"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Friday, October 20, 2017

1967 Oldsmobile Toronado: quite boffo

Your blog host and mom Martha H. Williams pose in 1976 by our marvelous 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado. What a monument to American style! Note my 1970s appearance. It was the decade of disco, 8-track tapes, Euell Gibbons and pet rocks!

What does "Toronado" mean? It has no linguistic meaning. It just sounds cool. It was the name of a car which I consider unmatched all-time. That says a lot for a car that was in its classic prime in the latter part of the 1960s. We remember the decade for a lot of disturbing stuff. It's with a sigh of relief that I remember something like a classic car that was away from all the contentiousness.
My father and I obtained our 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado from Bill Dripps. We got it in 1973. Bill was still at his old location across the street to the west of the public library. It was "Dripps Oldsmobile."
I spent the '73 summer away from home. It was when the Richard Nixon administration was crumbling badly. The car was nothing but joy at a time when all was not coming up roses in the USA.
Our car had a maroon body and white top. I made many trips to Grand Forks ND in that car, as a member of the "Tempo Kings" music group. It was pleasant taking that ribbon of Interstate Highway, No. 29, from Moorhead to Grand Forks. We'd have supper at the Grand Forks McDonald's Restaurant. Back then, smaller communities like Morris tended not to have nationally known franchise restaurants. We did have the "Quik Stop" in Morris which was quite similar. The Quik Stop opened with hamburgers priced at 19 cents!
The 1967 Olds Toronado, in case you're not familiar, had a real air of grandeur about it. I never associated it with snob appeal, not like Cadillac. The Toronado simply had class. It turned heads. It was considered a "muscle car." I should have kept it longer than I did. I could have driven it in parades!
The Toronado is historically significant as the first U.S.-produced front-wheel drive automobile since the demise of the Cord in 1937. It was designed to transcend the Ford Thunderbird and GM's own Buick Riviera. It debuted in 1966 and lasted until 1992, although at a certain point the original styling gave way to a more standard appearance. The original styling meant everything to me.
The car was sort of a trademark of mine in the 1970s before I began full-time with the newspaper. I attended college elsewhere but came home often. The Tempo Kings played gigs often. I drove through a couple snowstorms in that vehicle, not showing the best judgment perhaps. I got stranded once in Westport. I believe the Tempo Kings group was forced to spend overnight in Watertown SD once. Such an adventurous spirit in my youth! I'm at an age now where I feel maximum contentment just being at home.
The Toronado in its first year of 1966 won the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award in the U.S. It sold reasonably well at introduction with 40,963 produced for 1966. The car got a slight facelift for 1967 and was designed for a slightly softer ride. However, sales dropped by nearly half. So hey, maybe the collectible nature of our car would have been enhanced. That's all hindsight now. I considered the car, however beautiful it was, as a utilitarian thing for the Williams'.
We installed an 8-track tape player! I acquired some 8-track tapes of big band music which we'd play on those Grand Forks treks across that wonderful serene North Dakota terrain. We knew we were getting close to Grand Forks when we'd see what Del Sarlette described as "the Grand Forks glow" (all the city lights). We listened to Garner Ted Armstrong on the radio.
It would be 1971 before the Toronado would match its first-year sales mark. The first generation Toronado lasted with the usual annual facelifts through 1970. I will never drive another car like our fabulous 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado. God bless you, Bill Dripps. I have written a song entitled "My '67 Olds Toronado." I don't know if I'll have it recorded. Here are the lyrics:
  
"My '67 Olds Toronado"
by Brian Williams

It was a car
A superstar
I get nostalgic at its name
With front wheel drive
It came alive
No other car will be the same

The '60s rocked
When it was hot
We watched "Bonanza" on TV
And like ol' Hoss
My car was boss
I felt it when I turned the key

CHORUS:
My '67 Olds Toronado
Maroon and white
Man what an auto
With headlights popping up
It was boffo
My '67 Olds Toronado


