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So much to think about — too many memories, perhaps

August 3, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

For years I've worn a shirt that has become my favorite at-home attire. It's stained with memories.

Like the brown paint we used on Mom's balcony years ago and some black, gooey stuff that came off those little rubber legs pushed on the bottom of a trivet to keep it from scratching the surface of whatever it sat on. Those little rubber things had gotten warm and soft and when I tried rubbing the dust off the trivet, which had been sitting around in the basement for a goodly length of time, the little black rubber things smeared all over the front of my shirt, which doubled as a dust cloth.

I couldn't even complain, and I can pretty much complain about anything.

If I could pick off the little specks of black gooey stuff - and I could - leaving a stain wouldn't hurt a bit.

So there I was late Tuesday afternoon not getting any work done at my house because the Flying Fortress kept flying over and, of course, I had to run out and gawk. Had it not been so humid and sticky, I'd have gone out with a book and a glass of tea and waited, but it was and I didn't.

I did, however, realize that my old, almost-worn-out shirt has two extra buttons in the side seam at the hem. The shirt is maybe 15 years old, and I never knew that. It wasn't until I used that section of the shirt to dry perspiration off my glasses that I realized the buttons were there.

Now I've got two extra buttons to go with the safety pin I found stuck to the bottom of the trivet with gooey legs. It's pinned on the front of my shirt, not so much in case I ever need it, but because that's the fastest way to deal with errant safety pins when I'm cleaning, and once they get attached, that's where they stay.

Anyway, watching the Fortress fly makes me happy. I love the sound of that big bird. And I was in a happy mood anyway, having spent the weekend at a family reunion in Waverly. All the kids from two families out of five showed up, but we were the ones who saw one another most often and we're the ones who had memories by the hour. And laughter by the minute.

When she arrived, Stacy, the youngest girl in the Kutz family, started hugging and calling out names - all the right names, of course - and when she sees me, she calls out, "Oh, Pat." Pat was my mother. Still, my mirror often calls me Pat, too, so hearing it from Stacy didn't hurt at all.

Just another memory to make me happy.

Oh, I've got some additions to the Shriner's north football squad and the cheerleaders who performed on July 26 at the 36th annual Shrine Bowl at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. Last week I gave you a bunch of names, provided to me by proud mother Dianne Cochrane, but she didn't look for all the towns in our area.

So, other cheerleaders honored were Beth Kollasch and Stephanie Kollasch, both of Algona Garrigan, and Brittanie Gorden of Southern Cal in Lake City. Katie Cole, of Fort Dodge Senior High, had been selected to participate, but she had to turn it down.

Other players on the north squad of the big game were Derrek Olson, of Algona; Joe Studer, of Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne; Jake Loffredo, of Webster City; and Andrew Keller, of Clarion-Goldfield.

Those kids will have sweet memories of this honor, for sure, even if they never get together any time in the future for a reunion.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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