Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2005

Just a few fall pieces together

October 6, 2005

Fall is always one of my favorite times of the year. To this point, this one has been different. I am flat worn out on 80-plus degree days. I hope the last one was Tuesday, but I don't count on anything weather-wise anymore.

Like other times, fall suddenly turns busy and I've got some catching up to do. Here we go.

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  • We've got lots of fun fall events in Baldwin that are always worth looking forward to. The Baldwin Community Arts Council's annual Cuppa Java night, the Art Walk finale for the year, always signals the start of the schedule. It was another good one.

A new one, the Lumberyard Arts Center Project's Blues & BBQ, came along last year as a fund-raiser for the downtown effort and has become another good one. Saturday's version was again a success, despite the lack of help from Mother Nature.

There's that weather thing.

But, of course, the granddaddy of them all is just around the corner. Of course, that's the Maple Leaf Festival. If you haven't heard by now, this year's is the 48th-annual version of the fall classic. Also if you haven't heard, it's Oct. 15-16, as in next week. Something tells me you know that, whether it's because you've signed up for the multitude of events that annually rely on tons of volunteers or you leave town that weekend.

We're certainly more than aware of it. The Signal's annual Maple Leaf Festival tab, a special section on the festival, will hit the streets next week. That will be occupying most of our time in the next few days. It always does.

But, as always, we look forward to the festival and wonder how much color will be in the famed trees and what on earth is in store for us weather wise.

Only time will tell.

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  • Another standard for me in the fall is the World Co./WorldWest annual publisher's meetings. This year they were in Minnesota the third week in September. It was early fall in Minnesota and it was very interesting.

I'd never been to Minnesota in the fall, only in the winter. There's quite a difference. The weather was delightful, for the most part, but there was a tornado in Minneapolis, three hours from where we were at Gull Lake, the night we arrived. Of course, we'd all flown into Minneapolis that day, so it was certainly close to home.

I used to fly all the time, but now it's only once a year or so for the meetings. It was again interesting. I hadn't seen the Army patrol with the automatic rifle patrolling the baggage area in the terminal. I can't say I really liked it.

Nor can I say that I liked having to take my shoes off to get them X-rayed. Two years ago, I had to do that with dress shoes when the buzzer went off. The next time I flew, I wore tennis shoes. No problem. So, I did again this time. I didn't even get a chance to go through the buzzer deal. They said my shoes "fit the profile." Crazy.

But, on our way back, I saw something crazier than that. In front of me in line to check in was a foreign couple, Swedish as near as I could tell, and about 100 years old. When they asked for photo ID, the man had one, but the woman pulled out a family picture. It's all she had. They whisked her away. I couldn't believe it. If that poor old woman was a terrorist, the world is coming to an end.

The most fun of the trip, honestly, was a fishing tournament we had after concluding the week's meeting. The weather had been gorgeous the whole time we were there, but it cloudy up and started raining. We had guided boats and they had rain gear to die for. I never got cold or wet, despite a driving rain storm. I was paired with Dolph Simons, Jr., and his daughter, Pam. We talked and laughed and didn't let the weather bother us. And, we caught fish. A limit of walleye, actually.

Most all of the boats caught limits. No one really caught a big fish. So, the prizes had to be awarded somehow else. I won one. I was the tallest fisherman.

Well, it was the weather for it.

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  • Fall is, of course, football. The Baldwin High Bulldogs are doing well, the Baker Wildcats are doing dreadful and the Kansas City Chiefs are somewhere in between.

With my hiatus from the sidelines at Liston Stadium and other BHS and Baker venues, my live football has been at a minimum. I had to go cold turkey.

I've been prowling those sidelines for seven years, but it was time to turn those duties over to Jimmy Gillispie. It hasn't been easy and I certainly miss it.

But, I didn't miss squishing around the field Saturday when Baker was playing its homecoming game.

Stupid weather.

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