I could not change
The war that raged
Though it was clear we had to leave
We dropped those bombs
In Viet Nam
And I just watched in disbelief

We forged ahead
With our best bets
My generation would not blink
I kept my wheels
My Oldsmobile
It was the straw that stirred my drink

(repeat chorus)

I stopped for gas
The man would ask
If he could check my motor oil
He filled the tank
And then said thanks
It was a car he knew was royal

My 8-track tapes
Would sound just great
We hummed along with Elton John
No cruise control
So we just rolled
We're here one minute then we're gone

(repeat chorus)


- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Here's my song re. First Minnesota Regiment

The image shows Private Marshall Sherman with captured flag from Battle of Gettysburg.
 
The monument to the First Minnesota Regiment in Gettysburg looks exactly like our Sam Smith monument here in Morris. It's the "running rifleman" statue. The history of the Regiment has always fascinated me. Same with the whole phenomenon of Civil War remembrance. I strongly recommend the book "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horwitz.
I am pleased to have a new original song online, inspired by the First Minnesota's heroics at Gettysburg. The late Jack Imholte wrote a definitive book about the Regiment. Jack was our UMM chancellor (called provost at that time). I invite you to listen to my song. It's called "Take Those Colors" which is a paraphrase of the orders given these intrepid men (many of them lumberjacks) by General Hancock. The general, relieved to find troops available to plug a hole in the Union line, gestured toward the oncoming Confederates with their red battle flags and said "See those colors? Well then take them."
The song was recorded at the Nashville TN studio of Frank (Franklin) Michels. Frank is a sensitive musician and always does a great job. I love the Nashville music community. He plays all the instruments himself.
I again thank Gulsvig Productions of Starbuck for getting the song online. If you ever have media transfer work that needs to be done, contact the Gulsvigs. Here is the YouTube link for my song, "Take Those Colors." Thanks for listening. - B.W.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1YCvsWr-6E
 
The First Minnesota Regiment saw action in most of the major battles of the war's Eastern Theater, mainly covering Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Minnesota was a newly-minted state, having joined the Union in 1858.
The regiment mustered for duty at Fort Snelling on April 29, 1861. It was heavily engaged at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21. It took part in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles near Richmond VA. It incurred serious losses at the pivotal battle of Antietam. Men charged at each other through cornfields. It was spared direct battle at Fredericksburg which was a major Union loss.
Of course, every battle in the Civil War worked against the Confederacy because the Confederacy could ill afford any losses of men. The Union could always replenish its resources. Robert E. Lee gambled that the Union would tire of the conflict and negotiate to get out of it. Gettysburg might have tested that. But the South failed to prevail there.
Did the South actually "lose" that battle? The large-scale battles of the Civil War basically ended in stalemates. That's because of the advanced state of the weaponry. The losing side tended to be presented as the one that had to leave and go home. Lee's army was in Pennsylvania. It had to go home. The Union pulled out all stops to win at Gettysburg. It used "flankers," considered a drastic move: these soldiers shot anyone retreating or withdrawing without orders to do so.
 
An engagement for the ages
The First MN Regiment gained permanent fame with its fighting on Day 2 at Gettysburg. The day was drawing to a close. We were quite outnumbered as the "Alabamians" advanced. We engaged the graycoats at close range over 300 yards of open ground near Cemetery Ridge. It was a strategy of "buying time" while reinforcements were on the way.
Cemetery Ridge would prove essential on Day 3 of the battle. The Union had the coveted "high ground" for Day 3. Remember how Sam Elliott pronounced "high ground" in the movie "Gettysburg?" It was quite the factor.
Lee could be faulted for attacking the middle of the Union line. The rest is history. We have our statue of Sam Smith in Morris to appreciate it. Corporal Henry O'Brien and Private Marshall Sherman received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Alas, hundreds of Minnesota soldiers died or were wounded.
The regiment was nearly destroyed. But we survived to help quell the New York City draft riots. Our last fights were the Battle of Bristoe Station and the Mine Run Campaign. The regiment returned home in February of 1864. On April 28, exactly three years after many of its men had enlisted, the First Minnesota held its final parade and was dismissed from service.
Remember to pay a visit to our Sam Smith statue on Memorial Day. There's an American flag pushed into the ground there, so different from the other flags adorning the cemetery, because this flag does not commemorate service against a foreign power like Germany or Japan - it commemorates service against our own countrymen, profoundly sad but necessary.
The First Minnesota will always have a distinctive place in Minnesota memory. "Take Those Colors."
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tigers sweep an impressive Melrose team

