Homecoming ’14 (Part 2)

And now back to coverage by the parade participant . . .

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[We turned onto Broadway at 9th.  Sara got to walk down the middle of our main drag probably for the first time since she played for the Alex marching band.]

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[The rest of the parade turning the corner - you can see the construction from 6th through 8th in the background.]

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[Sara patiently waits for me to catch up again as I perform my reportorial duties.]

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[The following masses . . . ]

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[Then we were back to the old high school.  Jefferson looks lost and abandoned, in its chain link fence security fortress.]

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9-20-14-31 - Copy 9-20-14-32 - Copy 9-20-14-33 - Copy 9-20-14-34 - Copy 9-20-14-35 - Copy[If you follow this blog (and why wouldn't you?), you will recognize the tennis player, 2nd from the right.  Josie Nelson's our wunderkind singer, guitar player, song writer who also dabbles in . . . did you know a listed synonym for tennis is "curling"?  Anyway I didn't even realize Josie was in the group until heard her say, "I'm losing my voice" (all the cheering, don'cha know?).  So I said, "Oh no, there goes your career."  Well, that wasn't helpful.]

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[Thus endth the parade!  :-)  ]

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[Then it was on to the football game, the feature presentation of the weekend.  We were hosting the Rocori Spartans.  When Sara asked who we were playing and I answered, she said "Whhaaaaa?"  Well, she lives in California and there was no such thing as Rocori in our day (well, if there was we didn't play them).  We came early for the tailgating - burgers, chips, and stuff - and my first "exposure" there was to The Competition.]

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[While I left to properly recycle my pop can, a complete stranger picked up my camera and took a "selfie"!  ;-)  ]

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[Then she took these photos of two old guys?  OK, the "selfie" was by Pam Lucas, a fellow Y worker outer, and Richie Braun is the other "old guy."  Richie and Marlene's grandson, Brayden Amundson, caught a 25-yard pass for the last TD of the game.]

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[Where are we?  The Texas prairies?  ;-)  Can  you find the supervisor in the middle photo? As you can  see, it was a beautiful sunny day - and warm and humid.  Sara and I did the 2-mile (+?) parade walk in a half hour and worked up a good lather.  The forecast for some time had called for PM thunderstorms, and by the morning the call was for strong thunderstorms by 3:00 - the game started at 2:00.]

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[The super suggested I go up to the press box for photo ops . . . and a nice breeze.]

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[OK, so you're wondering about the result?  Check the following Echo Press story.  (Pssst, it was 36 - 10 for our Cards!)]


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[The Big A]

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[The Big AD]

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[The team storms out of The Big A.  The Competition is there to confirm it.]

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[The team storms back to The Big A.]

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[Apologies to the cheerleaders.  I had The Big Lens on, which gives me a narrow field of vision.   I'll do better next time.]

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[Brayden is introduced.]

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[And his QB Jaran Roste follows with the rest of the team.]

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[The opening kick-off is returned by Joe Gorghuber.]

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[The first hand-off is to Alec Wosepka.  The running game picked up in this game - Justin Cumberbatch pounded them in the 1st half, Roste finessed them in the 2nd.]

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[The completion of that first run . . . OK, not much.]

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[Something happened.]

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[The Cards are closing in . . . ]

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[Cumberbatch scores on a 9-yard run!  A great individual effort - was hit twice behind the line, got free, and broke it to the outside.  Must be that wrester's balance!  :-)  ]

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[The PAT was high enough and long enough . . . but apparently didn't go between the uprights?]

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[The Cards scored again on 22-yard pass to Gorghuber.]

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[Then a nifty 2-point conversion to Travis Krueger.]


[Then the forecast came true.  Just before the end of the half, the rain started slowly.  Many, including us, headed for our cars.  By the time we got to downtown, it was a down pour with gale force winds.  No, the above didn't happened on this night - but if the storm had lasted longer, it could have.  The start of the 2nd half was delayed for more than an hour.  When we got home, we turned on the Gopher game - that was similarly delayed about 2 hours later by the same storm.]the

Post game analysis from someone admittedly not that interested in football anymore:  The Cards defense has been good enough in all but the Sartell game.  I’ve only seen a game and a half but now I like the potential of the team.  If the defense remains consistent and the running game, about which I had doubts, continues to improve we should be competitive the rest of season.  I’d like to see the offense open up a little more because there are some abilities there – you have a 6’3″ quarterback and two 6’3″ wide receivers, Gorghuber and Amundson.  Roste has been under pressure when he drops back to pass, but he’s mobile.  Roll him out more – from the little I’ve seen he’s seems to be more accurate when he’s on the move, either direction, than when he’s back in the pocket.  But then what do I know?  Go Cards!

