How to Plan an Anniversary Trip–Part One: Beginnings

Our wedding day, April 25, 1964, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Our wedding day, April 25, 1964, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

When planning a wedding anniversary trip, most people envision a Caribbean cruise–a flight to far-off countries–a week at a fancy resort–or some other extravagant adventure.

Not us!

After all, when we were married April 25, 1964 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we had a one-night honeymoon–ONE NIGHT–and we spent it in Iowa City in a motel. The following morning, we drove out to West Branch, where we visited the Herbert Hoover House (he was a bit before our time!) And then we returned to Cedar Rapids where Howard went to work on his night job at Collins Radio, and where I spent my first night alone in a great big house away from my family. A terrible storm erupted that night: lightning–thunder (extremely LOUD thunder)–pelting (and I mean PELTING) rain–and I bawled my head off!

The old house on 12th Avenue S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa where we lived the first month of our marriage. No longer standing.

The old house on 12th Avenue S.E., Cedar Rapids, Iowa where we lived the first month of our marriage. No longer standing.

“WHY DID I DO THIS? I WANNA GO HOME!”

We made up for it in May 1965–a back and forth road trip between Iowa and Maryland to visit some of Howard’s relatives. We had a week that time!

Gertrude DeLashmutt Warfield (1875-1966)--Howard's maternal grandmother. She lived in Sykesville, Maryland.

Gertrude DeLashmutt Warfield (1875-1966)–Howard’s maternal grandmother. She lived in Sykesville, Maryland.

On the way back to Iowa, we drove through Cambridge, Ohio where an armed robbery was apparently underway in a jewelry store! It was late at night. The alarm blared. A police officer was about to enter the store with his gun drawn, and we left town immediately. After that, whenever we saw a hitchhiker–he HAD to be the robber! Right?

Our torment didn’t end for the night. We landed in Zanesville, Ohio, and the only place we could find available was a “Motor Lodge” downtown. It should have been called The Bates Motel! We took a creaking elevator to the top floor, where we were probably the only people that night. (I’m not counting the ghosts!) The bathroom was at the end of the hallway. I remember creeping down that hallway with Psycho in mind, wondering whether Norman Bates lurked in the shadows–waiting! Lobby newspapers blared headlines about vicious stabbings in New York, propelling my imagination. And I won’t describe the bathroom. It was rather unique! The bed was another adventure–an ancient mattress plopped across creaking springs. We clanked together like two barrels. (That part wasn’t so bad). By the grace of God, we made it back to Iowa in one piece.

That was in 1965. Fast forward thirty years later to Summer 1995.

***

Jimmy Stewart Statue on the town square, Indiana, Pennsylvania

Jimmy Stewart Statue on the town square, Indiana, Pennsylvania

Howard and I spent our summers in Indiana, Pennsylvania from 1992-1998 where I worked on my doctorate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Our first summer there, we lived in the attic of an old house, listening to bawdy female students below who partied all night long. I remember slamming the door loudly upon my departure one morning. The remaining summers were not so horrific. We leased a studio apartment on campus. But Summer 1995 provided a new adventure: the Summer Music Festival in Cumberland, Maryland.

Antietam Iron Works near Hagerstown, MD on the Antietam Battlefield. Howard's 5th g-grandfather, Col. Samuel Magruder Beall, was one of the early proprietors

Antietam Iron Works near Hagerstown, MD on the Antietam Battlefield. Howard’s 5th g-grandfather, Col. Samuel Magruder Beall, was one of the early proprietors

We were on our return trip to Colorado at the time. We drove to Hagerstown, Maryland first where Howard was chasing an ancestor. The motel clerk warned us: “Book two nights if you plan to stay more than one night.”

The reason?

“There is a music festival in Cumberland, Maryland. All the hotels and motels for 60 to 100 miles around are booked solid!”

“That’s okay. We’ll find something!”

Right!

We arrived in Cumberland, Maryland where nothing was available. So then we drove to Granville, West Virginia. It’s in the Morgantown area. I thought we would surely find a room in Granville. After all, my second great grandparents (William Stillians and Catherine Lee) were married there in 1848. Right?

Yeah–right!

Next stop–Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

Oh this would be easy, I told Howard. I had all sorts of ancestors who settled that region: Inghram–Stillians–and many others.

