October

Camden, fall is my favorite time of year. October is my favorite month. The leaves start to turn, and temperatures start to drop. You can enjoy the outdoors without sweating your ass off.

Another reason is that October is my birth month. I am getting older, but I am not getting old. The best is yet to come.

Even more important is that in October you have the baseball playoffs, college football and professional football all going on at the same time. The Cards are normally in the mix of the playoffs. We are spoiled fans.

I almost forgot that my St. Louis friends also have hockey. I tend to forget about hockey.

Camden let’s get back to baseball for a moment. A sport born in America. Not
Canada. Just saying. Before the wildcard game I bought tickets for the playoff series against the Giants. I was confident I would be extending my vacation. Well it did not work out. Next year is our year Camden. Yes, next year. Stub Hub owes me money so I will look into Opening Day 2022 tickets. Never been to Opening Day. That is something I need to do.

Anyway October will soon be over so I figured that I better get these photos out before I had to change the title.

I try to make the Tiger’s Homecoming game each year. Here are a few photos. Okay, more than a few. Sorry, Memory Maker had a mind of its own.

Camden let’s start with a little history. I once had a family of little Tigers. Here they are on the 26th of October 2002. For Homecoming that year we played the school that we shall not name. We kicked their ass. We should play them every Homecoming.

Camden here is the gang of 2021. Not everyone was able to make it this year. Now next year I expect more people. It was pointed out to me that 2022 will mark 40 years since graduation. Hope to see everyone at the Homecoming

Tailgate /Class Reunion.

A gift from Amy. Did I mention that October was my birth month.
Here you go Amy

Okay, I will try to get back on the Homecoming track.

Camden I have been making it back to Homecoming for…well a long time.

A few years ago I decided to make a week of it and spend time exploring my Homeland and seeing friends.

When I decided to do this I told a friend of my plan. My friend also happened to be my therapist. He asked me if I considered what I was going to do as my farewell tour.

I laughed and told him no that was not the case at all. I was a long way from having a farewell tour. I told him that it was more of a Get Reacquainted With Kev Tour. It would allow me to reconnect with friends. Just in case.

Camden I want to take you through part of this year’s trip. I am going to save my visit to my hometown for another day. It needs a post all its own. Over the years I have written that essay over and over. It is just not ready. Someday it will happen.

Let’s start with Thursday. Why Thursday? Well that is the day I took a walk around the university. Here we go.

I found this troubled youth the day after the wildcard game. He was sitting on a bench near the Quad. I asked if he knew where he was. He told me that he wanted to gloat for just one day. I wished him luck surviving the day.

Camden, Middlebush is where the business school was located when I was in college. It was where I had many of my classes. I would hangout just inside these doors. The business school no longer calls this building home. I went inside to look around. While hanging out beneath where the clock was once located a guy asked me to sign his notebook. He looked a little pale and was actually as white as a sheet. As he floated away I asked him his name. He said: Harry…Harry Hartel. He then disappeared. Could Middlebush be haunted? Well, it is October.

This is the current business school. I do not think I could walk into this building hung over. I would have to consider changing my major. I am getting a little dizzy just taking this picture, and I have not been drinking. Maybe.

After walking out of the business school I headed toward the bookstore. I have not been there in a few years. My visits are normally expensive.

On the way to the bookstore I took a picture. It seemed like a Kodak moment. Maybe next time that tent will not be there.

Once in the bookstore I took this picture. I thought what if I could get someone to turn the lights off behind the Tiger. So I asked. That was a mistake.

The lady listened to me. Then she asked who I worked for, and she wanted to know what I was going to do with the pictures I had taken. She asked to see my credentials.

She added that no one was allowed to take pictures inside the bookstore without getting permission and credentials. Credentials? We don’t need no stinking credentials. (Very old Mel Brooks reference)

Then I realized that this lady must think that I am a professional. I guess I should have used my iPhone. It actually does a decent job most of the time.

I tried to explain that I was just an alum in town for Homecoming. It was “Homecoming Week” I told her. She asked me to stop taking pictures.

I told her not to worry that I did not even have any film in the camera. Okay, maybe I did not think of that at the time. I wish I had. That would have been funny.

Or I should have told her that I was with Sports Illustrated and that I was in town to shoot the football game. After the game I would be on my way to an exotic location to shoot the next Swimsuit Addition. Hey, a guy can dream. Well, I did not think of that either.

So what did I do when she asked me to stop taking pictures. Well…

I took this photo. Then I got the hell out of there.

So Camden a couple of firsts happened to me on this visit to the bookstore. Number one is that I did not make a purchase. I always make a purchase. If nothing else I buy you something. That lady saved me some money.

The other first was that I got kicked out of the bookstore. Sort of, I guess. Well that is my story.

I was not going to wait around for someone to show up with handcuffs and give me an Honorary Degree in Stupidity. Or maybe they would just give me a sign.

You can bet that next year I will show up with credentials. As well as a good cover story. I hope I can find that same lady. I would like to tell her about my career with Sports Illustrated.

