John Wetrosky, Columnist
Art Linkletter made a living out of it. He saw the entertainment value in asking kids questions and waiting for their responses. Those answers sometimes brought discomfort to their parents or relatives, but the audience loved that show and made it a TV hit. Kids have vivid imaginations.
The towering, red-headed high school senior had a reputation for being a fearless basketball player. He liked to box and was good at it. He showed no fear when it came to standing his ground. He was and I still consider him a friend of mine. But, there was one thing that brought him to his knees and made him sweat. That little thing was giving a speech to a group of fellow students. One of the furthest things in my mind while I was growing up and working on our farm was that someday I might be required to give a speech.
Do they sew buttons on anymore? Does anyone patch chore coats? Those questions came up a few weeks ago when I asked my wife if she would be so kind as to sew a button on one of my favorite shirts. Now, I admit that I could have probably made a grand attempt to sew this button on, but my wife is a wizard with a thread and needle, and since she's saved my skin a number of times with missing buttons and broken zippers, I thought I'd give her the chance to again prove her prowess in the world of sewing.
I'm still caught up in the hype of the Super Bowl. Sorry! The lingering anxiety I felt during the overtime must have grabbed onto some of my brain cells, and this has caused me to lie wide awake at three in the morning. The anxiety is subsiding, but now I've been thinking of next year when the hordes will cascade into our fair state of Minnesota, looking for things "to do" before "our" Super Bowl.
I was born before the time of the first Super Bowl. It used to be a quiet time of year, a time in the winter when one could relax a bit from the toil of the farm, awaiting the gentle zephyrs of springtime. No parties, no wide screen TVs, no million dollar ads. By the time this column hits the press we will all know who won Super Bowl 51. All the betting will have been completed, even if authorities keep telling us that betting is illegal. One of two teams that somehow made it through the football season with fewer injuries than any other team will be the winner.
I did a walk-through of my life last week. The deed of the day was to move my and my daughter's blaze orange deer hunting clothing back to the upstairs of our garage. The bright orange clothing was starting to bother me after hanging in our basement since last November. Things kind of get stalled down in the basement.
I'm thinking spring. Yes, I know that spring is still seven Mondays away, but I can feel it, especially this past week when the ice and snow were melting across my driveway and causing people to slip and slide their way to work. The chickadees began to sing their spring mating song, and the owls were hooting, hoping to attract another owl of the opposite sex. Those things are happening.
"Now THAT'S a pork chop!" I uttered those words last week at our dinner table. My sister and her husband paid us a visit from southern Minnesota where my brother-in-law farms and raises livestock. As a kind gesture, he and my sister brought up some pork chops for one of our dinners. This pork chop was a sight to behold. Six inches across and an inch-and-a-half deep, rimmed with a thin layer of fat. It was the pork chop of my heydays on the farm. Thick, juicy and filling.
I came across an article last week that focused on very small towns in Minnesota. The article could have pertained to just about any rural area in any state. Contributors to the article spelled out why they were proud of their "little" towns. The towns were populated by anywhere from 500 persons on down to a town with the population of 5, and that number varied depending on whether any couple decided to call it quits and split or some kid decided to head out on his or her own.
The only "tweet" I ever heard while plowing the back forty was that of a yellow-breasted meadowlark, sitting on a post with its beak pointed heavenward. Now we have "tweets" aplenty. The recent political campaign was plagued with "tweets." Anyone who has lived as long as I have might have wondered what the world of communication was coming to. Instead of lengthy newspaper articles or informative hour-long forums, we got a lot of "tweets" from both parties. It was tough to keep track of who was tweeting who.