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Road Trip Blog 2015-16

 
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OZZIE'S NATIONAL TOUR
NOVEMBER 1, 2015 TO APRIL 1, 2016
 
 
Welcome to my trip blog. Scroll down to see the beginning of this adventure, November 1st. In the past month, I've had so much fun and met so many interesting people.
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Day #56, Dec. 26, 2015
 
I spent a wonderful Christmas week with my 93-year-old cousin Olga near Battle Lake, Minnesota.
The day after Christmas my first cousin-once-removed David Kaste gave us a sleigh ride.
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Day #30, Nov. 30, 2015
 
 Today, Gabe and I went on a road trip to the Iron Range area of N/E Minnesota. When Gabe and Mary Ann lived in Hibbing, they worked for the Senator Paul Wellstone campaigns. In fact Paul and Sheila Wellstone stayed in the Brisbois house when they were in the area. Paul, Sheila, their daughter, Marcia, and three campaign workers were killed in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minnesota, on October 25, 2002. We toured the memorial which is located close to the crash site.
Then we drove down Bob Dylan Way to see the boyhood home of the famous musician.
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Gabe and the monument stone, which carries a poem                                              Bob Dylan's boyhood home in Hibbing, MN.
written by one of his former Hibbing High School students.
 
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Day #27, Nov. 27, 2015
I've settled in for three weeks with my good friends, Gabe and Mary Ann Brisbois. Gabe and I graduated together at Fosston High School, Minnesota, class of 1954. They have a cabin to the side of their house south of Lengby, MN., and it is the most wonderful place for a guest to stay. They affectionately call it The Swamp Hilton.  
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                            A frosty Minnesota morning at the Brisbois' yard.
 
                      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        
 
 
 My best friends, Gabe and Mary Ann Brisbois
 
 
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Day #26, Thanksgiving Day, 2015
 
I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with sister Mary and her family. The turkey was first-rate and a special tip of the hat to Joey's pumpkin pie! Tomorrow, I head up north. Roads should be okay, only a dusting of snow.
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(Back Row) Mike and daughter Lisa (Front) Son Joey, Mary, Son Nick                                    Sister Mary and Me (photo by Joey A.)
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Day #24, November 24, 2015
 
Kelly Roysland was a star basketball and volleyball player for my hometown Fosston High School. She went on to play four years of basketball for the University of Minnesota. After serving as the assistant coach for women's basketball at the UofM, she was named head coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, where she is steadily turning the program around.
 
I had the pleasure of sitting behind the Macalester bench for a game at Northwestern University.  It was great watching Kelly work with her dedicated players. The Scots almost pulled out a victory, after being down by more than ten points.                                                                               KellyInTheHuddle.jpg                         OTandKellyFixed.jpg
Kelly Roysland, instructs the Macalester Scots. (Photo by Karen Lueck)                               Me and Kelly                       
 
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Day #20, November 20, 2015
 
 
Friday night, the 20th, I celebrated the 56th birthday of my oldest son, Greg, in high fashion. My friend Michael Adams, who plays viola for the Minnesota Orchestra here in Minneapolis, treated me to a third-row complimentary ticket. I was about 20 feet from where Michael sat and played Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathetique.
 
Michael is the son of Gail Vikan Adams and Harry Adams, both accomplished musicians from early ages. Gail was my first girlfriend, when I transfered from my old one-room country school to Fosston High School in the fall of 1950. I experienced my first official DATE, when Gail invited me to be her partner at the Annual Sadie Hawkins Day Square Dance. Gail was not feeling well the day of the dance, so her mother, Wilma Vikan, tagged along with Gail to the dance. We sat on the bench all night with Mrs. Vikan sitting strategically between me and her daughter. We didn't even hold hands.
 
