Gee, our old La Salle ran great!
Deuce of Eagan writes: “Subject: The Peanut Gallery.
“At a weekly car show recently, a group was reminiscing about television shows of the past. One of the ladies offered: ‘Don’t forget “The Howdy Doody Show”!’ Nearly instantly, as though on cue, a chorus of 55- to 75-year-olds began singing the ageless ‘It’s Howdy Doody time, it’s Howdy Doody time. . . .’ As we giggled and laughed, several others nearby began singing the same verses loudly, followed by even greater laughter. Finally, there was one more final impromptu sing-along with over half of those present at the show, all with wide smiles as they sang! It was like magic! An unexpected tribute to a childhood show we all enjoyed. Howdy was on from 1947 to 1960.
“Everyone began to challenge themselves to recall the names of those in the cast. Remembered were: Howdy; Buffalo Bob; Clarabell; Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring; Chief Thunderthud; Dilly-Dally; Phineas T. Bluster; along with several others rarely seen, such as Heidi Doody, Howdy’s sister.
“The complete song goes like this: ‘It’s Howdy Doody time, / It’s Howdy Doody time. / Bob Smith and Howdy, too, / Say howdy do to you. / Let’s give a rousing cheer, / For Howdy Doody’s here. / It’s time to start the show, / So kids, let’s go!’ — as Chief Thunderthud could often be heard exclaiming: ‘Kowabunga!'”
And: Our community of strangers
September 24 email: “Subject: 40th birthday in heaven.
“‘Nina would have been _____ years old today.’ Every year for 25 now, it has been the same sad song, followed by a deep sigh and a tear, since that unthinkable day in May of 1995 . . . the age that Nina would have been and should have been — but instead she is 15 years, seven months and 17 days old forever. Today it would have/should have been 40 years old. Shockingly, to say the least, 40 years old. Unbelievable.
“My third-born, Kristina ‘Nina’ Laurel Westmoreland, was an amazing, compassionate, bright, creative, wiser-than-her years, and loving ‘old soul.’ Though trying not to be gloomy today, it is hard not to think about what she should be experiencing on this milestone birthday, Yes, a thousand times yes, I am incredibly thankful for those 15-plus albeit too-short years of her existence in our lives here on Earth. I would have cherished being able to watch her and her family grow . . . and if she would have chosen to do so, I’d have loved to see her as a mother. I know she would be as wonderful as her sisters are in that role; she really loved children, and they loved her back; she was the neighborhood’s favorite babysitter. When she would get off the school bus, the little ones would wait for her to a chorus of ‘Nina, Hi Nina,’ and they’d follow her as she happily chatted with them on the walk home.
“I’m quite sure she would have had a career of some kind; even at only 15 years old, she thought she had her whole life planned out. The day before the drunk-driving crash that took her young life, she was telling me all about what she wanted to be when she ‘grew up’: ‘I think I want to be a pediatrician, Mommy . . . or maybe a social worker. I’d love to be on Broadway, but that is probably just a dream. So many things to think about — I just can’t decide!’ I remember telling her she had plenty of time to worry about those big decisions; that she was only 15 and had her whole life ahead of her. Little did we know.
“Today I’m going to try to remember that sweet little girl who LOVED her birthdays. I can picture the toddler birthdays with party hats and Sesame Street birthday cakes, the slumber parties with young girls giggling into the wee hours of the morning, and then the more ‘mature’ teenage parties with with dancing and boys. She loved any kind of celebration with her family and friends — the more, the merrier. One of my friends used to say: ‘Nina is like Julie the Cruise Director (for those who remember the TV show way back when, ‘Love Boat’). She makes everything a fun party!’
“I hope you are partying with the children in heaven who became Mommy’s lifesavers from The Compassionate Friends, and with our family loved ones who are now with you too, my Nina. You are missed by all of us more than words can ever say, my precious, vivacious and dearly loved youngest daughter. Happy Heavenly Birthday — I love you forever!
“Peachy of Cottage Grove, who thanks Bulletin Board for the BB friends, for the stories they have shared through the laughter and the tears, and for allowing me to keep Nina’s memory alive through the years.”
