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

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn
Click on the image to read about the historic Stanton house of west Morris.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Women have it better in sports (really)

We are nearing the peak of summer. The peak is of course July 4 and the celebration in Hancock. Morris sits dormant.
One of the highlights of the Hancock July 4 is the Little League "all-star" game.
Girls have softball to play in the summer. When I was a kid they didn't even have that.
Girls sports grew like The Little Engine That Could. It's amazing that in an earlier era, not that long ago in the scheme of things, girls weren't supposed to pursue sports. Girls sports was restricted to that one page in the school yearbook that had a picture of "G.A.A." (Girls Athletic Association). It was patronizing.
Then along came a generation that included pioneering souls like Mary Holmberg. We had Chris Voelz at the University of Minnesota. Their assertiveness could bring friction.
If you were in the media you scratched your head and wondered if girls sports really deserved "equal treatment." The adjustment was awkward which is typical of any major cultural shift. The progress was by fits and starts at times.
I remember a basketball referee who said "you have to call traveling all the time with the girls, no matter how often it happens, because otherwise they'll never learn."
When you stop and think about it, dribbling seems a rather odd requirement, doesn't it? There's no such requirement in team handball.
I took a college course in team handball. The old teacher had us "choose up sides." That can be just as humiliating as playing dodgeball. The fact I wore a Tommy Kramer (No. 9) jersey didn't up my stock any.
Remember when Kramer came to Morris to be grand marshal of the Prairie Pioneer Days parade? I believe that was in 1987. I remember him riding in a golf cart driven by Brett Weber.
I hope Tommy is doing OK today. So many former NFL players develop serious health issues (related to their football playing) as they get older. I remember Kramer being slammed to the turf by a Los Angeles Rams lineman, so bad he seemed stunned and unconscious, and the worst part was that his fingers were twitching. I feared for an instant he might be dead.
Kramer hung around to finish his career. The Vikings had a hard time surrounding him with enough good talent. He was dragged down by the kind of party lifestyle that seemed popular among pro players then.
But today, my sole thought about Kramer, who is my age, is that I hope his basic health survived the rigors of the game.
The point I am making in this post, belatedly maybe, is that women not only climbed to equality, they have it better now. "I knew I could," the little train engine is saying.
Girls get to play softball in summer. How vastly preferable to baseball. The reason we subject young boys to the game of baseball, in "little league," is that we find it fun replicating pro baseball. We can fantasize about these little tykes growing up to be big leaguers. Totally delusional of course.
Boys age 9-12 typically look ungainly trying to play baseball. Pitchers have trouble throwing strikes. The best pitchers, usually age 12, can become too dominant. The younger kids flail away trying to hit that small ball. When you hit the ball into fair territory, there's a good chance you'll reach base because the fielders can screw up. It's an awfully small ball.
The logic is simple for appreciating how softball is a preferable game for these young kids: the ball is bigger. The pitchers don't have to throw overhand. Pitching overhand is actually an unnatural physical activity.
Whitey Herzog once wrote that a pitcher injures his arm every time he makes a pitch. Why do you think baseball starting pitchers need to rest 3-4 days between appearances? The need for such a long rest makes one question the activity itself, just like we're questioning the whole sport of football.
We are nearing a stage where we'll be forced to reconsider the whole sports landscape. There is an irony here. Girls sports grew with the idea or premise that girls' bodies were more delicate and their sports approach had to reflect that. It sounds like an insulting approach on the face of it.
But we need to look at it differently now. We need to be more delicate with all the young people who play sports. Being delicate and careful is a virtue. Being "macho" by promoting football (and chewing tobacco?) is being made to look foolish now.
Girls are spared football. They are spared wrestling in which the temptation to lose weight can be unhealthy. They have the privilege of playing softball in which the large ball makes it more batter-friendly (and even safer) than baseball. There are no physical issues with the underhand pitching motion in softball.
An underhand pitcher can literally pitch every day. Remember when Eddie Feigner came to Morris? It was billed as "The king and his court." He was a fast-pitch softball pitcher who barnstormed. You might remember Halsey Hall on Twins broadcasts promoting Feigner's schedule. The guy could pitch every day.
Somewhere in Morris history it should be recorded - no exaggeration - that Feigner's appearance in Morris, for a Jaycees fundraiser in about 1981, was a disaster. A group of area guys was put together to play Feigner and his mates in this exhibition. Problem is, these groups of opponents weren't supposed to take it real seriously. It was supposed to be a "wink wink" thing. Like the "Washington Nationals" playing the Harlem Globetrotters.
Someone didn't get the memo. The local guys gave 100 percent and ended up showing up the visitors, who didn't take kindly to it. The exhibition was cut short and the visitors groused considerably about what had just happened, to anyone who would listen.
Feigner's son was on his team. I remember the son yelling "Playing you guys is like being on Valium, man!"
Valium?
Former major league catcher John Bateman was in the crew. The elder Feigner came out to home plate and explained the game was being cut short because of sun in the west.
I was the innocent media observer of course. I trotted over to Feigner after game's end and he was nice to me. I was going to do a brief interview but he handed me a piece of literature and said all I would need was in there.
I guess I would chalk up the whole incident to lousy communication. Dave Kratz of the Jaycees said "I think it was kind of a ripoff." Frankly I think a lot of the local players may have been a little too testosterone-fueled. There was a lot of that back then.
I found it curious. I was a mere observer, which means that at age 57 my brain cells are all intact.
I cross my fingers for Tommy too. We remember you, number 9.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We're basking in summer in Morris mn

