Welle was Correct

Some years ago, I completed the work to obtain a teaching degree. There were several steps that were necessary to obtain our teaching degree, which seemed superfluous to us as students. One of these obligatory steps was to attend graduation. There was nothing that said that we had to be sober
We were lined up in alphabetical order. John Welle was more angry about the superfluous steps than the rest of us. He just happened to be next in the line before me. And he showed his anger by showing up late. And drunk.

By the time that we marched into the lawn area, I already wished that John had skipped the ceremony. The ceremony began with the national anthem. At the conclusion of the national anthem, John shouted, “Play Ball!”

The students who were within earshot of John, turned to get a better view of the shouter.  At this point, John shut up. Our neighbors didn’t know who did the shouting.

John expressed his opinion to the quality of many classes when he laughed out loud when a speaker’s comment that “we know you have all worked long and hard” to obtain your degrees.

In this case, John Welle was correct.


[It was a Saturday, and I had just moved to Wibaux, MT. Wibaux is near the border of Montana and North Dakota.]

I had an apartment in downtown Wibaux. It was a nice place, but noisy. The train went through downtown, but the biggest problem was the bar noise.

The Shamrock Bar was the noisiest bar in town and it was directly across the street from my place. I wasn’t prepared for the first Saturday night. The bar noise was so loud that I couldn’t sleep.

I heard an argument between two former friends. One of them said, “Hey, don’t cut me, man. I’ve loved you like a brother.”

When the bar closed at 2, I thought that Sunday night would be better. Nope – it was worse! North Dakota had laws preventing the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The drunks from North Dakota came to Wibaux to drink on Sunday evening.

Canyon de Chelly

We were driving along the scenic road on Canyon de Chelly*; we were on the next to last stop on the scenic route.

We stopped so that Cheri could get a few photos. As Cheri started down the trail, I realized that the walk was too hot for me, so I returned to the jeep.

Shortly thereafter the driver of the car next to us returned to his car.

His teenage daughter was literally dragging her feet across the Enter/Exit markings.

Girl: Okay, Dad, now you have seen everything, right?
Dad: Nope. I have to make one more stop.
Girl: Jeez
Dad: I didn’t dream about this place all of my life, not to make every stop.


* Canyon de Chelly is in the Navajo Nation


[Unsolicited advice: Don’t waste your money at Four Corners. The physical monuments are much more spectular.]

Urban Connecticut vs Rural Minnesota

Karen was a new employee at General Mills in Minneapolis. She was from an urban area of Connecticut. She was living with Lois.

I was acting in a play in Barrett. Lois and Karen drove up to Barrett to see the play.

After the play we drove to the Cat’s Eye* to eat. On the way to the Cat’s Eye I met several people that I knew, and in the manner of the county, I waved to them.

Once we were seated at a table in the Cat’s Eye, a waitress came to take our order. I had eaten there often, so the waitress asked me if I wanted the “usual”.

After eating at the Cat’s Eye, we stopped at the Home 20 for ice cream. The menu cover of this restaurant was a copy of an early newspaper of the county. Karen was really astounded by now.

The waiter asked Karen if she would like a menu to take with her as a souvenir. Of course, Karen said yes.

The next week end, Karen had an opportunity to go to Kansas City, but she declined to go. She had seen enough of “rural” America for a while.


* Cat’s Eye and Home 20 at one time used to be restaurants that I frequented when I lived in rural Minnesota.

Bridgeport Inn

One night we stayed at the Bridgeport Inn in the Eastern Sierra. The inn was set up with the bar, the restaurant, and the lobby downstairs, and the sleeping rooms upstairs.

Steve was sitting in the lobby reading the Bible. Karen, who was wearing a short, stylish skirt, walked into the lobby, saw him reading the Bible. 

She asked him about what he was reading. Steve said that he was reading Matthew, and gave an exegesis of the scripture that he was reading.

Karen’s husband, Mike, came into the lobby, and listened for a time. Then he got bored and went into the bar. 

I too got tired of the Biblical discussion, and left to take a walk. Three hours later I returned, and sat in the lobby again. Steve and Karen were still discussing Matthew.

Mike came back from the bar. Karen asked Mike if he was ready to go upstairs. He said “Yes”. Karen adjusted her dress, said, “Good Night, Steve”, and she and Mike left. Apparently, Steve was done reading too, since he also went upstairs.

I went up to my room as well.

First Last Kiss

Ginny and Micky were sweethearts when they were in the eighth grade. They played together in the swamp behind the school.
Micky was trying to be cool. One day they were playing and Micky said to Ginny, “Let’s kiss”. Ginny said, “Okay”. This was their first kiss.

Micky also shared a wad of chewing tobacco with Ginny. This was their first and last kiss.

Circle K Doorman

We pulled into the Circle K parking lot in Benson. It was an extremely warm December evening. The moon was full.

Nick was in an animated conversation with an invisible friend near the entrance. Their conversation was crazy talk. Nick had blond matted hair and a scruffy beard.

As I approached the door, Nick broke off his conversation, and quickly opened the door to the Circle K.

I thanked Nick and got my chocolate milk. Nick returned to his rant.

I paid for my chocolate milk, and proceeded to the Circle K exit. Again, the doorman interrupted his conversation to open the door for me.

iPhone map app

Why not use a map in your head?

In my motorcycle days I used to have a map in my head.

And for those cases in which I needed to consult the map again I could look up the route again quickly using a paper map.

Nowadays I am more likely to use my iPhone map app. Sometimes there are blatant errors, which are obviously incorrect. These include telling us to turn the wrong direction (right/left), or turn the wrong direction onto a one way. We still have to use logic to avoid accidents.

When I am functioning as a navigator in a vehicle I find that reading the map on a iPhone screen is difficult. By the time I get oriented correctly on the iPhone app, we are often past the decision point that I was looking up.

So why not just use a paper map?

Because of the quick access of an iPhone, we no longer use the paper map as often, and consequently the paper map is often unavailable. Even if it is available, medical issues such as astigmatism and lack of dexterity cause problems when using a paper map.

In summary, it is important to lay out a route before leaving home.


What is the identifying point for a location?

I can “pointalize” a city by name only. For example, using Cheyenne, WY as a point. This takes us to the capitol building.

Just the Facts

[In an earlier stage of my life I lived in Barrett, Minnesota.]

Dick and I lived across the street from Al and Gisela. Gisela made some serious cinnamon rolls.

One Friday night a small airplane buzzed us. This was quite unusual since the nearest airport was in Elbow Lake, a town 7 miles north of Barrett.

Gisela had made cinnamon rolls, and invited us over to enjoy her baking. Just as we left our place for their place, we saw the lights of a small plane disappeared behind the trees north of town.

A little later the siren for the volunteer fire department sounded; of course, we had to go see what had happened. The ambulance had already taken the pilot to the Elbow Lake hospital. The firemen were checking the plane and the surrounding area to insure that no fire broke out from the accident.

On Monday Dick and I were told to meet with an FAA official. We were laughing and joking as we walked down to where the official was. The silence and glare of the official convinced us that he only wanted the facts.