Tigers 3, Melrose 0
The Tigers played with a sweep flourish once again, dispatching the Dutchmen of Melrose on October 10. Scores at the Melrose gym were 25-13, 25-14 and 25-16. It was a significant win as it dislodged Melrose out of a tie for the WCC lead. We breezed into mid-week with a 15-3 record. Melrose has impressive numbers too at 18-4.
It was a feather in our cap to win at Melrose. Jenna Howden led the spiking as she typically does - she had the team-best 13 kills. Jenna Larsen was No. 2 on the list with her nine kills. Bailey Marty and Lexi Pew each had five. Kenzie Hockel had four kills and Karly Fehr three. Fehr and Howden each executed four ace blocks. Pew had two ace blocks and Marty had one.
Riley Decker was busy in digs, posting the team-best 29. Marty complemented her efforts with 22. Howden dug the ball up eleven times while Fehr had ten digs and Larsen nine. Howden showed diversified talent on this night, coming at the Dutchmen with two serving aces. Marty, Fehr and Larsen each had one serving ace. Fehr facilitated the winning offense with her 33 assists. Decker added two assists to the mix.
For Melrose, Mallari Funk led in kills with seven. Mia Meyer went up to perform three ace blocks. Kelsey Fleischhacker and Cassie Klaphake each had 13 digs. Luetmer and Mashayae Tschida each had one serving ace.

Cross country: meet at Benson
The assignment for MACA cross country on October 9 was to visit Benson. It was a day when Lac qui Parle/Dawson-Boyd impressed with a No. 1 showing in boys and girls. Marquee runner Keiser Freetly of the Eagles was No. 1, timed at 16:42.30. Jordyn Sterud of the girls took champ honors with her time of 19:55.60. There were nine teams in the boys field, eight in girls.
How did our MACA runners fare? The Tigers were No. 4 in the boys division, No. 3 in girls. Here's who ran for the boys: Tate Nelson (7th, 18:02.20), Ben Hernandez (12th, 18:10.80), Thomas Tiernan (28th, 19:07.80), Bradley Rohloff (32nd, 19:37.60) and Judah Malek (44th, 20:37.30).
Meredith Carrington set the pace for the MACA girls with her fourth place showing, time of 21:35.20. Caryn Marty arrived at the finish chute No. 14, time of 22:25.80. Malory Anderson was 17th with her 22:34.60 showing. Also wearing the orange and black were Kaylie Raths (24th, 23:23.10), Isabel Fynboh (27th, 23:54.00) and Alexis Motz (34th, 25:09.30).
The site of the running was the Benson Golf Club.