Around or about Homecoming:

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[Some probably believe we did not have homecoming in my day.  We did.  These are the cheerleaders for the event in 1964, my last homecoming.  It should be noted, however, that the footballs in those days were dried and varnished zucchinis.]


[Our sister-on-law, Karen (r), was also at a coliseum this week.]


[I seem to run into these two all the time recently.  They are, of course, the girls' basketball coaches, and I believe this photo was illegally obtained from Kohler's FB post.]

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[Soccer and volleyball had reasons to celebrate this week.  Soccer photo from the Echo Press and volleyball from someone's FB post?]


[I think Colvin came back to pick up her diploma (photo from her FB post).]


[I ran into Abby Williams (well, I think she ran into me) at the parade.  After hugs and pleasantries I had to catch back up with my walking classmate - I blew the photo op!  So, the best I can do is Abby's 2008 state champ classmate, Danielle "Roadblock" Justice, who "tended" a New Zealand men's team to their league championship (Danielle's the one without a beard - photo posted by her mom, as I recall).]

Bowling is not a sport because you have to rent the shoes.  ~  George Carlin

Up next:  Haven’t a clue?

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Homecoming ’14 (Part 1)

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[Homecoming festivities begin with the Hall of Fame luncheon on Friday at Broadway Ballroom.  Why yes, we did buy a table.  From Ikea, I think?  And can you spot our ex-mayor?]

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[Well, I had to feature Paul McCabe since I grew up with all his first cousins in Victoria Heights.  I forgot who took these photos (can't keep up anymore), but Paul with his aunt and uncle, Carol ad Dave Dittberner, who nominated him,; and then his mom Bobette joined in. The event keeps getting bigger every year.  And honorees really appreciate being recognized by their old home town.]

hof'14-7 hof'14-8[Hey, join the 206 Club and join in the fun with Jeans & Jewels, same place, that evening.]

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[Some of the more infamous Alex alums are featured on the "big screen!"]

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[Two alums who wore their class tee shirts to Jeans & Jewels, getting them warmed up for the Homecoming parade the next day.]

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[Where the excitement never ends!]

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[I felt compelled to leave Jeans & Jewels early - the supervisor stayed to monitor her silent auction bids.  Lisa Lynn was at SAWA.  Also at SAWA, this painting was again featured of the establishment with "Dangerous" Dan's red Jag convertible parked out front. Dan was also featured in this post's very first photo as a guest at our table.  ;-)  ]

Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IqBM_BMPzs

[I tried to find a Lisa video with something close to a homecoming theme.  Well, the best I could do was "Paris Nocturne" (above) because, well, we were just there.]

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[I arrived at the fairgrounds Saturday morning for the Homecoming parade.  First in line was the football team, who I believe have something to do with homecoming.]

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[The rest of the parade participants getting organized . . .]

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[The Hall of Fame honorees and Homecoming royalty.]

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[And they prepare for take-off . . .]

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[Classes of '48 and '57 rock every year! :-)  ]

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[Let's play hockey!!]

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[Can't figure out why these young'uns would rather ride than walk?]

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[Al and mom and the '57 Chevy are regulars every year.  :-)  ]

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[Because Broadway is still undergoing its make-over construction, this year the parade had to turn up Cedar, a residential street.  I had a walking partner this year, classmate Sara Smith Sevey.  Sara and I had to walk fast to keep ahead of the Garlfield Elementary School truck.  This is where we had just turned onto Cedar for the one block up hill scramble.]

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[On Cedar - just like last year, the opening parade components were shot out of a cannon and quickly left us, and the rest of the parade, in arrears!  Sara & I soon opened up a gap between us and the following parade - meaning we could star on our own!  ;-)  ]

And now the parade from a spectator’s point of view . . .

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[The supervisor took up residence here on 9th Avenue, where the parade turned off Cedar on its way to Broadway.  The following photos were taken by her from here . . .]

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[I'm glad she got the other honoree!  Honoree Mark Lundstrom was unable to attend.]

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[I believe Sara and I were outstanding representatives from the class of '65 . . . as we acknowledged the standing ovation.  ;-)  ]

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To be continued . . .