Check out the wildflowers down by the river. (B.W. photo)
Summer is here so give a cheer. I discovered that phrase in a comic book long ago, in which monster characters like Frankenstein and Dracula were schoolteachers and they were celebrating the end of the school year.
Do kids (or teachers) still feel relief when they're excused from school, as if a torture session was done? I guess we did. We should have asked more questions about why we found school so unpleasant.
Is school considered more pleasant and relevant today? I can only speculate. It seems parents demand more accountability.
I remember a co-worker who insisted her son be excused from an unpleasant classroom assignment. The kids were supposed to get up in front of the class and tell a story about something embarrassing that happened to them. "No," this mother said. "My son would just get teased."
What about the authority of teachers to direct such projects? Her comment: "I think they're working for me."
Touche.
The boomers' parents seemed quite content delegating to the teachers. Is this because so many of the men served in World War Two and felt you just had to defer to authority? I don't know, but us boomers circulated in a world in which we had to roll with the punches.
I enjoyed reading books up through elementary school. After that it seemed so many of our reading assignments veered into the oddball. I would have loved just continuing to read good stories, stories that didn't hammer into our head how unjust American life was, or have other shady political aims.
I survived all that and I hope the kids of today don't have to. "Of Mice and Men" belongs in the dumpster.
Summertime! When I was a kid, marching band was still going strong in Morris. What a different era from today. We had a director with the initials J.W. who kept the program going pretty strong until it finally started fading.
Kids seemed to develop different priorities. I might suggest summer sports camps.
Many people in music instruction feel there really isn't much enrichment in summer marching band. The kids tend to play the same tune over and over. Playing while walking limits your ability to handle your instrument in the optimum fashion.
The director comes off a little like a drill sergeant. "Wipe that smile off your face!" etc.
J.W. could kick a kid out of practice as discipline and the kid would come back. I could name names but I won't. Heck, today I'd just say "I'm going to the beach - have a nice rest of the summer."
We didn't get any school credits for this, did we?
Ol' J.W. was a little behind the times. He was a little too much of a disciplinarian. A turning point came when a female student of high standing, initials M.S., confronted him harshly in practice one day (in the band room, not during marching band). She literally shouted "that's no way to teach!"
I think she had more issues than just with the teaching. J.W. responded by immediately calling off that practice. I don't recall him responding to her in any manner. I'm not sure his brain was able to process what just happened. Ah, the generation gap.
I remember J.W. absolutely picking on a kid in the trombone section, initials J.S., for no reason I could ever see.
Boomers knew their teachers could get by being Caesars in their palaces. The boomers, at least the early boomers, also knew they could get drafted into the military and die a miserable death in an overseas jungle or swamp before their 20th birthday. The kids of today can't begin to relate to that.
I think there's far more accountability in education today. Teachers still have tenure and seniority but it seems there are pressures that serve to humble them a little more and keep them in line.
Either that, or the people entering the profession today really are more idealistic. I hope it's the latter.
Either way, we still enjoy summertime.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tanner Picht on a tear in win at Evansville

Morris pounded Brandon-Evansville 11-1 Monday before being edged by Glenwood 6-5 Thursday in exciting American Legion baseball.
 
Morris 11, Brandon-Evansville 1
The Morris nine took the diamond to play Brandon-Evansville Monday and took command, scoring runs in every inning except one. Only in the fourth was there a goose egg for Morris.
The final line scores showed Post #29 with eleven runs on eleven hits and one error, while B-E posted 1-3-5 numbers. Only five innings were required. The Morris dominance took care of that.
This was the fourth Morris triumph of the campaign against no losses.
Tanner Picht's name doesn't usually appear with pitching in the boxscore. On Monday (6/18) Picht did all the Morris pitching and allowed just that one B-E run (earned). He performed like he was a stalwart on the mound, setting down ten B-E batters on strikes. Remember, this was just a five-inning game.
Picht walked just two batters and allowed three hits.
Dan Schafer pitched for B-E and got roughed up, although it should be noted only four of the eleven runs he allowed were earned. Those five B-E errors took a toll in their loss. Schafer struck out three batters and walked two.
The Morris offense attacked Schafer for eleven hits as Picht led the way at three-for-four. He crossed home plate three times. Two of his hits were doubles. It was a day where it seemed he did everything as he also stole two bases.
Chandler Erickson went two-for-four and drove in a run. Tyler Henrichs socked a double as part of going two-for-four, and scored two runs.
Mac Beyer had a double, a triple, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Brody Bahr had no hits but stole a base and drove in a run.
Jacob Torgerson and Jordan Staples each added a hit to the mix. Torgerson had an RBI and Staples scored a run.
The B-E players hitting safely were Zach Gibson, Billie Juul and Craig Campbell.
The big inning for Post #29 was the third when six runs came in. The team batted around. RBIs resounded off the bats of Beyer, Picht, Torgerson and Erickson.
 
Glenwood 6, Morris 5
Post #29 was brought down to earth in Thursday (6/21) home action, getting bested by Glenwood 6-5.
It was a humbling game as Morris broke down defensively in the seventh. Morris led 5-2 entering the seventh and seemed on track to stay unbeaten. But it wasn't to be. Two fielding miscues fueled a four-run Glenwood rally as the Morris fans groaned.
Three singles preceded those errors. Singles by Patrick Stumpf, Jake Amundson and Austin Giese loaded the bases. A ground ball then resulted in an errant throw. Two runs came in.
Runners are now at second and third and Morris opts to intentionally walk Andrew Amundson. There is one out. The next batter hits a chopper. A throw home results in the catcher not being able to secure the ball. Two more runs scoring is the consequence, so it's a whole new ballgame.
Glenwood (Post #187) is up 6-5 and needs to retire Morris in the bottom of the seventh. The ball is handed to Trenton Berg for relief duties. Berg got the job done, fanning a batter for the final out.
Beyer and Torgerson pitched for Morris with Beyer getting the loss.
Morris outhit Glenwood 6-5. Torgerson with his two-for-three line was the only Post #29 batter with multiple hits. Jake scored a run and drove in a run.
Chandler Erickson had a hit, a stolen base and a run scored. Tyler Henrichs scored two runs to go with his one-for-three line.
Mac Beyer went one-for-three and scored twice. Jordan Staples had a hit in two at-bats and picked up an RBI.
The Glenwood hits were by Jake Amundson, Austin Giese, Trenton Berg, Zach Sanford and Patrick Stumpf.
The big inning for Morris was the sixth when four runs came in.
A little more fielding resiliency in the seventh, and Morris would have won this game. But the positives have far outweighed the minuses thus far in the season.
 
Four Tigers all-conference
Congratulations to the four Morris Area Chokio Alberta baseball Tigers on being named all-conference for the 2012 prep season: Tom Holland, Sam Mattson, Tanner Picht and Jacob Torgerson.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whither football amid all the awareness?