Cross country: meet at Sauk Centre
Unfortunately we're still seeing just one Carrington name in MACA cross country data. Meredith Carrington is doing fine as shown in info from the Sauk Centre Invitational on October 3. Carrington placed eighth in this meet that had ten teams. She covered the course in 21:36.2. We're awaiting the return of Meredith's sister Maddie. Maddie is reportedly dealing with a foot issue.
As a team the MACA girls placed fifth at Sauk Centre. The host Streeters took first. Meredith was joined in the MACA effort by: Malory Anderson (22:51.4), Caryn Marty (22:55.7), Isabel Fynboh (23:30.3), Crystal Nohl (23:34.1), Alexis Motz (23:40.1) and Kaylie Raths (24:04.8).
Noah Stewart was quite excellent for the MACA boys. Stewart was No. 3 to the chute in the boys race with his time of 17:31.7. Tate Nelson was the next orange and black runner getting there, timed at 18:20.0. Solomon Johnson had a time of 18:20.3, then it was Ben Hernandez (18:22.1), Tyler Reimers (19:09.8), Thomas Tiernan (19:11.2) and Bradley Rohloff (20:07.5).
Staples-Motley had the top boys team among the eleven total boys teams.
There was a junior varsity race also. Our Katya Lackey was the girls champion in JV with her time of 24:11.1. Meghan Goulet placed tenth with a 26:32.9 time. Victoria Vargas was clocked at 27:47.7, and Bobbi Wohlers had a 28:45.6 performance. Boys running JV were: Allen Roberts (20:41.5), Judah Malek (20:51.3), Colton Wohlers (20:55.5), Micah Aanerud (21:48.2) and Tyce Anderson (23:07.8).
I am having to wear powerful reading glasses to learn this information from the Morris newspaper. The meet data is reported there in type size that is way too small. Newspaper readers are an aging population, so this makes no sense.
With papers shrinking all the time, there is a natural inclination toward running stuff smaller, except for the front page photos which sometimes take up half the page in the Morris paper. This happens even when the photo is quite pedestrian and with no photojournalistic merit. Killing space with photos means, of course, the news department doesn't have to work as hard.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wither the concept of Homecoming royalty?

Will high school Homecoming continue to be a solid tradition into the future? Surprised I would ask this question? Look what happened to the concept of Homecoming royalty at UMM. The students seemed to be determined to make a mockery of it. We suspect that in high school, the concept is more likely to remain within safe and traditional bounds.
Sometimes there are undercurrents, though. Why would this be? There is precedent in the sense that we have seen cheerleaders, the "class will" and class prophecy wiped out. The will and prophecy can be added to the list of things we used to consider fun, harmless, innocuous etc.
We used to consider heavy consumption of alcohol acceptable. With alcohol, though, we discovered the undercurrent eventually. People were outraged at traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
People rose up through the political process wherein we finally saw a prohibition on smoking in restaurants and other public places - pretty much everywhere now. Step into your imaginary time machine and go back to when you'd enter a restaurant like DeToy's and find several people smoking. Imagine having to work in a place like that.
I have opined that a high school "cheer team" would be acceptable and desirable in this day and age. It would be considered like an athletic activity. We'd see boys with girls. Remember the cheer team competition in Las Vegas in the movie "Dodgeball?"
I think back to high school and how in my era the cheerleaders were the "cute girls." They had to have a modicum of coordination to perform the cheers. But fundamentally they were chosen on the basis of being cute - we all knew that. We knew certain girls would never be considered because of their appearance, like being heavy. They need not apply.
The "cute" criterion has been rendered anachronistic. This may well be the reason, even if unstated, that cheerleaders were canceled at Morris Area.
So now we proceed on to the subject of Homecoming. On what basis exactly are the "royalty" chosen? Are these criteria also to be considered anachronistic? Ponder the criteria: Is it "popularity?" That doesn't even answer the question because we must then ask: What is the popularity based on? If this cannot be answered, then the royalty concept might well be considered a candidate for the scrap heap like the class will and prophesies.
I remember that Tony Cruze of my class had a prophecy of being "mistaken for the Hamm's Bear and shipped to the Como Zoo." I remember a couple females who sniffed at how they were referenced, for good reason as I recall, but I don't remember enough of the details to share them here. So we saw cracks in the tradition even back then.
There is a little nugget of Morris history that ought to be preserved in connection to royalty. Certainly the Historical Society would have nothing to do with this. It's significant though because a particular glitch happened not once but twice within a relatively short period. The crown got bestowed on the wrong girl. It happened with the high school junior attendant and it even happened with Miss Morris. These events have receded in time so perhaps not many people remember. I was there so I remember. Had I been a cartoonist, I might have done a drawing with a billboard outside of Morris saying "Welcome to Morris, home of botched coronations."
A Morris school administrator commented in the wake that no longer would we have a crown presenter "fake" putting the crown on a certain head, going back and forth until finally putting it on the right one. The administrator thought this practice to be "tacky." In saying this he was offending the small schools around Morris who indulged liberally in this.
When I was in high school the coronation was held in the 1968 gym. So were many music concerts. That location seemed quite nice - people could sit up in the bleachers and get an ideal view of everything. I remember a band concert that featured Renee Schmidt (male) as flute soloist. You could see every member of the band. Once the auditorium got built and concerts moved there, you could only see the front row of clarinet players.
We performed a pops concert at the 1968 gym. Tables were set up for the audience, as I recall. I played a trumpet solo on a "Carpenters" medley.
Jane Larson was crowned as our Homecoming queen there in the fall of 1972. We had pep rally skits on behalf of the various candidates. Jane's skit presented her "first date." But you see, this stuff can get dicey and personal. Maybe the day will come when Homecoming royalty gets phased out just like at UMM. It'll be a dinosaur.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Home volleyball for Homecoming: a 3-0 win

