BAT . . . and Ole Oppe Fest

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7-4-09-52-1 - CopyThis is BAT.  Bat Bennett that is . . . from New Mexico.  He and Brenda travel the country as gypsies, to entertain as they go, to bring a little smile and a sing-along to the entertained.  We had not seen him before.  The name rang a bell, but at my age it may have been a ringing in my ever hardening cochlea.  But he was at SAWA, as he was Thursday night, last September.  Those who were there last September remembered . . . they were all here again on this night.  This was the first of four straight days of performances in Alex. We made them all.  As far as I could tell from his schedule, Alex is their only stop in Minnesota.  Needless to say, we liked him.  Not only for his talent, an ability to play a thousand songs (all by request) without music, but for his energy.  He only takes a break when he breaks a guitar string, or to have a little repartee with his audience.  And as we have discovered over the years it’s hard not to like someone who so demonstrably loves what they do.  🙂


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[Brenda, on the left, keeps tabs on things and surveys the audience for requests.]

Black Water:

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[Yes, there are videos interspersed herein.]

My Girl:

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[As daylight turns to . . . ]

Magic Carpet Ride:

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[Nightfall . . . and the protected age group set begins to turn into pumpkins.]

Ole Oppe Fest didn’t officially begin until Friday.  It, like Awake the Lakes (now moved to the end of June because of recent weather issues associated with Memorial Day) in the past, welcomes the commencement of the summer season where the natives cast off their parkas, don their shorts, and go out on the holiday weekend for their first sunburn of the season.  This year we amazingly got a couple of days early start when the supervisor was able to put the top down on her new VW for the first time.  We were heading to town to meet with high school classmate, Doctor Colonel Professor Tom Kiehne, and his wife Pam who were here from Austin, Texas, to visit Tom’s 90-year old, but still frisky, dad Merill.

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[The supervisor’s move from her 14-year old pick-up to this little ditty is a big hit!  🙂   ]

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[Leaving the “plantation,” it was nice to see the horsies out grazing across the street.  They’re apparently big fans of California Chrome.]

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[I guess I’d better get in the car or she’ll likely drive off and leave me!]

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[By going topless, I was able to reprise my award winning photo, “Blue,” from several years ago.  Wait for the inevitable nice day, ride top down in a convertible, aim the camera straight up, and hit the shutter button.]

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[We joined the Kiehnes for a little repast at Bug-A-Boo Bay.  Then while Pam, Tom, and I went for a little walk down Darling Drive, the super took Merill for a hot ride in a cool car (or is a cool ride in a hot car?). ]

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[I’ve heard of chick-mobiles, but . . .  ]

This was truly an Awake the Lakes weekend as on Friday I (yes, the supervisor was golfing) gave the lawn its first mow, on Saturday the leaves actually popped enough to give some shade, and on Sunday we turned on the A/C for the first time!  🙂

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[Friday night was a Let’s Celebrate Golf Season shindig at the golf club with chicken, ribs, and fixin’s, with Mary and Crazy Dave fresh from Sarasota . . . and with BAT.  BAT sang the following for both of them for their recent birthdays.  Mary said, “Pass the ribs, please;” Crazy said, “I only have a beer and a half in front of me?”]

When I’m Sixty-Four:

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[Brenda chatted up a fellow Class of 65er . . . ]

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[The object of their discussion I believe involved a need to know.  Probably something to do with a weather forecast that had no mention of rain . . . yet it rained on us here?]

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[The golf club board was introduced; BAT took a break without breaking a string.  The super and I had to leave early because Lisa was succeeding BAT at SAWA this night.  And fellow golf clubbers Karin and Dave Berg were meeting us there from Mpls.]

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[The next morning, the super and I christened Ole Oppe Fest with our annual participation in Breakfast at the Fort.  It seems like we have had more good weather days than bad for this?]

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[It was a beautiful morning as the super dove into her eggs!  Mmmmm!  🙂  ]

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[Big Ole from inside Fort Alexandria – and yes, that is the rear end of Dangerous Dan’s red Jag convertible in the photo.]

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[And annually, the supervisor has her photo taken with “Viking” Bill.]

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[Saturday afternoon it was off to the winery for BAT’s next venue.  The Norwegian horses were leading tour groups around the property.]

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[And away we go . . . ]

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[Sometimes you just have to scratch your back in the middle of a song.  I had to request “White Rabbit” because it almost drew a standing ovation at SAWA on Thursday.]

White Rabbit/Me and Julio . . .:

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[Brenda photos the crowd . . . ]

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[I photo Brenda (it’s just something I do around other photographers but I’m in therapy).]

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[Is that Kim Kardashian over there?]

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[Ahhh, a little more to the left . . .    ]

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[Sunday, the fourth and final day, again at the winery.  Brenda was already hard at work . . . we ordered a Mediterranean pizza from Alia (yeah, a former Alex hockey player).  It was delicious!]

A BAT sequence . . . as he takes flight!

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[Sami Steidl fiddles barefoot; BAT guitars in his stocking feet.]

Classical Gas:

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[The crowd peaked about 4:00 and rocked until 6:00.]

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[Are we having fun yet?]

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[Yah, sure, you betcha!]

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[And what we have learned . . . BAT will be back at SAWA on September 11, and then will be at the winery for Grape Stomp on the 12th and 13th!  🙂  ]

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I judge how much a man cares for a woman by the space he allots her under a jointly shared umbrella.  ~ Jimmy Cannon

[Editor’s note:  I videoed BAT on Saturday doing his almost 11 minute-long original song, “The Last Stand in Texas.”  It is an incredibly ambitious piece that requires the endurance of a marathon runner.  Maybe because YouTube was overwhelmed this holiday weekend, I have not been able to upload it.  I will advise if I’m ever successful.  It’s now May 29th, it finally made it!  🙂 ]

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The Last Stand in Texas:

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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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