Can all the king's horses and all the king's men restore football? Indeed it has taken a fall and in a relatively short time.
I confess I have only been vaguely aware of football's worrisome health consequences, up until recently.
Just as people once vaguely sensed smoking was bad for you - no vivid confirmation yet - people might have sensed football was a little barbaric. A sport that requires helmets?
Now we know it isn't just the obvious concussions that prompt concern. The routine hits that make up football life take a real toll.
Kids approach this sport innocently. They worship "the pros" on TV. Watching football is a little like playing pinball: there is a pane of glass between us and what's really going on.
Football as a badge of masculinity? Maybe that's like the old canard of smoking (or drinking) suggesting maturity. Take a look at a former gridder in his 60s (or even 50s) having regular headaches and memory issues. Doesn't seem very masculine to me.
We will learn more as the celebrated lawsuit by former NFL players progresses.
"Oh, but the pros are different from high school," you might say.
Yes, I'd say it's different: adolescents' brains are more tender.
You might want to cringe the next time you see a kickoff return or punt return at our local field. Those players build up a head of steam before getting hit.
Our prep coach Jerry Witt used the expression "smash-mouth" in many interviews I conducted with him. He might say of an upcoming opponent "they play smash-mouth football."
Can you imagine giving any sort of like quote in connection to girls sports? We can now truly see how far girls sports has come. Not only do they now have equal resources, they are spared the physical punishment that football dishes out.
Football increasingly looks anachronistic. A school board member in Pennsylvania sprang into celebrity status, probably unwittingly, by suggesting football be banned. Patty Sexton - leave it to a woman - talked about how school districts should not be "funding gladiators." It's an early harbinger.
The magazine National Review has seemed to give credence to this rallying cry.
The better educated people will not simply shrug and say "boys will be boys." They will examine the data and quickly separate themselves from any sentimental fondness they've developed for football. If they decide football isn't appropriate for their sons, their conscience will bother them when they feel tempted to watch NFL or major college football on TV.
Honestly, I don't think I can ever watch football the same way.
It will be hard to withdraw completely. But on second thought, only rarely do I watch a game from start to finish anyway. The barrage of commercials gets wearisome. I always have a few better things to do on Sunday anyway. I think most of us do.
Our family visits friends at West Wind Village on Sunday, right at around 2 p.m. I'll catch blips of the Vikings game there.
Many of us on the road listen on radio. If nothing else, at the end of the day we'll "tune in" and see what fascination the Vikings delivered. It must be fascinating if that corporate entity of a team can lead us all around by the nose and have stadium demands filled.
The new Vikings stadium won't be in use until 2016. A lot can happen between now and then in terms of football losing its stature. Have the state's news media asked hard questions about this?
We are a land of "creative destruction." Sports is entertainment, a realm in which predictions are difficult indeed to make.
In two months we'll all start salivating over the new football season. We're already being teased with headlines about Percy Harvin pouting and suggesting a trade in classic pro athlete fashion.
I have had more than the average amount of interest in sports through my life. But when I gather up the house paper at McDonald's these days, I find myself not eager to grab sports. In fact, I glance at sports and immediately think all those topics are being weighted out of proportion. The headlines and photos are huge about topics that needn't demand such bombast.
The Star Tribune is disconnected. Newspapers are of course thrashing about in the water, trying to keep from drowning. They seem to behave as if sports coverage is a lifeblood, as if we're all waiting with baited breath. If I am not, it's a good bet that a wide swath of the population is not.
Harvin is a wide receiver with a history of prolonged headaches. Is it just a coincidence he plays football and has headaches? I frankly hope it is, and hope he doesn't become one of those sad handicapped stories (like Mike Webster) when he gets older.
I would certainly suggest that someone prone to serious headaches not play football. There are a couple thousand former NFL players involved in the lawsuit against the league. People so far seem to not want to trivialize. It seems there is pretty genuine awareness growing, just like our awareness grew by leaps and bounds in connection to smoking.
Honus Wagner didn't want his baseball card on a cigarette pack. He was expressing his gut instincts. We should have felt similar instincts about football but we have been too mesmerized by the game. We have been that proverbial pinball player.
We watch the young men smack into each other like missiles. I have been as guilty as anyone simply enjoying it. Last fall I relished going to DeToy's Restaurant every Saturday morning and exchanging football notes with waitress Felixia Rosales.
I couldn't approach such conversations the same now. The enlightenment has come fast. Also, it seems we're getting over any sense of denial pretty quickly. Parents cannot in good conscience deny the facts.
It will be interesting this August to see if there's a numbers drop-off with Tiger football, Cougar football and football as a whole across the U.S. Will those "Friday night lights" fade? If not, it could be a folly for our society.
But if nothing else, the consequences of football will get the attention of lawyers and the insurance industry. As one op-ed writer sagely pointed out, football will continue to exist, certainly at the pro level where the money dangles, but the sport will be "sick."
We have been through so many Minnesota Vikings seasons. It was Nirvana in my younger days when the Vikes made four Super Bowls. The Vikings were a relatively young institution then. Fewer games were on TV. We were transfixed by an entertainment product that was in the right place at the right time.
But that's all it was: an entertainment product - a game played by mortals with all the mortal problems of everyone else.
The goose that laid the golden egg did quite fine. Now we're realizing the price paid by all those gladiators.
"Smash-mouth?" I'll pass on such gestures of machismo. 
  
The Jerry Sandusky mess
It sounds like all the king's horses and all the king's men won't save Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky stands as sort of a symbol - a deeply flawed human being who got cover because of how he helped elevate a major college football program.
Criminal? I'm not sure the criminal justice system addresses his particular problem. I think he was born with a certain kind of inclination. He has a sexual compulsion that non-sufferers would not understand.
I would suggest these individuals need to be confined in such a way they can't be predatory (of course). But to suggest it's "criminal?" I don't know.
Prison time would be a deterrent? A deterrent from engaging in a type of behavior that normal people would never consider? And would find abhorrent?
We need to reconsider prisons just like we reconsidered that old mental health facility in Fergus Falls. If people need confinement, fine, but it needs to be done with more discretion. I'm not sure someone like Bernie Madoff needs to be thrown in with violent criminals. Or Jerry Sandusky.
We as a society seem to be re-thinking all this just as we are re-thinking the sport of football. 
  
