilyn Monroe

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. ~ William Shakespeare

The almond, the first fruit to flower round the Mediterranean, heralds the arrival of spring. It is also an early nectar for the honey bees. ~ Carol Drinkwater

At worst, spring break in Daytona Beach feels feral – like everybody is trying to re-create scenes from the movie ‘The Hangover.’ ~ W. Kamau Bell

The first place I went in America was Boca Raton, and I thought it was awesome. It was spring break, and there were tons of young people and cute Americans in Speedos. ~ Nina Agdal

It’s mountains. The air is crisp. It’s peaceful. You don’t get spring break in Guanajuato. ~ Tanya Saracho

I’ve always loved the song ‘It Might as Well Be Spring’. ~ Jessie Mueller

[Intermission, goodies available in the backroom. Enjoy, and if so moved, purchase the artwork on the walls . . . ]

Where am I? (An existential question.)

[Here you can see the “width” is just three rows deep . . . ]

[Workmen tool kits . . . ]

[Workmen tools . . . ]

You mean guys don’t get injured in spring training? Guys get hurt walking down the street. ~ Bud Selig

[A/k/a, the Tenor . . . ]

‘Spring One’ probably has only four bars of Vivaldi in it, but it feels like it’s all Vivaldi. It’s odd. It’s a bit like walking around a sculpture, you just sort of see it from a different angle. ~ Max Richter

[Stretching for the next octave . . . ]

I’m so excited for readers to get their hands on ‘The Spring Girls.’ ~ Anna Todd

Yes, I deserve a spring – I owe nobody nothing. ~ Virginia Woolf

[Annie joined “the singers” . . . ]

The fact that I tour religiously in the spring, religiously in the fall, and do 125 shows – you can set your watch to that. And you could have set your watch to that in 2000 or 1999, and you can set your watch to it in 2012. ~ Joe Bonamassa

I don’t know how to pose or anything. ~ Anna Todd

I like to go super blonde early in the spring because the sun’s out and it helps keep that tone. ~ Jillian Hervey

June 4

I feel a physical happiness when spring is coming. ~ Halldor Laxness

Julie Patchouli and Bruce Hecksel came to town to perform at the winery as “Patchouli” . . . (Photo on loan from the internet.)

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~ W. Earl Hall

[And what a gorgeous day it was . . . ]

Stravinsky influenced film music in general – those stabbing chords and rhythms from ‘The Rite of Spring.’ ~ Henry Mancini

In spring, you can have a little bit more fun with color and be out there. ~ Jeannie Mai

The weather here is gorgeous. It’s mild and feels like it’s in the eighties. The hot dog vendors got confused because of the weather and thought it was spring, so they accidentally changed the hot dog water in their carts. ~ David Letterman

I played a heap of snow in a school play. I was under a sheet, and crawled out when spring came. I often say I’ll never reach the same artistic level again. ~ Stellan Skarsgard

But, you know, I just did a big trip in the spring to Vietnam and Cambodia and Thailand, and that’s when I bought a Kindle. I have like 15 books on this one little gizmo. But when I came home, the first night I picked up the book that was on my nightstand and I went right back to that. ~ Lisa See

The way to make coaches think you’re in shape in the spring is to get a tan. ~ Whitey Ford

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~ Oscar Wilde

I do hope that our spring will be starting shortly and we will all be able to enjoy some sunshine again. ~ Lesley Garrett

It Might As Well Be Spring… I used to sing that as a young girl in my voice lessons. Then I picked it up again and it spoke to me in a whole new way. ~ Bernadette Peters

I am going to notice the lights of the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, the lights of our candles as we march, the lights with which spring teases us, the light that is already present. ~ Anne Lamott

A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves. ~ Marcel Proust

[A big Patchouli fan grabs a photo op . . . ]

I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining. ~ Groucho Marx

I miss the Swedish women on the first day of spring cause they all just blossom in the most incredible way. ~ Joel Kinnaman

I love being in a city with great weather. ~ Sean McVay

Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! ~ Wallace Stevens

She turned to the sunlight, And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.” ~ A. A. Milne

[Bruce and Julie will be back on July 1st – see you then!]

[And then home to Lake H2Obert . . . ]

Climate change is sometimes misunderstood as being about changes in the weather. In reality it is about changes in our very way of life. ~ Paul Polman

[A panorama of our “lake” . . . ]

Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever seems to do anything about it. ~ Willard Scott

We may achieve climate, but weather is thrust upon us. ~ O. Henry

Up Next: On the road again?