This ‘n’ that ‘n’ the other
All from Al B of Hartland: (1) “A woman reported a colony of bees in the wall of her house. Her home had become a Bee & Bee. When her doorbell buzzes, so does the wall. Honey bees build nests out of beeswax. Yellowjacket wasps build paper nests and are sometimes found in walls. At this season of the year, the yellowjackets have time to attend picnics and search for sugar. They are natural biological controls as predators of insects, but develop a sweet tooth now and desire sugary foods like ice cream, soda and fermenting fruit that provide energy and fuel nasty dispositions. A friend tells me they dislike diet soft drinks. That makes sense.
“Playing in the state softball tournament one year, I was standing on second base when the umpire nearest me called a timeout. The young son of the home-plate umpire had been guzzling a soft drink from a can into which a yellowjacket had crawled. He was stung and suffered an allergic reaction. Fortunately, there was an ambulance at the tournament that hauled the boy to a hospital. No one felt like playing the game. He ended up in fine fettle, but about 62 people a year die of wasp or bee stings in this country. August and September produce the most yellowjacket stings.”
(2) “All birds molt. Most have a gradual loss and replacement of feathers. Some (often blue jays and cardinals) experience an abnormal molt that can lead to a bald bird. This one has a closely cropped haircut.”
(3) “It takes only one monarch butterfly to make a roost. These local roosts took my breath away.”
Elvis reports: “Subject: Unclear on the concept.
“Elvis was at Culver’s with a friend. She ordered a kid’s meal and asked for her senior discount. Says she does it all the time, and it comes with a free-cone coupon on the bag.
“Elvis was admittedly trying to make a bit of a scene at the cash register over the irony of this, but the well-trained teenager taking the order just smiled and wouldn’t say a thing.”
Keeping your eyes open
Or: The vision thing
KH of White Bear Lake: “Have you ever figured out how to get that first piece of pie out of the pan without making a mess? I haven’t either. But someone, or something, in the woods has gotten pretty good at extracting the first wedge from a mushroom pie.
“I hope to catch them in the act sometime.”
The sign on the road to the cemetery said “Dead End”
Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Division
Our Official Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Monitor — Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul — reports: “The most recent message on the electronic board of the church on Lexington in Shoreview reads:
“‘IN CONSTRUCTION ASK:
“‘HOW WOULD JESUS DRIVE?’”
Floral Photography Division
Mounds View Swede: “Our late ‘taste of summer’ weather provides a benevolent atmosphere for these flowering plants to successfully bloom. I think we have gotten off pretty easy this summer here in the Twin Cities compared to a lot of other parts of the country.
“My neighbor has a great variety of lilies and now a great variety of dahlias, too. Here are some more blossoms to enjoy.
“This blossom has petals that look like red fingers, complete with fingernails.
“And I wonder when it rains if all these little ‘tubes’ fill up with water.
“I don’t know if the center opens up all the way on this blossom . . .
“. . . or on this one. I like how they look like this as it is.
“The petals on this blossom seem to line up in rows instead of overlapping circles.”
Later: “Here are about the last of the dahlias I found blooming at my neighbor’s. The first one seemed great the way it was, but the center part seemed as if it was promising more to come.
“This more fully opened one had petals that were popping out at the back, but the yellow and white mix of colors was attractive to me.
“This style of blossom looks so uniform and perfect in its presentation.
“And this one has more of a ‘Ta Da!’ feel to it.
“And this one was unique in its splatter of red spots on the white petals.
“The great variety of ways the blossoms can present themselves with color and design probably makes growing them more interesting. It certainly stirs my sense of wonder.”
Still later: “For today’s compost-site visit, I brought my camera along with the food scraps in case the blossoms were good. When I first started looking closely, I saw what I wanted and wondered if there would be any bees at work. Right away, one showed up for me. After taking several photos, I quietly said: ‘Thank you.’
“The first two photos are hosta blossoms.
“A couple of hollyhocks are still blooming.
“The next two are flowers that got established from things patrons brought to the compost site to dispose of.
“Seeing these ‘volunteers’ made me very happy.”