What's with Bob Costas, NBC?
The media can act like a dunce through much of this. Why was the Bob Costas interview with Sandusky edited the way it was when it originally aired? This is a monumental question and hasn't gotten the proper attention in an investigative, inquisitive way.
You would think in this age of fragmented media, there would be more of a hue and cry. Fragmented media tend to be democratized media.
What was the thinking of NBC editors who omitted the most damning segment of the interview?
NBC gave an explanation that of course was insufficient. Simply saying the interview was long, insults our intelligence. Some sort of agenda was at work here. Did big media want the suspense of the story to continue? Sandusky's apparent confession to Costas would have been jaw-dropping. It might have made the trial seem academic.
Did big media savor the drama of a trial? Did they want to have a little more doubt dangling out there? Did they want to see the vaunted defense attorney - celebrated cases always have Doberman-like defense attorneys - make the usual competitive inroads, creating shards of doubt that would have us on edge of seats?
Or were the big media being a little protective of big-time football? Would Sandusky's stomach-turning revelation to the somewhat pretentious Costas have brought too much instant embarrassment to the cash cow of football?
Are the networks helping wave the flag for big-time football a little longer? They make huge money selling advertising for the plethora of televised games.
But are we so hopelessly addicted to this sport? If we are, heaven help us all.
What will be the health of football in 2016 when the new Vikings stadium opens?
Click on the permalink below to read my reaction to State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen's role in the new stadium. This post is on my companion website, "Morris of Course."
 
The Star Tribune was an annoying shill for big-time football through that whole process. Governor Mark Dayton behaved like he had hit his head pretty badly himself.
We had better start asking how we'll adjust, if the new stadium and our local Big Cat Stadium are rendered useless.
On the plus side, the health of future generations of young men will be appropriately guarded. Is this not the most noble course to take?
"Smash-mouth?" Forget it.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Play ball! Legion and Eagles win for Morris

Legion: Morris 4, Hancock 0
High school baseball gives way pretty seamlessly to Legion. The 2012 prep campaign is now history, so the Legion action is in full swing. It provides lively diamond entertainment in those lazy, hazy days of summer.
The Morris Legion nine upped its record to 3-0 with Thursday (6/14) success. Four runs were plenty for backing hurler Chandler Erickson.
Chandler wasn't even touched through the first three and two-thirds innings of this 4-0 win. His perfect game bid was thwarted when Luke Schwarz singled with two outs in the fourth.
Erickson was unfazed and stayed very much in the groove. There was only one more hit after the Schwarz success: a single by Taylor Holleman.
Erickson was on the mound for the last out of the game. He shone in the control department, issuing zero walks. He set down eight Hancock batters on strikes.
Morris got on top 1-0 in the first inning. Then came two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. Neither team committed an error. Post #29 (Morris) outhit Hancock 8-2.
The Hancock pitching was divided between Holleman (who took the loss) and Bryan Shaw. Holleman pitched four innings and Shaw two.
Holleman fanned four batters but struggled with control, walking five. He gave up four hits and one run (earned). Shaw fanned three batters, walked three and gave up four hits and three runs (all earned).
Tom Holland gave lots of spark for the Post #29 offense, going two-for-three with a run scored and two stolen bases. Tanner Picht was a speed merchant and stole two bases also. Tanner went one-for-three with a run scored.
Tyler Henrichs had a hit in his only at-bat. Mac Beyer added to the stolen base list with one, plus he had a two-for-four boxscore line with two ribbies. 
Lincoln Berget was off to the races for a stolen base, plus he went one-for-two with two runs-batted-in.
Luke Schwarz and Taylor Holleman both went one-for-three for Hancock.
 
Amateur: Eagles 6, Benson 4
The Morris town team continued on a roll with a home win over the Benson Chiefs on June 13. It was the Eagles' third straight win and seventh in their last eight games - a stretch of success pushing their record to 7-3.
Benson had given the Eagles some trouble earlier in the season. The Eagles turned things around in the 6/13 rematch, winning despite being outhit 12-10. Each team committed one error.
The Eagles kept Benson at bay through the first six innings. The score stood 5-0 through six, but Benson did summon some offensive momentum by game's end. Benson plated one run in the seventh and three in the eighth. The Eagles scored their final run in the eighth, so if you add 'em all up, the home team had six runs at game's end, the Chiefs four.
Nate Haseman went out to the mound as the Eagles' starting pitcher. The Chiefs had him figured out pretty well, pounding out 12 hits versus him. But Haseman got the most important boxscore symbol next to his name: the "W." It was his second pitching triumph of the summer against no losses.
He struck out four batters and walked two. He had his pitching arm retired after seven innings.
On came Kirby Marquart and Craig Knochenmus each to pitch one inning. Marquart gave up no hits or runs, walked none and struck out one. Knochenmus notched his second straight save as he set down the Chiefs 1-2-3 in the ninth. One of those outs came via strikeout.
It's always great watching the bottom of the batting order excel. This was one of those games where those relatively unsung guys performed like the stars. Spokesman Matthew Carrington lauded that threesome on going seven for 12 with four RBIs. Hats off to Brett Anderson (two-for-four, two RBIs, one run), Mitch Carbert (two-for-four and an RBI) and Jamie Van Kempen (three-for-four and an RBI).
Knochenmus had a boxscore line of 3-1-1-1 (at-bats, runs, hits, RBIs). Cole Riley pounded two hits in four at-bats with two runs scored. Dusty Sauter stole a base and scored a run.
Viva all the exciting summer diamond action!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Navigating media waters for track results

