The Bloomington Bird Lady: “Subject: Those Twins.
“We’ve been staunch fans of the Twins ever since they became OUR TEAM and not the Washington Senators.
“Major-league ball was a novelty for us way back when we first learned their theme song: ‘We’re gonna win, Twins. We’re gonna score.’ I’d even manage to hold the starting pitch in my head from one season to the next.
“The first game we attended out in Bloomington was early enough so it actually was snowing a little as we sat in the bleachers.
“We’ve watched the team change through the years, and Kent Hrbek still lives in our neighborhood, but what has really changed along with the lovely venue downtown in Minneapolis is the price of tickets. America’s game is no longer ‘of the people.’ They’ve priced us regular folks out of it. No more tailgating, either. [Bulletin Board says: Yes, the ticket prices — like every other price in America — have risen dramatically since the 1960s . . . but unless you insist on the best seats, we can assure you that plenty of “regular folks” manage to afford admission to the games at Target Field.]
“We did go a few times when the Twins were about to win the pennant, and waved our Homer Hankies with everyone else. We still have that souvenir. I can still find the starting note to their theme song, but do they use it anymore?”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Yes, they do.
They might use this version, occasionally, too:
Everyone’s a copy editor!
The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: A game that could (and did) go either way.
“There were mixed messages in the Sports section of Saturday’s Minneapolis paper. At the top of the front page was this:
“‘NCAA EAST: Villanova and Purdue advance. C6’
“As directed, I turned to C6 and found this:
“‘EAST REGION Texas Tech 78, Purdue 65’”
The Permanent Sistersly Record
The Stitcher of Woodbury: “Subject: Happy Easter!
“This is one of the rare Easter pictures that survived many moves over the years.
“Growing up in San Diego, it was rare if my little sister and I had to cover up our Easter outfits with anything more than a sweater. Our playground was usually the canyon that you see in the background, so once we were dressed up, we were hustled straight into the car before we got any big ideas.
“Happy Easter from that snazzy-looking chick in pink!”
Eastside Westside: “I just finished reading the new book by Dan Brown: ‘Origin.’
“I know I am hardly the only one (who is ever the only one?) to visit some of the places he describes so well.
“In the fall of 2015, we finished a river cruise in Budapest and had the honor of visiting the synagogue, the burial place, and the silver-leafed tree in that courtyard.
“Last month we visited Barcelona and we spent a couple of hours around and inside La Sagrada Familia. What an amazing structure. I have vowed to return in 2026 when it is complete: the centenary of Gaudi’s death.”
Mounds View Swede: “Subject: Mer Svenska blommor.
“As we drove around the island of Gotland, the poppies seemed pretty prolific. I did not learn if they had a role to play and were welcome, or were considered an invasive weed. I enjoyed being able to see them in such profusion.
“There were other flowers, too, of course. I thought this was a rose, but am not sure. It reminded me of ‘rose nearly wild’ that I once had in our yard. [Bulletin Board says: Our resident gardener believes it to be a primrose.]
“I do not know what this cluster of white blossoms is called.
“A white rose was an unusual sight for me.
“I was especially pleased to see an occasional pink lady’s-slipper.
“I thought those were just here in Minnesota. To find them in Sweden, too, felt good to me.”
A thought for today
The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: False prophesy.
“Anyone who says he hates surprises has never won the lottery.”
Now & Then
IGHGrampa (“all messed up”): “I just learned that Utah passed a free-range parenting law. That means parents can allow their kids to go outside and do what they want and go where they want. They can just go to the park without parents being along.
“Holy smokes! What are they thinking? Kids could get into all sorts of troubles. They’d get lost. Perverts would get them. Who knows what could happen to them?
“Wait a minute! Why does this all sound so familiar? It’s what my parents did. My brothers and I were all over town without a single parent along. Is that why we’re so messed up?”
The workshop chronicles
Dragonslayer of Oakdale writes: “Dragonslayer of Oakdale reflects on the wisdom in carving wood.
“I’ll begin as a 12- or 13-year-old kid fascinated by old Ed, an elderly man who sat on a retaining wall by the side of his home, whittling various examples of HoBo art. He often sent me on missions to retrieve wood from the local lumber yard or branches from willow trees. These were used to carve willow whistles and wooden ball-and-chains. Other art forms were also created, but 65 years have dulled my recollection. Ed taught me to carve these things, and I was successful, though I retained no evidence of my efforts.
“Ed often offered his politics and philosophy, of which my father said: ‘He’s a Communist; stay away from him.’ I’m sure my father was influenced by Joe McCarthy and the 1950s Communist hysteria.
“Fast-forward some 60-plus years, and my carving/whittling interest returned. The caged loose ball-and-chain was my first effort; a second one was needed to perfect my work.
“Several wood carving/whittling publications taught me things about how wood grain impacts the cut, and vice versa; how to approach the cut relative to wood-grain direction, patterning and layout; keeping tools sharp; and, above all, determination.
“I found I could not draw a representation of any carving subject, but I could recognize it as I removed wood shavings, using a picture and a pattern traced on the wood. This would produce a reasonable copy of the picture.
“I got in trouble in school copying other people’s work, and yet we learn best by copying other people’s work. Ironic.