Tigers 3, BOLD 0
MACA was back in familiar position of winning by sweep in the match vs. BOLD. The Tigers showed the kind of dominant flair that is so often their tendency. MACA won this October 3 home match by these scores: 25-9, 25-18 and 25-14. It was our 13th win of the season, coming during Homecoming week. BOLD was a conference opponent. The Warriors are having a sub-.500 season.
Jenna Howden showed power at the net, her forte, accumulating ten kills on this night. Here's the rest of the kills list: Bailey Marty (5), Jenna Larsen (4), Lexi Pew (3), Karly Fehr (1), Kenzie Hockel (1) and Hallie Watzke (1). Pew came at the Warriors with three ace blocks. Fehr went up for two ace blocks, and Hockel and Howden each had one.
Riley Decker performed her forte of digs well with 13, but Marty was right with her with 13 also. Larsen had nine digs followed by Fehr with eight and Howden with six. Fehr in her specialty of setting had 20 assists. Hockel, Fehr and Larsen each had two serving aces. Marty, Howden and Decker each had one serving ace.
For BOLD, Makenna Steffel led in kills with seven. Ashley Trongard and Taylor Sagedahl each had six kills. Steffel and Elli Honzay each had one ace block. Brenna Weis had the team-best 12 digs and Sagedahl had ten. The primary setter was Makayla Snow who had 24 assists. Morgari Schmitz and Alex Revier each had one serving ace.
MACA owns a shimmering W/L record for Homecoming week 2017. Let's cross our fingers for ideal weather for the Friday parade.
 
Recent football action
My summaries of MACA football have been on my companion website, "Morris of Course." Things didn't go so well at the Minnewaska gridiron last Friday as we were dealt defeat. Click on the link to see the review. Thanks for reading. - B.W.
 
The previous week saw the Tigers shine in a win over Benson. Click on the link below to refresh on that game.
http://morrisofcourse.blogspot.com/2017/09/tigers-defeat-benson-as-again-arndt.html
 