Stormy Weather

June 2

Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Now is the winter, and spring, of our discontent. We had a second tornado hit our area within 18 days of each other. The water is as high as most locals can ever recall (high being a relative term not dealing with hallucinogenics). The winds keep blowing and temperatures have kept outdoor acitivities to a minimum. Neverthess, we persist . . .

Come in, she said, I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. ~ Bob Dylan

[Guinie keeps an eye on the outdoors on May 30, seemingly aware of what was to come later in that day . . . ]

May 28

Even the weather page is in a state of moral decay. What’s wrong with red, white and blue, USA Today? This rainbow weather map is just another example of the homometeorlogical agenda. ~ Stephen Colbert

[This afternoon was so exceptional, weatherwise, we were stunned. Jeff James was performing at the winery and – it was sunny and comfortable!]

Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather. He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop. ~ Alfred Polgar

Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. ~ Kin Hubbard

[Hail, hail, the gang’s all here . . . ]

Girls in Their Summer Clothes. ~ Bruce Springsteen

Restaurants with peppermills the size of fire extinguishers and big red menus with the entries spelled with f’s instead of s’s are always expensive. ~ Miss Piggy

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work. ~ Mark Twain

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… Life is about learning to dance in the rain. ~ Vivian Greene.

The storm is an artist; the rainbow is its masterpiece. ~ Matshona Dhliwayo

Remember to play after every storm. ~ Mattie Stepanek

Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn’t we? ~ Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

[On the drive home from the winery, the properties along the NW shore of Lake Darling reflect the recovery efforts from the tornado of May 12th . . . ]

At quarter past eleven on that momentous night, the storm breathed its last gasp. ~ Stephen King

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Two thirds of federal disaster aid is weather related,and though we cannot prevent bad weather, we are getting better at predicting it. ~ William M. Daley

May 29

Never trust the food in a restaurant on top of the tallest building in town that spends a lot of time folding napkins. ~ Andy Rooney

[We were back at the winery the following morning. Anthony and Jim Miltich were performing from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in conjunction with 5k and 10k races sponsored by the winery . . . ]

[It was every bit as beautiful a morning as was the previous afternoon. We delighted in the thought of sitting there all day. The Miltiches were followed on stage by the Robb Justice Band from 1 – 4:00 pm. Age and a change in weather prohibited us from sitting there for all six hours (though we did last for four) . . . ]

[Ostensibly a singing duet, they usually double as a comedy team. Jim has been living in Iowa for a few years now. He says Iowa means “idiots out walking around” (but with love in their hearts) . . . ]

Faith is not a delicate flower which would wither away under the slightest stormy weather. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Something about me has always liked the drama and inconvience of bad weather. The worse the better, really. ~ John Green

I’m in favor of liberalizing immigration because of the effect it would have on restaurants. I’d let just about everybody in except the English. ~ Calvin Trillin

[Karin and Ruthie wend their way back through the crowd with their bottles of Carlos Creek Marquette . . . ]

This will go good with the breakfast pizza we ordered. ~ Ruthie

[Anthony looks on in complete bemusement . . . ]

Money doesn’t talk, it swears. ~ Bob Dylan

[And then, the Robb Justice Band, with Robb on guitar, Abram Heyn on bass, and David Stanoch on drums . . . ]

The real problem with reality is the lack of background music. ~ Anon

It’s not that I am ignoring you, it’s just that this is a really good song. ~ Anon

[Robb grew up in Villard (something I didn’t know until this day). I told him that the Boys of ’65 recently had lunch at the Office Bar in Villard. He said he played a lot of pool there as a kid. And, as is common with Villarders (Villardites? Villardians?), he lived in Alaska for 12 years before he moved back to Minnesota . . . ]

My neighbours listen to some excellent music. Whether they like it or not. ~ Anon

If everybody was happy in relationship there wouldn’t be any good music. ~ Anon

I hate it when I’m singing a song and the artist gets the words wrong. ~ Anon

Sometimes we pee on each other before we go on stage. ~ Trent Reznor

I wish my life had background music so I could understand what the hell is going on. ~ Anon

Let me be clear about this: I don’t have a drug problem, I have a police problem. ~ Keith Richards

