Monthly Archives: April 2013

One final marathon


Okay, this is the last marathon photo you’ll see. I promise.

That’s because there are no more marathon photos. This shot was on the front of the sports page of the Des Moines Register in April 1982. You can see the photo editor’s crop marks. The race was the Drake Marathon, and

My last hurrah as a marathoner. Drake was a fun race because I got to run alongside my good friend Shane Dooley (a sure fire sub-2:20 guy if not for his crushing work schedule). We got beat by a drum but it was a good way to go out. It was my last competitive race.

My last hurrah as a marathoner. Drake was a fun race because I got to run alongside my good friend Shane Dooley (a sure fire sub-2:20 guy if not for his crushing work schedule). We got beat like a bass drum but it was a good way to go out even if the 2:20 mark remained elusive – again. It was my last competitive race.

it was mercifully my last marathon since my ankles were rapidly losing their enthusiasm for running at any distance. That’s me, #628. My good buddy Shane Dooley is 664. The guy who won the race, Pat McGuire, is in the bandana to my left. Pat tossed in a 4:50 mile from 16 to 17 and that broke Shane and I like twigs. Shane was 4th in 2:24 and I hobbled home in 5th in 2:25.

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April 22, 2013

Ellen/Reid: It was bizarre writing last week’s letter about the Boston Marathon, and no sooner were things in the mailbox than the news hit about the explosions. I don’t suppose that I would have started over if the letters hadn’t been sent. It’s just the way it works sometimes. Two women from Charlotte were there to watch their mother finish the race and were in the wrong place Continue reading

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The Boston Marathon and Rosie Ruiz…


Last week’s letter was written several hours before the horrific twin bomb blasts in Boston. Ellen and Reid never really knew of my past in Boston; we didn’t talk about it much although they wore the marathon’s yellow unicorned logo tee shirt as kids. Having run past those very locations (my 1980 finish was something less than race pace) it’s just hard to imagine explosions happening at all.

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April 15, 2013

Ellen/Reid: I was browsing Yahoo! about 20 minutes ago, and at noon Eastern they started the Boston Marathon. I haven’t thought about that race for a long, long time. It’s incredible that my last one was 33 years ago in 1980. Neither of you have likely heard this story, but if you have, grin and bear it. It was bright sun and in the mid-70s at race time in Hopkinton.

I loved the Boston Marathon. My first finish (2:39) put me inside the top 500 (I guess I'd have to look that up). I've not thought about this picture (taken on the down side of the hills at about 25 miles) in 20 years. That was more than a couple of pounds ago. The real events happened two years later in 1980.

I loved the Boston Marathon. My first finish (2:39) put me inside the top 500 (I guess I’d have to look that up). I’ve not thought about this picture (taken on the down side of the hills at about 25 miles) in 20 years. That was more than a couple of pounds ago. I cannot recall anything from 1978 but remember quite clearly the real events that happened two years later in 1980.

I’d gone there with a few runner friends from Des Moines, including John Leonhardt, the Iron Man. The first inkling that this might not be my day was the feeling of water Continue reading

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NRA – outsized in their power…


Some of my best and happiest days as a young man were spent tromping through brome and corn stubble  for pheasant and quail. Not anymore. Those times have changed for me. I just have my doubts about guns, as Ellen and Reid learned last week.

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April 8, 2013

Ellen/Reid: It’s depressing to read all this blather about the National Rifle Association. They are way outsized in their power. The citizenry needs to unite on it but our resolve is doubtful because those who might

National_Rifle_Association

To me, the NRA is outsized in its power. I don’t begrudge sport shooting and we have an army and National Guard as legitimate defenders. None of us need military grade weaponry.

advocate moderation aren’t capable of organizing like those on the fringes of both sides. Ellen, we can only hope they never realize the idiotic dream of guns in schools. What is our ratio of shooting deaths? It’s like 20 times that of the next developed nation or some number along those lines. Maybe we shouldn’t be considered a developed nation. That would help our numbers. I’m all for sport or bird hunting, but we are clearly over the edge. In my wildest imagination I can’t imagine the founding fathers accepting all this gun nuttiness and military-grade weapon kooks. I thought about getting a pistol a 5 or 6 years ago but backed away from it. I’m just not a gun man. That’s about all the zealousness and diatribe I can muster for one day.

It’s sunny and warming outside the window right now. It’s about frigging time. No doubt we’ll transition from winter to summer heat in the bat of an eyelash. But you can say it’s good for the lettuce on the front porch.

As long as black dirt is available, I'll keep a garden on the front stoop. I will never give trying to grow a sandwich size red tomato.

As long as black dirt is available, I’ll keep a garden on the front stoop. I will never give trying to grow a sandwich size red tomato.

Some of the pot space set aside for spinach is going to have to give way to basil. That’s just the way it is with good dirt at a premium. Some of the lettuce hasn’t sprouted so maybe the spinach crop will be replanted where the other seeds refused to, or couldn’t, push through. Before long, perhaps yet this week, Continue reading

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Watching Game of Thrones…and retrieving plastic


April 1, 2013

Ellen/Reid: My friend Tom is under the surgeon’s knife this morning with triple bypass. The doctor makes it all seem so simple although he’s not the one lying on the table. But the doc says Tom will be as good as new so the Bridger excursion will be on next year. Reid, you should go with us.

I do have my tickets in hand for Emma’s birthday extravaganza. No thought has been given to lodging but I can take care of myself. I will get a rental car, too. I will take part of Friday to head down to Owatonna to play golf with Steve Allen and a couple of other friends who will meander up from Des Moines. Reid, consider this an appeal about what dates work for you for us

Reid (right) and his dad in '10 after a visit to his ailing grandfather. Time to see the boy's new digs in Chicago.

Reid (right) and his dad in ’10 after a visit to his ailing grandfather. Time to see the boy’s new digs in Chicago.

to visit you and Liz in Chicago.

I’m looking down upon the quiet little stream this morning from my third floor window and it’s sad to see a mess Continue reading

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Renting a Harley in Portland, OR


Someone asked recently if I sign the letters  ‘Love, Dad.’ You bet, every single time, usually in blue ink. I’ll make such a notation on the blog from here on out.

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March 25, 2013

Ellen/Reid: I suppose this is the time in life (mine, not yours) when we begin to fixate on health and all that getting older stuff. I posted a ‘Live for today’ item last week and now it’s really starting to sink in. Dave Hemminger emailed me this morning along those lines. Mort just sent me an email about ‘taking this

The rest of life may be speeding up but this make-shift turtle is going nowhere fast. He/she has been on our sidewalk for the better part of two weeks.

The rest of life may be speeding up but this make-believe turtle is going nowhere fast. He/she has been on our sidewalk for the better part of two weeks. Origin of the slow poke is unknown.

all for granted.’ More and more of the news exchanged between me and my friends will probably reflect this reality of getting along in age. Hell, I don’t care. It is what you make of it. Bring on the Heritage Softail and golf. Why not? Seems to be a running Continue reading

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