HA!

Even Washington, Pennsylvania provided no relief. More ancestors and no vacancies!

So we headed up the road to Pittsburgh and stopped in a rest area. I climbed into the back seat of the car; Howard leaned back. We were going to get some sleep, or so we thought.

As I recall, I had just dozed off when I heard, “Honey! Honey! Quick!”

I sat up.

“Get up here!”

“Why?

“We’re getting out of here–that’s why!”

I slipped up front. Howard started the car, and we headed out of the rest stop.

“What happened?” I asked
.
What happened? Howard did not go to sleep; he couldn’t. So he sat watching the shelter, wondering why he hadn’t listened to the motel clerk back in Hagerstown. Then he saw it–a strange little man twirling like a top on a bench. The twirler would sit down, take a drag on whatever, jump up and spin in air. That’s when Howard decided to get out of there, and we did.

About 2:30 A.M., we crossed the bridge into Pittsburgh and passed Three Rivers Stadium (something I would share with our son–an incorrigible Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan), and we drove down avenues lined with towering buildings–some of the largest structures I had ever seen. Our reason for traveling to Pittsburgh? Howard wanted to visit the Allegheny Cemetery there. A police officer in a filling station advised us not to go to the cemetery until daylight–doing so would be a great danger. Since it was Sunday, the cemetery would not open until 11:00 AM. But there was a diner a block away from it that opened at 6:00. If we could stay out of trouble until then, we could wait at the diner until the cemetery opened.

Taking his advice, we parked at the diner and enjoyed a decent breakfast there. At 11:00 AM, we were inside the cemetery. And by noon, we were on our way across Ohio where by 4:00 PM, we checked into a motel–yes, a real one–where we crashed and slept soundly through the night. This brings us to the present.

***

Howard and me taken 50 years after our marriage.

Howard and me taken 50 years after our marriage.

As you can see, our travel experiences have not been without adventure. However, I don’t recall a trip specifically devoted to a wedding anniversary, including our 50th Anniversary last year. We hosted an open-house for our 25th. Our kids and their spouses sent us to a B & B in Manitou Springs for our 40th. The other anniversaries were eating-out expeditions at places like the Cracker Barrel or at our favorite 1950s diner here in town: Great Scott’s Eatery!

Not so this year–our 51st.

We haven’t been able to do a lot the last four years. Howard suffered a rear-end collision in 2011 and has been having neck and heart treatments since then. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and recently underwent treatment for that. I hadn’t been planning on a trip this year but one day, Howard made an announcement:

“We’re going to spend our anniversary out of town!”

“We are?”

“Yes!”

“Where?”

“Let’s go down to San Luis.”

I stopped and thought about it. San Luis is in the southern part of Colorado and about a full day’s drive. We had been there several times over the years, the most recent trip five years ago. San Luis is like stepping back 150 years into the past. The oldest town in Colorado, it lured us five years ago, and it still casts its spell. We would stay there a couple of nights and then return home. So we booked two nights at the San Luis Inn.

But my concern returned quickly.

“Can you drive it?” I asked.

(I don’t drive–can’t see over the steering wheel and hate driving–the result of a horrific trip from Iowa City, Iowa to Denver in 2007. My sister passed away, and we had to clean out her apartment in Iowa City. The drive back to Colorado placed Howard behind the wheel of her car and me behind the wheel of ours. We spent the night in a motel in Adair, Iowa on that return trip home. The movie showing on TV that night? Psycho! Labeling that trip a nightmare is an understatement!)

“I’m going to try!” Howard told me.

The truth is, we both had a severe case of cabin fever. It was time to get on the road.

And so with reservations in hand, new tires on the car, and the car packed to the brim for three days of excitement, we set out Saturday, April 25, 2015–our 51st Wedding Anniversary– heading south on I-25 out of Denver.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Ancestor Rocks!!

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I must admit I’ve been a rock collector for years. My first summer of rock collecting began in 1951 when I went to the Black Hills of South Dakota with my family. By the time I graduated from high school, I had a huge box full of rocks left behind in my parents’ basement when I married and moved away. The Highway Commission bought the house and my parents moved, leaving the box behind. When the house was demolished, all my hard work and effort was undoubtedly buried beneath tons of dirt. Since then, I re-invented my collection–only this time I secured rocks from places where my ancestors lived or from places of interest to me. Currently, I have rocks from Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and I’m still gathering. The rocks pictured here are only a small fragment of my collection.

