Eclipse #368 8/23/2017

“You should see my little sis. She really knows how to rock. She knows how to twist.”
Chubby Checker – The Twist, 1960

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. A blog that rambles through this thing called life, stopping here and there for reflection, enlightenment, storytelling, and joke telling. In a caffeine induced coma from my favored French Roast coffee and quite possibly a chocolate chip cookie. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s and early 70’s.

The Eclipse
Everyone or nearly everyone is asking where were you during the Eclipse of 2017? So where were you anyway? My clan and I were in Marshall, Missouri. A burb east of Kansas City north of I70 a bit. Our caravan made our way to the County Fair Grounds, picked an ideal site and settled in. We experienced a range of emotions leading up to and during the eclipse. Most of the morning was spent wondering if it would rain, clear, stay cloudy or what. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds or shone hazily through the thin cloud overcast. At nearly the last second, a beautiful clearing in the clouds made the view IDEAL. I know Sven must have been on edge but his engineering talent showed through to an ideal view. I was sorry for all that pulled out believing there was a better viewing place down the road somewhere. We stubbornly held our ground and we were rewarded for it.

Our eclipse trip began on Saturday morning having dropped off the dogs to their respective weekend keepers with promises to reclaim them by 7:00 pm on Monday. The first stop was the Iowa State Fair. Dr. Football had never been there so we wanted to expose him to an Iowa Icon – The Buttered Cow plus everything else. We were there for about 3 hours. This was more than enough for my old legs. The clan packed up and headed south to Kansas City. Arthur Bryants BBQ was our evening meal then off to claim a hotel room and collapse in exhaustion from the fair. I had no problem with the collapsing part. Sunday was a day where the clan went two ways. Most went to the KC Royals baseball game against Cleveland. They reported the game was good and it was HOT. The second group opted for the cool of a theater where we watched “Dunkirk”. It was okay. A bit draggy in spots and I thought they left a lot on the table that could have been told.

It was reported that one of the baseball goers played a couple round of miniature golf while at the game and tried navigating an ice cream cone in 90+ heat. Not a task for the faint of heart. None of slept well Sunday night. I think we all were anxious for the eclipse but no one would fess up to it. Our trip home was an agonizingly long adventure of hurry up and wait. Apparently, all eastern Iowa was down there wanting to travel the same highway we wanted and at the same time. Professor Sven had opined earlier in the weekend that this was a concern and he again was right on. My current wife and I could not have thanked Dr. Football, Debby the younger Elder, Sven, The “B”, HS and Jenny, Elder 1 for a more wonderful weekend. They made a great family weekend. We all achieved our goals for the weekend. Can’t get any better than that.

The Fair
Observations from an old geezer who has been to a whole bunch of those things. When I go there, memories of past fairs come back. Ah, those were the days. Like watching “champ car” race in the grandstand. Or like looking at all the new tractors and farm equipment on display. Or hoping that I could get one of those model tractors to take home. I remembered standing outside the Varied Industries building listening to a huckster’s spiel about a kitchen knife that never gets dull. The “Old Mill” boat ride with your girlfriend hoping for a kiss in the dark. Who can forget the midway? Every kid in the state would spend all they had on rides, arcades, and stuff.

Dr. Football and I observed that people at the fair never walk in a straight line particularly when they are in front of you. Maybe it is because they are pushing at least one stroller, traveling groups of 6 or more. We also noticed that when we apparently, we had a straight shot down a path, that people would converge from both sides to stand in front of us as they converse with long lost relatives or even complete strangers as far as I know. The good doctor noticed that there were a few food vendors. He stated that a person can get almost anything on a stick, fried or oversized. The one thing we could not find, and I am surprised, was candied apples. I continued to be amazed at how peoples personal hygiene seems to be left at home. The things people do in the bathrooms are felonious. Naturally, I can’t speak to the women’s restrooms but the men’s are down-right disgusting. If I could catch someone performing such an act, I would ask them if they do the same thing at home.

The kennel Jenny and I took our dogs to is pretty good. They have people there 24/7. They send you a picture of your dog later the first day there. Murphy did not look pleased. If I could read his face it seemed to be saying “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!!!” Monday evening our friend picked the dogs up. I asked her if, in her opinion, was Murphy ready to go home. Her response was that “ready” would be an understatement. I don’t think he bought the idea that he was going on vacation. His body language suggested that he did not consider the long weekend anything close to a vacation. Oh, well he will be mad at me again on Wednesday when he goes to the vet. I may have lost a companion.

…. Well my friends, it has been my honor to have the opportunity to bring a chuckle or two into your day. If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!”

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