Have you ever noticed when you get to end of a tube of toothpaste and the tube gets all scrunched up, that scrunched up part seems to last as long as the whole rest of the tube did?  How is that possible?  ~  The editor

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Grape Stomp ’14 *

(* Or 4 consecutive days with BAT . . .)

Editor’s note:  No videos were taken during this four-day extravaganza.  It may have had something to do with PETA standards . . . or more likely that the venues were just too raucous with fun seekers having a good time.  All performers herein have videos on YouTube – some taken by me, and others that are good.  Don’t hesitate to visit there!


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[OK, this is not the Grape Stomp.  But our four days of Magical Musical Tour began on Thursday at Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale with the return of Bat Bennett.  You may recall we did a similar four days straight with BAT last spring?]

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[Now old friends re-unite!  :-)  ]

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[Boogie and sing along!!  Even if you're old!!]

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[Brenda . . . BAT says all he does is sing and play guitar, Brenda does all the rest.]

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[The place was abso-tively packed - thanks to Jeanne and Ken for saving us a seat!]


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[The Grape Stomp began Friday morning.  The Mel Lamar Trio was the lead-off group, and we planned on attending.  The weather reports were for a nice day.  About the time we were ready to leave, it began to rain . . . and then hail!  All the while this was happening, the Weather Channel was still reporting ZERO per cent chance of precipitation in Alexandria??  "The Stomp" has had its share of bad weather - we thought the hex was on again!  After the rain stopped there was still a chill in the air when we went out to see BAT at 4:00.  Since he and Brenda live on the road, we wondered whether they had clothing for the occasion - I guess a wool serape did the trick.]

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[The temp was in the mid-40's.  It was occasionally misty.  But we're a hardy breed up here.  There was a good turnout!  A little red wine, a poncho, a sweatshirt, and Doug's Kettle-Korn and we were good to go!  Three hours with BAT to begin a weekend at the winery.]

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[BAT never takes breaks - but we had a little moisture come down from the sky so the grounds crew rolled out the tarp and we all ran for cover.  Then we warmed the cockles of our hearts with cheese and broccoli soup in a Panera bread bowl (Mmmmm, nice hot soup!).]

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[So, during the rain delay, while we were hiding out under the porch roof, a hockey mom and hockey grandmom stopped by to say their hockey daughter/granddaughter, now in college, and one of her teammates had a vendor tent where they were selling their homemade products.  The supervisor models one of their products, an infinity scarf, done by "Crocheting for College," owned and operated by Kalley Kragenbring and Alia Kopischke (yeah, the Special K's, and of course you remember Alia as the one who makes us pizza at the winery all summer).  They sold out all their inventory before the end of Day 2!  :-)  ]


[As luck would have it, I found a shot from 2012 with both of them in it!  That's Alia (13), on the left, with Kalley (10) as they rush the Fergus Falls net - both were scorers.  :-)  ]

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[BAT pretty much plays everything sans any visual help.  But late in the evening someone requested "We Didn't Start the Fire," by Billy Joel.  If you know the song, it's not lyrics, just a bunch of people's names and events strung together.   So Brenda fired up the iPad, and away he went - did a great job too!]

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[ . . . and put bread in my jar.  Yeah, it works with everyone.  ;-)  ]


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[Professor Anthony Miltich led off Saturday morning outside.  This was going to be a long day.  Multiple venues and with the weather still a tad on the chilly side, we felt we were on an all day portage.  From venue to venue, we had to carry our jackets (if not being worn), our seat cushions, hats and sunglasses (just in case), my camera bag, her purse, the wine bottle and two glasses, and a partridge in a pear tree.  At one time a lady pointed out to me that I was dragging my jacket on the ground . . . ]

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[After just a bit with Anthony, it was into the barn for Harper's Chord . . . Roger, Jill, and Paul. ]

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[Everybody inside and out was on a one-hour rotation with two other groups.  Greg and Tom from the Salty Dogs had just finished their first set inside.]

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[Roger and Jill]

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[I didn't leave the music venues much - but I had to go check on the stomping!  This was about as close as I could get and I think it went on all day.]

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[Back inside, the irregular crowds were just starting to shuffle in.  It was still morning after all.  By mid-afternoon, you couldn't swing an empty wine bottle in here.]

