Wednesday, May 27, 2009



... or sometimes, a thing. Nebraska that is. But not every state is a person, but all states are a place, if nowhere else in one's mind.

I can remember making this link, reading comics when only a lad. Spider-Man was doing his thing against a group of thugs called, 'The Enforcers'. They had no super powers, but were experts in their area of expertise.

'The Ox' was a big, strong, tough lug. 'Fancy Dan' was a dapper cat who had hand to hand skills that were, well, 'fancy'. Then there was 'Montana'. I then started to pay more attention to the names of places after that.

When I was in the service, you had a tendency to call people by where they were from ... when I was in Columbia, I was 'Detroit', partly because I was always asking people where they were from ... doesn't make sense, but since I was pestering everyone, I guess it was simpler for them to say, 'that cat from Detroit is always asking people where they are from!'

Because my name is 'simple and plain, ask me what it is again and I will tell you the same!', I tend to give out nicknames ... for instance, there IS a Mookie and 'lil Mook'. You asked enough people in the 'provencial town I jogged 'round', and either someone would ansewer to it or know who you are talking about!

One of the reasons I remember that Tony Eason was a good college quaterback at Illinois, is because someone somewhere called him, 'Champaign Tony Eason', and I liked that the main Illinois campus was in a town called 'Champaign-Urbana' (or is that Urbana-Champaign??).

Illinois is a place that I remember because when we'd go to tournaments in Iowa (there were a couple of big shows in Des Moines) and they had some scary good basketball teams, with Ken Norman, Kendall Gill and Nick Anderson as the names I remember most. It seemed like everyone was between 6'4 and 6'8 and could run like deer!

The season that Michigan won the national championship in basketball, the Illini,CRUSHED them in the regular season. Then before the tourney, Bill Frieder snuck away to Arizona State (where they NEVER became a big winner ... what is up with that?!?). Bo Schembechler who was Michigan's AD at the time, fired Frieder, saying that he wanted a 'Michigan man to coach Michigan'. So he promoted Steve Fisher, and some how, they put together a great run to reach the Final Four.


Though the Wolverines were on a Cinderella run in their big dance, I was on a Cinderella run of my own. It just so happened that four of the ten best fighters in my weight class (one of which was me!) as an amateur were from Detroit, and the best of the lot lived two blocks over from me!! I had fought the cat a couple of times before, and it was all I could do to keep him from smearing me across the ring, the way Illinois was running Michigan out of the gym.

I put it in my mind to suck it up, and make him knock me out or fall himself! I wasn't going to fight scared, and I promised to let my hand go and if the worst happened, it would happen with me firing off all of my rounds.

Sometimes you can be so involved in your effort, that you sense it only as an out of body experience. That fight was like that. I could tell you what my goal was, and how I worked against him, but I don't know how it was that I did it. The stuff I had thought I was trying before in other matches, really wasn't any different from what I tried that night, except they would finally result in a victory.

Getting home late that night, with the world's biggest smile on my face, and a huge trophy, I plopped down on the couch in time to catch the 11 o'clock news. Somehow Michigan had beaten the Illini, and would go on to play Seton Hall for the championship!


I haven't had an 'up and out' entry in a while ... guess that is what this is. Reading about Ken and Beth's move of their parents really is hitting home with me. I don't know what Nebraska (the person) is going to be feeling, helping me get set up out there. Because something like that is so emotionally involving, I wonder how much 'emotion' is going to be involved with my going out there ...

Sometimes, I think about doing a complete end around, and just getting out there on my own. That is why I asked when should I tell her that I was going to come out there for my 'advance party' trip. See, I am not fooling myself into thinking that we are going to be anything more than good friends. Since I am doing this for myself, should I just go on out there and be getting things together by myself?

The town may be 'new' but the experience is a familiar one. We don't really talk this up too much ... and I don't know what she is thinking regarding my move. I will go more into this another time ...


a corgi said...

so true, Mark, with places also being people's names at times, like Dakota and of course, Montana. Anyway, I think once you get to Nebraska, you will need some help with getting around and feeling out the lay of the land, but I also think you are pretty self sufficient and will be able to figure out some things on your own so while Nebraska (person) will be there to help, it won't be like she'll totally be responsible for your well being 24/7 (make sense?) You've moved around some so you know some of what to expect. I bet in the long run the adjustment and getting your bearings will go relatively smoothly.


Beth said...

Yes, moving Ken's folks has definitely been an adventure, some of it good, some of it not-so-good. But mostly good, I'm happy to report! The difference between their move and your move is that I think they were a little more dependent on us for things than you will be on Nebraska. We're trying to achieve a balance between getting them to a place where their new home is livable, but not doing everything for them, because they're still capable of a lot. The hanging of pictures, decisions on where to put decorations, etc., is something they can certainly do without us. You strike me as someone who is not afraid to dive in head first, and will take on each challenge of your move as something to be conquered. Go get 'em! Love, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

It is Champaign-Urbana :o)

I loved going to the games, both football and basketball.

I would definitely let Nebraska know that you are there on your scout trip, because if it all goes to heck in a hand-basket, you can still check and adjust.

Indigo said...

Part of me wants to tell you to go at this by yourself, then she won't think it's all on her. The other part thinks it would be great to have someone you can befriend right off the bat. In the end it's not even about location but where your heart is. (Hugs)Indigo