I say hats off, obviously, to the Morris Area Chokio Alberta track and field athletes who carried the school's banner so well in state. I wish I could have gotten through this online coverage process cleanly.
As much as I have lamented the West Central Tribune sports section as an information source, I really wasn't expecting such a big glitch again so soon. I innocently grabbed the June 1 sports section here at the Morris Public Library, eager to see how the Tigers did in section. I had no reason to expect problems.
At the top of page B2 is an article with photos that focuses on Tiger track and field in the 6A meet (held in Moorhead). There are two photos, one of Katie Holzheimer and the other of MaKenzie Smith. The headline also bestows attention on these two: "Holzheimer, Smith qualify for state meet in 6A."
Wonderful, I thought. The article accompanying these photos gives details. It reports that Holzheimer qualified for state in the 100m and 200m dashes.
Coach Dale Henrich told me at Willie's that Holzheimer met the qualifying standard in the 200m, thus she advanced despite placing third. Normally it's the top two. Meeting the qualifying standard is something to crow about.
The West Central Tribune article reported that Smith qualified for state in the 3200m, the longest distance. That didn't surprise me because I saw what Smith was capable of doing last fall in cross country. I discovered later that Smith also qualified in the 1600m but that wasn't reported on 6/1. My head is starting to swim just reporting the discrepancies.
The article concludes by announcing the dates of the state meet.
I bumped into the always-amiable coach Henrich toward the end of the week when he was stocking up on Gatorade-like drinks. At this point I assumed the West Central Tribune article had given me all I needed to know. I wrote a few paragraphs online to give these two athletes their much-deserved acknowledgment.
Fast-forward to June 11. That's the Monday after the state meet. Because the West Central Tribune doesn't publish on Sunday, all eyes were going to be on the Monday edition.
Actually I checked online Sunday night and was unable to find anything. Here's a hint, coach Henrich: Make sure that one way or another, track and field news gets reported in a timely way, whether it's via an "old media" site, or Pheasant Country Sports, or a completely independent website. The kids of today expect all important news to be online.
Looking at the June 11 edition of the Willmar paper, I was shocked to see that other Tigers besides Holzheimer and Smith had qualified for state. I was shocked and saddened because I had used that earlier West Central Tribune article as an information source.
Can we assume the Willmar newspaper is a credible source of sports info? I notice minor problems popping up quite often, like stats not adding up the way they should, or other details not reconciling properly.
On June 11, I read that Holzheimer took third in the 100m and sixth in the 200m in state, but also anchored the eighth place 4x100m relay team which also included Beth Holland, Sydney Engebretson and Adrianela Mendez. Why weren't those other three Tigers acknowledged in the West Central Tribune's coverage after the section meet?
Not only that, we had a pole vaulter in state. Wow! Abby Travis placed 16th, getting over the bar at eight feet/three inches. Congratulations to all, but I would like to have acknowledged all you athletes earlier.
Distance runner Smith placed eleventh in the 1600m and 13th in the 3200m.
I hope coach Henrich had enough Gatorade (or whatever brand) along. Certainly it was a weekend to savor special memories.
Track and field seems to have an inherent disadvantage when it comes to media coverage. The baseball and softball teams receive "team specific" coverage. As a result there are frequent headlines that refer to "MACA baseball" and "MACA softball," and these articles focus on the athletes of MACA and the opponent, only.
Track and field tends to get represented in "meet coverage" which has a big block of space turned over to a particular meet (with very small type usually) and you have to painstakingly sift through to ferret out the Morris names.
By mid-season I could almost recite the MACA baseball and softball lineups for you, but I hardly knew who was out for track. I think this is unfortunate.
My remedy as it always is, is for these teams to establish online homes in one manner or another. It costs nothing or next to nothing. The kids themselves could guide you. It's likely they have more insights than many of the coaches.
Forget about the very inconsistent West Central Tribune of Willmar. How much longer can it hang on as a daily anyway? Papers around the U.S. are reducing their frequency of publication. Newspapers are so stressed they can be nightmarish places to work.
Online, no one is encumbered by huge overhead costs which reflect the old U.S. industrial model. Everything is getting more nimble now.
I shudder to think what could have happened to me, in my newspaper career, if I had written an article omitting names of state qualifiers. I'd be called dumber than a pail of nails. Can there be any excuse for this?
The West Central Tribune tries to be too many things to too many people. Too much of the type size is inexcusably small. You get ink on your fingers. Their 6/1 coverage of Tiger track did more harm than good.
Maybe the Morris paper (owned by the same company) got the section meet info right the next day, but I rarely look at the Morris paper. I certainly don't buy it. Who wants to deal with a big Office Max sack that has to be disposed of? Where is the Office Max store located in Morris?
I know, it's in Alexandria which is where the Morris paper seems to want to steer everyone to spend their money.
Let's allow the Morris and Willmar papers to both fade into well-deserved irrelevance.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eagles baseball chalks up weekend wins

The weekend was a time for the Morris Eagles to fly. First there was a Friday (6/8) win over the Coyotes of Chokio. That came by a 5-3 score and saw the Morris crew pound out ten hits. The Sunday story was a 6-3 win over the Canby Knights.
The upbeat weekend saw the Eagles improve their season won-lost to 6-3.
Click on the permalink below to read about the Eagles' wins on May 27 and June 2 over Dawson and Appleton, respectively. This post is on my companion website, "Morris of Course."
 
Eagles 5, Chokio 3
The Friday game contributed to the atmosphere for the annual Chokio Community Picnic. Team spokesman Matthew Carrington referred to this game as the "Highway 28 showdown." He noted it was a beautiful evening.
The game also started in a beautiful way for the Eagles' cause. Jamie Van Kempen doubled as the first batter, and this contributed to a three-run rally. Kirby Marquart came through with an infield hit. Chokio misplayed that ball and Van Kempen was able to race across home plate.
Ryan Beyer strode up to bat and delivered a home run to right-center, clearing the fence by a good margin. This was his third round-tripper of the season.
Chokio starting pitcher Alex Erickson got into a groove after that shaky first inning. There was a series of zeroes on the scoreboard after that.
Speaking of zeroes, Morris starting pitcher Carrington, the savvy veteran, had a no-hitter going through six innings. He lost his no-hit bid on an easily playable ball. It was a mere pop-up that landed five feet in front of home plate.
The Eagles had more misfortune on the next batter who hit a fly ball that would have been caught under normal conditions. The problem was what Carrington called the "hazy evening sky." A good excuse? Whatever, the Eagles couldn't make the play.
You might think the door is open for a rally here. But the Coyotes actually failed to score. The Eagles executed a double play on a soft liner to second. Then, a ground ball to third was handled crisply by the Eagles' defense, and it was out No. 3.
Carrington still had a shutout going. He finally faltered in the eighth when the Coyotes appeared to have him figured out and attacked with a double and two singles. Carrington departed from the mound with no outs and the Eagles leading 3-1.
Chokio stayed on the attack with a double that drove in two runs and tied the score. Both teams put up zeroes in the ninth so now we have extra innings.
Morris finally decided the issue in the tenth. Van Kempen walked and was sacrificed to second by Marquart. The bases became full (with one out) with walks issued to Ryan Beyer and Eric Ashe.
Craig Knochenmus hit the ball past the third baseman, getting two runs in.
It was up to pitcher Jacob Torgerson to slam the door. The bullpen door had opened for the fuzzy-cheeked (young) Torgerson in the ninth, and it was a special occasion as it was his town team debut. He allowed no runs in his two innings. He set down four Coyote batters on strikes. He walked no one and allowed two hits.
Nate Haseman pitched in between Carrington and Torgerson.
Marquart had a hot bat with three hits in four at-bats including a double, plus he scored a run. Beyer finished two-for-four with two runs and two ribbies.
Eagles with one hit each were Van Kempen, Ashe, Knochenmus, Cole Riley and Brett Anderson.
 