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[Top, Greg is checking out the group for the first time; bottom, the supervisor prepares for her first Facebook posting.]

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[This is Stephanie and Jenny (Jenny is the one with the name tag that says "Jenny").  They are the daughters of the HQ, and all are high ranking officials in Skads Travel, an enterprise in those twin big cities several miles south of here.  They were at "the Stomp" selling travel packages in conjunction with Carlos Creek Winery, with the first this November, a river cruise in the Sauterne region of France.  Where do you want to go?]


[And here we are with their mom, the HQ, at the very same winery at some point in the distant past.]

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[Harper's Chord is done inside, rush back outside for Patchouli.  A pretty good swath of all our favorite groups were here, so it kept us on the move.]

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[Julie and Bruce will be back at the winery on October 4 . . . but their winters in Florida can't be far from their minds!]

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[Love it when he zones out . . . ]

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[Julie appears to be in that special music place as well.  ;-)  ]

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[Oh, to be in Naples . . . (warmed by their heat lamps).]

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[County Road 34 in the background.  Dead stop for about 5 minutes as the crowds were trying to pour in.]

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[Julie just beams when Bruce takes off on one of his riffs.]

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[Well, welcome back Anthony!  (You know it was chilly - he never wears a hat).]

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[Having completed their set, Bruce was munching down on what appeared to be an ostrich leg while visiting with Bill, one of their super fans.]

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[We're leaving Anthony to go back inside . . . again.]

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[Oy, the frivolity!]

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[We hadn't seen the Salty Dogs yet.  Greetings to Annie, Erik, Tom, and Greg, the local representatives (I believe Josie Nelson was also originally scheduled to be here, but she had a writing gig in the Cities).]

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[Where the excitement never ends . . . ]

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[And Greg's way out in right field.]

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[And here comes Roger, Jill, and Paul again . . . sometime during all this the supervisor got an eggroll-on-a-stick and I got a burger (Mmmm, burger!).]

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[Couple of Paul . . .]

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[Couple of Roger . . .]

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[And so on . . .]

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[And a Jill series . . .]

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[And this must have been bringing it on home with "A Natural Bridge."  (Well, we did get their CD, autographed, for the Skadsbergs for all their travel help.)]

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[Hey, remember this guy?  Venue number three was for the wine club members, or as "Weakie" would say, the A-listers.  ;-)  Thank goodness, I believe the people here recognized he had a tip jar!  :-)  ]

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[Rockin' 'n rollin' in his stocking feet.]

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[The supervisor and informed tv.com]

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[Go, Al!]

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[Back inside to finish up there with the Salty Dogs . . . (we left bread crumb trails wherever we went).]

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[Danced to by the conductor of the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (and high school orchestra) and I would guess a close personal relative . . .]

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[And by local Super Music Fans . . .]

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[And then it was back outside again to wrap it up with Patchouli.  A mere 8 1/2 continuous hours of music, music, music (why yes, I was getting a little punchy by then).]

grapestomp'14[The winery owner, Tami Bredeson, on the right with friends and family enjoying the show (photo pilfered from her Facebook page).]


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[Sunday at noon, our old buds from Fargo, Tucker'd Out . . .]

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[Ryan, John, and Lynn for what often is their one annual visit to our fair shores.  Always well worth the wait as we work their CD's regularly over the course of a year.]

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[The Brothers Trelstad, John and Lynn; and Ryan with John.]

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[A double header for Ryan because bass players seldom get any ink.]

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[Annie joined the boys on occasion.  She also played with the Salty Dogs and the Waybacks (didn't see because there's only one of me), thus setting a Grape Stomp record for having played with three different bands at the same event!  I don't know if she won any awards or anything?]

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[Then we wrapped up the day, the weekend, with BAT at the golf club - not part of the Grape Stomp - but we pretty much went there non-stop.  The Alexandria Golf Club was celebrating the end of its first century - next summer we celebrate its 100th birthday.  BAT sent us out with a bang!  :-)  ]

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.  ~  George Carlin

Up next:  It’s Homecoming Weekend, for Pete’s sake!

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Of Birthdays, Soccer, and Music

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[We began the month with a fine dining experience and a bad selfie.  Danny was home from a long weekend working at the "harn," and the supervisor used the beautiful day to tear out thousands of weeds improperly growing in the yard and felt deserving of a taste of the grape.]

