Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Super Bowl memories

Larry Czonka (Miami Dalphins)
in 1973 Super Bowl.
Today is the big Super Bowl game! Though you've watched others before when we were together, this is probably the one you'll remember as your "first" Super Bowl!

The Super Bowl during the year I was in first grade (1973) was the first one I remember. That year, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins 14-7, and the Dolphins became the only NFL team to ever have a perfect season.

I remember lots of other Super Bowls from my childhood years in the 1970s, probably more so than the rest of my life. Usually the Super Bowl involved the Minnesota Vikings or Dallas Cowboys playing either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Okland Raiders. The Broncos and Rams also made the Super Bowl during those years.

The other big Super Bowl I remember is No. 30 when the Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots, winning the first league championship in 30 years! That was in 1997.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pictures of us when we were 6 years old

On my Facebook page I recently posted a retro photo of myself - my first grade picture, taken in autumn 1972 for my elementary school picture. I was 6-3/4 years old.

I posted the retro picture because my cover photo is of you ... from autumn 2013 during our visits, when you were 6-1/2 years old.

We look a lot alike - even have the same early Beatles mop top hair cuts, don't we?

When I was six, I lived on a small farm east of Elmwood, Wis. I attended Elmwood Elementary School. My first grade teacher's name was Mrs. Rhiel. I shared a room with my brother, and the room was turquoise,. My favorite football teams were the Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers! I loved to watch Star Trek, and would catch each weekday after school from 4 to 5 pm on WKBT-TV out of La Crosse, Wis. My best friend in school was Ronald Wolfe. When my parents went out for the evening, usually our next door neighbor, whose name was Hazel, babysat us.

I am very proud of you and love you more than anything, Kieran!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Photocopied football book for you!

One of the books we checked out from the Menomonie Library that you were unable to take to your mother's place was "Successful Sports: Football." It seemed to be the book you were most interested in when we stopped at Dairy Queen and then went back to Grandma and Grandpa's to make our football game.

Well, I photocopied the book and stapled the pages together for you so that you can read it whenever you like! I will give it to you when we next get together on Saturday.

I must admit that the book brought back some memories for me. It was published in 1997 and so had photos of great players from the 1990s, like Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, and Deion Sanders!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Memories of my childhood football game

With your love of football, I've been looking for a great football game that we could play together. Most of them are fairly complicated, but I'm confident I'll find one that's just right for us!

Still, the games I have found definitely are better than the ones I grew up with! In the late 1970s, I got an "electronic" football game that consisted of a metal tray, painted to look like a football field, and then vibrated when plugged in and turned on. This caused the "players" (see picture at above right) to move. Each player sat on a plastic piece whose bottom could be adjusted to determine which way they moved when the board vibrated.

Of course, the game was impossible to play! Setting each player was extremely time consuming. In addition, any small dent in the board, or if the game wasn't sitting on an absolutely flat surface, meant the players didn't "vibrate" where they were supposed to!

Still, the games was kind of cool just to look at. My version of the game had the Denver Broncos playing the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Recall your football action figures?

Do you remember your football action figures? We had quite a few of them, including Peyton Manning (as a Colt), Jay Cutler, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, and Larry Fitzgerald.

We always had fun pretending to play a football game with them, usually three-on-three. Sometimes a Star Wars action figure would sub in the game!

The action figures were great because they 20 movable parts, but they'd fall apart because of it, especially with how roughly we played with them! I remember putting them back together (only for them to fall apart), taping them up to keep a leg or arm from falling apart, and then just plain buying a new one to replace a broken one!

We also would print then cut out and paste onto blocks pictures of action figures we didn't have!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The History of the Miami Dolphins

1973 Larry Csonka football card.
This past weekend you told me that your favorite football team was the Miami Dolphins. I found that amazing because my favorite team when I was your age was the Miami Dolphins, too!