To get your playing more forceful, hit the drums harder. ~ Keith Moon

May 30

Bad weather always looks worse through a window. ~ Tom Lehrer

[We had to go to our tornado shelter again. Raced around the house trying to catch the kitties. We spent about 45 minutes here, listening to Tommy Lee on KXRA describe what was going on outside. This is where we heard the tornado had hit Forada, about 12 miles south of Alex . . . ]

[The kitties got to explore a new hideaway . . . ]

Bad weather makes for good photography. ~ Ansel Adams

We have very beautiful bad weather here at present – rain, wind, thunder – but with splendid effects; that’s why I like it. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

I like storms. I would say I actively like stormy weather. I would not be afraid of them. I think that if I had not pursued journalism, I think storm-chasing would’ve been a really fun career. ~ Chuck Klosterman

May 31

I can hear your whisper and distant mutter. I can smell your damp on the breeze and in the sky I see the halo of your violence. Storm I know you are coming. ~ Robert Fanney

[Tuesday Night Club was actually performing on Tuesday night. At the Garden Bar, where I hummed along while noshing on a Greek bowl with ahi tuna . . . ]

[My tablemates were equally sated by whatever it was they ordered . . . ]

[How can one ever exist without one, particularly in this area?]

[Terry, Jim, Bill, and Al once again beguiled us with their musical acumen . . . ]

[Al, singing here, drives all the way from the Twin Cities to perform on these nights . . . ]

[Terry, hidden far left, on guitar with Jim on the bass and Bill on the trumpet . . . ]

If I could be a bird, I’d be a Flying Purple People Eater because then people would sing about me and I could fly down and eat them because I hate that song. ~ Jack Handey 

You know the oxygen masks on airplanes? I don’t think there’s really any oxygen. I think they’re just to muffle the screams. ~ Rita Rudner 

Life is like a trumpet – if you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it. ~ William Christopher Handy

The bass is just the crayon that I picked out of the box. I’d probably be writing similar stuff if I played guitar or trumpet. The pictures I want to draw I do with this crayon I chose, which is the bass. ~ Les Claypool

Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays. ~ Henny Youngman

Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy. ~ Calvin Trillin

June 1

I never eat in a restaurant that’s over a hundred feet off the ground and won’t stand still. ~ Calvin Trillin

[The usual Wednesday night fine dining at the golf club . . . ]

[Historical as occurring one month before I was born . . . ]

[Historical as occurring one generation before I was born . . . ]

[The Super brought home most of her shepherd’s pie stuffed green peppers, it was just too much. My split pea with ham soup was so good I got two take out orders as well. Our two meals that night produced four meals the next day as we had my soup for lunch and her stuffed peppers for dinner . . . ]

I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood. ~ Bill Watterson

There are times when a storm is just a storm. ~ Erin Hunter

Up Next: Road trip?

So It Goes . . .

May 26

. . . that is a very, very, common phrase to comment fatalistically on things one can’t change or can’t prevent to happen. “That’s life”. . . .

As I type this, all TV is covering Uvalde. This, about a week after a similar mass shooting in Buffalo. A tornado tore through Alexandria. The Super and I went to three celebrations of life this week. One is left just thinking, “and so it goes” . . .

May 19

What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive. ~ Arnold Palmer

[After Joyce Kakac’s celebration of life earlier in the week, in mid-week we were at the Catholic funeral mass for Bob Annen (a golfer, a fan of golf and of Arnold Palmer). I posted a couple blog stories about our 20-year friendship with Bob and Vivian. After the service, there was a military salute to Bob outside the church . . . ]

I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places. ~ Mark Twain

[Shortly thereafter, the Super stopped in for the Runestone Museum’s annual meeting. Seated in the back row middle, checked shirt, is John Seim, father of the museum’s executive director and my next door neighbor growing up in Victoria Heights. (Echo Press contributed photo.)

[Amanda Seim, the museum’s executive director on the left, with her parents John and Carol (photos here and below in Fort Alexandria taken by Ruthie) . . . ]

…That’s why we have the Museum, Matty, to remind us of how we came, and why: to start fresh, and begin a new place from what we had learned and carried from the old. ~ Lois Lowry

I love doing normal things … I also love to go to art and history museums. ~ Christina Aguilera

Nobody ever flunked a science museum. ~ Frank Oppenheimer

May 21

[Another museum, the Legacy of the Lakes Boat House, where the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (CLSO) hosted it’s donors . . . ]

I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums. ~ Steven Wright

Museums are like sports stadiums, hotels and hospitals: they are in the category of captive-audience dining. ~ Danny Meyer

