Close, but no …
Writes Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake: “Subject: How would you feel?
“Back in 1955, my mother worked in downtown St. Paul at a fancier restaurant named the Roman Café. It was located on Robert Street just off East Seventh Street.
“My mother worked evenings as a server, so my father would go downtown and pick her up around 10 p.m.
“One time I rode with him to go get her, and we found a parking spot right in front of the Roman Café. We were a little early, so I went outside to walk around in the snow waiting for her to come out. I was 7 years old at the time. It was snowing lightly, and it was covering the sidewalks and roads with a nice layer of fresh powder snow.
“For some reason I crawled under a mailbox on the corner of Robert and Seventh Street — maybe to cover myself from the falling snow? While I was under the mailbox, I looked up at the bottom of it and saw a small package that was secured to it in one corner. It looked to be maybe about 2 inches square, 1 inch thick and maybe wrapped with a paper-bag material. I thought that someone must have mailed a package and put it under there for some reason, so I left it alone.
“Some time later, it was announced that the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion was found under a mailbox on Robert Street and Seventh Street.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Where has the Medallion been found? Check the full list here.
Medallion Hunt stories are, of course, welcome here. No, wait — any sort of treasure-hunt story is welcome here!
Only a __________ would notice
Gregory of the North, on Saturday afternoon: “In watching the inauguration yesterday, the guy with whom I felt some empathy was this Marine Captain.
“Imagine the pressure to do everything right, to know you’re on international television, not really knowing what to expect (would she trip, etc?). His posture and manner were impeccable. Note how he holds his arm in a perfect 45-degree angle, and his palm is extended, as we are taught in officer school. He impressed me greatly.
“I hope he was able to relax and perhaps even enjoy an adult beverage after this.”
Mounds View Swede writes again: “Coon Rapids Norwegian and I always look forward to those last miles of Highway 41 near the tip of the Keeweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. It is a treasure trove of possibilities when the color is good.
“Our challenge was to find the gems hidden in those possibilities, then capture it with our cameras.
“This was a strange time for me, as I was still mentally foggy and low-energy after a sepsis infection the previous April. That affected my creativity as well.
“We took our time and explored more — not just the road, but the occasional clearing just off the road. They all had turnoffs into them — inviting us to stop and look around more.”
So … worse than, like, y’know, sort of tons of iconic . . . whatever
Dragonslayer of Oakdale: “I have noticed a new [Bulletin Board says: No, not new; it was noted here years ago], or maybe resurrected [Bulletin Board says: We never noticed its temporary disappearance], speech pattern discovered in, but not limited to, female restaurant servers, wherein questions inquiring of any additional needs or wants are suffixed with ‘AT ALL.’
“How do these things develop, at all?”
Clowning around (responsorial)
Cee Cee of Mahtomedi: “There are still opportunities to study the circus arts just north of Venice, in Sarasota.
“Also, for anyone visiting the area, the Ringling Circus Museum is a worthwhile stop.”
“I have many other photos to share if any readers are interested. The museum is marvelous, and we highly recommend it.”
Everyone’s a (book) critic!
Another mini-review of an underappreciated classic, from Tim Torkildson: “America has a genius for celebrating the eccentricities of family. There are always aunts and uncles coming out of the woodwork with strange fancies and occluded mindsets; cousins who are occasional jailbirds and/or lunatic backpackers; and don’t forget the siblings who join cults or establish them.
“Parents and grandparents appear as buffoons or throwers of gasconades. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the faux ancestors that humorists like to invent: horse rustlers who wound up as guests at a necktie party, or sea captains who braved the Straits of Malacca for jewel-encrusted jade Buddhas or to bring home an exotic spouse with batik tattoo.
“It’s a fabulous tradition that possibly reached its height back in 1934, with the publication of James Thurber’s brief autobiography and family bestiary, ‘My Life and Hard Times.’
“Thurber details, with a reporter’s dispassionate eye, the eccentricities and downright lunacy of his immediate family. With chapter headings such as ‘The Night the Ghost Got In’ or ‘The Night the Bed Fell Down,’ you get the feeling that the Thurber household had few restful evenings — and you’d be right. The book, only 138 pages long, runs the gamut from city panics to gunplay to rogue pets. Thurber wastes little time or energy with run-on sentences or big words. His prose bristles with brief declarative sentences. A semicolon is as rare as a pork chop at a Jewish wedding.
“What this means is that the reader is treated to a glimpse of many fanciful characters without any fanciful prose.
“This would be a hard book to dislike for any reason. The humor is robust at times, at times rather sly and coy. But it’s written without an iota of malice or venom, just lots of homespun bewilderment. This is how America used to laugh at itself — and it’s sorely missed in today’s supercharged environment.
“Copies on Amazon.com are available for as little as one cent (plus shipping and handling).”
Small enough for ya?
Or: The Essentials
Al B of Hartland: “I’m a hound for hoping. ‘Poptown’ was my big chance to get pop as a boy. I hoped for a Tom Moore orange or strawberry pop. It was called pop, never soft drinks or sodas.
“Poptown was a nickname for the tiny village of Bath, which was located not far from our farm. It had a bustling population of several people.
“Why was it called Poptown? Because pop was available there.”
Band Name of the Day: Downright Lunacy
Websites of the Day: (1) Howard Tibbals and the huge miniature circus, and (2) Howard Tibbals’ model circus