That year the Miami Dolphins went undefeated. They're the only team that has won every single game in a season. A few teams have come close, but no one has matched it. Their quarterback was Bob Greise, their running back was Larry Csonka, and their coach was Don Shula.

The Miami Dolphins started playing football in 1966 in the American Football League. Their colors are aqua and orange.

They went to the Super Bowl three years in a row - 1971, 1972 and 1973 - and won the last two of those. With Dan Marino as quarterback, they went back to the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1985 but lost each time. My favorite years of the Dolphins were those in the warly 1970s, though, and after they started getting different players and losing during the late 1970s, I wasn't much into them.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Do you remember baking cookies?

Do you remember all of the cookies we baked when living in the green house in Lancaster?

We used to make sugar cookies from scratch. You would help me roll out the dough, press the cookie cutter into the dough, sprinkle flour around the dough so it would roll and cut easily, and then putting sprinkles on the frosted cookies after they came out of the oven!

For each season, we made different kinds of cookies. I always like to make cookies for fall/football opener, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter.

All of your clothes, your hair, your face, and your hands would be absolutely covered in flour and frosting and sprinkles when we were all done, so I always had you take a bath afterward! Then when you got all clean, you'd get to enjoyed the warm, freshly frosted and decorated cookies!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My email/letter to you for Sept. 28, 2013

Here is my email/letter that I sent Sept. 28, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I’m doing fine, though I miss you like crazy! I sure wish we could get together this weekend. The good news is that we will be getting together next weekend – either Friday, Oct. 4 or Saturday, Oct. 5.

Are you enjoying first grade? I bet you are. You always have been very curious about the world and are very intelligent, so I’m sure you enjoy school. What are you learning about in reading, math and music class (That was three questions in one, wasn’t it?). My favorite classes in school were reading and social studies. I liked reading stories and learning about different places in the world. Interestingly, that’s what I do for a living today – I read and edit other people’s stories and write about neat places that I hike.

September is almost over, and that means we’re into football season! Have you watched many of the NFL games on TV? They last a long time, don’t they? I usually read a book during commercials and between plays because the games last so long! Unfortunately, my favorite teams, the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, are not doing so well so far – they each have 1-2 records, meaning they won a game but lost two. But the games they lost were very close.

My old high school’s football team has been having a really good season, though – they’ve won six straight games, and no one has scored any points against them. That’s unheard of! Does your school have a high school football team? If they do, have you gone to their games yet? I always enjoyed going to high school football and basketball games with my father when I was your age.

Halloween will be here in just four or so weeks! What kind of costume do you want to wear this year for Halloween?

Do you remember all of the Halloween costumes you've worn through the years? I've made a list of them for you:
 >2007 (8 months old) - Pumpkin
 >2008 (1 year old) - Elmo
 >2009 (2 years old) - Doctor
 >2010 (3 years old) - Luke Skywalker
 >2011 (4 years old) - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
 >2012 (5 years old) - Fireman
 >2013 (6 years old) - ?

Sometimes you wore different costumes in a year as we attended different Halloween celebrations during October. What's listed above is what you wore on Halloween itself while going trick or treating.

I’m sure where we’ll meet next weekend – either at the family center on Friday or somewhere else on Saturday. If we can meet on Saturday and the weather is good, we’ll go to Como Park Zoo like you had asked.

Well, that is all for now. I love and miss you very much. You have a great week at school, and I’ll see you in just a few days!



Saturday, September 14, 2013

My email to you for Sept. 14, 2013

Here is my letter sent to you Sept. 14, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine though I miss you like crazy! I am sorry that we did not get together today; unfortunately, other people decided that we should not. If I had my way, we would be able to get together every day! I have made arrangements for us to get together either next Friday (Sept. 20) or Saturday (Sept. 21), however.

How is school going? You must be in your third week by now! What kinds of things are you learning about in reading class? Even if some days reading class isn’t very fun or interesting, always pay attention and try your best – there is nothing more important to learn in school than how to read. Once you know how to read, you can look up the answer to anything else you can learn about in school. That’s not to say math or science or music or gym class aren’t important – they are – but even if years later you forget what you’ve learned in those classes, so long as you know how to read well, you’ll be able to find the answers.

