Shoe Column: Odds & Ends
By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Some random thoughts as we head into September 2017…
Reader Bill Matykowski recalled on Facebook the glory days of “50 degree parties” in Stevens Point. Don’t know if they do them anymore, but back in the day, lots of people would flock down to Iverson Park and drink kegs of beer when spring came and the temps reached 50. There were coolers everywhere.
Of course, what did you expect from a college town? Those days were a blast!
And around here in the ’60s, there were “beer bars” and you only had to be 18 to get in.
Speaking of Iverson, the softball field over there was beautiful! Geez, when the “Point Classic” was held at Iverson, there were so many people at the games that cars were parked way over on the Jefferson Hill.
Iverson also had a huge crowd when Eddie Feigner and his “King And His Court” performed on the diamond. It’s great to see Iverson used again for Drew Lemke’s Wednesday Fall Softball League and Erin Laffe’s second season of Women’s Fall Softball.
Iverson was also home to the “Walt Wilmot” League on Sunday afternoons. That’s when softball was just for fun. The Yacht Club players would sometimes ride in on horses, and Buffy’s Lampoon, featuring the Siasefi’s, occasionally wore dresses during games.
I recently ran into John Lake at the Final Score, and he recalled that back in the ’70s, not one, but two pitchers tossed no-hitters on the same day in the Wilmot League. Nick Kranski threw a no-no for Flame B’s, and we think Ken Zivicki tossed the other one.
Who can forget Polish weddings upstairs at Skipp’s and Friday night bands at the American Legion? Not to mention the Legion’s great fish fries!
Did you know that when Dave Koch Sports was located in the mall, they made 72 individual softball cards in 1989? Some of them are true classics!
As a kid, I was so fast I played tennis by myself.
You might remember that the cops beat the fire guys in their annual softball game at Bukolt on August 26. What you might not know is that Sue and Terry Prondzinski won $560 in the 50/50 raffle — then promptly donated $500 back to help the vets. How cool is that?
I don’t remember how old you are when you get confirmed, but at my confirmation, my cousins Dottie Blenker and Joanie Carley gave me a small metal treasure chest filled with coins. The next day, I went out into the backyard and buried that treasure chest. That was over 50 years ago and I still can’t remember where it is buried.
One thing that was a lot of fun was going out to the pond at the golf course late at night in the summer and finding golf balls. I went with several different guys and always came back with a bunch of golf balls. We would get the balls around midnight and then throw them in Clark Pinzar’s girlfriend’s swimming pool.
The next day we’d sort them and throw out the cut ones and put them in egg cartons and sell them. We always sold out at a dozen for $5. Tom Jensen was a tremendous golf ball hunter. We called him “Ten-Ball”. He’d dive down to the bottom of the pond and wouldn’t come back up until he had ten golf balls in his gunnysack. The dude was a machine.
Speaking of golf, did anyone ever get a hole-in-one on a par five?
It’s possible to get addicted to crossword scratchoffs.
I saw “Chief” Ingles walking down the sidewalk the other day. I still remember when Doug’s Sports Pub started playing coed softball at Moore Barn and the Chief let us use his bullhorn. The Chief is a class act!
If you wanna make a nice homemade fishing lure, put a penny on the railroad tracks and wait until a train runs it over: it’s an instant spinner. We used to do that by Donny Ceplina’s “Ducko Dock” all the time.
Pssst. Doug Barsness of Point used to sell Bibles…and he was darn good at it.
Back in the day, a plane would fly over Point and drop ping pong balls good for prizes.
In fifth grade, our St. Stephen’s “A” Team in basketball played our “C” team in the city tournament and won 100-2.
You drive around town and realize some schools aren’t around anymore. Garfield. Emerson. Lincoln. Not sure about Jackson.
My five favorite TV shows “back in the day” were F-Troop, Combat, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and Green Acres.
The first 45 record I ever bought at Graham-Lane in Stevens Point was “The Wanderer” by Dion & the Belmonts. The second record I bought was “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. It was the first Beatles’ single to go to number one in the U.S.. That was in 1963. The Beatles sold 1.6 billion singles in the United States. 21 of their singles reached number one, the most of any band.
The two movie theatres downtown in Stevens Point were the Fox and the Lyric.
My softball teams in the ’80s traded Mike Pflager and Chris Lee for bags of beer nuts.
When Clinton was the prez, the White House sent me a brand new putter. They also sent golf balls, towels, and lighters. You can order that stuff right from the White House in Washington, D.C. That’s the same place where local attorney Jared Redfield literally bumped into JFK one day.
I could watch Joe Kenda solve murders every day.
The three funniest guys on Facebook are Kenny Opiola, Paulo Pavelski, and Tom Mortenson.
Rocky Bleier played in four Superbowls for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the early ’60s, his Appleton Xavier played Pacelli three times and won by a combined score of 110-0.
A buddy of mine named Jeff loves lobster. He also has a little dilemma. You see, he’ll buy some lobster tails and put them in his freezer. Problem is, he then never cooks them.
His reason: “If I eat them, then I won’t have them anymore. I’m content just knowing they’re in the freezer but I’ll probably just throw them out in a year or two and get some new ones.”
My former neighbor Charlie Rossier probably led the city in catching walleyes at the Spillway. He never came away empty.
I’ll leave you now with a kinda sad story. My buddy Doug Berry really has some bad luck. Last week, he drove over to Amherst to get some ice cream for his kids. It was a beautiful day.
He drove past some horses and cows and stopped to watch them for a bit. Then he went down the road and came to a pig farm. He was driving by slowly and noticed that two of the pigs were almost on the road.
He didn’t think much of it but thought he might’ve heard a little “thump”. No big deal. Five minutes later, he was inside the place that had the ice cream. When he came out, a cop was looking at his vehicle.
The cop said, “Is this your vehicle?”
Doug said yes.
“Were you by a pig farm a few minutes ago?” The cop asked.
“Oh no,” Doug said. “Did I hit one”?
The cop said, “You sure did.”
Doug was beside himself.
“How did you know I was there?” Doug asked.
The cop replied, “The other pig squealed.”