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PENNSYLVANIA: The back row of arrowheads consists of Pennsylvania rocks, most of them coming from southwest Pennsylvania (Greene or Washington County). We spent six or seven summers in Pennsylvania years ago and while there, I did a lot of collecting.

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One of the arrowheads has a leaf fossil. I think this is really interesting because it resembles a cartoon duck!

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I recently put all of these arrowheads inside one bag so I can keep them together. Unfortunately, many modern arrowheads are being manufactured in and sold from China. People buy them, thinking they are authentic, and they are not! My arrowheads are authentic. They came directly from woods and along banks of streams!

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KENTUCKY AND WEST VIRGINIA. The two small rocks on the end are fossil gastropods from Kentucky. The next rock contains quartz, and it is from Berkeley County, West Virginia (where some of my ancestors roamed around). The large rock is also from Kentucky. I like it because it has a face. (People who follow my Facebook page know how much I like “face rocks”.)

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More Kentucky rocks. I’ve been trying to get them from Central Kentucky, since most of my Kentucky ancestors settled there. It is difficult finding a rock online from a specific county, although that did happen to me today! 🙂

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My Lenape celt from Eastern Pennsylvania. One of my ancestors was Lenape, so I was really pleased to acquire this piece!

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MISSOURI: My find on our property in Missouri years ago. This arrowhead was undoubtedly used by the Osage Indians, who lived in this area.

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INDIANA: These four rocks came from Grant County, Indiana, just outside Fairmount. I found them around James Dean’s grave in 2003 and 2005. He is a distant cousin on two different lines, so he definitely counts! The large rock was on the road behind the grave. I believe it was probably on the grave at one time until someone tossed it.  The little rock in the holder with the incredible face was buried in the grass on top of the grave. I moved my fingers through the grass, looking for something unusual and BINGO! The other two stones were immediately behind the grave, so I assume they were on the grave at one time.

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CLARK COUNTY, KENTUCKY–my new acquisition! This is a collection of broken celts from Clark County, Kentucky. I bought it this morning and will be looking for it to arrive in the mail. Celts were used by Native Americans as axes or spears or other tools. So these are old.  I had ancestors in Clark County, Kentucky, so I was thrilled to buy them.

As I said earlier, these rocks are a fragment of my collection, and some of them are rather large. But the rocks shown here came from places where my ancestors lived.

Wouldn’t it be something if an ancestor gave one of them a toss while working a plough!!!

 

Revisiting The Black Hawk War of 1832

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I have to admit I have always been an addict! Each time my family would go on a road trip and whenever some historical sign appeared along the road, we always had to stop at my request. That’s exactly what we were doing when I took this photograph of the Battle of Bad Axe sign in Wisconsin. We were satisfying my whim.

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Our road trip took place in Fall 1960. My parents’ greatest pleasure was to drive up the Mississippi River when the autumn leaves had peaked and take in their beauty. We took my maternal grandparents with us on this trip–so here we are all standing by the Battle of Bad Axe sign: L-R Oda Elizabeth Hopper Spence (my grandmother); Elva Gail Spence Inman (my mother); William Franklin Spence (my grandfather); Beverly Jeanne Inman (my sister); and Gordon Loren Inman (my father).

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Of course, I had to get into the picture as well! In Fall 1960, I was entering my senior year of high school, so I suppose I was seventeen years old in this picture.

Well, we read the sign and talked about it a while. My grandfather was interested in local history, so he was really glad to have seen it. He had lived so much history himself (i.e. the Dalton brothers shootout in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1890), that something like this was just icing on the cake for him. As I recall, he had to read up on the Battle of Bad Axe and the Black Hawk War after he arrived home, and he talked about it for a while after that. As for me, I put my three pictures in my photo album and forgot all about them–

–until my recent endeavor: the book I am currently writing.

I grew up in Iowa. When I was in school, I did not need to take an Iowa history course. And I didn’t take a course in Iowa history in college. Well, I left Iowa in 1965, returned in 1970 where I completed my degree in English (not in history). Other states lived in include Missouri and Kentucky plus seven summers spent in Pennsylvania. Since 1980, I’ve been a resident of Colorado. So I remember very little about the Black Hawk War and various battles fought within that war.