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[The 4th was the combined birthday party for Shelly Karnis, Marlene Collins, Larry McCoy, and this reporter . . . ]

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[We celebrated at Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale with at least several other local luminaries . . . ]

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[Larry and I not only share a birthday, we share (OK, at different periods of time) the same house in Victoria Heights which maintains the same telephone number it had in 1949 (or whatever year it was when we first moved in).  We thank Deb Trumm for the rapid fire shutter snaps!  ;-)  ]

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[When Shelly arrived, she was greeted by our musical hosts Matt, with Julie, Velline.]

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[Though Shelly had long desired to dance with Nureyev, she settled for the next best option . . . and Marlene with the supervisor.]

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[The cake never stood a chance.]

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[Thanks again to Julie and Matt, who were terrific as usual.  That was the McCoys first venture into SAWA and they loved the place . . . and the music!  ;-)  ]

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[Larry discovered these in the basement of our house when they moved in 47 years ago.  Mom must have thought they were too heavy to move.  They are 3 to 6 album sets of 78 rpm discs.  I'll have to see if they are still playable . . .]

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[Well, it was a birthday.]

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[Earlier that afternoon we had a fine dining event with dozens of our close personal friends.  :-) ]

HD Tom 1-1

[As posted on Facebook Saturday:  Just wanted to let you know, your cub reporter will be out and about today providing complete and total coverage of stuff . . . from the girls' soccer game, to Professor Miltich at the winery, to Dueling Pianos at the Performing Arts Center tonight! It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day here in Vacationland USA!   ]

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[I was late arriving to the soccer game.  An earlier meeting . . . seems like we go to more meetings now than when we worked?  I was surprised the game was not being played on the artificial turf football field?  And since that's the field you see first driving in, I thought maybe there wasn't a game at all and I had mis-read the schedule.  Well, I had - in a way.  The boys were playing first, followed by the girls, on the adjoining grass field.  The game was tied at 2 @ the half with Rocori.  I stayed long enough to see the Cards score two 2nd half goals and could tell they had the game well in hand.  We eventually won 7 - 2; and the girls later won their game 7 - 0.  There were no program rosters (that I could find), so I do not know the players.  From the minutes I saw, I thought player numbers 7, 11, and 13 were impressive from an offensive standpoint.  And I thought I got some good action shots presented mostly sans commentary.  I enjoyed the game and would have stayed longer except it was then time for the next event.]

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[Midfielder who I thought did a pretty good job controlling play in his area.]

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[Card goalie aligning his players on a free kick . . . ]

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[I think he got them in order here.]

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[It was a beautiful sunny day, temp in the low 70's, but if you're a player sitting in the shade of the scoreboard at halftime probably seemed like a good idea.]

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[Future star?]

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[It's a header!!]

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[Skilled photo-journalist that I am (harummppff), I was able to" capture" the two goals scored while I was there . . . ]

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[And here's the start of the first one by good ole No. 11.  I must have had a premonition . . ]

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[His shot hit the upper left hand corner . . . GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!]

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[Cards up one.  I was surprised by the lack of a celebratory response . . . it was kind of ho-hum, back to midfield?  In volleyball, each point is like the happiest moment in each player's life!  ;-)  ]

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[Then we had a penalty kick, and good ole No. 7 scored . . . ]

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[I follow soccer during the World Cup, otherwise not so much.  Time and weather permitting, hope to catch some more Card games though.]

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[And then it was on to the winery for an afternoon with Professor Miltilch.  The regular crowd had already shuffled in . . .]

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Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. ~  George Carlin]

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[The Bergs first exposure to Anthony, Karin buys his CD.  :-)  ]

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[That evening, the first performance at the Performing Arts Center.  This was such an important event, Crazy Dave deigned to leave the comfortable confines of Camp Ballentine.  Fortunately, he and Mary loved the high energy performance of Deuces Wild in Dueling Pianos.  And I think all, including the performers, were mightily impress with the facility.  There appeared to be no ban on performance photography, but I abstained because it can be an annoyance.  Looking forward to lots of events here!  :-)  ]

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[Lest you ever wondered what happens to all those helium balloons released at various events, found one in our yard Monday. It read: "Schwartzkopf Bat Mitzvah, East Moline, Illinois, April 19, 1987." Through the magic of the internet, I was subsequently able to track down Ms. Schwartzkopf. She got married, converted to Eastern Orthodox, and moved to Minsk with her husband, who is a smelt salesman.]