I’ve seen beautiful art on the sides of buildings. I’ve seen beautiful art in museums. I’ve seen beautiful art in galleries. Beautiful art is everywhere. ~ John Mellencamp

Museums are good things, places to look and absorb and learn. ~ Alan King

I’m one for rushing off to museums at the crack of dawn, eating fabulous things on terraces for lunch, and enjoying long dinners on balmy evenings. ~ Jane Birkin

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. ~ Walter Isaacson

[Tim Tharaldson’s, an Alexandria native and brother of Theatre L’Homme Dieu’s (TLHD) executive director, Nicole Mulder, first compostion for symphony orchestra would be performed by the CLSO the next day . . . ]

I write as a sow piddles. ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

[Brad Lambrecht, CLSO’s maestro . . . ]

[CLSO violinists, Lesley and Greg Donahue . . . ]

[John and the aforementioned Nicole Mulder . . . ]

[Nicole and Jim Pence, president of the TLHD board of directors . . . ]

May 22

[A late addition to the day’s activity calendar. We had a mid-afternoon date with CLSO but discovered an old favorite was performing at the winery (further down the page). Also in the direction of the winery from where we live is Government Point on Lake Le Homme Dieu. We hadn’t ventured there for a while, always a scenic drive, and the word is a local famous person had recently purchased the propery on the point . . . ]

[Trending straight ahead to the point on the dead end dirt road . . . ]

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. ~ Susan Sontag

[Well, what have we here?]

Still, round the corner, there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

[The end of the road is nigh . . . ]

[And this is as close as one can get. There is more than one building on the property. You really can only see the point by rounding it by boat . . . ]

[We had a full day planned – then we noticed BAT was at Carlos Creek Winery. He was a late addition to the winery’s music schedule as he and Brenda were wending their way north from Florida for our alleged summer season . . . ]

[Since we have been in his audience for I would guess at least 10 years, we had to at least drop by the say ‘hi’. We enjoyed a full half hour of his show before we had to leave . . . ]

It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring. ~ Marilyn Monroe

Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay. ~ Alexander Duma

Three farts and a raspberry, orchestrated. ~ John Barbirolli on modern music

[Over the years I took many videos of BAT. You can find them on YouTube (search “tomruth1933”) . . . ]

[We left BAT for the final performance of the season for the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra at the high school’s Performance Arts Center . . . ]

My voice is small but disagreeable. ~ George Gershwin

A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it. ~ Thomas Beecham

Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle. ~ Thomas Beecham

Usually composers need a reason to write. I need a deadline. ~ Krzystof Penderecki

Let us not forget that the greatest composers were also the greatest thieves. They stole from everyone and everywhere. ~ Pablo Casals

. . . and the band played on . . .

Music-making as a means of getting money is hell. ~ Gustav Holst

Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them. ~ Richard Strauss

[Sandy Susag, CLSO executive director, member of the school board, and all-around good person . . . ]

I was always drawn to Broadway musicals, and obviously composers like Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and Porter were writing music that I found wildly impressive. ~ Marvin Hamlisch

My music is best understood by children and animals. ~ Igor Stravinsky

[Mike Odello and his magic tuba . . . ]

A tenor is not a man, but a disease. ~ Hans von Bülow

[The Central Lakes Symphony Chorale also performed. I somehow managed to not get a picture of the them?]

Thanks again, Fred!

[After the symphony, we hied to La Ferme in downtown Alexandria for a celebration of life for Beth McKay Teeuwen. Our family had known Beth since we were kids growing up in Alexandria. She was best friends with my sister Gretchen, and they regularly kept in touch with each other even after Gretch moved to Washington, D.C. in the late 60’s . . . ]


Elizabeth “Beth” Helen (McKay) Teeuwen, born April 3rd, 1949, died on December 26th, 2021. A widow at her death, she was married to Paul until his passing in October 2012. She is preceded in death by her parents: George and Myrtle McKay of Alexandria. Beth is survived by her brother: Bill McKay; and her two children: Stephanie (Paul) Drange and Christopher (Cecilia) Teeuwen. She had 5 adoring grandchildren: Noah (12), Carlos (12), George (10), Elsa (8), and Jack (6). Beth will always be remembered for her quick wit, generous spirit, and never-ending honesty. She enjoyed working as a social worker for Douglas County and her travels in retirement that followed. She would not want us to travel in this cold winter weather, so a celebration of her life will be held in May 2022.