Eagles 6, Canby 3
Nathan Gades was the winning pitcher and Craig Knochenmus got the save in the Eagles' 6-3 win over Canby Sunday.
Gades fanned seven Knight batters in this home contest. He walked just one and gave up seven hits and three runs (just one earned).
Knochenmus fanned two batters, walked two and allowed one hit and no runs.
The Eagles generated seven hits but got much additional momentum from ten walks received and three hit batters. All that momentum spelled a comfortable 6-1 lead in the sixth inning. After that it was a matter of the Eagles "hanging on."
Canby whittled away at the deficit with two unearned runs in the seventh. The Knights might have broken through more but there was a timely double play in the ninth.
Tanner Picht was the leadoff man in the Eagles' lineup and he came through at two-for-four with a run scored and an RBI. He roamed center field on defense.
Eric Riley hit a resounding double off the wall to the opposite field in the fourth. Brett Anderson connected for an RBI single in the sixth frame.
Picht was the only Eagle with a multiple-hit game. Eagles with one hit were Beyer, Eric Riley, Knochenmus, Carrington and Anderson.
Click on the permalink below to get refreshed on the Eagles' first two wins of the 2012 season, which were over Madison and Clinton on May 19 and 20, respectively. This is an earlier "I Love Morris" post. Thanks for reading. - BW

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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stringent law versus tolerable risk

Conservatives are great for warning us about the overreach of laws. Every time we pass a law, they caution, we lose a little bit of freedom.
Eventually we must draw a line. We must realize we can't legislate all the risk out of our lives, try as we might.
Were we Neanderthals in an earlier time? We tolerated a lot of things that were quite demonstrably bad. It took Mothers Against Drunk Driving to get the law to come down in a totally assertive way on driving while impaired.
The term "drunk driving" seems a little old-fashioned. People who drink too much aren't "drunks," they are people who have chemical dependency issues.
As recently as the 1970s we considered excess alcohol consumption to be funny. I remember a rock song, appealing to my generation, called "The smoker you drink, the player you get."
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is no longer run by mothers. It's run by lawyers.
A lawyer was a snack for a dinosaur in Jurassic Park. But dinosaurs exist only in fantasy so let's not get too hopeful.
Little by little, the law evolves to where all faults, peccadilloes and oversights are targeted and become no-go, just like drinking too much at the local bar on a weekend. This behavior never really appealed to me. But I observed a lot of it. I saw irony in many college students always claiming they were flat broke while somehow coming up with the means to consume booze.
I don't want to address marijuana. The libertarians want us to legalize this now. I have read that the "war on drugs" came about as a diversion from the Viet Nam War. That war and its consequences will never be wiped from the consciousness of boomers.
Don't even think of having a beer before getting behind the wheel. I like having a beer or two with pizza so I'll take my bike.
These days I'd have to scratch off Pizza Hut, though, because I've had an unusually large number of bad experiences there. I finally vented in an online customer feedback form. I heard nothing after that. I don't know, maybe these companies don't respond because it might be construed as a violation of confidentiality.
Without predation from dinosaurs, lawyers have now been busy ensuring that legislatures feel pressure to crack down on "no seat belt." Aren't most legislators lawyers anyway? I imagine that politicians, through litigation, feel they must roll up their sleeves on these matters.
Legislate all risk out of our lives. Libertarians be damned. Laissez faire be damned. The nanny state thumps its chest.
Mayor Bloomberg out in New York City rolls up his sleeves on giant sugared drinks. Is it a good idea? All these laws are "good ideas." But it's getting to the point where we have to watch our backs at all times.
To all those sanctimonious souls who say we need rigid seat belt enforcement, let me just say: "Be careful what you wish for." The next step is going to be "unrestrained animals." It's already starting.
I have heard talk of fines of as much as a thousand bucks - a thousand bucks - if your dog has his nose protruding out the car window. The idea apparently isn't on the table yet in Minnesota. But just watch out.
Such provisions apply to dogs in the back of your pickup. There goes a whole genre of country music songs. Keith Kirwin, get ready. "Spike" might become a lawbreaker.
We are seeing a sudden explosion of awareness of the health dangers in football. We love football too much to just let go of it, don't we? We always begin these things with some incredulity. We know that a certain thing includes some risk or danger but we try to live with it.
In the old days, rumors of someone committing sexual misconduct (as with children) might be met with a simple "shush." The most prominent Christian denomination in the world was less than vigilant dealing with it. The American legal community cuts no slack for the church today.
You just watch, the legal community isn't going to cut any slack for football. Now that the dangers are being illustrated in an increasingly convincing way, we'll see a revolt just like with the birth of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It will start as a simple good cause and then the lawyers will dig in. Believe me, they will dig in.
Here's how it might start: Certain families decide to sue based on their local school not giving out enough information on the possible consequences of football. But if a school in fact does share this information in thorough fashion, most parents would cringe and say "My son can find better things to do after school. My goodness, it's a no-brainer."
Some former NFL players like Kurt Warner have come out and said they don't want their sons playing football.
This process of clamping down on football may accelerate faster than you think. The ideal of protecting adolescents is irresistible.
But look how much our society, just financially, has invested in football.
Morris once had just a couple flat grassy pieces of ground for football, for UMM and the high school. Abandoning those might be no big deal. Heck, we actually did abandon Coombe Field, named for one of my junior high teachers. That field has tumbleweeds blowing across it today, in a sense. The UMM Cougars used to play in a quite fine facility that had a grass surface.
But if football starts doing a rapid fade like heavyweight boxing did, what are we to do with Big Cat Stadium? I have tried to be positive about that facility since starting my online writing. The party line in Morris has been to trumpet it. It seems like an isolated and desolate place through the vast majority of the year, coming alive on only a relatively few occasions.
On those occasions the community is supposed to turn out, sit on rear ends and pay homage to "elite sports."
But the old model of worshipping our local football and basketball players has been eroding. That's why the movie "Hoosiers" has such an incredibly retro look about it. Barbara Hershey didn't even want to be at those games. She tried to look sullen so why was she there?
Girls are very fortunate. Their sports are much safer than what we expose our boys to.
This spate of publicity on football problems has me wondering if I should ever write about the game again. Should I cover the Tigers this coming fall? Or the Cougars? Or does all the publicity just keep "feeding the monster?"
The local newspaper would say my coverage doesn't amount to a hill of beans anyway. They should talk, having gone from twice weekly to weekly, publishing about each week's game eight days after it was played, and sometimes falling victim to terrible reporting errors from the Willmar newspaper.
Coach Jerry Witt thanked me at last year's Lions fall sports program. I wonder how much concern he feels about all these revelations rolling in about football's dangers. He must be getting close to retiring just based on age. He'll probably depart before the hammer comes down on the sport. (BTW he's my age.)
Someday we might look back at how Neanderthal we were, putting football on such a pedestal for entertainment. I'll look back on my old football writing and feel like an anachronism.
Right now I feel like a horrible anachronism just as a 57-year-old realizing the necessity of seat belts. I don't really see their necessity, but I see the necessity of having them on in order to avoid being pulled over by Mr. Dittbenner. I got my first ticket for this last week.
We are striving to legislate all risks out of our lives. Soon all our pets will have to be in pet carriers. Football will be wiped out or altered so dramatically it won't seem like football anymore. Will we face jail time if we go back through the buffet line without getting a clean plate?
Why is our traffic citation system based on fining people? What does money have to do with it? A $110 fine is going to be no sweat for a well-off person, while a person living on the margins might have to give up necessities. It doesn't seem fair, this disproportionate adversity felt by the poor who have enough problems.
I'm reminded of the late John Candy from an old "SCTV" skit, where he's the prohibitive underdog in a boxing match but he says "I have to go out there and do this to show 'the little guy' he has a chance." So he goes out, gets knocked out on the first punch and can't even be revived with smelling salts.
That's about the way I feel now, having gotten a citation and wondering "what's next?" Because after all, we have a dog. He's 15 years old, weighs 40 pounds and is totally docile.
But in a future time, such an animal will have to be restrained. Because, the "law is the law." Mr. Dittbenner will tell you that.
Maybe Big Cat Stadium can be used for lawn croquet.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sports stays vibrant post-graduation