Verbing of America
The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “During the bottom of the seventh inning of last Wednesday’s Twins/White Sox game, Dick Bremer made this observation: ‘White Sox bullpenning the Twins, and so far succeeding.’”
Everyone’s a copy editor!
Emails from Donald: (1)”Subject: Pioneer Press Want ad: ‘Sports section proofreader.’
“On Page 3B of the Thursday, 9/12 Pioneer Press, this appeared in an article about the Vikings’ lineman Dakota Dozier: ‘Dozier said the Jets offered him the same contract as the Vikings. But he chose to sign a one-year, $805,000 million deal with the Vikings.’
“All the other media outlets must have missed that one!
“On Page 5B of the Tuesday, 9/17 Pioneer Press, this appeared in the ’Sports briefing’ section:
“‘Morgan to miss rest of season’
“‘VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks signed restricted free-agent right wing Brock Boeser to a three-year, $17.625 million deal.
“‘The 22-year-old from Burnsville missed training camp during the weekend as negotiations continued.
“‘Boeser was the club’s third-leading scorer last season with 26 goals and 30 assists in 69 games.’
“Too bad about Morgan.”
(2) “Subject: Golf . . . hockey . . . aren’t they pretty much the same?
“From the ‘Sports briefing’ column on Page 6B in the Sports section of Friday’s Pioneer Press:
“‘Chabot signs $64M deal with Senators’
“‘OTTAWA, Ontario — The Ottawa Senators believe their future looks a lot brighter after signing defenseman Thomas Chabot to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension Thursday.’”
Semi-Legend: “Subject: Regret the error.
“Harper’s Magazine ran two corrections in its October 2019 issue.
“The first said it had incorrectly stated the size of the San Luis Valley. The story said about 8,000 acres, when it should have said 8,000 square miles.
“This was the second correction: ‘The article also incorrectly stated that the Gruber family’s cockatoo is named George. The cockatoo is named Sugar; George is its alter ego. We regret the errors.’
“Here are the passages from the story:
“‘Through a window we could see a cockatoo inside. Most of the animals were rescues, Stacy said. When the front door opened, I could hear the cockatoo squawk and then speak in a woman’s voice. Stacy said it also spoke in the voice of a man they deduced had been named George, because the woman said reassuring things such as, “It’s okay, George.”
“‘”But sometimes George uses bad words,” Meadoux informed me.
“‘”Oh, like what?”
“‘She didn’t want to say. Stacy dared, though. “George will say things like [she lowered her voice], ‘Shut the f___ up’ or ‘Shut the f___ing door.’ ” The girls giggled. “We think George was abusive,” Stacy added.’
“They reported on the latest bad word uttered by George the cockatoo. I wonder if Sugar — or George, more rudely — complained.”
Just a coincidence?
Or: There’s a signpost up ahead . . . (responsorial)
“Once upon a time, I’d have thought that seeing or hearing stuff like those TV coincidences was odd. That was well before I ended up at the auction. We have intake every morning — carts of clients’ goodies to put up for sale online. There’d been a few sad irons and a horseshoe on the cart I finished. I thought of a ruffle iron. Why? Who can say? The next Monday morning, one appeared on the cart.
“This extends. Monday morning, the manager was dealing with a hard-case from out of state who thought maybe he could get a damaged-in-transit item for free. Note to others: Nothing is ever for free at an auction; you bid, you win, you pay and then you take it up with the post office to make an insurance claim. Anyhow, I heard the manager say ‘I’m an Askan; I can deal with the unfriendly ones OK.’
“Really? Auction Girl doesn’t advertise it. Thought she was the token Husker in this place. ‘Where from?’ she asked the manager. ‘Columbus.’ Someone from the old town, to boot.
“We’d compared our favorite vintages: Both of us like jazz and old 78s and weird novelty songs (any period). Auction Girl is drawn to the period 1915-1928. Manager loves the 1930s. I guess it’s all in what you grew up near. We also found we knew one side each of a two-sided story involving a props man, the legendary movie ‘Gone with the Wind,’ a broken marriage, an affair, a murder, and the two halves of his old estate (movie memorabilia, notes, photos & car-lease agreements from the studios) migrating to two cities in Minnesota.