[Beth and her husband Paul at a hangar dance in 2011 . . . ]

[Terri and Bruce Kakac at La Ferme . . . ]

[We had just been with them earlier in the week for Bruce’s sister Joyce’s celebration of life . . . ]

The imaginary friends I had as a kid dropped me because their friends thought I didn’t exist. ~ Aaron Machado

A good friend is a connection to life — a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~ Lois Wyse

It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. ~ Marlene Dietrich

[Beth’s son Chris . . . ]

[Beth’s brother Bill . . . ]

[The front door to La Ferme on Broadway . . . ]

Friends are the family you choose. ~ Jess C. Scott

‘Are we going to be friends forever?’ asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered. ~ A.A. Milne

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. ~ Charles Lamb

[The back door to La Ferme in the alley . . . ]

There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met. ~ Jim Henson

[The old bank vault with the penny floor . . . ]

[It was a relatively nice day, so we decided to check on Theatre L’Homme Dieu in the aftermath of the recent storm. The landscaping makeover is in process . . . ]

[The main lodge, looking back toward to entrance/exit and the lake . . . ]

[It appears the foundation of the old lodge may now be listing to the left . . . ]

[The old cabins . . . ]

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. ~ T.S. Eliot

The two hardest things to say in life are ‘hello’ for the first time and ‘goodbye’ for the last. ~ Moira Rogers

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

Up Next: I think there’s some summery stuff ahead . . .

It’s Always About Eating

May 20

People who shop in health food stores never look healthy. ~ Amy Sedaris

We have reached that age in life, mid-70’s, where every activity revolves around eating. Of recent vintage, the Boys of ’65 (the three usual suspects, joined by our fourth member who resides in Austin, Texas), with spouses, lunched at the Lure (the Alexandria Golf Club (AGC) was booked); the Super and I had a wine pick up party at Carlos Creek Winery; the monthly road trip for the boys featuring the Office Bar in Villard; and our usual Wednesday night fine dining group at the Lure (again, the AGC was booked) . . .

I thought I’d become an actress, but then I realized I eat too much. ~ Chelsea Handler

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. ~ George Bernard Shaw

May 13

Food never ends. It’s one of the greatest things about working on food – we’re always going to need food. ~ Kimbal Musk

[Pam, Ruthie, and Linda are seated with a view of the lake. We guys, accordingly, had a view of them . . . ]

Food is the new Internet. ~ Kimbal Musk

[I have no recollection of what we were shown, but it must have been humerous . . . ]

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. ~ Mark Twain

[Tom, from Austin; and Bradley . . . ]

[Linda and Mayo . . . ]

I, personally, think there is a really danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture. ~ Anthony Bourdain

I love comfort food – it’s the basis of everything. ~ Katie Lee

[Proof we were at the Lure overlooking Lake L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

I am not Jewish, but I think that America invented nothing so fine as deli food. ~ Mike Newell

[The Super always ends up walking away with more food than what was ordered. But she doesn’t set off any alarms at the exit, so it must be kosher . . . ]

Health food makes me sick. ~ Calvin Trillin

[At least once a year, the four of us have to be photographed together to prove to each other that we’re all still alive . . . ]

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Now, occasionally I will still have that quarter pounder because I love fast food, but you have to keep it to a minimum. ~ Aretha Franklin

Food is kind of the conduit that brings people together. ~ Sebastian Maniscalco

May 15

With messy food, or foods with a lot of sauce, you do ‘The Hunch.’ I learned it in Philly, watching the dudes in suits eat cheesesteaks. You keep your elbows above your hands because if you don’t, the grease runs down your sleeve to your elbow. ~ Guy Fieri

[We’re at the winery enjoying the musical entertainment provided by our friend Anthony Miltich . . . ]

It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought. ~ P. G. Wodehouse

I love it when someone starts a conversation – romantic, platonic, small talk – as long as it’s related to food. ~ Rohit Saraf

[After the wine tasting, we went out to sit on the winery porch. It was a beautiful day and we haven’t had many “sit on the porch” days. We had to add to the atmosphere with (next slide please) . . .

[A big pretzel with cheese dip (stock photo) . . . ]

May 18

The Boys of ’65, on this rare occasion accompanied by Dr. Kiehne, held our monthly get together at the Office Bar in Villard (population 316, 17 miles south of Alexandria). These posters, and the one at the top of the page, are on the walls there. Always fun to have something to read while you eat . . .

Murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums. ~ Peter De Vries

Nobody in Singapore drinks Singapore Slings. It’s one of the first things you find out there. What you do in Singapore is eat. It’s a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment. ~ Anthony Bourdain

My gosh, I love food. If I wasn’t an actor, I could be a completely different body shape right now. ~ Hugh Jackman

I’m girlie in the sense that I like makeup, but I also love sports and man food. ~ Carrie Underwood

I want to make wines that harmonize with food – wines that almost hug your tongue with gentleness. ~ Robert Mondavi

[We hedged out bets, each of us threw in a buck at the start . . . ]

Food is the great connector, and laughs are the cement. If we go out to eat and have a nice meal, that’s one thing. If we can share a laugh, now we’re friends. ~ Philip Rosenthal

[Yet another in a series of enjoyable small town restaurants. Each of us had a different variety of hamburger, with plenty more still available on the menu . . . ]

Without food, man can live at most but a few weeks; without it, all other components of social justice are meaningless. ~ Norman Borlaug

I didn’t get this physique by not eating tacos. ~ Jon Tester

[I asked for documentation. It was not forthcoming . . . ]

The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out of his nose. ~ Garrison Keillor

Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices have more antioxidants than any other food group. ~ Michael Greger

I don’t cook. I don’t know anything about food. I’ve never reviewed a restaurant. ~ Calvin Trillin

We have these weapons of mass destruction on every street corner, and they’re called donuts, cheeseburgers, French fries, potato chips, junk food. Our kids are living on a junk food diet. ~ Joel Fuhrman

Everything goes better with tacos. ~ Rachel Caine

[Downtown Villard . . . ]

I’m kind of obsessed with food. I like to eat. When I tour, it’s like, well, like a food tour as much as a comedy tour. ~ Aziz Ansari

If you love food and you love red wine and they put you in France, you’re in a good place and you’re in a bad place at the same time. You have to weigh yourself every day, and you have to have an alarm number. When you get to that number, you have to start putting it in reverse. ~ Selma Hayek

[The Wednesday night group descended on the Lure en masse . . . ]

Hey, I used to eat at McDonald’s: I liked the taste of the food, especially the French fries. ~ Eric Schlosser

[The place had previously received reservations from two large groups. They had to assemble some high tops with bar stools for us. It worked . . . ]

It would be nice if I had a faster metabolism, because I love food. ~ Michael McIntyre

I don’t own a scale, and Tao banned the word ‘fat’ from our house. If we eat too much, we say, ‘I feel clogged up.’ ~ Olivia Wilde

[Barb and Karin are giddy over food . . . ]

I swear I want to be a food model. ~ Amy Sedaris

I love Indian, Italian and Mexican food. And if it’s a romantic type of thing, I like a good French restaurant. ~ Dolly Parton

I love food. ~ Amy Winehouse

I grew up eating fried food. I thought that macaroni and cheese was a vegetable. ~ Lauren Alaina

[The view across the bar, to outside and Lake L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

The right use of food can end hunger. ~ Jose Andres

The most I ever ate? In one sitting? Maybe four big plates of fried chicken, biscuits, chitlins, gravy. Then dessert. Apple pie, sweet potato pie. My mother cooked that stuff, good Southern food, and when I was 300 pounds, I never missed a meal. ~ Bruce Smith

If you see a black family, it’s looting, but if it’s a white family they are looking for food. ~ Kanye West

Up Next: I have no idea . . .

Run for the Roses 2022

May 9

Always remember Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David. ~ Shug Jordan / Auburn

I’m not a fan of horses or horse racing (though admittedly Secretariat was quite spectacular). But this year’s Run for the Roses annual friendraiser for Theatre L’Homme Dieu at Carlos Creek Winery was blessed with an amazingly entertaining Kentuck Derby . . .