High school sports extends into the sleepy summertime. The caps and gowns have been put away from graduation.
But the post-season of spring sports plods forward. It feels different from the other prep seasons.
When I was a kid, marching band was big in summer here. Kids gravitated to the activity. It was considered so important, kids could get kicked out of practice for misbehavior and they'd want to come back. Today I'd just throw up my arms and say, "well, I can find other things to do."
Eventually Legion and VFW baseball take over in summer. These programs tend to wait until the local prep team is done. Our MACA Tigers kept on winning on Thursday, May 31, extending their win skein to eleven. This was with a nifty 7-1 triumph over Fairmont from way down in southern Minnesota.
This was a Section 3AA winners bracket semi-final game. The site: Marshall.
Coach Mark Torgerson's orange and black crew has come a long way since the sub-.500 floundering from earlier in the spring. They have turned on the jets. They came out of the May 31 action with a 15-6 overall record. They are the second-seeded team from the North sub-section.
Sam Mattson put his pitching arm to work for the Fairmont game. He gained his ninth win with a complete game performance.
He struck out two batters and walked one in his seven innings, while giving up just three hits and the one run which was unearned. All three of those hits were singles.
Two pitchers worked for Fairmont: Bruce Holm (the loser) and Luke Becker. The Tigers outhit Fairmont 14-3. They out-fielded the foe also, committing one error compared to Fairmont's four.
Mattson had a shutout going for five innings. That one unearned run came home in the sixth, by which time the Tigers had four runs on the scoreboard.
The first MACA run came about with multiple bunts. It was a suicide squeeze bunt that got the run in. Fairmont committed one of its errors on a bunt.
More Fairmont fielding problems contributed to the MACA run in the third.
The fifth inning saw the Tigers score twice with run-scoring hits off the bats of Chandler Erickson and Tyler Henrichs. This pair of Tigers were at it again in the seventh, driving in runs with their bats. Brody Bahr drove in a run too.
All this offense complemented the steady pitching which has been a trademark through all of the success.
Hitting can be robust too. Tom Holland had two hits in three at-bats and scored a run. Tanner Picht was two-for-three with two runs scored. Erickson rapped two hits in four at-bats and drove in two runs.
Henrichs was a sizzling three-for-four, drove in two runs and scored two. Bahr's boxscore line was two-for-three with one of the hits a double, and he picked up two ribbies.
The Beckers - Luke and Levi - each had a hit for Fairmont as did Michael Forster.
The June 2 story for Morris Area Chokio Alberta had their win streak finally snapped. The Tigers fell to the New Ulm Eagles 10-0 at Legion Park in Marshall. Stay tuned.
 
