Sunday Bulletin Board: There’s nothing like hitting that first home run!

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Life as we know it

ZOO LOU of St. Paul writes: “Subject: Babe Ruth and My First Home Run.

“It was the first Saturday in June of 1957, and I was pedaling my bike fast and furiously down Third Street on St. Paul’s East Side to Parkway Little League, not wanting to be late for the big day of tryouts.

“What I encountered at this field of dreams was a rambunctious group of 8- and 9-year-olds, brimming with the unbridled energy of wild horses, all vying for a spot on teams with such scintillating names as the Chicks, Robins, Vols and Owls.

“It was the commanding presence of Mr. Mincher, longtime leader and mentor at Parkway, and some volunteer dads who managed to get everyone registered and organized into groups.

“I started out in center, and almost immediately a wave of self-consciousness swept over me. Duct tape covered the holes in my tennis shoes, patches covered the holes in my jeans, and my glove was this overstuffed monstrosity that kept slipping off my hand. But when I caught two fly balls, my confidence soared.

“After patrolling the outfield, I was about to face my biggest test. There I was in the on-deck circle, nervous as all get-out. Suddenly, I remembered the stories my dad and uncles told me about Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, the mighty Bambino, the greatest home run hitter of all time, stepping to the plate before 60,000 roaring fans at Yankee Stadium.

“I closed my eyes and imagined the Babe standing next to me. ‘Just relax, kid, and keep your eye on the ball,’ he said with a wink. ‘You can do it.’

“After some swings and misses, I was down to my last chance. Taking a deep breath, I glared defiantly at the pitcher, tightened my grip, and, with one Ruthian swing, drilled a hard liner to left field. Racing to first base, it felt like my tennis shoes, duct tape and all, were gliding above the ground. I was the happiest kid on the face of the Earth.

“Mr. Mincher patted me on the back and told me to stay alert and run the bases like a real game. A soft grounder got me to second, and a bloop fly got me to third. One base to go.

“Peering anxiously down the line, who did I see coming to bat but good friend Terry ‘Trucker’ Truhler. And he wasted no time belting a sinking liner to right. I took off for home like Jackie Robinson and jumped on the plate with a resounding ‘THUD’!

“‘I hit a home run! I hit a home run!’ I shouted over and over, pumping my fist in the air. ‘We did it, Babe!’

“Basking in the glow of my prodigious feat, I didn’t realize the other players were looking at me like I was some sort of nut. When I got home, I continued to boast about my home run, until all the kids, with equal parts amusement and sarcasm, explained to me what a home run really was. Needless to say, I felt pretty silly and embarrassed.

“But just to indulge a young (now very old) man’s fancy: I still truly believe I hit a home run that June day in 1957. And Babe Ruth was with me.”

See world

From ARDEN HILLS SWEDE (f.k.a. MOUNDS VIEW SWEDE): “I’ve been watching the pond near the front of our New Perspective Senior Living home in Arden Hills and was delighted one early-spring day to see the turtles all out and sunning themselves on a sunny day.

“The most I’ve counted at one time is 17, but another resident counted 18. I feel very fortunate to be in a place with a lot of nature nearby. so I can continue to get photos to share with Bulletin Board. I’ve been lax in actually sending them, but I hope to get more ‘with it’ now.”

Life (and possibly impending death) as we know it

JOHN IN HIGHLAND: “Subject: Aurora Borealis.

“There are days in every person’s memory that are so significant that one will never forget them. Recent sightings of the Aurora Borealis brought back such a memory for me.

“May 12, 1969, was the day that I was drafted into the U.S. Army. A group of 30 of us civilians got to shake hands with Mayor Tom Byrne at the St. Paul Armory before being bused to the train depot in Minneapolis. There we would await the start of a train ride to Fort Lewis, Washington.

“The train took 36 hours to reach the West Coast. I believe that it was the same train that was advertised as the ‘Vistadome North Coast Limited.’ Most of us took advantage of the dome car to watch the passing scenery. As the night grew dark across the fields of North Dakota, we were aware of a light show on the northern horizon. It was the first time I had ever seen the Northern Lights. The next day, the train made a brief stop in Havre, Montana. I took the chance to jump off and buy a newspaper. The headline read: ‘Nixon Announces Reduction of Troop Level in Vietnam’!

“On the third day, we pulled into the Seattle train depot, not knowing our fate, but wanting to get on with it.”

Please release me!

THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Long Lived The Queen Earworm.

“My little brain was playing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from 1 a.m. to the break of day, today:


“You’ve been playing in my head,

“Ever since I’ve gone to bed . . .


“I just toss and turn all night,

“Waiting for the morning’s light . . .

“Well, it goes on and on, but you get the picture.”

Everyone’s a critic! Architecture Division (including: There’s nothin’ like a simile!)

GRANDPA BOB reports: “Nine-year-old Sam, commenting on fast-food architecture, said: ‘I like the older McDonald’s. They look like a happy kid. The newer ones, the flat and dark ones, look like a depressed adult who doesn’t like their job.’”

The sign on the road to the cemetery said “Dead End” . . . Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Division

Our Official Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Monitor — RED’S OFFSPRING, north of St. Paul — reports: “Subject: Good advice.

“This is the most recent message on the electronic board of the church on Lexington in Shoreview:



Now & Then

RIVERMOUSE: “I did something last night that I haven’t done since I was a kid — 70 years ago or so. I popped kernels in a saucepan on my stove.