My recent ancestors arrived in Iowa about the time of the Civil War and later: my Grandmother Spence’s Hopper family arrived in 1858; my Grandfather Inman’s family arrived around 1860; my Grandmother Inman’s Clay and Stillians relatives were in Iowa by 1869; and, my Grandfather Spence did not move to Iowa from Missouri until 1925! So I didn’t think any of my ancestors fought in the Black Hawk War or had anything at all to do with it.

Fast forward to March 2014 and an inscription I discovered on my third great grand uncle’s Find-a-Grave entry:

“Leven Dean was with the Rangers at the time of the Black Hawk War and was also one of the men at the signing of the treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians at Agency, Iowa in 1842. He had lived in Wapello County at the time.”

Leven/Levin Dean’s parents were both deceased by the time he relocated to Missouri from Kentucky. He was raised primarily by his sister and her husband after his father’s death in 1822. His mother died in 1829. Levin was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1814, and he died in Appanoose County, Iowa in 1879. In 1832 when the Black Hawk War erupted, Levin was living with his sister’s family in Randolph County, Missouri. He was eighteen years old when he signed up with the Rangers.

According to a Wikipedia article about these Ranger Units: “During the Black Hawk War, in 1832, the United States Mounted Ranger Battalion was created out of frontiersmen who enlisted for one year and provided their own rifles and horses. The battalion was organized into six companies of 100 men each that was led by Major Henry Dodge. After their enlistment expired there was no creation of a second battalion… Instead, the battalion was reorganized into the 1st Dragoon Regiment.” (“United States Army Rangers,” Wikipedia.com) I have two pictures of Levin Dean. In one, he appears to have used a cane, so he may have sustained some injury in the war.

Levin Dean married Missouri Evans in 1834 in Missouri. As I recall, they were in Macon County for a while. Then he apparently moved to Wapello. Iowa and eventually settled in Appanoose County, which is just above the Missouri Border. He and his family are buried in a cemetery in Unionville.

It is interesting how some old pictures taken over fifty years ago can suddenly spring to life and reconnect in such interesting ways.

Now, I need to make room for the Black Hawk War in the book I am writing!

Spring Break, Jesse James, Harry Truman and Snow!

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As a general rule–at least prior to 2006–Howard and I did not make trips over Spring Break! The event always occurred in mid-to-late March. Since I worked as an adjunct for several colleges and since spring breaks between schools seldom agreed with one another, I didn’t have a spring break! I might be free from one campus for a week–but I wasn’t free from the other. Also, March weather can really be a messy time for us here in Denver. We often have our heaviest snows in March. In March 2002 or 2003, for example, we had two weeks of spring break! A blizzard slammed us the week before the break. The break was officially scheduled the second week, so on such short notice they couldn’t tell us to return to classes. Everyone had plans.

Over my years of teaching, my schedule changed between the schools. I stopped working for some and also began working in online instruction. Finally, I reached the point where I didn’t have competing schedules. By 2006, I could enjoy spring break.

“Let’s take a trip!” Howard suggested in March 2006.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Let’s go back to St. Joseph, Missouri!”

Typical of March weather in Colorado, a rain and snow mixture arrived the morning we planned to leave. Bound and determined to go, we loaded up the car and headed east on I-70. The rain fell steadily, and the wind cut us like a knife whenever we got out of the car. We drove as far as Topeka and spent the night in a motel. The following morning, we were back on the road again. And we finally reached St. Joseph!

This was not our first visit to St. Joseph. We went there with a student group in the 1960s when Howard was a student at Park College. The Mental Health Hospital in St. Joseph was looking for student volunteers, so Howard and I went there as part of a tour. (I have to say that mental health has come a long way since then!) The reason for our trip to St. Joseph in 2006 related to a city lot we had purchased as an investment in the Patee Historical District a few months before. This is the first time we would see it.

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We spent most of our time in the Patee Historical District that day in March 2006. The Jesse James House Museum is one block up the street from our lot, and it was the only place that was open. The doll museum and Pony Express station wouldn’t open until May–so Jesse James became our main focus.

