Almost Summer Time


The end of spring sports is upon us from many angles.

We have run through all the high school spring sports, and congratulations to all the golfers, track folks and baseball teams for their postseason success.

I’m even at the end of the trail, with one spring football game left.

It was rather odd to not be heading to New York or Los Angeles last weekend, after nine straight to one or the other.

All I had last weekend, and will replicate this next weekend, was a drive to St. Louis.

I know, sort of anti-climactic…

But the easy travel is offset by the fact that it is the playoffs for the UFL, and I have a good seat and nice job.

It’s one more stats game, this one for the league championship.

We have the two best teams from the regular season, who both played well last weekend in the semifinals, taking the field for the league title.

We had a playoff-level crew at St. Louis last weekend, and that same bunch will be back for the game on Fox, on Sunday late afternoon .

The drive was no big deal. There are lots of us that have driven to St. Louis for one reason or more. It’s an easy less than four hours, mostly on the interstate.

Now, there is a fair share of construction on that interstate, but it is nice weather time, and the crews are out doing their thing. For the most part, the work was out in the wide open, where traffic doesn’t pile up too much.

Thankfully, there is no work on any of the bridges spanning the Mississippi River, which turns St. Louis into a parking lot. The game is at the old downtown dome where the Rams used to play, and our hotel is walking distance away. I’ve done a bunch of games in that facility, and even remembered where the doors and elevators are at.

Eight hours behind the wheel did remind me of a couple things.

One is that any driver with Illinois plates just has to drive at least 80. At least until they storm up to a construction zone, then they like to clog up the left lane instead of getting in line.

The second is a newer discovery, and it is as much an Indiana thing as other places.

That is the notion that any big, shiny pickup truck has almost Illinois-like allowances, so they also are usually at 80 or better. What is really crazy is when I’m headed to the airport, and a shiny pickup comes zooming by. They must all be late for flights.

Hey, drive your shiny pickup or Illinois car to the Strawberry Festival this weekend. The 50th for goodness sakes.

There are all the regular activities downtown, from tractor and Corvette shows to all the action at the Lane Place. Food, entertainment and lot of folks.

There are about 55 teams coming in to town for the softball tournament. The numbers for local softball have been down for a while, but the one constant fact is that Elston Park is centrally located and well-maintained. Out of town teams like to come here to play, and the organizers like to bring teams here.

That is due to a great working relationship between the City of Crawfordsville, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the local softball association. The City has had to take a larger role in the maintenance and upkeep of the facility, and there is a lot of credit and many thanks to them for doing that.

Anyway, along with the many options for your time this weekend, if you want to watch some really good softball, head on down. Games start Friday night and will run deep into Sunday. There are also games being played in Darlington on Saturday and Sunday as well.

And, like everyone associated with the 50th Strawberry Festival, we know it will rain for about the 49th year, at some point during the three days. It’s only a matter of when and how much. Cross your fingers for a lesser amount of rain.

I’m going to miss all the fun with my trip to St. Louis. Trust me that I’ll be staying in touch. Good luck to everyone involved with running something, working at something, or just helping out.

Whether you are going to the Lane Place, Elston, St Louis, or just getting away from the commotion…

Safe travels.