After leaving the bookstore I headed over to 9th Street to see how the students had decorated the windows of the downtown businesses.

The Heidelberg. Interesting story about the Heidelberg Camden. It is the only bar where I have ever gotten sick my entire life. I was nineteen. I did make it to the bathroom. That gross piece of information might become helpful when playing Dead Man Trivia.

The artists
Oh yes, the great philosopher Ricky Bobby. Or his dad. I guess you had to see the movie.

Have several more pictures, but this cannot go on forever so moving on.

Had dinner with my friend Vicki Thursday evening. Had not seen her in a couple of years. It was nice to catch up. Of course after dinner we went out for ice cream.

What did I do on Friday?

Spent the day with Mom, my brother Keith, and Uncle Jimmie in Mexico. The city not the country.

Friday night went back to campus to see the decorations and skits in Greek Town. Not as many people there as in the past. Damn Covid.

I had to include this. Amy was a Chi O at the school that shall not be named. My Nieces Megan and Melanie were Chi Omega’s at MIZZOU. Love my Nieces to pieces. You too Amy.

I could not stay at the Chi O house long. Had to get over to the Tri Sigma Sorority. My Niece Allison is a Freshman at MIZZOU this year and pledging Tri Sigma. Had to see the show.

Tri Sigma
Allison was Truman.
Somewhere in Greek town

As the evening wound down I headed over to Shakespeare’s to meet up with Dave. I cut through the Quad. Yes I stayed off the grass. I took a picture.

Camden, they told us that we had an hour wait to be seated at Shakespeare’s. So we went to Las Margaritas and had drinks. Dave called Shakespeare’s and ordered carryout. Pizza was ready in 20 minutes. Went to Shakespeare’s got our order and found an empty table. An hour wait my ass. We then called it a night. We are older. Also wiser. Maybe.

Camden when you are in Columbia checking out the university you have to eat at Shakespeare’s. The one on 9th street.  Be sure to stop at Sparky’s for dessert. The Heidelberg is also a good place to eat and drink. You can skip getting sick in the restroom. Please.

It is now Saturday. Homecoming 2021. I needed to get up early to grab a parking spot for the parade. I did not. Damn!

So I did not make the parade this year. I was sent this picture. I wonder why. Remember, my Kansas friends, that I did not take the picture. (I wish I had.)

Off to our tailgate location. Camden these are my friends from college. You saw the group picture earlier. I have known these good people for over forty years. One of them I have known much longer. I have known Dave since fourth grade. We have many stories. I am still collecting money from him to keep me from telling his daughters some of those stories. He bought the pizza.

Let me show you some pictures.

Here we have Leslie and Julie. Two of my favorite people that I have known my entire adult life. Which means I have known them for almost six months.
Julie needing tech help from her daughter Caroline. “Can you help me find that Snap Shit app Kevin talks about?”
Caroline, Tammy, or Julie have any of you seen Dave. No we have not. We have just been enjoying our conversation. It has been nice and quiet. Have not seen him. Caroline maybe you need to find your dad.
Steve, Tammy, and Kevin

Steve and Kevin are responsible for organizing the tailgate and Kevin gets everyone tickets. Could not happen without them. They have not seen Dave.

Camden here are my friends Nanci and Ron.

Ron and I lived together for two years in college. One semester he borrowed one of my upper-level economics textbooks. At the end of the semester he sold my book back to the bookstore. He was a true capitalist. Buy low (or borrow) sell high.

Nanci and I never lived together.

Camden this is Natalie. She is Dave’s fourth and youngest daughter. I asked her if she had seen her dad. She had not. She did not seem to be upset about her dad being missing. I do not think she gets upset over anything. Very bubbly personality. I have known her since she was a baby. For a few years she and her family lived two blocks from me in Wichita.

Many Saturdays I would go out for a run and I would end up at her house. Dave would give me a beer and we watched football. After a beer or two or three I figured my run should be over by now so it was time to head home. I did not win any races that year.

Leslie and Kevin found Dave. He said that he had been here the entire time. Well except when the game started. He went to the game.

That must be why I could not find him. I did not go to the game. Stayed at the tailgate having fun visiting with Nanci.

Well the game is over and we won. Not sure we will win another game this year. Just not looking good.

The delicious food has been eaten and the area has been picked up. Tents taken down the coolers are empty. Dave has been found.

Natalie reacting to the news that her dad had been found. He is buying dinner.

Camden, one year, maybe next year I can take you to Homecoming. I will have a talk with your parents.

Nanci stayed with me at our tailgate location. Thank you Nanci.  I found comfort in your company.

Camden I had to deal with a bout of discomfort while with my friends. I am still trying to recover from my latest surgery. This one was difficult. I was unable to go to the game. I guess I could have, but I would have been miserable. I try not to let people see me when I feel that way. It has gotten more difficult to hide. Social media as we all know can be deceiving. People have not nor most likely will they ever see pictures when I am not well.

These are a few of my friends Camden. They are the best.

Well my Uber has arrived which means that it is time to leave. I will see you next week. I think we are going to stop somewhere and get a cat out of a tree.

Later.

Papa

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