The house was originally located on a bluff on Lafayette Street, a bluff that overlooks our lot! Jesse James liked the location of the house because of that bluff. He wanted to be able to see whether anyone was sneaking up on him! As Tom Howard, few people knew his real identity–but the Ford brothers knew! The house was eventually relocated from Lafayette Street to Patee, where it sits today. And the bluff behind our lot was lowered fifty feet. But we could still stand on the back of the bluff and look down on our lot.

The man inside the Jesse James house was knowledgeable about the rascal. Of course, I had to ask him about the DNA test on Jesse’s body. Some years ago, the people in Missouri grew tired of hearing the Texas story about the man who claimed to be the real Jesse James. Although the man died years ago (he lived to be 102), stories still persisted that the real Jesse was buried in Texas and not in Kearney, Missouri. So Jesse’s body was exhumed. The DNA results gave him a 99.7% proof that he was indeed the real Jesse James. The man in Texas? They exhumed the wrong body (go figure!) So they have no proof!

Our time spent in the Jesse James house was well worth the trip. Back then, I was compiling research for the book I would eventually write and publish in 2010: The Sum Total: A Search for Levi Clay (1843-1917) and Jesse James (1847-1882).

The next morning, we discovered we had seen St. Joseph, but we weren’t ready to return to Colorado. We drove around St. Joseph for much of the day and by 4:00, wondered whether we should stay there another night or go to another location.

“Let’s go to Independence!” Howard suggested.

On our way over there, we stopped at the Red X in Riverside–the place where we used to shop early in Howard’s college days. We bought some pizza and chicken and drove on over to Independence, where we booked two nights in a motel. Howard lived in Independence, Missouri when Harry Truman was President. It would be fun to prowl around the square. Besides, Howard wanted to find the house where his family lived–which he found!

Snow greeted us the next morning–a rain and snow mixture and a cold wind. The weather didn’t stop us. We headed to the town square and found the Visitor’s Center open. While Howard conversed with the person in charge there, I went outside to take pictures on the street. And that’s when I saw a covered wagon approaching!

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Because of the weather, the wagon was covered with plastic in order to keep the school kids dry! They were on a field trip around old Independence, and I could hear them squealing with delight as the wagon passed by. It seemed as though we encountered those school kids everywhere we went that morning. At least we had the Truman house to ourselves!

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When Howard and his brothers were little, they walked by the Truman House on their way to school. And they often speculated concerning whether or not armed guards were watching them through the windows with cocked weapons!

Of all the lovable characters from Independence, the thirty-third President of the United States–Harry S. Truman–stands above everyone on the list! I remember a woman telling us how he would walk up to strangers on the street, shake their hands, introduce himself and stand there talking with them.

“He was as common as an old shoe!” the woman stated.

And that is why the town of Independence loves him.

You can’t go too many places there without seeing some reference to the President!

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The lower portion of the Truman house had opened to the public prior to our visit, so we were able to walk through! The hat, coat and walking stick Harry Truman used were hanging in the kitchen. The kitchen was a typical 1950s-style interior–green, as I recall. The President and his wife normally ate in the kitchen. They only used the dining room for formal occasions. And they spent their evenings reading since both were avid readers. Bess Truman gobbled up murder mysteries while the President read his ten newspapers. (He said you couldn’t get a viable opinion just reading one. You had to read at least ten to get the full picture.)

We were told that five sitting and former Presidents were entertained in that house. Now let’s see whether I can remember them: Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford–and I can’t remember the fifth–Roosevelt (maybe)–Kennedy (perhaps.) Nixon played Truman’s piano. The parlor where these men were entertained was being remodeled when we were there, but we could stand in the doorway and peer inside.

The upstairs was off limits. Margaret Truman Daniels had put it off limits because she “didn’t want people tromping through my memories.” It may have been opened since then, but I don’t know.

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Bright and early the next morning, we set out south on Highway 71 and drove to Fort Scott, Kansas. The old 1840s Military Fort is still in Fort Scott, something of special interest to me. Some of my ancestors living in Jasper County during the Civil War fled there to save their lives. A family member had been murdered by bushwhackers and after that, Union families fled to Kansas. My third great grand uncle, Lazarus Spence, arrived at Fort Scott with a case of measles.

So while Howard mused himself in the antique shops, I ran around the old fort grounds, taking pictures. After an hour or so, we were back in the car and on our way west to Colorado.

