Sunday, September 23, 2007
Weekend plans were thrown awry with the passing of RudyA, the 82 year old father of our four Croatian buddies who provide unlimited entertainment, head scratching, and superb camaraderie at the hunting camp. PR was one of my roommates in college and I've known him and his brothers for over 30 years. Older brother, DrSteve is the primary landowner and owns the camp itself at the prestigious Reefer Creek Hunt Club. Rudy was a WWII marine on Okinawa, a Great Lakes commercial sailor, city clerk, and postmaster of Ashland, WI. There are a huge number of Rudy stories, a couple of which are printable. While we were in college Rudy stayed at our skanky apartment while attending a postal meeting. When he went to use the bathroom in the morning he inadvertently opened the wrong door and discovered one of our roommates vigorously testing his waterbed with his girlfriend. Rudy closed the door, turned to us in the kitchen and announced in a deadpan, "Chuck's up". In another classic incident, our buddy Woody strolled into camp after losing about 60 pounds over the summer. We all congratulated him and told him how good he was looking. Rudy checks him out for a minute and asks, "What did you name the kid?" He was a guy who said what he thought and there are fewer and fewer of those around. He will be greatly missed by us all.
The original plan was to attend the St Johns football game in Collegeville, MN with the VOR, her two sons GalwayGuy and GuitarMatt, and her mom and dad. I attended Rudy's visitation at Our Lady of the Lakes in Ashland, talked to about 40 people, and hit the road for Collegeville. By the time I arrived the score was 35-7 Johnnies. Coach Gagliardi is the winningest coach in college football history and has some unique philosophies like no hitting in practice, not being called coach, and allowing anyone who wants to come out for the team to do so. He has been as SJU since 1953 and show little signs of slowing down, winning his most recent national championship in 2003. The team also plays in the most beautiful campus stadiums I've ever been in. After the lopsided Johnnie win in Clemens Stadium we headed for Lake 'Sag' on campus to grill some brats and illicitly consume some fermented malt beverages. As you can see in the photo, we were caught!
Note the VOR attempting to talk her way out of this alcohol violation while her mom studiously avoids looking at the cop. We escaped with a stern warning and did not even have to dump out our beer. Since we were next to a lake (and just happened to have the kayaks!), GalwayGuy and I decided to end the day by working on our angel rolls. He has it down pat and I managed to hit 3 in a row in the Ore Freighter so we were both well satisfied. Voyageurs National Park next weekend with many of the the usual suspects; I'm counting the days.......