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May 2013 | SUN LAKES SPLASH | www.sunlakessplash.com WRITERS’ PAGE


Barbara Schwartz It was her fi rst semester of college and she


needed to take a science class to fulfi ll her schedule. The only class available in her timeframe was an astronomy class. She did not want to take it because she really did not know anything about the stars and outer space and she really did not care about it. But it was necessary and it fi t the schedule so she signed up for it. The class started and she found that it was


not nearly as bad as she thought it would be. She read up about our galaxy – the Milky Way – and


that became her “mantra” as it were. She became a frequent visitor to the planetarium and would sit for hours watching the skies change with difference scenes. The Big Dipper was easily identifi ed as were the


North Star and Orion. She was truly fascinated by the whole fi eld of astronomy by this time. She went on to graduate from college with a


major in – you guessed it – Astronomy and was offered many jobs in that fi eld. She ended up taking a job with a major planetarium in Washington, D.C. and on her fi rst


day of work, she was taking a walk-through of her new building when she found that the planetarium camera operators were busy taking their afternoon break. After meeting their new boss, they offered her the snack of the day – and every day it seemed – “just help yourself to the free vending machine.” When she turned to see said vending machine, she noticed – with a huge laugh – that it was fi lled with candy bars. Not just any candy bar, but only one brand. The


rare fi nd was, of course, the Milky Way candy bar. Must have been an inside joke!!


CLUBS AND CLASSES 55


Ken Johnson Several of us stood outside the barber shop –


pool hall and the next door drug store – ice cream parlor talking and joking. The sun disappeared an hour earlier leaving us with a pleasant August evening. A few games of pool left us bored and drained our resources even at a nickel a game. So anything interesting and free dominated


our discussions. Bush whacking headed the possibilities. The city park ranked high on the list, it usually attracted “necking coupes,” was within walking distance, and allowed a silent sneaky approach. Myself, my two younger brothers, and three


other youngsters, all of us in junior high or the lower high school grades hiked along toward the combination city park and baseball diamond. Years before, the town’s only baseball diamond lie in a cow pasture on the other side of town. And this in a town full of baseball enthusiasts. But the depression created a rare opportunity.


The WPA needed a project while the town wanted a baseball diamond without increasing property taxes. An ideal location existed along the CB and Q railroad directly behind the city part. The old abandoned land grant railroad right- of-way formed the north side of


the park and


extended far beyond the park’s facilities. The newer railway roadbed cut along the side hill on the south edge of the park many feet above the old and two blocks from it. Out of this waste land, a new ball diamond grew with WPA labor. The side hill formed a natural amphitheater. The old right-of-way became the park drive.


Only two street lights illuminated this long drive to the ball diamond. We scurried along with hopes of catching some activity. Past sighting encouraged us as the outfi eld often revealed evidence of the previous night’s passionate love making. But to our surprise, a car had parked in the


parking area at the end of the drive allowing our unobserved approach. We detected movement in


the car, but we couldn’t see through the “fogged up” windows. So we started walking back on the park drive toward downtown. One of our group, a usual “cut up” decided


to add some excitement to our venture. SO he climbed up on the back bumper and started balancing up and down. The activity inside the car changed to wild scrambling and loud cursing instantly. Within seconds a back door fl ew open and a fi gure, still pulling on his clothes, started down the drive after us. And since our pursuer held an age and size


advantage over us, we left at top speed. As he gained, we ditched the drive, jumped across the small creek, and ducked into the bordering cornfi eld. The car soon left and we climbed back onto the park drive. Suspecting no further attempted mayhem, we


laughed and joked on our way back to the pool hall where we spent the rest of the evening minding our own business.


Dick Nelsen


The girl of my dreams is the sweetest girl Of all the girls I know Each sweet coed like a rainbow trail Fades in the afterglow.


The blue of her eyes and the gold of her hair Are a blend of the western skies;


And the moonlight beams on the girl of my


dreams, She’s the Sweetheart of sigma Chi. Probably the most famous Fraternity song of all


times. The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi has endured since it was written in 1911. Words by Bryon D. Stokes and music by Dudleigh Vernor at Albion College. Today I frequently hear it being played on the Easy Listening Channel on Direct satellite TV and find myself humming it occasionally. What I want you to know is how this song resulted in my not taking up smoking. That’s right the song that made Sigma Chi the best known Fraternity in the United States has probably saved me from lung cancer. Let me tell you how.


It was 1953 and I was the song chairman of


our Fraternity. Not because I was a good singer, but because for some strange reason I could hit the


one note the brotherhood could get started on to serenade the Sorority girls on the campus. Usually on Monday night after the Chapter meeting one of the brothers would announce his pinning of the White Cross, or the engagement to his girlfriend and then he passed out cigars to celebrate. The usual choice was Mississippi River Rum soaked Wine Tipped Crooks. The price of these stogies was a staggering 6 cents each.


