Not Far Away, but All Over


No planes or trains (except for waiting for a few here in town), but plenty of automobiles as the last couple weeks rolled on.

There were lots of stops, and lots of games, I just didn’t have to get in the air to find one.

There is one airport story, however, going back to the end of the football season.

I was on my way home from the NFC Championship game in San Francisco, and was connecting in Phoenix. It was Monday afternoon.

I was on time, and got to my connecting gate with a few minutes to spare, so I found a seat and grabbed the book I had along.

I was just settled in, and two ladies came up and asked if anyone was sitting in the two empty seats next to me.

I said no, and they sat down.

And karma sat down with them.

It wasn’t a minute before the first lady (they were both in their early 70’s as it turned out) saw that I was reading a book on J.Edgar Hoover and asked me if I was enjoying the book.

It is a good book, and I said that it was quite a story on a large figure from American history.

She said she had read a different book on him, and we talked about that for a minute.

I asked them where they were headed, and they said they were going to Los Angeles. They were going to visit friends and play golf.

Nice, and certainly not newsworthy, so you ask where is this going…

Well, the first lady turned out to be from South Dakota!

And from a town only an hour north of Brookings, where I went to college, and a town that is not only hometown to one of my best friends, but also a town that I have been in many times covering high school sports back in those days.

The South Dakota gal was retired from her career, and she and the other lady were long-time friends heading out west for a week of sun and golf.

The cosmic center of the universe.

Okay, one more South Dakota story.

I ran into a guy here in town last week. He was retired from the trucking industry, and has just recently moved back to Crawfordsville, which is his home town.

He said he had been all over, as most truckers have, but I had to test him to see where in South Dakota he might have been.

Well, he hauled potatoes from the big potato farm that was three miles from the farm I grew up on!

The Lacey Potato Farm. In fact, from Trent, South Dakota.

You need a really good GPS to find Trent on a map. No stop signs, in fact. But it was close to heart and home.

A fun moment as he talked about loading up tons of spuds and hauling them away to market. I was friends with two of the boys, another has a huge display of old barns on his property, etc, etc.

But back to here.

Yes, I had stuff going on with the NBA All-Star game. I know some local folks went over and it was quite a downtown extravaganza in Indy. I don’t know if the game was so much a hit, but there was so much going on.

I had a trip to Cincinnati for a Xavier game, a couple other college games, including the awesome Wabash win last Saturday as they won the conference championship, and plenty of high school games.

There is more of the same over the next couple weeks, especially a week from Friday, when all four area boys teams play on the same night since they all drew byes in four different sectional tournaments!

I’ve managed to not have to sleep in my car for nearly a month now, which is nice, and it looks fairly “normal” for a bit. Yes, there are more tournaments, the NCAA has first round games in Indy, and it will be more football before I can get stat sheets printed.

How about normal for me…

I have to take another minute to send condolences for a friend. 

Jeff Magill lost his battle with cancer last week, and at 45, he leaves us way too soon. He was a good friend, a good dad, and aside from his love of the Dallas Cowboys, was a pretty good sports guy. Our sympathies go out to his family.

There are plenty of games, so see you at one. I have seats saved for some Wabash games this weekend. Best of luck to the Little Giants as they look for a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Safe travels.