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Saturday, September 5, 2009


Friday, September 4 -

As is always the case whenever the next day means any sort of travel event, last night was one of those toss and turn” nights when my brain refuses to go offline long enough to give me a chance to get some decent sleep.

I finally succumbed to Tylenol two or three (whatever the hell the one is that in addition to relieving pain also contains an element that knocks you out.) Even at that I was up at 5:30 AM and into a long steamy whirl pool bath and the final chapters of “Combat Crew”, an autobiography of a B-17 navigator/gunner who successfully flew 25 missions over Nazi occupied Europe during World War Two.

Kim always marvels how quickly I can plan and pack my bag for the road and by 8:30 AM we were saying our good byes as I began my weekend of travel, first down to Mukwonago for an over night visit with younger brother Anson including a stop in Windsor, Wisconsin, to visit a bit with my pal Tom “Blinkey” Johnson.

Of course any trip that begins around breakfast time that takes me near Osseo, Wisconsin, means the obligatory stop at “The Norske Nook”, where in addition to the best hash browns and home made white bread toasted to perfection, you get the added bonus of free entertainment of the local retired men gathered around the biggest round table in the joint, talking crops and politics over tha banging and clatter of the leather clad dice cup. Loser buys.

Fortified with strong Norwegan coffee (an additional fill forf the road) I was back on the road in less than half an hour.

The coffee led to a nature call in Tomah where the young gal attending the cash register was fascinated with my number 5 Packer jersey.

“Who is number 5?” she asked as I paid for fuel.
“A guy who played a hundred years ago - Paul Hornung. I am on my way to Waukesha to get his autograph”, I replied.
“Oh! I went to high school with a kid named Paul Hornung!”

I don’t think this was the same one.

I got a coffee refill to make certain there would be no nodding at the wheel and pulled into the Johnson driveway at 11:30 AM.

It was a really beautiful late summer’s day and Tom and a visiting cousin enticed me into a Heineken poolside out back where we caught up on each other’s lives for a bit.

Realizing that my brother Anson would be home after 2 PM, I took off shortly before two and got into Mukwonago around 4 PM.

I asked Anson if he would mind coming with me to scout out the sports card shop in Waaukesha where I needed to be the following morning at noon to get my two helmet autographs.

We managed to find the place in a small strip mall near down town Waukesha before we went to friday night fish fry at the Blue Heron supper club.

While I was in the sports shop I noticed the clerk was playing a black and white video of the 1961 championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.

I asked him about it and he told me that he can send me a copy (entire game!) by mail if I contact him outside of work at his home number at a cost of $20.00.

I just may do that as it is a wonderful piece of Packer history.

I arrived at the sports card shop about 11:15 AM. Bob, the clerk that I had spoken with about purchasing a copy of the 1961 Packer/Giant championship game and I were the only guys there for quite a while. I mentioned the 1961 taping to him again and he asked if I had $20 with me - I did - so I got my two DVD's of the game this morning.

I brought in the two helmets for signing and took my place as the first in line. Mr. Hornung arrived about 11:35 and spent the first half hour in the back room signing various items for the card shop to sell in his absence.

Bob had told me that Mr. Hornung can sometimes be unpredictable but arrived in good spirits. Spying the newly issued Brett Favre Viking jerseys he quipped (quite sarcastically: "So, Rob, i bet you're selling a lot of these!"

While he signed my helmets I asked permission to take his picture and he cheerfully agreed, even saying he would be willing to pose with me, but I respectfully declined so as not to keep the others in line waiting.

All in all, it was a very pleasant experience and I was back on Highway 94 by 12:20PM, wending my way home so that I could be ready to join friends for the Blugold home opener tonight at 7 PM.

Which reminds me now that i am checking my watch that I had best hang this up and go get in the hot tub and lossen up my road weary muscles or this could make for a long and painful evening!


1 comment:

mwp33 said...

Nice helmet signed by "The Golden Boy"!