Homecoming and Grape Stomp

September 15 (Friday)

After a week of sunny, hot weather, the big weekend arrived with forecasts of . . . stormy weather!

Hall of Fame

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[Before the luncheon, the Super checks out the silent auction items for the evening’s Jeans & Jewels fundraiser.]

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[Come and get it!]

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[The one on the left is the Hall of Fame inductee; the one on the right still can’t believe he’s 70?]

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[The Alexandria Area High School Carolers made their 2017-18 debut . . . ]

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[They were terrific, as always.]

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[Our table in rapt appreciation of their performance.]

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[Missus Wicken displays the creds of a longtime news broadcaster.  Christine Reilly, master of ceremonies and chair of the Education Foundation, is behind her.]

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[Take two, Patty, film is cheap.]

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[Inductee Tom Halvorson]

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[Go Cards!!]

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[Inductee Michael Tisserand, with an “old” teacher and occasional member of the Fat Boys Walking Club, Harvey Kranzler.  Yes, another failure as a cub reporter, I didn’t get his photo at the event so had to check this one out of his Facebook page.]

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[And Patty!  As a group, nonpareil induction speeches – Michael, who lives in New Orleans, and Tom, who lived at sea, really seemed to enjoy coming back to ye olde hometown and couldn’t quite believe the new high school.]

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Jeans and Jewels

[ . . . later that day.  I have to point out that the original plan was to head out to the Grape Stomp after the luncheon, but Mother Nature had better ideas – a real gully washer in the afternoon.]

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[Big turnout for the heavy hors d’oeuvres (yes, I always have to look it up), cash bar, i.e., adult beverages, and games of chance.]

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[As initially reported on Facebook:  Well, boys and girls, she did it again. At the Jeans & Jewels annual fundraiser last night, the Super came away with a necklace and earrings, a load o’ cash, and 5 bottles of wine. The cash came from a 50/50 split with the house, and she didn’t realize they were calling out the ticket numbers for it. Someone at the table said they thought the last number was a 7. Ruthie said, I have a 7 as a last number. So up she went, and sure enough she was the winner!]

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September 16 (Saturday)

Grape Stomp

[10:00am – that arrival time allowed us to see three one-hour music sets before I would head out for the Homecoming football game at 2:00.  The grape vines are attired in their formal gowns . . .]

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[Certainly among the early arrivals at the Grand Stables Event Center . . . ]

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[Our fellow music connoisseurs (yes, I always have to look that one up too), Karin and Dave Berg, stop for a visit with Harper’s Chord, who would be next on stage after the Salty Dogs, there now . . . ]

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[You go, boys!]

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[Greg, Erik, and Tom were in fine fettle, and, I am told, really had the full house joint hoppin’ in their 2nd set at 1:00.]

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[Harper’s Chord up next.  We missed their first visit to Alex this year when we were at alumni camp, so it was great to see them again.]

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[The Super readies for her Missing you at photo.]

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[They have a second CD coming out soon – their first one has always held a place of distinction in the car stereo.]

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[That’s Roger, Jill, and Micah, on bass – the fiddle player is new to us and don’t know his name.]

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[Thought the song was appropriate for the iffy weather all weekend.]

[Well-known Harper’s Chord roadies]

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[Then it was out to the Marquette Stage for BAT . . . ]

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[Likely was not anticipating jacket weather at this time of year – he prefers to play in his bare feet.]

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Homecoming

[The sky gives you the idea.  I told Brad it would be a last minute decision as to whether I would go to the game or not.  We took a chance.  I left the Super back at the winery – she said she was a big girl and could handle it.  I almost couldn’t handle leaving – first, I couldn’t find my car keys, and b), I couldn’t find my car.  When I finally found the car, there were the keys, on the console, the doors were unlocked, uffda . . . ]

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[The first attempt at a team photo . . . ]

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[And the 2nd attempt.  I had picked up a program at the gate but upon arriving at our seats I no longer had it?  So, I had no means then, or now, of identifyng the players.  It’s really fun being 70?!?]

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[I believe it’s called a huddle – probably trying to remember where they left their cars?]

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[Anyway, it was homecoming, and we were playing longtime rival, the Brainerd Warriors.  Last year we beat them at their place, 59 – 45.  We were 2 – 0 (this was my first game in attendance) and I believe the Warriors were 1 – 1.  We were not expecting a defensive struggle.]