“I joined a group of carvers at a community center in Maplewood, and after a while you even get to like these carvers. Most of the carvers are between 60 and 92 years old. Retirement seems to be dominant, though there is no reason I could find for this, other than that having more time available, and the need for companionship, advice, inspiration and lots of B.S. brings these people together.
“Old Ed showed me this, but I didn’t see it till 65 years later.
“Sometimes carvers borrow shavings from other carvers so it looks like they’ve done something on their project.
“I’ve found that most of these carvers like to talk, but listening is not a strong suit.
Curiosity, determination, a need to create, recognition, companionship, self-satisfaction, discovery are all things we need to survive, and feel that we have purpose and are contributing to the betterment of society.
“After four years of carving, this group of carvers tell me some of my work is good enough to enter in the State Fair. I might have to find out if they’re right.”
Preachin’ to the choir (responsorial)
Triple-the-Fun in Lakeville: “The Bloomington Bird Lady wrote about some of the great reasons for singing in a church choir, such as feeling needed, hopeful, and having a sense of purpose.
“I’ve been in our church’s choir for 25 years or so (sorry, I really can’t remember what year I joined), and the reasons mentioned above are certainly true. But the biggest reason I come back year after year is because it’s so darned much fun. My fellow choir members are great, as we chatter and laugh throughout rehearsal.
“The Bloomington Bird Lady says learning the songs is not magic, but I would beg to differ. There are times I’m more than a bit surprised songs went as well as they did on Sunday, considering how rehearsal had gone the previous Wednesday. Our director has a great sense of humor and is exceptionally tolerant of us, which adds to the joy. We don’t have robes (yay!) and don’t sit in a loft, but otherwise the experience sounds very similar.
“I would agree wholeheartedly that our choir is like a family. We celebrate when someone becomes a grandparent, we grieve when someone loses a parent (or worse yet, when we lose a choir member), we know who is job hunting, who is remodeling, who is on a diet, and of course we hear about various vacations.
“If you’ve never been in a choir but have thought about it, go for it. You have no idea what joy could be waiting for you.”
What’s in a name?
Kathy S. of St Paul: “Born in a peak year for Kathys, I switched to another nickname when I was about 27 and switching career fields. Mom mourned my baby name and did her best to adjust to the new one — though I still go by Kathy in my family, and with those who met me under that nickname.
“I’ve noticed people changing their names as they transform themselves — possibly as a way of re-branding, and reminding everyone that they are now different.
“Last week I was in Target, waving and smiling at a little girl in her mom’s shopping cart. I told her that my name was Kathy, and wondered why I said that. I decided that it is more of a friendly grandma-type name. Or, in my case, a doting great-aunt.
“Then again, one of my favorite quotes by John Henry Newman is: ‘To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.’
“Am I telling myself something?”
Our community of strangers (responsorial) (responsorial)
Gregory of the North: “I won’t blame you if you never use this, but Dave the Tape Guy of Shoreview’s story reminded me of this joke told to me by a Canadian friend.
“Charles was a woodsman living in northern Manitoba. One day his trusty hand saw broke, so he went down to The Pas to buy a new one.
“The salesman showed him a variety of saws, extolling the efficiency of each one. Charles looked at many saws, and he finally settled on a new Husqvarna. Charles excitedly went back to his home in the woods, and went directly out to the stand he was clearing. He worked hard, but found that he could fell only three trees.
“‘Well, I must be tired from the travel,’ Charles thought. He resolved to get an earlier start the next morning.
“After eating a hearty breakfast, Charles went to the stand at about 8 a.m. He got to work. Pausing only for a short lunch, he looked at his handiwork of felling six trees by the end of the day.
“Not satisfied, Charles decided he would get an even earlier start the next day.
“Sunrise found Charles already in the stand beginning to work on his trees. Charles worked and worked, even skipping lunch. At the end of the day, he counted only eight new trees down.
“Frustrated, Charles returned The Pas and sought out the salesman who had talked him into the saw. ‘This is a terrible saw,’ Charles complained. ‘With my old saw, I could fell 10, maybe 12 trees a day. With this one I’ve never downed more than eight!’
“The salesman looked the saw over, rubbing his chin. Finally, he bent over and pulled the starter rope.
“‘My God!’ Charles yelled. ‘What is that noise?’”
The darnedest things
WARNING! Cute kid story ahead, from Peg of the North: “My daughter-in-law sent this pic of her boys’ leprechaun trap.
“When I FaceTimed yesterday to ask how the trap worked, the 3-year-old (with a serious expression and hand gestures) told me that they did, in fact, catch a leprechaun, but it had clawed its way out of the trap after nibbling on the bait: apples and cookies. The leprechaun did leave quarters for them, so that was nice.
“When I was at their house recently, there was much excitement about the leprechaun trap construction. The 7-year-old shared that his friend set a trap last year, and when he woke up in the morning and checked his trap, the leprechaun was dead. It apparently suffocated! At this point, the 9-year-old looked at me and said with skepticism: ‘Not everyone tells the truth.’ The 7-year-old swore by the story, and the decision was made to leave plenty of air holes in their trap. And that’s how things are going at my son’s house!”
Band Name of the Day: Free-Range Kids
Website of the Day: The once and future (and rightful!) radio home of Minnesota Twins baseball.