“Turfman’s cousin Paul, thanking Turfman more than two years ago for the genealogy manuscript Turfman had emailed him, gave us the kernels from his farm, along with some homemade summer sausage and maple syrup, when we were in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, for cousin Arnolda’s birthday party. We quickly devoured the summer sausage (it was better than Schmidt’s in Nicollet!) and syrup, but the popcorn just sat there over the years in its little plastic container while I munched on store-bought kernels popped in microwavable bags.

“Maybe two nights of thunderstorms, followed yesterday by a massive black cloud labeled ‘tornado watch’ speeding closely over the top of our house, inspired me to risk popping Paul’s kernels the way Mom used to pop ours (except Mom’s saucepan lid had a pan stirrer attached to its knob). In heated-till-it-shimmered slightly salted olive oil, I spread a single layer of kernels and lidded the pan. Much to this city girl’s amazement and delight, in less than a minute I heard a pop, and then another and another! Just like in the olden days. Lacking Mom’s stirrer lid, I lifted the pan slightly and shook it over the hot burner until the popping stopped. Then I lifted the lid: My pan was full of fluffy whites! Yum! No mystery ingredients and, after reheating the dozen laggards at the bottom, my layer yielded 100 percent edible.

“That was more than enough excitement for one day.”

The passing show

BILL OF THE RIVER LAKE reports: “While camping in Sauk Centre over the Mother’s Day weekend, we stopped at the local DQ for a treat. All went well, and just as we were leaving, the entire local high-school boys’ baseball team flooded in, taking up the whole store. There must have been 25 boys, all very hungry after winning their ballgame 12-1.

“I suggested to them that the winning pitcher and the player who hit a grand slam deserved a double treat.

“Pity the customers who arrived a minute after the players.”

CAUTION! Words at Play!

THE DRAGON LADY of Inver Grove Heights: “Here is a cute little story I like to tell about two brooms that were going to be married soon.

“One day, the bride broom said to the groom broom: ‘You know, I have something to tell you. We are going to have a little whisk broom.’

“The groom broom looked at the bride broom with astonishment. ‘Wha . . . what? Why, that’s impossible! We haven’t even swept together yet!”

Life as we know it

AUCTION GIRL writes: “Subject: AG does PT.

“Several lifetimes ago, Auction Girl left Pine Island and found a job at Little Store on the prairie. Actually, they were desperate for help during COVID. The manager hired her based on one call, and AG dreamed of running their mini-donut machine. Dang, no more mini-donuts made in store. But can ya bag groceries?

“OK. For the last several years, it’s been a blast. Getting up before dawn, cutting through snowfalls, rain, vacation-boat traffic and working from open till afternoon. You meet so many people and hear a lot of stories.

“AG felt a little off one day. She’d had a stroke. It was strangely like being exhausted, and feeling drunk. No fanfare or pain, just a weird disconnect from the world of balance.

“It ended up at a big hospital, and AG had to relearn to use a fork and other stuff. The customers at Little Store, their kids, the workers and of course Good Driver of St. Everywhere and family sent prayers, wishes, good vibes to her.

“Everything moves slower now. The sun still comes up. AG can still remember Pete Seeger’s song ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ and hopes to be able to play it again and maybe sing, too.

“Please be aware of what a stroke may look like. Call 9-1-1 if you have or witness one.”

Life (and death) as we know it . . . Plus: The simple pleasures — and: The highfalutin displeasures (responsorial)

BIRDWATCHER IN LA CRESCENT: “Subject: Hello, again.

“It has been way too long since I have corresponded with Bulletin Board, but life got in the way.

“COVID came, and we all had to deal with that — some who received the ugly germ, and others who witnessed those people from afar.

“In 2021, my groom of 61 years fell while outside walking and suffered a traumatic brain injury and brain bleed. While in the hospital for 76 days, he then experienced having a pacemaker inserted, suffered a small stroke and a heart attack.

“The writing was on the wall: We have to move and get out of this large two-story house with all the stairs. So, we moved to a twin home with zero steps, out in the country of La Crescent. I said when we moved: Now I know why we had four children — so we would have help moving when we got old.

“Behind us is prairie restoration, with lots of wildlife to view. We kept saying, ‘Why didn’t we do this years ago?’ Oh yeah, twin homes weren’t built here years ago.

“My groom passed away late fall of 2023, so I am now learning a new life.

“My simple pleasure this spring has been that I bought a bluebird house after seeing a bluebird glide by. Within three days after I attached the house onto the side of the shed, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird took up residency, and on Sunday during the all-day rain, they left their cozy confines.

“Last year we had sandhill cranes behind our home, and our daughter named then Frasier and Niles. They had two little fuzzy, yellow ones they brought for us to see, but one day there was only one, and the next day Frasier and Niles were alone — so sad, but that’s nature.

“I totally agree with TWITTY of Como: Music isn’t necessary for most documentaries — and if they think it is, how about turning the volume down so we can hear the commentator, whose voice should be louder than the music. I have closed-captioning on all the time, as my ears don’t hear as well as they should, even with hearing aids. And I don’t want to turn my volume up to my level of hearing, because I am sure the neighbors across the street don’t want to hear what I am watching.

“Thank you for all the BB entries. They are so enjoyable.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Thank you, ma’am. And welcome back!

BAND NAME OF THE DAY: The Overstuffed Monstrosities

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