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[It’s like riding a bike – always wear a helmet!]

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[Foreground to background:  Mike Kluver on camera, the referees, Grand Arbor.]

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[Our first offensive play of the game.  An omen.  We threw a “pick 6” – they intercepted and ran it in for a touchdown (“6 points”).  I didn’t hear until later that we only had 10 players on the field on the time – count ’em, yup, only 10!]

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[Like last year’s team, we had put up some impressive offensive numbers the first two games.  We lost a lot of the skill position players from last year, but the new guys are stepping right up.  Aside the opening pass, new quarterback, Mike Empting (12), has played very well and played well in this game.]

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[He throws a nice ball and moves well (well, he’s also our free safety).]

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[Here’s a key returnee from last year.  Cody Faber (33) is kind of all purpose everything – receiver and runner and kick returner.]

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[And Empting is pretty accurate . . . ]

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[Throwing on the run.  He was 18 – 26 for 210 yards in the game – our starting halfback was injured and did not play, and I believe our longball receiver was injured coming into the game and may not have played much.]

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[Looking right as the Cards are driving down the field . . . ]

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[Cody is usually the slot receiver but in this game played a lot of running back as well . . .]

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[For yardage up the middle.]

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[We subsequently scored on a 3-yard pass to Josh Wegner (from the newspaper) and then converted a 2-pointer on a flip back to Faber who passed to Wegner.]

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[Brainerd had a 200-pound back, Charlie Geraets,  who I remembered from last year.  He scored on a 43-yard run and the Warriors led 15 – 8 after the 1st quarter.  The Cards came back in the 2nd quarter . . . ]

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[And scored on a 4-yard run by Faber – tie game.]

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[Then Faber scored on a 40-yard pass – the Cards were up 21 – 15 with 22 seconds left in the half . . . ]

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[Amazingly, our squib kickoff, as I recall, was returned to around midfield.  With 2 seconds left in the half, from our 40-yard line, they somehow got a receiver behind our defense and scored to take the halftime lead.  The opening pick 6 and this final play of the half spelled doom for the home team.]

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[The Homecoming Royalty was introduced at halftime.  I know Calley Richardson (red sneakers) from her exploits as a hockey and softball player.]

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[OK, let’s roll in the 2nd half!]

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[Empting passes us close . . . ]

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[Then Faber scored on a 5-yard run . . . ]

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[And we led again.]

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[But Geraets scored again, and back came the Cards on a 24-yard run by Empting.]

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[I had to leave then to check on the Super at Grape Stomp.  We led 36 – 29 at the end of the 3rd quarter.  But Brainerd scored 3 TD’s in the 4th to win 50 – 43 (kinda like the last team with the ball would win) – Geraets ran 43 times for 290 yards, repeatedly running over his left side.]

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Grape Stomp

[The event center was packed upon my return.]

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[The Salty Dogs were stage, at their feet a fan who appeared to be having balance issues.]

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[And by now there had been enough product sampling that the dancers were hitting the floor.]

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[Hi, Erik!  Do you have a agent?]

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September 17 (Sunday)

[Last day of the Stomp, the sun was struggling to make an appearance for 4 hours of BAT and an hour and a half of Erik.]

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[Brenda doing her best impersonation of the Super.]

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[Toga!  Toga!  Toga!]

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[The Super, foreground; BAT, background]

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[Once he gets warmed up, he really rocks and rolls!]

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[It was sunny, I’m looking at a small screen, the videos were out of focus.  Sorry ’bout that!  Think of them as being . . . artsy?  I think the audio’s pretty good.]

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[He and Brenda return at the end of the month.]

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[Back inside to help Erik wrap it up.]

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[And we’re outa here until next September.]

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[Despite the iffy weather, seemed to be a good turnout all weekend – Sunday seemed better than usual with the better weather.]

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[And we bid adieu to the grape vines.]

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[The Super’s spoils from the last day!]

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[And we finish with a song written by Minnesota’s Nobel laureate . . . ]

[BAT, taken by the Super!]

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A wonderful drink, wine . . . Did you ever hear of an Italian grape crusher with athlete’s foot?  ~  W. C. Fields

Up Next:  Depends . . .

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” 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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