Since that spring break in March 2006, we have taken a number of trips from 2007 through 2009. Some of them were unique, but none of them as unique as this one.

It was wet and snowy! It was cold and blustery! But we loved it!

Hello Phil!–Super Bowl Sunday 2014

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Sunday, February 2, 2014 brings the arrival of two events. Early tomorrow morning, Punxsutawney Phil will be hauled unceremoniously from a box and held on high to hopefully predict the arrival of an early spring. And then later tomorrow, two football teams will collide in New Jersey, each hoping to bring home the grand prize. The arrival of both events triggers a fond memory. And the first applies to the rodent.

I had heard about Punxsutawney Phil for years. I remember my mother marking Phil’s prediction on the calendar each February. She hated winter and always hoped for an early spring. So I listened to her story wide-eyed and firmly believed the little rodent would put an end to the sub-zero temperatures. My hopes often dimmed when she added, “Well, it doesn’t matter! We always have six more weeks of winter!”

And we often did!

Years later, I began watching the televised event from Punxsutawney each February 2. Despite his less-than reliable predictions, I decided the little critter was cute! And so it was only natural on one of our summer migrations to Pennsylvania that we would drive up to Punxsutawney on a Saturday in search of the little groundhog.

It was a cloudy day. The Walenda circus family performed in the town square, so a crowd had already formed. We watched the Walendas, and I managed to obtain the autograph of one of them after the performance was over. After that, we began looking for the groundhog. After all, he was the reason for our trip there!

“Oh, Phil?” a man answered when we asked him. “He lives over in the Library!”

“The Library?”

“It’s right across the square. See that building over there?”

I couldn’t imagine the groundhog living in a library, but we hurried over there and discovered his den was attached to the main structure. Phil waddled out into the open, followed by Phyllis and all the little Phils and Phyllises. I went outside and lured him to the glass window in an attempt to take a picture of him, succeeding in getting two. Later that week, I told a friend about our adventure.

“He lives in the library!” she exclaimed.

“Yes!”

“Oh, no!” she laughed. “I’ve lived in Pittsburgh all my life and didn’t know that. I thought they went out every year and scrounged up a groundhog somewhere in the country!”

The things we later learn about the places where we have always lived!

The other event tomorrow focuses on a pigskin that will sail from one end of the field to the other in New Jersey.

I didn’t become a football fan until after moving to Colorado in 1980. My father liked football–Hawkeye football, that is. I don’t remember him ever watching professional football. My Grandfather Spence was of the same opinion. He liked college football and not professional.

So, I watched college football while living at home.

Then Howard and I moved to Colorado and despite having lived in Kansas City, we became fans of the Broncos. (Did I mention that we moved to Denver?)

Our son is the nonconformist in the group. He was in elementary school when the Steelers trounced the Cowboys and has been a Steelers fan ever since. Once he went to the Bronco stadium dressed in his Steelers attire. A man frowned at him and said, “Why don’t you go back to Pittsburgh?” Our son’s reply?

“Never been there!”

And so it goes–the constant warfare between fans of different teams.

Tomorrow is “Orange Sunday” at church. My old Bronco shirt is somewhat on the worn side. Howard bought me an orange hoodie pullover with “Rocky Top” emblazoned across the front of it.

“That’s okay,” I told him. “Peyton Manning played college ball for the University of Tennessee. Rocky Top is located in Tennessee.”

Of course, I added several buttons to the front: one AFC Divisional winner button from way-back-when; one John Elway button; one OMAHA! button; another AFC Divisional winner button from way-back-when; and, a current AFC Divisional winner button announcing the present Super Bowl. I do have a Peyton Manning button enroute, but according to my delivery confirmation number–he was busy touring Harrisburg and left that city this morning. That means I will get him sometime this week. Oh well! I will have that button next year!

Maybe he took a detour through Punxsutawney to see the groundhog!

On the positive side, my new OMAHA shirt arrived in the mail today. I’ll wear that during the game tomorrow and make all the noise possible! (I’m extremely noisy while watching Bronco games!) And who knows? Perhaps my little rodent will make a winning prediction about the outcome of the game when he’s hauled out of his box early morning!

On second thought–perhaps he should go back to the library and take a nap instead!

GO BRONCOS!!!