What new stuff are you learning about in music class? You’ve always had a great interest in music, as you enjoyed listening to songs while at home and in the Jeep, playing with your musical instruments, and pretending to be a performing band while plucking my acoustic guitar. You’d even make up songs and tell me that it was a new one sang by one of the Beatles! The melody you tapped out on the piano when we were last together on Sept. 5 was very lovely, though I could hear a bit of sadness in it. Keep learning how to play the piano – you definitely have talent and one day could write songs that make people very happy.

I have been busy working but this week had the chance to take a hike through the woods behind my farmhouse. With autumn’s arrival, the leaves have fallen off the bottom branches, or at least the animals fattening themselves for winter have eaten much of them bare. So at last I was able to see many of the chipmunks and squirrels, who I’d only heard scampering through the summer, as they made their last collections for the cold months ahead. In one small cliff cutaway, I even spied a bee’s hive built beneath a limestone overhang. Then while walking along a ridge, I unwittingly frightened six wild turkeys asleep in the grass on a ravine’s side. They took off with a whoosh that scared me as much as I did them. After jumping back, I realized what was making the hillside come alive as they took to the air; I don’t think I’ve ever seen turkeys fly that high. Down at the ravine’s bottom, the pond has yet to dry up, which the black bears apparently appreciate, as I spotted their paw prints in the sand and from the trail to the green water a path of crushed grass, the wild fresh scent of their broken stems still filling the air. These bears must have bad table manners, though, as some of the scat was full of acorns that appeared to be unchewed. Imagine a bear just stuffing a paw full of acorns into his mouth and swallowing whole!

Did you watch the football games on Sunday? My Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers both lost, but the teams playing them had to come from behind to beat them. I see your Chicago Bears won, though! And the Minnesota Vikings lost – while I like Adrian Peterson, I don’t like the Vikings because they are the Packers’ (and the Bears’) rival, so I was pretty happy that they lost. Maybe one day Adrian Peterson will play for a good team like the Packers!

Well, that is all for now. You have a good weekend and a great day in school. I will see you next week, either on Friday or Saturday.



Saturday, September 7, 2013

My email to you for Sept. 1-7, 2013

Here is my email sent to you Sept. 7, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Dear Kieran,

How are you today? I’m doing fine, though I miss and love you like crazy!

I so enjoyed my time with you on Thursday! We sure packed a lot into those two hours!

You certainly have a lot of energy, which is not surprising for a young boy, especially one who’s a Bignell. All of the Bignells – my cousins and yours – have a lot of spunk. Although I exercise daily, I must admit that all of the karate, football, spinning and wrestling we did wore me out! You are very strong and athletic, and I'm impressed!

I'm so very glad that you enjoyed the volcano we made! There are more “kitchen” experiments in the science kit, as well, including making a clock run with a battery made from a lemon or tomato! We will have to do some of those in the weeks ahead.

Putting together the Bionicles was a good time, too. It brought back lots of great memories of when we used to do that at Legoland or at my place in Encinitas. I hope you enjoy playing with your new Bionicles!

I enjoyed playing checkers, too. You really knew the rules well! When I was in fourth grade, I was a master checkers player. I was so good that no one wanted to play me because they always lost! So I turned to chess, but there were only a couple of other students who knew how to play that. I think you’re going to be a master checkers player, too!

Constructing the puzzle map was fun as well. You did a great job of putting it together all on your own while I worked on the Lone Ranger Lego kit, which I think is a mound that scorpions live in – there’s a little catapult on it that you can shoot the scorpions out of! Too bad we ran out of time to complete the puzzle (or the Lego toy).

