Shoe Column: This, That, and the Other Thing
By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
A lot of people in Stevens Point like to exercise. More power to them. It’s good for you.
The sad part is that once you get older, exercise isn’t much fun. However, as a public service, I’ll tell you about a great workout for people over 50. It’s pretty easy, and you can thank me later. Okay, here we go.
Step One: Stand on a level floor where you have lots of room on each side.
Step Two: While holding a 5-pound potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out and hold them there for a full minute.
Step Three: Then relax. You’re done for the day. NOTE: Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position just a little bit longer.
Step Four: Repeat holding the 5-pound potato bag for a minute every day for two weeks.
Step Five: Move up to a 10-pound bag for a few days. Then try 50-pound potato bags. Eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. I know you can do it!
Step Six: Once you have that down, put a potato in each bag.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This space is for YOU the reader. We like to share what’s on your mind. Nobody ever knows what they’ll see in here. It usually has something to do about Stevens Point. We’ve talked about shooting marbles, building neighborhood forts, climbing the water tower, bubblers, streets, signs, the Wisconsin River, softball, days gone by, stores that no longer exist, neighborhood grocery stores, nicknames, and you name it.
Feedback is the straw that stirs the drink. Got a call the other day from Jeff Brown. He enjoyed the trips down memory lane but noticed that as much as we talked about Stevens Point’s downtown “back in the day”, we neglected to mention a store called the Diana Shop. Jeff said that Kuhl’s Department Store was on the corner across from Shippy’s Shoes in the ’60s. Kuhl’s became Hannon Drugs, and the Diana Shop was next to Hannon’s. Jeff worked there while he was in high school. He was somewhat like the janitor and wrapped presents and washed their glass island windows and did a lot of odd jobs at the Diana Shop. Jeff said that he was “the glue that held everything together”.
Jeff also noted that we once mentioned the old Belmont Hotel in Point. (I never heard of it until it was spotted in the 1941 Stevens Point phone book.) He explained that the Belmont Hotel on Strongs Avenue eventually became the infamous Hot Fish Shop and later Hibachi Joe’s and is now Kristin’s Riverwalk next to the Elk’s Club on Clark Street. He knew that because his daughter owns Kristin’s. Some mighty fine info there.
Don’t tell anyone, but Nancy Check of Barsness Insurance on Church Street has a softball card of Russ Check. It was one of many in the 1989 Dave Koch Sports set.
I tried to think of animals I’ve seen in my backyard over the years. This is right in the middle of Stevens Point. Came up with dogs, cats, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. That’s it. Don’t think you can count ducks. However, I once saw a deer a few blocks away. This was something else! It was several years ago. I was visiting a friend in a house across from the First Baptist Church. While standing outside, I noticed an elderly lady who was gardening in the backyard of the next house. She was on her hands and knees planting flowers or something. No big deal.
But then…right out of the blue…a deer came running from across the street. You had to see it to believe it. That deer ran right through her backyard and literally jumped over her and the small fence which was next to her — now get this — and she never saw it. I was stunned. True story. She just kept on planting. Not a worry in the world.
I approached her and said, “Uh, hi. Did you see that deer?”
She said, “What deer?”
I said, “A deer just jumped over you.” She didn’t believe it.
“Well, it just happened,” I explained. “Look. Right there are it’s hoof-prints.”
She shook her head and said, “Well, I’ll be darned” and went back to her planting.
We mentioned in an earlier column about how nice people can be in Stevens Point. Here’s a couple of more examples. A few years back, I mentioned on social media that I was looking for a nice sofa because my old one was shot. The very next day, a nice lady named Lanie Becker Patterson called and told me to drive over to her house in town and pick up a beautiful couch she was giving away. Lanie also threw in a matching rocker. That’s class, folks.
Also, back in the early ’70s, I was hitch-hiking during a freezing blizzard to Little Joe’s, a bar in Park Ridge. A nice car drove up and the driver told me to hop in.
I got in and the guy said, “Hi. Do you go to school around here?”
I answered, “Yeah. I’m a senior at UWSP.”
He shook my hand and said, “My name is Lee Sherman Dreyfus and I’m the new chancellor at UWSP. Glad to meet you.”
LSD then drove me all the way to Little Joe’s and came in for a brew himself. Class. I also saw him at the PourHaus (a college bar) holding court with the students and he apparently liked to go to the American Legion for their great Friday fish fries. Real down-to-earth guy.
A buddy of mine told the warden he shot at a bird but hit a deer instead. The warden didn’t believe him.
Where else but Stevens Point could you find a guy who we’ll call “Skip?” This was years ago on the westside. One fall morning, Skip woke up in a great mood. He happened to look out his front door and saw the woods across the road. He also saw a rabbit nibbling on the side of the woods. Skip ran to his closet and grabbed his shotgun. He raced back to the door, took aim, and KABOOM: blew a huge hole right through his front screen. The rabbit twitched a little and went on its merry way.
I wonder if Point people truly appreciate the beautiful parks we have around here. A drive through Bukolt can be so relaxing. The pretty lagoon, awesome trees, and a wonderful ballpark. Then there’s Mead Park and the KASH playground. It also doesn’t get any better than Iverson. Iverson Park is gorgeous and a flat-out treasure. A place for all seasons. The Parks Department does a fantastic job of keeping those places in shape.
Rich Derezinski is a great guy who used to run the “Super Bowl” which is now Opi’s. He was ahead of me at Pacelli and has one memory of his days on the basketball team. Rich said, “We were playing Appleton Xavier. They had a record of like 30-0. I was playing center, and Rocky Bleier of Xavier drove right up the middle and ran me over like a bulldozer. I couldn’t walk for a week.” (Rocky went on to win four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers).
It’s amazing what you remember when you were a kid. I loved watching that new thing called a black and white television. Mighty Mouse. Wyatt Earp. Doc Holiday. Bat Masterson. Mighty Mouse was a cartoon, but I never knew those other guys actually existed. “Everybody in life gets the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summer and the poor get it in the winter”. That quote came from Bat Masterson. He was a buffalo hunter in the “Wild West” and became a lawman in Dodge City. Bat was a friend of Wyatt Earp’s and later became a New York columnist. He was also a buddy of Teddy Roosevelt and knew all of that era’s prizefighter champions. Man, talk about a storied career.
“Here I come to save the day! That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!”
And the next time you get the urge to shoot at a widdle wabbit, it might help to open your door first.