Thursday, September 22, 2016

Entertainment - EV Melotte

I went over 750,000 page views recently - GOOD LORD PEOPLE are you really that bored?


I wasn't going to blog today but with all the rain I thought I would give a recap of who got what.

That tall house is Jason's (Cardinal Comics) and it is still standing!   I took is yesterday about 1:00.  

First of all we have now reached our yearly total in rainfall.  If we do not get 1 more drop of rain for the rest of the year we will still be over our yearly average.

Columbus has been spared though.  Here are the days we received rain this month (always ending at 7:00AM)

9/07  2.98 inches
9/08  1.40
9/10  0.02
9/11  0.22
9/13  0.21
9/14  0.03
9/16  0.57
9/17  0.13
9/20  0.76
9/21  0.65
9/22  0.74

A CoCoRaHas reporter 5.7 miles WSW of Portage received 5.7 inches yesterday, Chippewa Falls 6.68 inches Eau Claire 4.90, Necedah 4.51, Viroqua 5.60.

And there is plenty more on the way.

On a different note - my lawn REALLY needs to be mowed, Maybe Saturday?  This year I seem to be mowing, with my lawn mower at the highest setting, every 5 days.  The next time we see sun should be Tuesday but that means a good chance of rain for only 5 more days (yes, Saturday has gone down hill a bit).


I was accepted into the GABL.  A Strat-o-matic (SOM) league that has been around for a long LONG time.  I'm busy reading over the 42 page Constitution.  I think our city attorney would love this document.  LOL

I started playing Strat-o-matic in 1965 and was a manager in the DELCAL league for 15 years starting in the early 80s.  Then when the first baseball strike happened I drifted away and have had my application in to some of the major leagues for a few years.  I was awarded an expansion team last night!  Me and Bob Costas and Spike Lee have something in common  LOL  

My parents purchased an AR50, my first 4 function calculator because of SOM and I put away the slide ruler (which I still have).

Buzz Bissinger who wrote Friday Night Lights says SOM changed his life and I will guarantee it changed my life when I was growing up and my love for numbers developed.

That shot on the right is me playing SOM in 1969.


It's brew day as I brew up my East Indian Porter III.  One of my favorite recipes.




Entertainment - EV Melotte

This assignment makes me feel as if I’d been tooling happily along on a little red tricycle and have run slam into a brick wall.

It wasn’t that Pa forbade entertainment—he just considered it frivolous, foolish and a waste of time.  My mother wasn’t in sufficient emotional health to consider it at all.

There was the radio.  Sometime, in the Goodrich years, Pa put a wind charger on the roof, connected it to the tired battery of the car we no longer had, and ran a secondhand radio off of it.  The radio was missing all its tuning knobs, but it only got one station anyway.  After supper we could hear a half hour of the news.  On Sunday nights we got a full hour of news on “The March of Time.”  If there was enough oomph left in the battery we’d leave it on for the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy program.  On a windy night we might even get to hear the whole program before the battery went dead.

Probably my favorite radio experience of all time was one of the first newscasts I ever heard, when King Edward VIII made his abdication speech to “Marg the woman I love.”  I got all starry inside, and thought it was incredibly romantic.  Pa said the man was a damn fool.

When you’re living ten miles from town and don’t have the money for gas, or the money for tires, when you eventually don’t have a car at all, there is not much you can do for entertainment except walk to church, or visit neighbors or have family songfests or play games around the kitchen table.  We had no church, my parents were staunch atheists.  We didn’t visit.  As a matter of fact, no man, woman or child except family ever set foot in our house, and at least my parents and I never set foot in anyone else’s house, and we weren’t the kind of family that plays games together.

Saturday nights in town?  Up to the age of fourteen I had been within a town less than a dozen times.  At least eight of those times were trips to the dentist.  One was a spelling contest in which I got massive stage freight and failed miserably.  One was to the county courthouse for my 8th grade graduation.  None included entertainment.

When I arrived in Whitewater, supposedly ready to start high school, I had never been in a city store, had never walked down a sidewalk to look at store windows, had never seen a restaurant, had never tasted ice cream.  I’ve still never seen a circus.

At Holway, we had no radio or newspaper.  My entertainment was talking with my Amish friends to and from school and at noon recess.

In Iowa there was no time for entertainment.  In addition to all my usual chores I was given full responsibility for the housing, feeding, health, welfare and production of forty-something chickens, and of an immense vegetable garden.  My father plowed and harrowed it, my mother planted it, the rest of the year’s work was mine.  After my last brother left—all my brothers ran away from home at age fourteen—I became a general farmhand as well.

The most enjoyable activity I had in Iowa was to ride the little quarter-horse mare, bareback of course, down to the pasture to bring up the cows.  Technically that was work, rather dangerous work in fact.  That horse was a genius at ways to deviously unseat her rider, and then look surprised and innocent—even reproachful, before wandering off.  One of the cows was a mean one with sharp curved horns, and she would attack me if she could reach me while I was on the ground.  The cow belonged to the farm and the farm belonged to my grandmother, so we couldn’t sell her or otherwise dispose of her, much as I would have liked to.  Luckily there were a lot of trees here and there around the pasture, and I could move really fast then.

But I loved that horse, and loved riding her, and she deserves a chapter all to herself.

When I arrived in Whitewater, I felt really disoriented.  I knew how to work, but I’d never learned anything about how to play.  Luckily we lived only one block from the Public Library.

I don’t like writing about the next four years, after my father left us.  I don’t like even thinking about them.  They were pretty grisly for me.  Lack of money was only one of the problems and bad though it was, it wasn’t the worst.  Still, it had an effect on entertainment.

I didn’t have the money for the entertainment offered.  Sometimes an out-of-town boy would take me to a movie or a dance.  Sometimes my girlfriend and I would go for long, long walks in the country.

 Sometimes we’d walk to Fort Atkinson, and if either of us had a dime we’d treat ourselves to a coke at Herro’s Restaurant and then walk home.  Sometimes we didn’t have a dime,--she was almost as poor as I was—so we’d get a long drink at the corner water fountain, sit on the Methodist Church steps for a few minutes to rest, and then walk home.  Sometimes we’d stroll down to the Armory to watch the roller skating.  Sometimes we’d go to the bowling alley and watch the bowlers.  If my friend wasn’t available sometimes I’d sit under the bridge and watch the water go by.

Then I met Dev Melotte, and Dev was more entertainment, just sitting on our front steps, than I’d ever known in my life.  He was fun, he was funny, he was laughter, so I married him.


The entire story about mom and dad is amazing.  I hope I can find some stories about that courtship. I believe my dad asked for my moms had after 12 hours or something but she said he had to wait at LEAST 24 hours.  He waited for 24 hours . . and then she said yes.

But they wanted to wait until he was out of the air force (he flew the same make of plane that rescued DJs dad) and mom was out of high school.

 DJ and I have this Lincoln/Kennedy thing going on.  I'm 7 years older then DJ, My dad was 7 years older then my mom, DJs dad is 7 years older then her mom.  My brother is 7 years older then I am, DJs brother is 7 years older.   DJ and both grew up next to slaughter houses, and it goes on an on.

1 comment:

  1. Rod, how much of your mother's written history did you know about? Did she tell some or most of these stories over the years, or are you discovering things in her writings? Or did you get to read much of this while she was still around?

    There's a paragraph in there that is just gut-wrenching.