Say, I don’t believe we looked at the football cards you received on Thursday. Which players and teams did you get? Also, did you see the first pro football game of the year on Thursday night? The Denver Broncos were playing the Baltimore Ravens. You may recall that Peyton Manning now plays for the Denver Broncos. He set a record by throwing seven touchdown passes in a single game! The Broncos won 49-27!

What books or stories did you read in school this past week? I read a neat book about autumn called “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. The book has pictures of leaves arranged to look like a person – called Leaf Man – and traces his movement across the landscape. It has a lot of cool pictures of Leaf Man in it.

We next get together on Saturday, Sept. 14 – a week from today! Your mother and I are still working out the times. We no longer have to meet at the visitation center that we have been at since last winter. I have not yet decided what we will do when we get together, but I have some ideas and promise it will be a lot of fun!

I look forward to seeing you then. I miss and love you very much! Be a good boy in school this week!




Friday, September 6, 2013

I enjoyed our time together Thursday

I so enjoyed my time with you yesterday, Kieran! We sure packed a lot into those two hours!

As a young boy, you certainly have a lot of energy. I must admit, all of the karate, football, spinning and wrestling wore my out! You are very strong, and I'm impressed!

Putting together the Bioncles, playing checkers, and constructing the puzzle map were a good time, too! I hope you enjoy playing with the Bioncles at home!

I'm so very glad that you enjoyed the volcano we made, too! There are more "kitchen" experiments in the kit,as well, including making a clock run with a battery made from a lemon or tomato! We will have to do some of those in the weeks ahead.

Here are some pictures of our time together!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remember that big St. Bernard stuffy?

When we lived in the grene house in Lancaster, you might recall that I had a couple of big pillows a large fluffy St. Bernard dog stacked next to the television in the living room.

Sometimes you way lay on the pillows and dog while watching television. Other times you'd play tackle the dog!
When we did football, "tackle drills," I'd place the the pillow beneath my knees so I'd beyour height for you to ram into.

The dog was a stuffy I got for your mother before you were born. She liked St. Bernards, and for a while we were putting together a mystery novel about a nurse whose St. Bernard solves murders that the nurse gets entangled in!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My email to you sent on Aug. 17, 2013

Here is the letter I sent to you on Aug. 17, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine though I miss you like crazy!

I am so glad that you’re having a busy and fun summer. That’s what summers should be about when you’re young.

It was exciting to hear that you’re learning how to swim. That’s a very important skill to have and a fun activity. I once knew how to swim, having taken swimming lessons as a young boy when just a little older than you, but I almost drowned once. Now when I go in the water I tense up and can’t swim or float very well. There are many times I wish I could go swimming, though! Have you learned how to float yet?

I also am glad to hear that you’re working on the bicycle riding. Besides being great exercise, it’s lots of fun to go whooshing down the street with the blow blowing through your hair! What color bicycle do you have?

Going to the zoos always was a favorite trip of mine, too. I like the jungle/tropics section of the Minnesota Zoo. Como Park Zoo has changed a lot since I was a little boy; in the 1960s, the animals were kept in small cages, but now they fortunately are placed in environments that are more like where they would actually live if in the wilds. What is your favorite part of each zoo?

The Blue Jays should be a good baseball game. I think the Twins actually might be able to win that one! Not that I should talk – two of my teams (The San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers) actually are doing worse than the Twins. But the Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place, and hopefully will make the playoffs this fall! Who will you be rooting for to win the World Series?

Football season also is about to start. Exhibition season, in which the players get to practice by playing games that don’t count, already are underway. Adrian Peterson says he plans to run for 2500 yards this year. Do you think he can do it?

Thank you for telling me that you enjoy seeing me. I know you do – we always have lots of fun when we get together – but it was still nice to hear anyway! I always enjoy being with you well. In fact, I am very excited because we will get to spend time together every week for the next three weeks! Our next visit is in just five days on Thursday, Aug. 22. We then get together on Friday, Aug. 30, and then on Thursday, Sept. 5. Is there anything you would like me to bring this Thursday?

