Friday, October 26, 2012

The End Of An Era

Imagine you are Karen Aho and you recently married Tom, the love of your life. You are having a conversation about having a family and he asks you how many children you would like to have? Would you say, "four, five, six, seven, — no, let's have fifteen, and twelve of them will be boys who love to play football"?

She goes on to say, "In fact, let's space them apart so we can go to a high school football game every fall Friday night for about a quarter of a century. Yes, let's do that!

"We'll name the Alpha male 'Steve' and have him so he can start playing in about 1989, and go to 'Seth' the Omega will finish in 2012. Yes, I like that!

"Twenty-four years of high school football games, Homecoming dances, parades, countless highs and many lows, winning seasons, losing seasons, even five of them good enough to go and play college football. That is how I want to spend about half of our married life. Yes, Tom, sign me up!"

Does that sound like something a Hollywood screen writer could come up with? I do not think so! But yet it happened in a small consolidated school in Central Minnesota at Dassel-Cokato High School. Read more about the Aho family and their amazing story by clicking here. That Yahoo! Sports article leads you to a good article from the Dassel•Cokato Herald Journal, which you may reach by clicking here. The family picture appears in both articles. The article shows the years the boys attended DCHS. Since I was there in 1989 and 1999, I wonder if Steve or Joel remember anything I said in my assembly?

It would not surprise me if they did remember something. Just today, I came across a woman who remembered my speech from a presentation at her company sixteen years ago!

It is a story of commitment, family, teamwork, mentoring, communication, love and so many more positive family values. This was a fun story to learn and write about. I first learned about the Aho family watching the news last night.

I laid awake thinking about the family and all the lives the boys experienced, including all the other sports they competed in and thought about just what I was going to write. Turns out, as I read what I have just written was not at all what I was going to write. I wonder how many writers experience that phenomena?

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Friday, October 19, 2012

I Feel Bad Today

Let me start this post by saying, "I LOVE BASEBALL! I loved playing the game. I love the strategy, I love watching good baseball, even if it can go rather slowly sometimes. In the matter of one swing, a whole game, series or even an entire season can be changed."

I feel bad because I will not get to watch three more games of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) because the Detroit Tigers swept the New York Yankees in four straight games. I feel bad because two hundred million dollars cannot buy a pennant let alone the World Series. Actually, I don't feel bad about that at all, I rather like it!

If you know me, you know I do not like the Yankees and the way they acquire the best talent by having the deepest pockets in the largest market, and they are expected to win the World Series every year because they put the most talent on the field every year with a team payroll over two hundred million dollars! I believe that takes away from the game.

I am glad to see Detroit sweep the Yankees with a former Minnesota Twin, Delmon Young, play such an integral part and was named the MVP. I did not like to see him go, but I hope he gets his ring now.

I know there are Yankee fans out there who disagree with me, and that is okay. They are by far the most successful sports franchise in all four major sports, MLB, NFL, NBA and the NHL. They have been buying championships since they bought Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars on January 5, 1920.

I like to see the underdog win, and Detroit was definitely the underdog in this ALCS. The Tigers won every aspect of the game and never trailed in the four-game sweep. The vaunted Yankee hitters only batted .188 as a team. That is the worst team batting average in Major League Post-season History! That is extraordinary!

I know their Captain, Derek Jeter, and their best player, went down with a broken ankle in Game 1, but very few of their other players stepped up at all, let alone critical times in any of the three remaining games. To top it all off, the ace of their pitching staff, C.C. Sabathia, was knocked out in the fourth inning. That was not supposed to happen either.

Now, I am going to watch Game 5 of the National League Championship Series and see if San Francisco can come back on the defending Champion Cardinals, or if Detroit will play St. Louis in the World Series. Such a dilemma to have while the Yankees clean out their lockers and head for the golf courses in Florida, or the winter leagues in the Caribbean.

I look forward to your comments.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Add Me To The List

We all know someone who has had cancer of some sort. In fact, I believe is it safe for me to write we all know someone who has died from this insidious disease in one form or another. We also know survivors, some even two or more time survivors of cancer.

I am now a member of that second group. As cancers go, I had the kind to get, the easily curable kind. About a month ago, I had a skin cancer tumor removed from my abdomen. It was not very big, but it had been there for years and only in the last few months had it started to grow. My dermatologist, Dr. O.J. Rustad, removed it right in his office while I simply tipped back in my chair. It took about ten minutes.

They tested the tumor and found a basil cell carcinoma. That needed to be removed, so I went back in and he scraped away all of the cancerous cells. His office called a few days later and told me I was cancer-free! It all sounds kind of silly now as I write this because of the ease of which this last health issue has come and gone.

But, I cannot do that. As I say in every speech I give, The problem is not the issue, the issue is how you deal with the problem. It came abundantly clear to me when the visiting nurse took this picture of my cancer site this morning:

Click on the image to enlarge it. I will warn you, it is not pretty:

My nurse said it looks great! I have another word for it.

Supposedly, skin cancer is primarily caused by exposure to the sun. According to the site, skin cancer can be caused by excessive exposure to radiation. With the hundreds of X-rays I have had on my abdomen over the last forty-one plus years, that may very well be where mine came from.

I will never know and it really does not matter. I am just glad this episode is over and I am free of any cancer cells. I have been telling people for many years, I have stopped thinking about the future issues, because I know they will keep coming. I just wonder what the next one will be?

As always, I look forward to your comments.