Thanksgiving With Basketball Dan

[OK, this was 2003.  But you get the idea.]

[OK, this was 2007.  But you get the idea.]

[This was last Saturday.  I didn’t get there in time to duplicate the preceding photo.]

Saturday marked either the 40th or 41st edition of Thanksgiving With Basketball Dan (note other sites herein).  We’re not sure if the first one was when he lived on Larpenteur Avenue (originally Minneapolis Avenue for you Trivia buffs) or Como Avenue.  It for years coincided with the Michigan-Ohio State football game, and the guys (and later some gals) from a time far away and long ago at the ‘U’ would gather at Dan’s for an afternoon of turkey and football (multiple TV’s going on multiple games).  Subsequently, all were joined by some of his peers in academia at St. Thomas.  A distinguished group, or so they say.  Looking back now, as we do at these events, we have the odd realization that our generation has been in charge of the country . . . and the world, and now we’re getting ready to hang it up and go watch girls’ hockey.

We left Saturday morning in our usual “day trip to the Cities” foul weather.  Two days prior the forecast had been for great weather – then the weather gods learned we were going to be on the road.  Misty, icky all the way down listening to a clacking wind shield wiper.  We left for home as dusk was falling.  I  have never driven home at night from the Cities when it hasn’t snowed – even in July!  If I’m the driver, we stop at the emergency room of Douglas County Hospital so an orthopedic surgeon can pry my fingers loose from their embedment in the steering wheel.

[The Hasz sisters at the state cross-county meet on November 3 (Echo photos).]

[At state.]

[At the sections on October 25.  Bethany has subsequently qualified for the nationals in Oregon by finishing 5th at the regional meet in Sioux Falls; Megan just missed at 9th.  Congrats again to both of them (Echo photos).]

I have learned that driving is best left to the supervisor.  So she did it both ways – because I, as the man, always drive either too slow, too fast, or in the wrong lane.  Now I just sit on the passenger side, nose buried in a electronic solitaire game, and only looking up and out the window when I smell the Albany DQ.  This time we couldn’t even see it on the way home.  We hit a fog bank at Clearwater that stayed with us all the way to Alex.  We followed the tail lights of a bus all the way, going about 60 mph.  When we turned off at Alex, the sky lit up with lightning, thunder boomed, and rain pelted down like we hadn’t seen since . . . June?

[Sarah Bruzek, above, and Becca Illies, below, in the state soccer tournament on October 25 (Echo photos).]

We stopped at brother Cam’s and sister-in-law Karen’s Mounds View abode on the way to the turkey in Woodbury.  We had not seen Cam since his industrial accident that caused the loss of the middle finger on his right hand.   Little did he know that working on a 2nd degree in horticulture at age 58 would be so perilous!

Strange though it may seem, he actually knows a couple Alex hockey moms.  I’m not sure if they would acknowledge it, however.  And Karen works for Cuningham, the designers of our new high school!  🙂 ]

Absent that finger, he now finds it hard to signal that he’s “No. 1!”

But he said the hardest part is receiving change . . .

When Dan first moved to Woodbury you could roll a bowling ball down the luge chute that is I-94 all the way to Wisconsin.  I fine metaphor if I do say so myself since The Great One was indeed at one time a nationally-known bowler.  And here he is with the supervisor outside Fat Daddy’s in 2006 – he’s a close personal friend of Charlie Meyer (OK, they know each other).

We timed our arrival perfectly – all the meal prep work had been done!  🙂

[Libby and Hans arrived next.  They were co-hosts back in the early days and it’s still Hans’s job to carve the turkey.  He is also known in this blog as the guy who took the great black and white photos of Uncle Dick in the early 70’s.]

[Hans checks the bird.  Dan puts the 25-pounder in about 6:30 am each year.  To our knowledge, it’s only day of the year this night owl arises before 10:00.]

[Pre-dining discussions begin.  So, what have you done in the past year?]

[Meanwhile, back in the kitchen.  The entire place smells yummy!  🙂 ]

[We’re old – but we still know how to text, tweet, et al.]

[Is it ready?]

[Hey, check on the Michigan game!]

[We must have eaten already – here come the pies!  And there was a 2nd pumpkin pie!  🙂  In addition the turkey, The Great One’s annual specialties include mashed potatoes and gravy (of course), sweet potatoes, two kinds of cranberries, three kinds of dressing, and baked corn.  No one went home hungry.  (Thank goodness, because I never noticed the Albany DQ on the way home!)]

[Clean-up begins!  The supervisor gets the carcass every year.  By the very next day we were enjoying turkey vegetable soup.]

In order to give fair and balanced reporting, the next several photos are from the 2007 event.  Thus, in an attempt to cover everyone . . .

[Just to bring sports back into the picture (so to speak), this is the daughter of the guy standing at the kitchen counter in the above photo.  She was the starting center for DeLaSalle’s state tournament team a couple of years ago.] 

Wrapping up, after 40+ years of this event, the participants are now of such an age that they no longer drink.  The beverage of choice is diet Root Beer.  Arrghhhh!  Fortunately, the supervisor and I bring our own fermented grape – well aware that wine is much healthier for you than . . . POP?

[Happy Thanksgiving all!  🙂 ]

[We had a beautiful sunset on the 7th!]

[I was shocked – SHOCKED – to see ice forming on beautiful Lake Darling when I got home from the gym on Monday.  Seems way too early – and hasn’t been that cold, until . . .  The last two days have been cold enough for ice making, but I didn’t think it was to the Ice Age stage yet.  Girls hockey starts this week, so otherwise all else is right with the world.  And it’s the prettiest season of the year!  😉  (Which reminds me – a member of the Fat Boys Walking Club noted this morning, as we were all marveling at arriving at the gym this in zero degree wind chill, that he knows a retired couple here who can afford to go around the world as many times as they want yet stay here all winter. When asked why, they say because they like it.  Shocking.)]

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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