Friday, February 25, 2011

How does a kid get cancer?

We've surely had our share of scares with childhood illness here. But nothing like the tale of Christina from Buffalo Grove. No, I don't know these folks personally. I was asked to cover some bowling for that talented team. And then heard this girl's story.

Both father and daughter were very forthcoming in this miserable but inspiring tale. Christina hinted that a drug might have caused a football-sized tumor in her chest. What the hell kind of a side effect is that?

Eileen and I used to ride bikes to raise money for kids with childhood cancer. But we really didn't know anyone with such a disease. Put it this way, I had not interviewed a person hit with cancer. It makes you think.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Something cold on a very cold day

Tvan,now resting comfortably in the Arizona heat, sent me this photo of my favorite dessert spot. It's now part of history. My ex-sister in-law Patty, took me to Leon's for the first time after a trip to the Milwaukee zoo in the early 90s.
I even wrote about this custard place in a column. President Clinton visited once. It's a great place.
It's now part of tradition. Pack the car with fine brews. Head for Milwaukee, usually on a Wednesday night. We drink in the lot. And then the ball game. And then off to Leon's. It's a must.

So here's a quick list from over the years in no particular order.
1. Johnny, a sportswriter, orders and then goes around the corner to consume his ice cream. He once asked me if we just wanted to drive to Leon's and forget baseball.
2. Marty M, a sportswriter, breaks with tradition, and orders a 3-dip cone. I took that as a challenge and did that, too. I'm guessing that's just an extra 400 calories.
3. Poor TJ. He got caught up in nasty and hot wind. It melted the chocolate in a blink of an eye. It was quite a sight as much of his custard was on the ground.
4. Dave was disappointed not to see any restrooms at Leon's. So, he excused himself and found a spot in the back of the establishment. He says that's not a crime in Milwaukee.
5. Duffy punishes me for vomiting at the park and does not allow me to eat Leon's. Granted it was my fault. It was back in my no beer drinking days. I guess I had too many margaritas. He was right of course, that would be too much sugar.
6. Butter peken anyone? They speak funny up there. But the chocolate is wonderful. Even the vanilla screams with flavor. I don't care for nuts in my ice cream so I don't order the butter pecan.
7. It's cheap. Granted it's gone up the last few years. But we are still talking less than a buck for a scoop of perfect cream and eggs.
8. How many times have we headed back to car because it's too cold to eat outside. It is Wisconsin.
Let's do a few Brewers outings this summer. I will blog all the great stories from those trips. Like Captain Bob's great stories and the story of how Dave and I tricked a cop. And that crazy car wreck with the racing dog.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Instead of a warm bed, I chose to die

All this snow reminds me of the time I made a poor choice. It was back in the Orioles days. We had taken a trip to Pennsylvania for an Orioles caravan. I was just there as a sales rep but it might have been the time the late Cal Ripken Sr. drove us around. It was winter and it began to snow. Once we got back to the Maryland suburbs, the weather had turned for the worse.
So fellow sales rep, Mike, volunteered to have to me stay at his house rather than drive that night back to DC. Personally, I didn't like the guy. So, I politely turned down his kind offer. I reached the Baltimore city limit and then the lightning began. I was in a major storm. Next up was a complete white-out. I could not see a thing. Think of a blind man driving. I slowed down to 5 miles per hour on a major highway and creeped forward thinking I could hit or be hit at any moment. After a minute or so I could see again.
By all rights, I should have died that night. All because I didn't want to sleep over someone's house who I didn't respect. Well, at least I held on to my principles.