Well, that is all for now. I miss and love you very much! I look forward to reading your next letter and will see you on Thursday!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

My email to you for week of July 6-13

Here is my email to you for the week of July 6-13, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you today? Hope you are doing well. I had so much fun with you yesterday! I’ve also attached the photos of our time together as I promised.

I am so glad you liked the “Star Trek” guys and the Enterprise. Having them take the pod to an alien planet and explore it, just like we used to play, was a good time. There are other “Star Trek” pod characters we can get, so I will look for them in stores and bring some along the next time we get together.

Putting together and playing with the Lone Ranger Legos was fun, too. There are a whole bunch of Lone Ranger Lego sets, so I will look for them as well. We have to find one with Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s faithful companion. I sure hope you get to see the movie soon.

You have really gotten fast – Catching you was really difficult when we played football! I am so proud of you that you working on your baseball and soccer skills and getting better at them. When you were younger, we had a T-ball set, and you were very good at hitting the ball. You had very strong arms and could hit the ball a long ways! You also could throw a great spiral with the football. Always focus on and master the fundamentals, and you’ll do really well playing any game.

You’ve also are really learning the states! I was amazed at how many of them you remembered when we put together the puzzle. Would you also like to learn where the countries of the world are, since you asked about Greece? I shall have to find a world map puzzle for us.

The air rockets that you shot off at school sound like a great class project. How high did your air rocket go? I once had a model rocket that looked like the Enterprise from “Star Trek.” It went about 40 feet in the air. When you are older, we will have to shoot off some model rockets at Grandpa and Grandma Bignell’s farm.

The “Snackin’ Safari” game with the elephant springs sure was neat, wasn’t it? Getting the food cards to stick to the suction cup is difficult to do, isn’t it? I think the game might better if the elephant trunk and the cars had magnets on them instead, don’t you?

Have you tried on the new shirt yet? It’s pretty cool how it says “California Lifeguards Association” on it! Since the Long Beach T-shirt I got you was a little big, this time I got you one that was a size smaller – I hope it fits!

Hopefully the Pokémon cards also will help your set that you have. I’m afraid I don’t much about Pokémon – maybe you can explain more about it to me next time!

Well, that is all for now. We next get together on Friday, July 26, and I can’t wait to see you! I love you and miss you very much; I think about you every day!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

My letter to you for June 23-29, 2013

Here’s my email sent to you June 29, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you today? I’m fine, though I miss you like crazy! I hope you’re having a great weekend full of fun!

Thank you so much for sending the email on Friday. I enjoy hearing about all that you’re learning in summer school, all of the fun places you’ve gone, and everything else about you.

Learning about the states sounds like a lot of fun! Knowing where the states are will be very useful when you travel. Do you know that you’ve been to 11 states? They include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. I have pictures of you in each of those states but two: Colorado and Utah.

Discovering the stories about all the presidents is interesting, too, I bet! When I was a little boy, just a wee bit older than you, I had to write a report about a president. I wrote about James K. Polk. He was the 11th president, and during his presidency Wisconsin became a state. We also defeated Mexico in a war under his leadership, and that victory meant Mexico had to give up Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah (All states you’ve visited!) to our country, The United States.

I’m so glad you’re getting to throw the football at the park. You’ve always had quite an arm on you! Always remember to put your fingers on the laces when throwing the football – if you do, the football will go farther, and your throws will be more accurate.

Highland Park’s mist machines sound like a good time, too! Do you remember the big misting machine at the California Adventure theme park? Out of the bottom of a fake rocket engine, water would blow out – so much sometimes that it would fog up the area! You always liked when I walked you through it in the stroller. You would reach out and grab at the fog!

A very big holiday is coming up on Thursday – Independence Day! It’s also known as the Fourth of July. On that day in 1776, our country told England we no longer would be part of their country and were starting our own! What plans do you have to celebrate the Fourth of July? Hopefully you will get to see fireworks! I don’t think you and I have ever went to a Fourth of July fireworks together, though we got to see some great fireworks for Halloween and New Year's Eve.

