Just for the record, Harvey, there is no such animal as ‘the common thong-bird’. No, but if you have a really strong lisp in your toungue, you might be able to thay it without inthident, given friendths who would thertainly underthand you, but to create a new category of bird based upon that is not possible. So, we have ‘thong-birds’ but not ‘common’ thong-birds, right? Just for the record, okay? Now, Skip Wallen is also one of my heroes and so I can’t complain about your cavalier judgment about my entry in your contest, therefore, I will concede. But I am almost certain that he would agree, since he is an extraordinary artist, probably the best ever produced by Manitowoc, aside from me, of course.
Later that night at the LHS Class Reunion celebration I was pleased to see our fellow Coachman Wojta deliver a commanding performance, supervising and actually speaking to those of us gathered there in language that we could appreciate and approve. He did a marvelous job, which turned out to be a real surprise to me! The venue was perfect, the food and service quite good, and I could find no fault with it at all!
Later, I got to meet up with a couple of my childhood sweethearts, whom I hadn’t embraced since kindergarten, and met up with Vic Schiegg, whom I hadn’t seen since 1960, and was very pleased to hear of his success in business and life. But the most enjoyable time I had was with Lady Sharon. She promised me a dance months ago, and so we did. We ‘boogied’ fast and slow and had a great time together. I know that you are all probably jealous of my privilege, but all I can say is ‘that’s the breaks guys’.
I really enjoyed the tour of ‘Skip’ Wallen’s studio on Sunday morning, where I actually had a chance to converse with him about his project and art in general. He is one of the great sculptors of our time, make no mistake. And the fact that he is our friend, grown up in the same environment of Manitowoc, only makes that more precious.
Sorry to miss the ‘picnic’ in the afternoon, but I was previously committed to spend some precious time with one of my favorite nephews, who made the trip to Francis Creek from Dekalb, Illinois, to attend the ‘family reunion’ with my sister and my daughters and me that weekend, and it was the only time that I had to spend with him. But you had a good time and I am sure did not miss my absence.
On Monday, I took my daughters to make a little pilgrimage to Langlade County (Antigo) to visit the gravesite of my great, grandfather, Ludwig Strasser, at Neva, St. Wenceslas church and grave yard. Ludwig came to the US from Bavaria in 1890, met my great grandmother, Viktoria Herman, in about 1893 at Oshkosh, and commenced to start a farm in Langlade County in 1895. I met him when I was 11 years old, six months before he died in Antigo (1953). Little did I know at the time that I would retrace his footsteps from Bavaria to Oshkosh in 1966, 13 years later.
All in all I had a very good experience, thanks to you, brother Harvey. Your call to me in 2013 proceeded to wake me up to memories and experiences long ago forgotten. I’ve spent the last two years retrieving them from the closets of my brain, and for that, in spite of your other failings, Harv, I am sincerely grateful for.
Moreover, I want to express my gratitude to you for keeping the ‘spirit’ of the Coachmen Club alive through your generous and selfless contributions to us all, for after all, the club is about friendship, ancient friendships which transcend time and place. I can’t say it better than the way my ol’ Buddy Pete said it once: ‘friends are great, but old friends are da best!’ Best regards to all. JL