It’s a ‘furr piece’ from the middle-west to the great north-west. It’s about eight hundred miles from Oakwood to Minneapolis through the farm lands of Indiana, through the Dells of Wisconsin, the forests and lakes of Minnesota to daughter Nancy’s (Oakwood High School ’67) home on Cedar Lake, MN. The first night was spent west of Indianapolis in what was originally an l880’s country church – now the charmingly unique home of granddaughter, Lisa. The pulpit still commands the living room, that still has a few pews for extra seating, and the little church’s tiny steeple is recognizable. Then, with Lisa as navigator, the last six hundred miles was made in ten most enjoyable hours.
Nancy’s house is an international-native-culture-museum. Every square inch of floors, walls, and ceilings – is covered with ‘something gleaned from 30 years of circumnavigation.’ Sitting in her office at her computer ‘Round Town’ is facing a life-sized wolf head fastened to the large oak tree. The open mouth of ‘the wolf’ is four inches from the picture window – and the mouth is filled with bird seed – so every specie of MN bird is dining. Curled around the leg of the computer desk is a large, life-like wooden snake. On the walls are photos of Nancy, husband Ron, and son Code posed with artic wolves, bears, moose, coyote pups, elephants….Lately, pictures of eight man rowing sculls have been added. Code rowed for Trinity (Hartford) for four years, they were invited to row a Henley last summer – and now Code is taking his graduate degree in Economics at Cambridge, England and is rowing for Cambridge.
Nancy took her house guests to the ‘Jungle Theatre’ to see “Hitchcock Blond”. The actor who ‘played’ Hitchcock’ – was an exact replica there-of. The entire cast was great. There wasn’t ‘nice guy’ in the play – and they all got what they deserved. ‘Hitchcock’ took his curtain-call by rising from the swimming pool – center stage.
The three generations of ‘girls’ did the designer re-sale shops of Greater-Minneapolis – and there are many. And, they’re much more attractive and better stocked than the ones ‘shopped’ in New York City last month! After such an exhausting day, Ron cooked dinner – his specialty – pheasant he and his dog ‘Winston’ had ‘hunted’ last month – cooked with sauerkraut etc. It was delicious.
And, next a Fairview High School Dayton, Ohio, - reunion was held in down town Minneapolis. Shirley Wall Dunn and her class-mate, ‘Round Town’ met at the Dunn’s great condo overlooking – everything – and then headed for lunch where the staff thought they’d never leave. Bill Cassel. Sue Whorley, Jeanne Smith, Charles Schommer, Ed Kuhns, Harriet Feldman, Carol Heyers, Dick Sellers, Ken Shively… they all got the once-over. Shirley’s husband has been a college professor at several universities – and following retirement at a school near Minneapolis – they opted to stay in the ‘capitol of the north- western United States’.
“Now you’ve got to see: ‘Slum-Dog Millionaire’ said Nancy. “It’s a big contender for an Oscar…” So ‘Slum-Dog’ it was and it was very interesting. “And also, we’ve got to see ‘Milk’. I’ve already seen it, but it’s more than worth seeing twice.” The ‘girls’ decided they liked ‘Milk’ the best – but Sunday night will tell.
The Guthrey Theatre is internationally famous. Their old theatre is now long gone and they’re in a magnificent building overlooking the Mississippi River. They’ve a ‘…bridge to nowhere’ which allows audiences to walk out almost to the river bank for a stunning view of the city, the now famous fell-down bridge, and…
The drill was to dine in the elegant restaurant, cruise the other dining areas and the many bars, and then find your seats in one of the three theatres. The play presented was: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff”. And that’s a mind-boggling-chore. Nobody has yet to determine why ‘Virginia’ got the title…but everyone feels terribly ‘edified’ after viewing the original dysfunctional-family.
Snow was falling as we left the Guthrey and the trip home was slow. This morning the temp. is zero and there’s four inches of new snow. That doesn’t bother any one in MN. Everyone has their own private ‘snow-blowing machine’ that looks as though it cost more than a small car – and they’re all out having a great time. Everyone has an electrically heated bird-watering-station. Everyone has a Labrador who’s out with the snow-blowers. That ‘Oakwood Avenue Labrador, ‘Miss Fraser’ has made so many new friends she won’t want to come home!
Now, tonight Garrison Keillor is on the schedule – with his ‘…Home Companion’. Nancy’s hoping he’ll be there for he’s a friendl
And then it’s back to Oakwood.