Track and field newsmakers too
Katie Holzheimer and MaKenzie Smith qualified for state with their performances in the Section 6A track and field meet held in Moorhead. The two runners, both juniors, accelerated to great heights.
Holzheimer sped to a time of 12.84 seconds in the 100-meter dash, placing second. She was very close to champion Sommer Haugrud of Pelican Rapids (a 12.72 time).
Holzheimer qualified for state not only in this event but in the 200 meters where her time of 26.02 was good for third. Haugrud was second in the 200m (25.81). The champion was Sauk Centre's Elizabeth Hemsworth (25.79).
MaKenzie Smith is a distance specialist. She was clocked at five minutes, 16.23 seconds in the maximum 3200-meter distance. She was second to the finish line behind Molly Montonye of C-G-B (5:08.95). Now it's on to state.
As a team the MACA girls tied with Pelican Rapids for first in section. No MACA boys qualified for state. Pillager was the champion boys team.
Hamline University is the site for state which is set for June 8 and 9. Congratulations to the high-achieving Tigers.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Remembering Glenn Miller and his swing

 (Image from "listal")
 
A jukebox had 12 to 24 discs at the time when Glenn Miller's music reigned. You could expect from two to six of those records to be of the Miller band. The music sounds quite dated in the ears of my boomer generation.
"Big bands" had a tiny niche when I was a kid and such bands had been "updated" for our particular tastes. I'm thinking of Maynard Ferguson. Maynard had the traditional instruments but there were strong rock and disco elements.
Maynard's real first name (what he used on legal documents) was "Walter." Glenn Miller's real first name was "Alton."
Maynard once sang an ode to Miller's swing style. Among the words: "You can have technique, good tone, and play with lots of spirit. If you can't swing, it just don't mean a thing so no one here wants to hear it."
I also liked the song because it rhymed "beard" with "weird."
Miller's all-American story begins with his birth on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa. He bought his first trombone with money he made milking cows. He attended high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, and discovered "big band music" as a particular area of interest as a senior.
He graduated in 1921 with drive to develop as a musician.
But driven he wasn't, when it came to college, as he failed three of five classes one semester at the U of Colorado in Boulder. Maynard as I recall had no time for "book learnin' " either.
These guys could inspire and entertain college students. Ironically their own development owed nothing to college. As an Internet triumphalist I say "hats off."
Miller had a rise with the expected bumps in the road and spells of discouragement. He consulted with Benny Goodman at one of those low stages and the clarinetist said "You just stay with it."
The biopic about Miller, "The Glenn Miller Story," shows some of that dues-paying - vehicles stuck in the snow etc.
I assume the movie used some creative license here and there, i.e. embellishments. But I assume it's true that Miller's turnaround came when he found that unique "sound" deemed so important.
I do assume it's an embellishment where the lead trumpet player bumps his horn, injures his lip and has to sit out, thus setting the stage for that "special sound" by accident. But hey, who knows?
The movie shows Miller scrambling. Presto! Let's use a clarinet for the lead line. One can just imagine ol' Alton saying "I think I've got it!"
When you think of the Miller band you probably think of saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Sure those instruments were at the heart. But follow the melody and it's not a sax standing out. Imagine "Moonlight Serenade." Yes, it's that clarinet! A tenor sax would hold the same note, and the three other saxes harmonized within a single octave.
Not only was the clarinet distinctive, so was the fellow who played it under Miller: Wilbur Schwartz. He produced a richness that was hard to duplicate in later incarnations of the band.
I'm a trumpet player so I might be inclined to say "all clarinet players sound alike." But apparently not so with Mr. Schwartz.
As for injuring your lip because of bumping your horn, that never once happened to me.
I had the pleasure of playing in bands that performed Miller "charts," as us musicians call them. You know them as "tunes."
I played in a ten-piece band that had "In the Mood" and "A String of Pearls" in its repertoire. Surely these tunes were on a lot of those juke boxes.
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" was performed in glorious music video style - it takes a back seat to no other - in the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade" (with Milton Berle). Miller and his band returned to the big screen in 1942 in "Orchestra Wives" (with Jackie Gleason).
Miller had a health issue that - I kid you not - could make laughing uncomfortable. So, working with Gleason had its issues, it has been reported.
The war stood in the way of a third planned movie: "Blind Date." How I wish that movie had been made.
I played my "ax" (trumpet) in a band for the earliest years of the UMM Jazz Festival. We were the "West Central All-Stars," adults who weren't necessarily connected to UMM. We played "In the Mood."
I remember the bass player in "Sun Valley Serenade" really "jiving" on "In the Mood," in a way that must have seemed edgy at the time, almost like he was on drugs, although I'm not asserting he was.
Didn't drummer Gene Krupa seem like he was always on drugs? Or was this musicians' license to just act a little weird (with or without a "beard")?
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" was so well-known, the name was fodder for a little gag in "Young Frankenstein." This movie appealed to boomer tastes 100 per cent in the '70s. In other words it was irreverent. Remember Gene Wilder shouting out the train window, "Pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania station?"
The boy answers the question right out of the song. It was nice homage to an entertainment era, Miller's, really not so remote in time. But the music of Miller and Goodman surely sounded ancient to the boomers of the early and mid 1970s.
That's kind of sad, really, the way such beautiful and well-crafted sounds gave way to the likes of Jefferson Airplane.
Maynard Ferguson, it should be noted, was able to drift back to his jazz roots in his final years to no objection from his long-time fans. Maynard initially got a grip on boomers with a structured pop approach. Who can explain shifts in popular music tastes?
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" was actually the first-ever gold record. And it had more than instrumentalists. Singing was done by the Modernaires whose harmony was sweet.
Miller sought commercial success which meant critics weren't going to be completely on board. Miller himself fed the skeptics by coming right out and saying "I don't want a jazz band."
Miller himself was right at home playing jazz. "The Glenn Miller Story" has him playing alongside Louis Armstrong in a nightclub. But he guided his own band toward extremely well-honed and precise renditions of appealing melodies. The solos come off like they were written down on paper (like the trumpet on "A String of Pearls").
The band rehearsed like slaves. Truly Miller wanted a polished sound - no problem with that. And he had no problem selling records.
The polished sound, some critics felt, reduced the feeling. Count Basie may have played "hot jazz" but this was not Miller's aim.
(I remember Maynard at the St. Prom Ballroom, after the house announcer reminded of an upcoming appearance by "Basie," saying in a put-on dismissive way, "Remember, that's Count Basie." MF had a sense of humor.)
Miller's wife Helen (Burger) was his college sweetheart. This was one college "class" he surely mastered.
His all-American story ended in WWII with his disappearance into the mist, embarking across the English Channel with the war still hot.
What would have happened had he lived? How would he have transitioned from the big band era? We can only guess.
But Miller was a shrewd and industrious man who surely would have landed on his feet. What a story.
Glenn Miller RIP.
 
Click on the permalink below to read a post I wrote about the mystery of Glenn Miller's death. This post is on my companion website, "Morris of Course."
 
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com