We have some reports . . .

OK, more about that later.  This past Saturday marked the end of the fall sports programs – and the beginning of the winter ones.  And almost as important as those, it marked the something-somethingth annual addition of Basketball Dan’s annual turkey and college football fest.  Attendees are long-time close personal friends of the host – though they are generally indifferent about Sid Hartman.  The list includes those who were teammates of the great one on a U of M intramural softball team in the 70’s named Lothario that allegedly won some awards, past and current fellow academics at St. Thomas University, one who is the father of a recent starting center for the De La Salle girls basketball team and because of that connection was at the Alex – Benilde 3rd place game last year prior to De La Salle beating Hill Murray for the state championship, several who continue to be Gopher season ticket holders (though the number of sports involved has trended to almost men’s hockey only), and some other people who just enjoy a big turkey dinner in early November.  This year’s menu (well, every year’s menu) included at turkey that weighed as much as a lot of us would like to lose, mashed potatoes (both white and sweet) and gravy, cranberries (stringy and unstringy), baked corn, two (or was it 3?) kinds of dressing, and 4 kinds of pie – oh, and generally a BYOB.  We enjoyed several bizarre Big Ten football games during the proceedings.

[Chris “mashes” the potatoes under Tom’s supervision.]

[Who scored?]

[Hans, the traditional turkey carver.]

[Suzanne begins the feed line.]

[“Oh, that had to be a touchdown!”]

[“The Gophers are still in it?”]

[“So Dan, as one St. Thomas professor to another, when are you going to start coming to some Tommy games?” (The last 3 photos are from Suzanne.)]

[Just any excuse to feature bread.]

The cross country team finished 7th at the state meet at St. Olaf on Satuday.  Jami Piepenburg, holding the trophy, finished 2nd by .7 second!  Megan and Bethany Hasz (2nd & 3rd from the right) finished 4th & 5th.  I asked their coach, Mark Nelsen, at the Y this morning if any team had ever placed 3 girls in the top 5?  Not likely, he thought.  The Hasz sisters, though only 8th-graders, already have a statewide rep and are known simply as “The Twins.”  Congratulations to all of them!

[Halloween morning over Lake Darling.]

[A few days after Halloween over Lake Darling.]

[OK, I just snuck this in.  Something to do with we haven’t had any snow yet!  Brother Cam, who’s 6’3″, on Mt. Rainier in 1984.]

So, now back to the beginning of the winter sports season – girls hockey.  As previously noted, I was otherwise engaged on Saturday and am relying on my stringers (some editing was done to protect the innocent):

Your timing was perfect!  Shanee’ brought the schedule home today!  The Alex girls play Litchfield from 10-11 in the main rink; Owatonna at 11:15-12:15 in the west rink; Holy Angels at 1:45-2:45 in the west rink; Detroit Lakes 3-4 in the main rink.  Hope to see you there!  ~ Marnee’

Thank you for the birthday giggles!  ~ Sue

We beat all of them! They really looked good. Holy Angels was not as good as I thought they would be. Funny thing in the Holy Angels game was when one of our girls shot on our goalie. Great cross country race.  ~ “Weakie”

The reports are it’s all good! 🙂 

     1.  The girls won all their games yesterday.  There’s a down side. . . . .the teams were weak.  Their toughest game was against Holy Angels.  I think that game was 2-1 but we scored their goal.  One of those embarrassing moments for a player.  She was wide open so she shot the puck.  Only problem it was at our unexpecting goalie.   Her Mom cheered and cheered until she realized what happened.  We all had a good laugh.  Hey things happen. 

     2.  The girls all seem to love the new coaching staff. 

     3.  There’re only 25 skaters and 3 goalies trying out.  I think that’s wonderful!   It means a total of 5 lines of forwards and 9 defense.  Everyone should get a lot of playing time which means they will only improve.  This year for the first time in ages they are having a U14 team so we only had one player that moved up to high school.  This again means these girls will get more ice time instead of coming to the high school team. 

     4.  The usual suspects looked good.

     5.  Our first game is home next Sat. against North Metro.  Hope to see the Super Fans there!

     6.  Bob were you there?  I couldn’t make the morning games but was there for the 2 afternoon games. ~ Stringer #2 (a/k/a Marnee’)

Holy Angels had a run a few years back.  They had a great coach who is now the coach at Concordia Moorhead.  Claire really likes him.  The good Holy Angels team had sisters of the boys’ teams that were really good. ~ Marnee’

Good for Alex! I’ve always liked your town. Thanks for sharing your reaction to my column.  ~ Lori (Lori Sturdevant)  [Yes, the Minneapolis StarTribune columnist whom I advised about Alex’s new high school.  😉  ]

[OK, again, nothing to do with the story.  Just marking the end of the fall season.  The Outer Banks of North Carolina, November 1983.]

p.s.  Well, as long as we’re talking about fishing – today was what we here in Vacationland USA call a “pretty day.”  Sunny, 30-ish, but with no wind.  For the 2nd day in a row, I noticed a guy out on beautiful Lake Darling fishing.  While not normally a topic of discussion, it is the 2nd week in November – I don’t think I’ve seen a boat on the lake for at least a month!  The supervisor and I decided to walk the neighborhood – something we don’t usually do in the heat and humidity and buginess of summer.  We dropped in on Jo and Arnie who will be heading to Florida soon.  We met the parents of the neighbors on the other side of Dangerous Dan.  They live on Lake Vermillion near Tower, Minnesota, which I know you’ll all recall from your reading, is the coldest town in the lower 48!

[Our walk – from the Ministry of Silly Walks.]

[For the uninitiated, this is how you store your dock and boat lift for the winter – so they don’t get crushed by lake ice.  No Zebra mussels (yet)!]

[A climb not for the faint of heart – or those in view of elderliness!]

[Dangerous Dan’s summer “party room.”]

[The supervisor’s place.]

[The supervisor planted the Gopher mums.]

[We planted this 3-clump birch when it was a pup.]

Reminder:  Girls hockey begins Saturday as we host North Metro.  North Metro is a conglomeration of about 7 schools drawing from a population base of 10 million!  See you at the RCC!

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