“Lastly, Auction Girl just put up a group of those little 1950s cars you used to get kids’ meals in at the Sonic. Manager had to have them; so she said, anyway. Used to be a skating car-hop at one. That was one of Auction Girl‘s dreams (unrealized).
“And so . . . Zoo Lou, if you just see things on TV, laugh about it and be glad it’s only fiction. Real life is so much stranger.”
Triple-the-Fun of Lakeville: “My better half and I are currently traipsing around Europe. It’s reassuring to find that people are friendly and kind and welcoming wherever we go, regardless of the language or culture.
“Nearly everyone speaks at least some English everywhere we’ve been, so getting around hasn’t been a problem. However, there have been times when we needed help and couldn’t find any people to ask, so we had to rely on signage (which isn’t always in English) to find our way. Here’s an example of a sign that we found difficult to decipher.
“However, some signs have been far easier to understand. In one town in Poland, we were looking for restrooms when we found this helpful sign.
“I guess people everywhere have a sense of humor.”
What’s in a name?
The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: A day of Doziers.
“This may have been a first … and last. In the Sports section of last Thursday’s Pioneer Press, two headlines included ‘Dozier.’ To wit:
“Page 3B: ‘Dozier happy with Minnesota choice’
“Page 5B: ‘Dozier relishes return to Target Field’
“The first was a reference to Dakota Dozier, an offensive lineman for the Vikings.
“The second was a reference to Brian Dozier, now playing for the Washington Nationals.
“I’ll let you know if it happens again.”
Frontiers of Endurance Sports
MoonGlo writes: “Subject: AN EASY MARATHON FOR EVERYONE.
“Do you think you are too old or have too many rolls around your torso to run a marathon? THINK AGAIN! Everyone can compete in this ONE BLOCK Shortest Marathon on Saturday, September 28, in White Bear Lake. It is a benefit for The White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf — and for a tax-deductible check of $35 (or children $12), you will receive a T-shirt, lots of food, bottled water and coffee.
“To register, contact the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf (whitebearfoodshelf.org).
“We will meet at Bald Eagle Avenue & Third Street 11 a.m. and have a great time while putting nutritious and healthful meals on many needy tables. Wheelchairs, walkers, and all ages are welcome. It’s a hoot, so come and join in the fun. You can arrive at 11 and be home by noon!
“THANKS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!”
Life as we know it
Or: There’s nothin’ like a simile!
The Astronomer of Nininger: “Subject: The Sourdough Recipe.
“I am not a baker, but the Good Wife is. On occasion, sourdough bread has become a centerpiece of exasperating challenges to keep the culture going properly. I thought that a tricky but intoxicating parallel exists between this tasty bread that results when the culture is cared for properly and the society in which we live and thrive. Essentially, given a starter, this tasty and arguably healthful bread is prepared by adding flour and water to the starter, taking out a portion, and, after careful manual manipulation of the dough, baking it to perfection. Some (hopefully enough) of the starter remains so that this process can be continued again and again. Some starters, like those from San Francisco, may exceed 100 years in age. If we don’t put some flour back into it, the starter will no longer be zesty enough to produce the leavening agents needed for the bread to rise.
“I label this metaphor the ‘Sourdough Model,’ in which the human condition reflects the sourdough in the kitchen. In society, we grow up in the local culture. All of us seem to take something, either from schools, our communities, or our nation. To be successful and to keep the culture growing, maybe we need to put something back into it. If we want this great nation to continue to be robust, we all have to contribute our share. How remarkably simple, and no complex ideologies to debate. If you just take, the culture will eventually die. But if you take and replenish a fair share, we all win.”
Band Name of the Day: Howdy & the Thunderthuds
Website of the Day (responsorial):
Semi-Legend: “I clicked on your Website of the Day, ‘Bob & Ray, the Slow Talkers of …… America,’ and it came up ‘Video Unavailable.’ But I just had to click to see it on YouTube.
“Here’s another favorite, annotated:”