Have you read any good books lately? I have. It was called “Apple Pie on the Fourth of July” and was written by Janet S. Wong. It’s the story of a little girl who tries to convince her parents – who were born in China and have come to the United States to live – that no one wants to eat Chinese Food on the Fourth of July. Instead, people want to eat hot dogs and have apple pie, she tells them. Does the little girl have to eat rice and egg rolls or will she get to have hot dogs and apple pie on the Fourth? You will have to read the book and find out! I bet you can get it at your school or city library.

Well, that is all for now. I look forward to receiving your weekly email, and will write again next week in response to it. I love and miss you very much! Have a Happy Fourth of July!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

My letter to you for June 22, 2013

Here is my email/letter from June 21, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you this morning? I am fine, though I miss you more than anything! I had a lot of fun with you Friday afternoon and can’t wait to get back together again!

It was great fun looking at the human body book just like we used to do when we’d stop at bookstores. You were very good at finding the little skulls. The human brain certainly was interesting, especially how it is made up of little cells that send electrical signals to one another that allows us to do all that we do. It’s amazing how it can do that, isn’t it?

I’m so glad you liked the “Star Trek” guys I picked up. I shall get some more of them for you. I think they are called “Star Trek Pods” and the set includes the starship Enterprise and other toys. I also will put together the Lego shuttlecraft for you – it has a chair in it that all of your Lego characters can sit in!

You are really starting to learn your states as well – I was impressed with how many of them you knew on the world map puzzle! I’ve attached to this email a couple of photos of when we hiked into the volcano (and here’s a link to all of the photos from our adventure; mom will have to sign in to her Facebook account for you to see them). The volcano was called the Amboy Crater, and it was off of the old Route 66! The first picture shows the volcano in the distance, and the second photo shows you inside it.

Boy, have you gotten really fast! It was difficult to keep up with you when we were playing football (I guess that’s why you won both games!). I’m so happy that you remember how to catch the ball by using both hands and pulling it in to your chest. Sorry we couldn’t do the tackle drills like you wanted, but wrestling isn’t allowed at the center. Do you have any football jerseys? I bet by now you’ve outgrown your Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers jersey.

The Dr. Seuss card game is just as challenging as trying to catch you in football, I think. I will have to practice my skipping!

Have you set up your Hot Wheels car ramp yet at your house? And if you did, is car. No. 2 still going the farthest? I think it’s funny how the numbered cars that didn’t come with the ramp all went farther than the purple car that did come with it!

And how does your stuffie penguin like his new home? What other interesting things does he say?

Well, that is all for now. I am looking forward to seeing you again in just a few weeks. We soon will be able to start seeing one another every other week rather once every four weeks, and I am very excited about that. I’ve attached some pictures of our time together on Friday as well. Be a good boy, and I will see you soon!



June 21, 2013

June 21, 2013, in Long Beach shirt

March 26, 2009, Amboy Crater (Volcano)

March 26, 2009, in the center of
Amboy Crater (Volcano)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My email to you for May 25, 2013

Enjoying Grandma Bignell's chocolate chip cookies
on May 24, 2013.
Here is my letter for May 19-25, 2013, in case you don’t receive it:

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I’m doing fine and very happy because I got to see you again yesterday! I had so much fun – but then you’ve always been a great kid to be around!

I’m glad you liked the football player action figures. I shall have to look for some more of them, especially since you like the Chicago Bears and there are a couple of their players that you can get as action figures. I’m sorry to report to you that one of those players, Brian Urlacher, has retired and isn’t playing next year. That’s good news, though, for my favorite team – the Green Bay Packers – because Brian Urlacher was very good at tackling our quarterback!