The best thing about the Kentucky Derby is that it is only two minutes long. It is the quickest event in sports, except for Sumo-wrestling & Mike Tyson fights. Maybe Drag-racing is quicker, but I have never been attracted to it. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

[This photo is on loan from the internet . . . ]

[This poster is on loan from Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

[Many thanks to my fellow theatre board members who actually worked on putting this really fun event together . . . ]

[Entertainment provided by the dynamic duo of Greg Donahue and Erik Schultz, a/k/a, one-half of the Salty Dogs . . . ]

[Adult beverages, bring your own designated driver . . . ]

[And what good are adult beverages without equally adult hors d’oeuvres (I always have to look up the spelling because I forget the ‘u’ . . . ]

[The Derby screen at the far end of the winery’s Grand Hall . . . ]

[The folks who make it work. Many thanks . . . ]

[As the room begins to fill with fans dressed in best estimate Derby attire . . . ]

I’m still a horse that can run. I may not be able to win the Derby, but what do you do when you retire? People retire and they vegetate. They go away and they dry up. ~ Mel Brooks

Unless tracks cut back to three days a week of full fields, a lot of people will really hurt down the road. Horse racing, to survive, has to go to that. Let’s face it: Churchill Downs only does well on Derby Week. ~ Rick Pitino

My favorite Saturday, outside any Saturday that Louisiana State University plays football, is the Kentucky Derby. ~ James Carville

[My 20-year walking buddy died in the preceding week. His daughter, Angie, came up to Alex from the Cities to make arrangements . . . ]

[This was a good event for her to get away for a while . . . ]

I shy away from celebrity status because I don’t want to be known as that guy. But I had a chance to partake in the events and the festivities of the Kentucky Derby, and that was a huge honor. ~ Teddy Bridgewater

One only needs to see a smile in a white crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams. ~ Victor Hugo

Cock your hat – angles are attitudes. ~ Frank Sinatra

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can, Come saddle your horses, and call up your men; Come open the West Port, and let me gang free, And it’s room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee! ~ Walter Scott

You can be any one you want to be, with the right outfit. ~ Melody Minagar

[Delan Tharaldson, the father of the theatre’s executive director, Nicole Mulder, joined Angie at her table . . . ]

[Then Nicole came over for a hug from dad . . . ]

I gave my father $100 and said, ‘Buy yourself something that will make your life easier.’ So he went out and bought a present for my mother. ~ Rita Rudner

[The dapper looking ‘CEO’ and ‘CFO’ of the theatre . . . ]

[Jim and Jan Pence . . . ]

[Mike and Miriam Svobodny . . . ]

[John Mulder and Jack Reuler, not related . . . ]

Wearing a hat is like having a baby or a puppy; everyone stops to coo and talk about it. ~ Louise Green

Women are vain.  They think they look better in hats–if they have any sense. ~ Louisa Hagood, 94 years old

You can flirt with a fan in your hand. You can flirt holding a cigarette, too.  But a woman can really flirt with a hat. ~ Dolores Foster

[Dennis and Sandy Schroepfer . . . ]

[Paul and Deb Trumm . . . ]

[Katie Eiser, theatre board member, and Nicole announce the final results of “stuff” . . . ]

[While musicians in the background ponder the existence of black holes . . . ]

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~ W. C. Fields

[Did someone call them “Dumb and Dumber”?]

Friendship is not possible between two women, one of whom is very well dressed. ~ Laurie Colwin

[Ruthie always ISO a good photo op . . . ]

[The Super and I have joined Angie and her friend Ken . . . ]

[Karin and Dave Berg . . . ]

Get off your horse and drink your milk. ~ John Wayne

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.  ~  Will Rogers

[ (. . . is that a bugle?)]

Now the race is on, And here comes pride up the backstretch, Heartaches are goin’ to the inside . . . ~ George Jones

[The race has the rapt attention of the attending masses . . . ]

[Dennis had Rich Strike – he struck it rich!]

[And other winners are . . . ]

Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special. ~ Margo Nickel

I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality.  Why just be yourself. ~ Margaret Atwood

We just know inside that we’re queens. And these are the crowns we wear. ~ Felecia McMillan

[The winning hat . . . ]

Why do you always wear a hat? ‘Cause it fits my head. ~ Robert Redford, in “The Horse Whisperer”

[Best outfit, I think . . . ]

[Terri Bursch, theatre board member . . . ]


The only sport I’m not interested in is horse racing. That’s because I don’t know the horses personally.  ~ Nat King Cole

[Photo on loan from the internet . . . ]

Rich Strike with Sonny Leon wins the 148th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, KY 5.7.2022

Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse. ~ Groucho Marx

Luxurious, flirty, and, at times, a bit sexy.  We’re out to prove a great hat can change your day. ~ Plaza Suite, New York.

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Up Next: Probably something that doesn’t involve hats . . .