Pro-referendum voices heard
We have now seen a standard public statement from someone proclaiming we need to support our school. As if anyone would present a contrary opinion. Public schools can seem like a bottomless pit when it comes to funding. Periodically the public must make a "no" statement to simply force the school to live within its existing resources.
If we have allowed our school campus to over-expand, well then that's our fault. When the "new elementary school" was built it ended up including a new varsity gym, new high school band and choir rooms and an expanded and remodeled high school cafeteria. School advocates craft these "end runs" because they are always after more. Often the public acquiesces. Parents can feel an emotional pull and then they condemn those like me who want to promote realism and some fiscal restraint.
Go ahead, vote yes, and then within a few years we may start hearing cries about how we need to build a new high school. And we'll be dragged through all that again, like when we nudged the 1914 school into retirement and then the wrecking ball. I thought the art deco auditorium was quite nice, complete with balcony.
School advocates push for new and improved all the time. They seek money like a big vacuum cleaner. Even if you support the current referendum, you must look upon the pricetag as being rather bloated. Should we be surprised, what with "consultants" coming here and writing prices on a piece of paper? As Count Floyd of the old SCTV TV series would say, "brrrr, scary." Be sure to ask "Sick Rick" Lahn - nickname given by a regional blogger - tough questions.
Or don't - be lemmings.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, October 2, 2017

Seeking optimal relationship with UMM

The image shows your blog host and mom Martha H. Williams in front of the United Nations, New York City, during the UMM men's chorus' exciting trip for the World's Fair in 1964. (photo scanned by Del Sarlette)

Another UMM Homecoming is now history. I was pleased recently to write a check that would benefit UMM music. The check is on behalf of my mother Martha and I. Maybe it's an attempt to stay relevant in the Morris community. We have been on the sidelines for a long time.
Years have come and gone since my parents' involvement at UMM. Generations of students and staff have come and gone. Systems and priorities have changed. Mom had a reputation of having a fast "gait" as she crossed the campus doing business for the UMM post office which she supervised. I would guess few people on campus now are familiar with that. We have in our family photo collection a shot of Mom doing this activity, taken by someone on campus who wanted to preserve it. The photo has been scanned by Del Sarlette and I will be displaying it sometime.
Giving to a college can leave one with mixed feelings. The institution has fund-raising people who will be dripping with gratitude about this. But I'm sure that once any contribution is tucked away, those people without missing a beat try to get more. This is how they are incentivized. They are good people to be sure. But they are likely numbers-driven and salivate over getting more $. If you stop giving, the communications from them will dry up until you finally get nothing. It can leave you with an empty feeling.
My father will always be remembered to a degree because he was an original faculty member. He has been cited for helping cement UMM's future because of the high profile and popularity of his men's chorus. I was just the kid who would hang around. As an adult I had no chance to be accepted by the UMM community on the same terms as my parents. There was even some resentment which I never understood. People thought I was privileged.
Maybe I would have been better off as a kid being sent to a foster home somewhere.
I came to campus often as a newspaper person, probably more often than anyone else who would have held my position. My coverage of UMM was never comprehensive or totally consistent because that would have been an unattainable ideal. In the pre-Internet days, communications outreach was not nearly as high a priority for UMM, not at all like today when there is a sharp commitment to PR via UMM's website including its sports component.
I came out to UMM for music concerts. Often I'd get a photo of a musician or musicians warming up before a concert. I'd get their names and I also had a high priority for getting their hometowns! It was always interesting to find out where all these kids came from.