One great thing about getting old is that you can get out of all sorts of social obligations just by saying you’re too tired.  ~  George Carlin

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16 Days in France (Going Home)

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[The next morning we're in a cab on the way to DeGaulle.  I think I tried to look this place up a while ago.  If I discovered what it is, I've forgotten?]

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[This too?]

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[Is this where the New Jersey Giants play?]

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[OK, we're heading home.  We got to the airport almost 4 hours early.  It was a good thing we did.  First, it was Reetz's final chance to see if her luggage was still (if ever) in the bowels of DeGaulle.  It took a while, but it was ultimately determined it was not.  In fact, they said her luggage was in Chalon-sur-Saone - that was the last stop on the river cruise a week ago!  Then the supervisor tried to get a refund on the train ride to Paris we didn't get because they were on strike - after a few window stops, it was determined that that would best be done by our travel agent, the HQ, when we got home.  Then there was the matter of some tax re-imbursable items purchased by Reetz because of the lost luggage.  Well, that took about three different windows in three different locations, each with a line.  We made it to our gate as boarding was beginning!]

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[See the little white dots?  This was either in the English Channel or off the coast of Scotland - both have wind turbines.]

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[Coming into Iceland . . .]

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[This time there were a lot more signs of civilization than on the flight over.]

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[I've looked at clouds from both sides now . . . On the trip over, Greenland was totally in cloud cover.  I was hoping for better luck this time . . . ]

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[And I got it.  What a stark and foreboding place Greenland is!]

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[We take a momentary break from Greenland for Jennifer Lawrence.  No, this is not from the iCloud, but from whatever movie I was watching.  I think she is the star actor of her generation and I'm a big fan.  :-)  ]

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[Meanwhile, Greenland continued below.]

6-21-14-22 - Copy 6-21-14-23 - Copy 6-21-14-24 - Copy 6-21-14-25 - Copy [Then I thought these were really cool as we approached the northeast coast of Canada.]

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[Land, ho!  My goodness, just as foreboding as Greenland.]

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[Inland water.]

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[We're going to catch the southern end of Hudson Bay.]

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[Approaching the Bay, then I believe over it.]

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[Heading toward Superior . . .]

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[An ultimately, the last shots of vacation, Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota's inland sea!  :-)  ]

Gee but it’s great to be back home, home is where I wanna be-e-e-e!  ~  Paul Simon

Up next:  Some members of this expedition are planning a similar adventure in Eastern Europe next year.  Till then, it’s Cardinal sports and music!  :-)

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16 Days in France (Day 16, Part 2)

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[We're leaving the Pantheon and heading for Luxembourg Gardens.  No, we did not eat here.]

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[And we're there!]

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[Another huge central park.  Anne notes where we are . . . but we're looking for a lunch place.]

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[A statue?  In Paris?  Who'da thunk?]

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[Oh boy, lots of park stuff, including a large pool.]

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[With the Luxembourg Palace on the right.]

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[We found it - food!  Probably a little spendy, but the ambience was delightful.  I recall our waiter being a tad frumpy but fun and very efficient!  :-)   It was also, though, the only place we had to pay to use la toilette.]

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[Reetz checking the latest stock quotes on luggage.]

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[And great place to just hang and people watch.]

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[Comment-allez vous?  Tres bien, merci, et vous?]

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[I don't recall what this was, but the super is giving it close examination.]

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[Just walking through the gardens.]

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[Feminine attire always seemed to slip off one shoulder?]

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[I thought I had some shots (in this garden?) of some statues . . . ]

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[Where they put multiple thin spikes on the statue heads to prevent them from being bird perches?  Oh yeah, go back to Sainte Genevieve.  :-)  ]

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[The super is checking out the flower beds.  There was also a World War I photographic display here in a building just to the left off this photo.]

6-20-14-92 - Copy [The Biddies and friend.]

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[And we're out and about in the neighborhood again.]

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[I believe we're in an outdoor book fair here.]

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[That's what it says.]

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[Back in the subway again . . . ]

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[From here going to our last "stop" in Paris.]

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[The Trocadero, site of the Palais de Chaillot on the hill across the Seine from the Tower.  A magnificent view.]

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[OK, a little tough to decipher.]

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[I wonder how many photos are taken here on a daily basis?]

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[See you again in Prague!  :-) ]

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[Remember when Mad magazine called the Robert Shaw character in "Jaws," "Squint"?]