Before the concert, I asked a kind lady seated in front of me to take a picture of Michael during curtain call. Her name is Susan Obermeyer, and I really appreciated her photograph, as a memento of an extraordinary evening for this old farm boy.  
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Michael Adams with the Minnesota Orchestra, 11-20-15
 
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DAY #18, November 18, 2015
 
I drove down to Edina to visit my longtime friend, Cathy Mahowald. I first met Cathy and her deceased husband, Terry McFarland, in the fall of 2003. Terry was president of the University of Minnesota women's basketball booster club, "The Fast Break Club". It was the freshman year of our Fosston hometown hero, Kelly Roysland, and I really got caught up with Gopher Women's Basketball. I was at the Ohio State game on February 12, 2004, when Gopher star Lindsay Whalen went down with an injured wrist, and freshman Kelly was sent in to replace her. That was the year the Gopher women went to the Final Four in New Orleans. 
 
Cathy fixed me a fine lunch of pheasant soup and we had a great time visiting that afternoon. 
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Well-fed Ozzie with Cathy Mahowald, 11-18-15                                 Cathy, Sue Corbin, Terry McFarland and me at Penn State, 2007
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Day # 13, November 13, 2015
Yippee! I hit the daily-double, a Minnesota Gopher basketball double-header, women and men were playing back-to-back at Williams Arena, better known as "The Barn". Ticket: 10 bucks! Heck of a deal. Both teams won; however, the men were flat in the first half. 
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Day # 11, November 11, 2015
 
I spent two great days with my old friend Pastor Eric Elkin and his wife Peggy, who live in Newport, MN, just outside of St. Paul. Eric was the pastor of the Friedens Lutheran Church in my hometown of Hegins, PA, some years back, and we've still stayed in touch. Eric took me on a tour of The Cities. We drove up close to the new Viking Football Stadium, which will open next fall. 
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 Eric and Peggy Elkin with daughter, Britta and son, Peter.........Artist illustration of new Viking Stadium
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Day # 9, November 9, 2015
 
I spent a wonderful day in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, visiting Sarah and Billy Gibbons and their two high school kids, Mason and Emily. Sarah is the granddaughter of my brother, Cliff, who turned 95 this past July 8th. Sarah has a dog-grooming business and has one of the biggest Newfoundland dogs I've ever seen. After a tasty hot-dish dinner, we watched two stand-up comics on the tube that I did not know about, Tom Wilson and John Pinette. Lots of laughs!
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 Sarah and her big dog, Brian                                                                                          
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                                            Sarah and Billy Gibbons, Wild and Viking fans!
 
 
 
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Day #6, November 6, 2015
 
Pulled into Appleton, Wisconsin at 4:15 p.m., to spend the weekend with Jim and Gloria Bjornerud. We go back to Fosston High School and Bemidji State College, where Jim and I graduated in June of 1960. We watched Netflix movies and enjoyed lively conversations, covering a wide range of topics. Highlights: Sunday brunch served up by their daughter Marcia, who is a professor of geology at Lawrence University. Also, Jim and I enjoyed a Viking win and a Green Bay loss at the Wooden Nickel Tavern. We'll never forget Bambi, the most avid Viking fan on the face of the Earth. Here is a shot of Jim and Gloria I took back in 2006.
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Jim and Gloria Bjornerud, summer of 2006
 
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Day #3, November 3, 2015
 
My first stop on the "National Tour" was Macomb Community College, just north of Detroit, MI. My friend Cheryl Ferguson had set me up with a two-day seminar on my book, "Mr. Teacher". The students were very receptive and we had a ton of laughs. Thanks, Fergi, for arranging my presentation at your school.
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 Me at the Macomb Comm. Coll. Reading and Writing Studio...............................My buddy Fergi just chillin'
 
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Day #1, November 1, 2015
 
After months of planning, it was hard to believe I was finally on my way. (The most repeated opening cliche of travel journals.) My neighbor Tammy took this shot of me, all packed up and ready for my 5-month van-camping tour of the whole country. Terry Schwartz had winterized my house the day before. Everything was shut down and I would not be back until April 1, 2016.
 
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