Playing the Scooby Doo game was great fun, too! You were quite good at tapping out the bricks. It reminded me a lot of our Don’t Break the Ice game. I bet you remember the Scooby Doo haunted house that we used to have. Maybe I should look for that and get it for the next time we’re together.

I think I most liked the Cat in the Hat card game that we played, though. You were excellent at walking like a penguin, and thank you for showing me how to skip properly! I will bring that one with me next time!

The “Star Trek” transporter Lego set is neat with how the light flashes and then our character sins around so it looks like he’s beamed down to the planet with the Kirk Rocks. There aren’t too many “Star Trek” sets left to get, but I will look for more packages with characters – hopefully we will get the Gorn! Maybe you also would like a Lone Ranger Lego set?

I liked playing “zombie” with the finger lights, too! We used to play all the time with those and the “Star Trek” lights we got out of cereal boxes. We’d sneak through our green house in Lancaster, pretending it was a wrecked ship that we searched for survivors, hoping no monsters attacked us. But they inevitably did – and turned one of us (usually me!) into an alien zombie.

Playing with the micro cars was a good time, too. They fit perfect on that fold-out van set, didn’t they?!

I’ve been a little surprised that you haven’t wanted to read books the last several times that we’ve gotten together. We used to read books all the time together. Is there a reason you don’t like to read books anymore?

I know that you want to see me more, and I want to ensure you that I also want to see you more. I love you more than anything in the world and want to see you every day and have fun and new experiences just like we always did. Let me assure you that I am working very hard at ensuring that happens.

Well, that is all for now. You take care – I next will see you June 21 (and hopefully even sooner!)!



Monday, May 6, 2013

Our last weekend together

A year ago today was the last full day and weekend that we've spent together. On that Sunday, we went in the morning to the Kirk Rocks (Vasquez Rocks County Park) where we hiked and played cowboys near the Friday's Child Rocks. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of that last adventure; they were on Jane's camera, and I never got them downloaded onto my computer before we separated.

After hiking the rocks, we went over to the country store in Agua Dulce and enjoyed some ice cream cones. I remember that you had mint chocolate chip, your favorite!

We also picked a roadside flower that we brought back to Jane, who was sleeping in that Sunday morning. You presented it to her when we got back to the condo, and the two of you put it in a glass of water. I recall thinking about where we would take Jane for Mother's Day brunch and deciding a restaurant we found in Agua Dulce would be fun.

The rest of the day is a bit hazy in my memory, though I do recall us tossing the football around to one another that afternoon. It ended up in the neighbor's balcony, and fortunately she got it for us!

You also spent the night at the condo, with me bringing you to school Monday morning.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recall your San Diego Chargers football?

One of the many fun things I enjoyed doing with you was playing football - especially with you San Diego Chargers football.

It was a softer ball and a little smaller than the footballs the professionals use. This made it easier to handle and ensured that it didn't hurt in case it should bounce out of your hands and into your nose (Ouch!).

I got the ball for us when I was living in Encinitas, which was just outside San Diego. The Chargers weren't doing too bad that year, if I recall - or at least they got off to a good start!

We used the football when I taught you how to tackle, throw the ball, and to take a handoff. When we were outside, we also practiced kicking off!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My time in junior high school

After attending Knapp Elementary School, I went to Menomonie Junior High School. Our school district had nine different elementary schools in it, and when students reached seventh grade, they went on to the junior high school. That was the fall of 1978.

In seventh grade, I went out for track in spring and in eighth grade I went out for football in fall. Ultimately, though, I decided sports wasn't for me! I also ran for student council but didn't get elected.

Maybe the most exciting thing I did in junior high was wrote a petition in seventh grade asking for more student dances and then in eighth grade led a boycott of school lunch! I was into politics and very interested in national and international politics at the time. I guess I was a very serious young man!

My best friends in seventh grade were Brian Lindo, Kirby Quinn (who I went to elementary school with), and Troy Hathaway. In eighth grade, my friends gradually changed, and my two best friends were Carl Tilseth and Mike Gansberg.