One day I photographed a Homecoming parade float that included a kid whose last name was Vick from St. Cloud. I asked "is your dad the speech teacher at St. Cloud State?" He answered yes. On another occasion I photographed some students - if I remember right they were in costumes for Halloween - at the Newman Center, and took down the last name of Nistler. I asked, are your parents the mass communications alums of St. Cloud State who I once knew? The answer was yes.
It's nice to see these young people with strong ties to St. Cloud State choosing Morris for their college education. St. Cloud State doesn't even have a Homecoming anymore. Why? Ahem, let's not get into that.
Not that UMM has a spotless Homecoming background, as many of us still remember the harrowing goalpost incident that left a student deceased. I wasn't there when it happened. I was at that game in the first half before departing. I came back for the 4 p.m. volleyball match at the P.E. Center. But I missed the horrible tragedy and I really have no misgivings about that. It probably left psychological scars for a lot of people. My coverage in the paper included an eyewitness description which I acquired from the ESPN2 website. I was happy to find such an account because I couldn't find people willing to go on the record. Some people took issue with what I quoted. I think maybe they were trying to create a red herring: let's make yours truly the issue.
Was there really a phantom gesture made by a UMM security person, a gesture which according to legend and rumor, had the effect of shooing the rowdy kids away from one goalpost and toward the other? The incident happened back in 2005. UMM has since moved to a new football field with artificial turf.
I got one of those mass emails Thursday informing us that the parking lots would not be checked for permits Friday, the day of the chancellor's inauguration. We have a Retirees Association permit. But I was bothered by the whole issue of UMM charging for parking. We have to try to understand why. I suppose it's a fund-raising source and also a way for discouraging rabble from coming to campus. That said, I think the permit policy is a hindrance for people who might have only an occasional reason to visit campus for something or to see someone. It might be a one-time visit. It might be a visit with UMM's fund-raising people. It's a distraction and a worry.
Don't a lot of students park off-campus to avoid the fee? I'm told some students park at Willie's and leave their car there all day. It's not like parking space is a limited commodity like it might be in a big city. We're a small town surrounded by prairie.
I made a financial contribution to UMM because I, or we, wanted to continue having a feeling of connection with the UMM community. I owe it to UMM music. I gave lots of coverage to UMM music through the years, mostly in connection with Jim Carlson. I did interviews for articles. Yet I always felt like an outsider away from the mainstream. That sense always hovered over me. A friend tipped me off once that Kay Carlson, Jim's wife, murmured some disparaging comments about me when I showed up to cover a music event. I photographed a visiting pianist who posed pre-concert with the event's sponsors. The photo turned out great. Was there something so terrible about me being there? I'm not from the right tribe, I guess.
I was raked over the coals after the 2005 goalpost incident. A Morris physician name of Mike Busian, who I always gathered had a volatile personality, wrote a bizarre letter to the editor in which he suggested the public had to put up with my coverage because of "the First Amendment." He's dead now.
I have now spent eleven years out of the loop in regard to public things. Mom retired long ago. Dad died four years ago. I am trying hard for that optimal relationship with UMM, with our recent financial gesture (of $10,000, hope it's not chump change). Already we have gotten communications seeking to wring out a little more from us. Money's honey, I guess.
All three of us are represented on our cemetery bench monument. Please stop by and visit sometime and feel free to sit on the bench. I haven't been able to bring Mom out there because our cemetery is not handicapped-accessible. There aren't many institutions you can say that about anymore.
I don't even know how UMM did in its Homecoming football game. And I don't care.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, September 29, 2017

