"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)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Maybe this guy belonged on "Mork & Mindy"

Got back from Barrett Sunday morning and was pleased to get back in normal life by going to church, at First Lutheran. It has been our family's church since 1961. That's when I was in kindergarten (Miss Feigum's class). Sylvia Yarger was the other kindergarten teacher at East Elementary. We called it "East" to differentiate it from Longfellow School on the west side.
still goes to First Lutheran. My Mom is still a member but has been dealt some health complications of late. She's at the Barrett Care Center. Anyway, I arrived at First Lutheran ready for a refreshing experience attending church.
Not so easy. There was a fellow holding a placard outside the front entrance. At first I wondered if this gent might be connected to First Lutheran, maybe a part of some promo or whatever. But I had a nagging feeling he was trouble. Normally I enter the church on the east side due to Mom's needs. That's the elevator entrance. I use it out of habit even if Mom isn't with me. On Sunday I even used the elevator! Well, someday I might have to.
I walked over to the front of the church to see what was up with that character and his sign. Well, he was an eccentric proselytizer type of guy. He said us parishioners there were going to hell. After all the stress I've endured of late, I try to go to church for a lift and I'm told I'm going to hell.
I guess the guy didn't feel us ELCA Lutherans were properly dedicated. I'm just guessing but maybe this is because of the gay ordination controversy. What a mountain out of a molehill. The millennials have completely moved on from any "gay rights" controversy. Everyone needs to realize it's just a matter of guaranteeing equal rights from a legal or basic fairness standpoint. It doesn't mean a glorification of the gay lifestyle.
Is being gay a sin? Well, I don't know but we're all sinners, aren't we? Why the scarlet letter of stigmatization? It was like the Salem witch hunts: these barbs directed at gay people. Smart people have simply moved on. I have a much bigger problem with adulterers than with gay people. And what about Packers fans (LOL)? We all fall short of the grace of God.
What a fool that character was, remindful of the spiritualist character on "Mork and Mindy," remember?
A fellow parishioner said to him: "Don't you have better things to do?"
Why not just try ESPN?
Did you hear that news report about that YMCA workout place where the house TV was turned away from the cable news channels?
"Cable news" is not what it started out to be. At the start its potential seemed boundless. There must be endless interesting news and feature stories from all across the U.S. But this is not what today's cable news is mining. "Cable news" today is focused on politics and Beltway conflict and gossip. People bark at each other from differing sides, presenting sort of a verbal equivalent to pro wrestling.
Thus, cable news is questionable to have on, in public places such as lounges in public institutions. I remember maybe 4-5 years ago, I was in our local Dairy Queen and noticed the house TV was tuned in to Fox News. I was offended. It's entirely possible their channel choice was made innocently. Then again, maybe our DQ people are members of the reactionary mob. I don't know. Fox News reflects the political party that wants to throw 20 million people off their health insurance. It supports the president who wants to substantially boost military spending while cutting programs that directly enhance people's lives. It supports a vice president who has supported mandatory funeral services for aborted fetuses.
The Dairy Queen should know that more people voted for Hillary Clinton that Donald Trump. Democrats enjoy Dairy Queen snacks just like Republicans. MSNBC tends to be sympathetic to left of center forces, the forces which really put humanity first. CNN has historically tried to be down the middle but it's hard maintaining that with a president like Trump. CNN has now positioned itself as contrarian toward Trump, thank God.
Sensible people are going to have to win in this current stew of conflict. That YMCA has opted for ESPN or the Weather Channel.
A final question: are people across the U.S. really choosing a political side based on a keen knowledge of the issues, or is it all based on wanting to associate with a particular "tribe?" OK it's a rhetorical question.
I haven't been to the Dairy Queen in a long time. In the late 1980s the Morris Dairy Queen got drawn into a different controversy. The business had different ownership then.
On getting the best seats
Saw the headline in Sunday's Star Tribune: "Chair skipped line, got best NFL seats." Reminded me of the time my high school friend Art and I were at the Holiday Casino in Las Vegas. An usher at a show entrance asked "do you want good seats?" A temporarily naive Art said "yeah!"
Silly rabbit, we were being approached in a way encouraging a tip. Art's enthusiastic "yeah!" became an inside joke between us for a long time. (So did my attire when visiting the Desert Inn keno lounge one night: sunglasses, a Hawaiian shirt and white tennis shoes.)
Anyway, Michele Kelm-Helgen is that "chair" person who got into trouble for giving herself preferential treatment for Vikings games. Front-row season tickets. Wow, those are good seats! Yeah!
The story also reminded me of a little anecdote with me and Skip Sherstad, the now deceased city and county public servant of many years ago. Skip and I grew up in the same neighborhood: Northridge Drive.
Skip was telling me one day about his efforts to get good seats for a Tiger basketball game when we were slated to play a high-level game at the Concordia Fieldhouse, Moorhead. That was during the Kevin Loge era of the orange and black. I always savored the Polish sausage at the Concordia Fieldhouse for those games. We saw lots of exciting games there. But we also saw the most disastrous loss in the history of our hoops: a stunning defeat at the hands of Staples-Motley. Didn't coach Lynn Peterson dance on a scoring table at the end of that game? I learned about that at the time but I didn't actually witness it.
Re. the game that Skip was talking about, he said he went to the school to get his ticket at the precise time when those tickets would start to be available. He was told the prime tickets were in fact gone because they went to "the parents" (of the players).
"When I went to the game," Skip later recalled, "and when I looked at that section I didn't see the parents, I saw friends of the coaches."
, why does this not surprise me? Such is the path in which cynicism is learned. At least the school secretary didn't say to him "do you want good seats?"
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com


  1. glad u are back to blogging still hope to get to see your mom in the home sometime soon if I get around to getting up that way.

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