“Weakie”: A Life & Times (Part 2)

May 10

Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong. ~ George Carlin

Continuing the legacy of Weakie (a Carlin fan), despite some initial emphasis on our differences we obviously had to have many things in common. Probably first and foremost of these is that we both agreed food is a necessity – even for an unhealty diet. Food was often the major topic of discussion on our strolls (with age it even supersedes discussions about representatives of the fairer sex). Bob had always been a gourmet. He enjoyed and did most of the household cooking. In fact, he and Vivian developed full home menus for a week at a time. I can’t figure out what I’m having for the next meal! Bob had both upstairs and downstairs stoves. He had multiple outdoor cooking devices. He had a smoker and a wine cellar.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was shortly before the hockey team won the state championship in 2008 that word of the Super Fans reached the crack reportorial staff of the local newspaper, the Echo Press. Jo Colvin of the Echo interviewed the four of us about our fandom and wrote a lovely column about it. It was during the interview Jo also learned of Bob’s excellence in the culinary arts. She subsequently wrote a column about that, replete with Bob attired in his alpine hat. He regularly ordered food from all over the world, if mostly from Germany and New York delis – breads, meats, fish, pickles, condiments, et al. He said UPS or Fed Ex trucks were making food deliveries to his house almost daily. He was fortunate that his 100+ year old mom was living with them – she’s was the only who could open all the jars, an ability established through years of hand milking cows . . .


The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. ~ Calvin Trillin

[Weakie was joined at a hockey game by noted area vocalists . . . ]

[My brother Cam joined us on a trip through Rice Park on the way to a girls state tournament hockey game. I have a dim memory (in general) of where we stayed when in St. Paul for tournaments – at one time the parking garage for our hotel was some blocks away and we got lost in the skywalks trying to find it . . . ]

[Once a New Ulmer, always a New Ulmer. At Ridder Arena on the U of M campus where the state tournament consolation games are played. New Ulm and Alex, usually, as small outstate schools end up here after losing to the dreaded Big City private schools in the first round. Another area where the Weakster & I were in total agreement was a shared animus toward private schools . . . ]

I’ve reached the age where ‘happy hour’ is a nap.

[Since we were in town, we went to see a women’s hockey game between Augsburg and Gustavus Adolphus. Both teams featured Alexandria alums . . .]

[Brother Cam, of Mounds View, Minnesota, fame, self-proclaimed troglodyte when it comes to girls sports, deigned to join us again . . . ]

[After the game with Danielle Justice of Gustavus. Danielle was the Cardinals all-state goalie on our state champion team and led the Gusties to at least three Frozen Fours as goalie nonpareil . . . ]

[And the aforementioned Toft sisters played for Augsburg. They were the stars in what Weakie called the greatest game ever played – the Cards beat Totino-Grace (a dreaded private school) 3 – 2 in two overtimes to win a section championship. Sara scored the game winner and Andrea also had a goal on their 18th birthdays. Andrea is now an assistant professor of nursing at St. Catherine’s University. . . . ]

[Super Fans surround Alexandria’s all-time leading scorer, Abby Williams, at the Xcel Center . . . ]

[A pre-game nosh at Mort’s Deli in Minnetonka. To make us feel even older, my high school classmate Kathy Skadsberg (next to Ruthie) has a granddaughter with her. Said granddaughter, Taylor Woodson, will be a senior at Hopkins High School next year, has started for their multiple state champion basketball teams since she was a freshman, and has committed to play for Michigan . . . ]

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. ~ M. F. K. Fisher

[Referring back to the top, there are multiple examples ahead of our mutual fondness for food. It looks like we’re back at Vescio’s in Dinkytown again . . . ]

I like to think of bread as really bland cake. ~ Jim Gaffigan

[Here another Mother’s Day brunch at the Alex Golf Club . . . ]

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. ~ W. C. Fields

[Said brunch from above . . . ]

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. ~ Orson Wells

A party without cake is really just a meeting. ~ Julia Child

The most powerful social media… it is not the internet, it is not Facebook – it is food. This connects all human beings. ~ Alex Atala

Life’s too short. Start with Dessert! ~ Barbra Streisand

[Angie and her dad at Carlos Creek Winery . . . ]

Destiny may ride with us today, but there is no reason for it to interfere with lunch. ~ Peter the Great

[Our morning stroll on this day led us to the new Y, opening soon . . . ]

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.  ~  William Shakespeare

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~ Mark Twain

[Weakie with Dave “Robo” Rogoesheske at the golf club . . . ]

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. ~ George Bernard Shaw

[Weakie with Alice and Jack Juettner at the golf club . . . ]