MACA girls looking great in West Central Conf.

Tigers 3, Benson 0
The Tigers got conference win No. 8 with a sweep over Benson. The site was the Benson gym on September 28. We're clearly on top of the West Central Conference. We upped our overall win total to twelve.
Scores vs. the Braves were 25-12, 25-14 and 25-11. Karly Fehr put up 35 set assists. Jenna Howden went on the attack to pound down 15 kills. Jenna Larsen achieved eleven kills, and the list continues with Kenzie Hockel (7), Bailey Marty (3), Fehr (3), Lexi Pew (2) and Jen Solvie (1).
Three Tigers each executed an ace block: Fehr, Hockel and Larsen. The digs list has Riley Decker at the top as usual, this time with 17. The list continues with Marty (14), Fehr (12), Larsen (10) and Hockel (5). At the serving line, Marty and Howden each had two aces. Fehr, Hockel and Larsen each had one ace.
For the host Braves, Zoe Doscher had a serving ace. Courtney MeNeill had nine set assists while Mariah Arndt had seven. Anna Gosson had six kills. Lizzie Staton had an ace block. Abby Mitteness and Gosson had 21 and 20 digs, respectively.
 
Tigers 3, Montevideo 2
Things weren't so routine when the Tigers played the Montevideo Thunder Hawks on September 26, here. The Tigers actually got on the ropes for a time as they dropped the first two games. Scores were 27-29 and 18-25. Could the Tigers get infused with a higher caliber? Yes! Coach Kristi Fehr coaxed her team to victory in games 3 through 5 with scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 15-13.
Kenzi Hockel had three serving aces to lead. Jenna Larsen batted two serving aces at the T-Hawks. These Tigers each had one ace: Karly Fehr, Jenna Howden and Riley Decker. Karly Fehr was all over the court to contribute 42 set assists.
Once again it was Jenna Howden at the fore in hitting, aiding the resurgence with 22 kills. Larsen socked 12 kills. Karly Fehr had seven, and the list continues with Bailey Marty (4), Jen Solvie (3) and Hockel (1). Here's the list for ace blocks: Howden (3), Lexi Pew (3), Karly Fehr (2), Marty (1) and Larsen (1). Marty and Decker were tops in digs with 26 and 20, respectively. Fehr had 12 digs and Larsen had seven.
 
To see the runners more
I saw Tom Carrington this morning and we discussed the rarity of home cross country meets. The Morris Area Invitational was on August 28, a real early-bird meet. You drive out to the golf course and notice cars parked along the shoulder for a long ways. Intrepid parents and fans can walk a considerable distance to get their preferred vantage point. It can be exhilarating if exhausting. The atmosphere is dead calm for a while and then, here come the runners!
The last time I attended a meet, in my post-newspaper time, I had a camera and was able to post a little. But a big headache I had that day was trying to distinguish the Morris runners from the Marshall runners. I'd see the orange and black colors and assume these were Tigers and they were, but they could be either the Morris or Marshall Tigers - same nickname and colors.
I should go out every year for this meet, camera or no. My photography is basically phased out because I haven't gone digital yet. I'm not sure Thrifty White even sends in camera film anymore. Am I hopelessly out of date with my approach? Maybe I am, but I'm sure a digital camera with zoom capability (for sports) would not be cheap. I could buy a lot of camera film for that.
The Morris Area Invitational appears to be the only home meet in the regular season. Tom Carrington and I feel there ought to be at least one more. Why travel all the way to Milaca as the Tigers did on September 23? Why couldn't we have one other home meet even if it was a small one, maybe with 3-4 total teams? Schools such as LQPV and Benson could come. Other MACA fall teams have the benefit of roughly half their competition events at "home." Cross country seems to exist on the road. We need to see these talented athletes a little more.
 
Postcard re. referendum
So, we finally get a postcard telling us the date for the upcoming school referendum: November 7. No way can I predict the outcome of something like this, but I continue to find it unseemly that we are taking a yes/no vote on a matter of essential maintenance, because the problems do indeed need to be remedied.
Why are we voting? What if we vote "no?" Will the work not get done? The local commercial media need to corner administrators and board members on this. Is there an option for getting the work done that would not involve a "yes" vote to vacuum more money from district residents?
Schools always want more money and they always say it's essential. It's up to the public to show some educated skepticism now and then. Everyone wants money. Surely you all know that. Maybe the school will have to consider some cuts. They might say: OK, these are separate budgets. As my old friend Jim McRoberts might say, "figures lie and liars figure."
A guy named Metzger writes in the local media something about how schools have lean budgets. Well, let me reach for my little violin. I wouldn't expect him to say the school has a bloated budget.
I don't want this referendum to dampen enthusiasm for the expected upcoming library referendum. I'd vote yes on the library referendum without doing any research because I trust the people associated with the Morris Public Library, all the way up to City Manager Blaine Hill. My feelings about the public school people are quite the opposite.
Don't let them turn on the vacuum cleaner.
BTW Jim McRoberts also taught me the following: "Talk is cheap but it takes money to buy whiskey." 
  
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com