The next order of business was to drive to the Delta Gamma House, in this case, and serenade his girl and of course the rest of her Sorority sisters. It was then we would light up our cigars as we prepared to dazzle the ladies with song. We would then sing the two most romantic songs of all time as our Sigma Chi brother went to the front door and presented his special lady one White Rose. As we arrived and I lit my cigar I took a few puffs. It was then I turned to my roommate and said, ”Do I look as green as I feel?”


He took one look and replied, “I don’t know if you’d call it green, more of an ashen white with tiny beads of perspiration on your forehead.” That was the last time I tried smoking cigars, anyway. I was, however, able to get the crew started


on the right note. We sang as best as a group of monotones could do under the circumstances; some were also fortified with a quart of beer concealed in brown paper sacks. As our newly smitten Sig approached the front door to present the One White Rose, we were all poised for this beautiful moment. This was one of the best traditions of our Fraternity to present this lovely coed a single White Rose. Not a dozen of roses just one single White Rose. As an aside when I married Kay she carried just One White Rose down the aisle. I will never forget that sight of my Sweetheart with this meaningful symbol of our love. Back to 1953 our Fraternity then once again broke into song to end the serenade by singing: One white Rose, true love shows Emblem of a Sweetheart’s love That never dies True to me she will be. So my girl is like the Rose Of Sigma Chi.


He held her in his arms and they kissed each other by the front door with the house mother standing close by since after all it was after the 10:30 curfew. May sound a little corny now, but it was, and still is a great memory.


Bernice Kantrowitz It was a unanimous choice. Although we didn’t


always agree so easily, last week the four of us decided to celebrate Nancy’s 80th birthday at Randy’s Steak House. Nancy is an avid steak lover so we all agreed to meet for dinner to celebrate Nancy’s age. Clara, Sophie, Nancy and I met at Randy’s to celebrate Nancy’s date of birth and to also enjoy eating steak at Randy’s. That is all of us enjoyed eating steak except Sophie who always ends up ordering just vegetables. Sophie denies that she is a vegan but she always orders vegetables and never eats meat, chicken or fi sh so we assume that she is. But if Sophie was willing to join us – no one complained. The truth is that the rest of us tried to get Sophie to eat steak. “Once in a while it wouldn’t kill you,” we said but she was adamant about declining our suggestions. When the celebration day fi nally arrived, we met


at Randy’s and for once we were all on time. Shortly after we arrived and after we were seated at a booth and our waiter appeared to take our order for drinks. He said, “My name is Terry and I will be your waiter for the evening.” Before he could continue Nancy interrupted him, “It’s my birthday and we’re celebrating my 80th but we’d like separate checks, please.” Terry smiled and said, “Happy Birthday>’ After we asked Terry for water with lemon and a


straw, we all ordered a glass of red wine – that is all of us except Clara, who never indulges in alcoholic drinks – at least not when she is with us. Even though she insists on drinking nothing stronger than Coca Cola we have tried to no avail to get her to at least have one glass of wine. Clara defended herself by saying, “I don’t need the alcohol to make me feel good.” That shut us up. After Terry brought our wine and Clara’s Coke,


we were ready to order and Terry was gung ho to oblige. “We’re all having the steak except Sophie who is having a vegetarian plate” I said. Terry looked pleased that three of us were ordering the same thing – almost. “The steak comes with a side of potatoes and your choice of vegetables. How would you like your steak prepared?” he asked. Nancy wanted her steak to be well done. “I don’t want to see any blood when I cut it,” she said. Clara said that she wanted her steak rare. “We can do that,” Terry said. Clara seemed to be challenging the cook. “You need to write extra rare,” she said. “I’ll tell the chef,” Terry offered. When it was my turn to order, I told Terry that I wanted my steak medium rare. “Make sure it’s medium,” I said “and please don’t bring it out burned – but I don’t want to see a lot of pink on it either,” I continued, “and instead of a potato I would like two vegetables.” Terry patiently wrote it all down and promised he


would give all the instructions to the chef. Since it was a Saturday night the restaurant


was crowded and we waited a long time to be served. Not that it bothered us because we had a lot of time, and a lot to talk about, but still we were looking forward to our steaks. Finally our food arrived but Terry was busy elsewhere and servers were taking his place. Of course they didn’t know who ordered which steak. As usually happens, they got it all wrong. I got the well done steak, Nancy was served the rare, “cow mooing” steak, and Clara was served my medium rare steak with no potato. It was no problem because we quickly switched the steaks so that we got what we ordered. But since Terry was so effi cient it was disappointing that he wasn’t there so that we could compliment him on his service. We agreed that he deserved a generous tip. As we were about to fi nish our dinner, we were each served a large slice of delicious, creamy chocolate cake. And to add to the celebration Terry and three other waiters came over to the table and sang the happy birthday song to Nancy who was looking pretty good for 80 years old. We enjoyed the evening and agreed to do it


again next month. Instead of steak – we are to have sushi in honor of Sophie, the vegetarian. Even though I know that can’t compare to our steak dinner at Randy’s…


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