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[Let's go across the street to the restaurant row . . . ]

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[Sometimes there are too many options.  We walked the length of the row and back and settled on this one for dinner, one of the first in line.  Don't The Biddies look all "Frenchy"?]

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[After dinner, back for some final photos with thousands of our close personal friends . . . the supervisor reaches for the stars.]

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[Heading back to the hotel.  Now grizzled veterans of the Paris metro system.  :-) ]

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[Out the window shots as we roll along.]

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[The final shot in Paris (well, until the cab ride to the airport in the morning).  Some how fitting that it should be of one of the greatest inventions of all time (now in designer colors!)?  ;-)  ]

Being a woman is of special interest only to aspiring make transsexuals.  To actual women it is merely a good excuse not to play football.  ~  Fran Lebowitz

Up next:  Going home?

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16 Days in France (Day 16, Part 1)

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[Time's running out!  Still lots of things to see and do.  I think this was the first day we didn't have breakfast before we got on the subway.  We're close to the subway stop near the Sorbonne here - and here Reetz documents the place we did have breakfast.]

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[A little sidewalk shopping on the way.  I know it says St. Germain, but we weren't in St. Cloud!  Note The Biddies are wearing their new French skirts.  ;-)  ]

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[That's where we're going - though I think we had to walk all the way around the block for the entrance.]

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[And here's where we were . . . and breakfasted.]

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[And now we're at the entrance to the Musee de Cluny.  This is old stuff.]

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[Stained glass window display.]

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[Really had to the look and feel of an old-time castle.]

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[Torsos . . . and me.]

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[It's cool!]

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[The swastika actually dates back to antiquity, though it does kind of jump out at you now because of its "recent" history.]

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[Sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?) of folks I didn't know and can't recall.]

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[A big room.  Early racquetball courts?]

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[Reetz and columns.  Bonjour, madame, did you find my luggage yet?]

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[Another big room.  The super also checking "lost and found" for the missing luggage.]

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[Now that's a tapestry - with various statuary representations of the Virgin Mary.]

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[No, it's not a light sabre.  It's a narwhal tooth!  :-) ]

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[Back on the street again . . . and shopping.  If you need a scarf, this is the place to be!]

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[The University of Paris Sorbonne and following neighborhood . . . ]

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[Now I think the Pantheon is that way . . . ]

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[Yup, there it is - undergoing a 3-year renovation.]

6-20-14-37 - Copy 6-20-14-41 - Copy[But right outside, and next to a University of Paris building, I found my soul mate!  ;-)  ]

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[The supervisor points to a bumper sticker on his bum.  She was afraid to try removing it.]

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[OK, let's go in.]

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[Oh, looking back at the University of Paris as we approach the Pantheon entrance.]

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[And the street from whence we came - with my big Soul Mate.]

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[Inside (obviously).]

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What I said on Facebook:  I know thousands of you are eagerly awaiting the final blog posts on France.  On our last full day in Paris, we visited the Pantheon which was undergoing renovation.  The following AP story explains the following photos – it was great fun, I could have spent a lot of time there just photographing the best or funniest photos.  We have Reetz for perspective, and the super actually laid down on the floor for hers.

(AP) The mausoleum that is the final resting place for 72 of France’s renowned men — and just one woman — will get a little more ‘egalite’ during two years of renovations. 

Days after announcing that two women who fought with the French Resistance during World War II will be interred at the Pantheon, the government on Tuesday announced that the faces of thousands of ordinary people will be on show in a huge art installation there. 

Anyone can upload a photo for inclusion and JR, a photographer known for his giant street-art portraits, is also traveling around France to find people who want a place in the building that houses the remains of Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Marie Curie, among others.

The installation will begin April 22.

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[And on the ceiling.]

6-20-14-55 - Copy [Now, the original stuff . . . ]

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[Can you read French?  ;-)  ]

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[Inside itself?]

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[The super thought lying on the floor was not too high a price to pay for fame and glory!]

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[Bye-bye Pantheon, hello Tower!]

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[I think we go this way for our next destination, through the university . . .]

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[And past my Big Bud . . . and we'll get there in Part 2.]

I have not been able to discover whether there exists a precise French equivalent for the common Anglo-American expression ‘killing time.’ It’s a very crass and breezy expression, when you ponder it for a moment, considering that time, after all, is killing us.   ~  Christopher Hitchens

Up next:  Part 2, the last day in Paris?

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