HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


This year's University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Homecoming was one to remember forever! I got to spend time with some of my oldest and dearest friends - among them (pictured) Wil Denson (who I was able to tailgate with before the game), and before that, on thursday night, I was in the fine company of two of my fellow thespians from college, Bob Carr, and Doug Cox, who I initiated into the joys of Jack Harmon's wonderful chicken dinners at the Durand Rod and Gun Club.

Proud to say that thus far, my attendance record at the Harmon dinners is one hundred per cent! I have not missed a single one! and my scale tells me that this is no lie!

The other real joy of the weekend was watching the UWEC Marching Band work out at half time of the Blugold/Oshkosh game. They are the most professional marching band I have ever had the privilege to see in person -- and I am including the now suspended U of W Madison Marching Band in that statement!

Getting back to Wil Denson -- Wil is probably one of my oldest friendships in the world. While in the throes of my first marriage going bad, Wil gave me shelter and I lived with him in his apartment over near St. Patrick's Catholic church. He was also my director in several productions, among them "Remembering The Valley" which Wil wrote for presentation at the "Patio Playhouse" -- UWEC Summer Theatre - a well- conceived look at the history of Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley. He also directed me at The Green Ram Theatre in Wisconsin Dells one summer.

I am proud to call him friend!

As for Bob Carr and Doug Cox? Well, two finer actors you will not find anywhere. I had the honor and joy of working the Kjer stage as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On the way to the Forum" -- Doug played Hysterium and Bob portrayed Lycus, the character that we would commonly call a "pimp" or "procurer" these days.

We trekked to the Durand Rod and Gun for chicken last thursday as neither Bob nor Doug had ever gone to one of them before, but they had heard that they are "really a hoot".

And believe me, folks, in the presence of these two - after two brandy manhattans (with extra cherry juice, thank you very much) the entire evening was a HOOT!

The topper? Bob Carr ran into a cousin from Wabasha, Minnesota that he hadn't seen in years -- and because of all the background noise of all the folks playing cards and yelling at one another at the top of their lungs, I heard their name as "Screwhammer" -- which for the rest of the evening at the very mention of it -- sent us into spasms of uncontrollable laughter.

Bring me another brandy manhattan! And this time -- don't forget the damn cherry juice!!

Memories are made of this, folks!


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