Monday 6.17.13

It was a long, action packed Father’s Day weekend. The cart I had painted last week was in a show/competition in Columbus, WI (Columbus Carriage Festival). I received an e-mail message this morning telling me that the girl driving the cart tied for 1st place with a Doctor from Iowa. Good job!

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Saturday was the last soccer game for my Grandson. He’s 9 years old. We’ve watched him play soccer over the past few years when he was kind of in the early learning stages of the game. Now, he is on an actual team playing other actual teams. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with this kid.

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The whole team did a great job on Saturday creaming the other guys 6 – 2. We had gone to another game the previous weekend and I noticed the enthusiasm from a few of the parents (including my daughter and her husband). By enthusiasm, I mean vocal. Nothing wrong with enthusiasm and encouragement at all but sometimes when I hear or experience certain things my memory is jogged a bit and I recall other times in my life when I experienced something similar. I recalled going to or participating in sporting events when I was in school. There were a couple of Dads who were very vocal – and probably partly intoxicated. It was annoying and bordering on violent. I recall a basketball game where the bleachers emptied out onto the gym floor due to some unfavorable call by a referee. No need for it to get this intense. It is pretty exciting to see a bunch of kids come together though good coaching and great encouragement and participation from parents to become a great team.

After the game, we headed over to my daughter’s house for a little Father’s day weekend cook-out.

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At some point on Saturday, during random discussions about trivial stuff that makes no difference to much of anything other than give me an opportunity to confirm that I grew up in bizarro world, we discussed a product called the “Lift-it.” I actually have one of these things in the original package. Many years ago I was called to come and letter a motor home (letter = means put advertising on something) owned by the manufacturer of the “Lift-it.” This product is a plastic handle you mount to your toilet seat. The plastic supposedly had some germ killing ingredient fused into the plastic which made it safer for you to use the “lift-it” to lift your toilet seat than actually lifting the actual seat. You don’t want all of those germs on your fingers. The packaging included completely bogus labels from “Research Labs” which supposedly tested and approved this product. I would recreate this stuff on the motor home.

The “Lift-it” guy was kind of a controversial person in the area. Prior to me going out there to letter this motor home, he had battled the local government over a few things including a hand painted billboard along US Highway 20 on the way to Galena, just before you came to Stockton, Illinois. The road to Galena was becoming more important as there was much development attracting a lot of Chicago visitors. I was recalling that it was a giant sign which mentioned something like “No More Fecal Fingers.” Yeah, right. You are making shit up again.

Nope. In fact, I found an image of this online…

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Notice the toilets… evidently these were a prank. The other side of the sign was different but I can’t remember what it was and can’t find a picture. Imagine driving to scenic Jo Daviess county only to be warned of FECAL FINGERS!

On Sunday, we had to drive out to Dubuque. A few years ago, my wife became an Officiant. Besides marrying me, she is also able to marry other people. I tagged along to take a few pictures. Iowa allows same sex marriages. This was two men and it was pretty much like any other small wedding ceremony. After, I did not feel like my marriage was threatened in any way. As I looked around the park where the wedding was held, I did not notice any bonds between one man and one woman falling apart.

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This wedding was held at a place called Eagle Point Park in Dubuque, Iowa. The park is along the west side of the Mississippi river just above Lock and Dam No. 11. As I stood there looking out over the water, I had this feeling that I had been here before. In fact, I had. Twice before. I looked over to the other side of the river and noticed a green fishing barge. Once again, my memory was jogged a little.

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I came here with my Dad probably around 45 years ago. I remember someone catching Eels. The other time I was in this area was sometime in the 80’s on a riverboat dinner cruise. The riverboat came up and through the lock and then eventually back down to port. I recalled that 45 years ago, around the age of 9 or 10 (like my Grandson above) there was a massive bridge somewhere in the vicinity. Since I was a kid, it looked huge, narrow and kind of scary. I was looking at it from underneath the East side as it went across the river – sort of uphill – to the bluffs on the other side. I assumed it was a train bridge since it was so narrow. In fact, it was a toll bridge for automobiles. Once again… you can find stuff online:

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There’s a great old hand painted sign.

Footnote to the part about the riverboat dinner cruise… In a previous lifetime we were two couples who went on this thing as a result of not much planning by any of the male individuals involved. After the 3 hour cruise that did not wind up shipwrecked on some tiny uncharted island along the Mississippi, the male individuals figured it was only fair that on the way back into Illinois we stopped at a strip club or two in East Dubuque. It would have been a great experience had it not been for the comments about “how fat” some of those strippers were. “They should not be up there dancing, they’re too fat.” And, telling about that jogs my memory once again. I was probably around 18 when a group of guys went to East Dubuque to visit the strip clubs and I noticed a flier for an upcoming act: “Marhsa Mello, 450 pound of fluff to tickle your fancy.” There was a picture of this woman sitting on a tiny rocking horse. I have not worked up the courage to look this up online. What exactly is your “fancy” and how would one tickle it?

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