Friday, May 14, 2010

My Pops

Today is my dad’s Birthday! So, in honor of his day of birth I want to share a childhood story of mine.

When we were growing up my dad lived downtown Minneapolis in the Marquette Place apartment building. Every other weekend my brother and I would load up the trunk of my dad’s blue Grand AM (which we affectionately called “The Chitty” short for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) with our pillows, sleeping bags, stuffed animals and anything else we couldn’t live two days without and head to the city. The weekends always consisted of the same things…
*A swim in the Marquette Place pool. It was an indoor pool with a glass roof, which leaked in the winter so freezing cold snow water would leak into the pool making it nearly unbearable. We would also spend significant time in the hot tub where my brother would use the bubbles to make a beard and look like Santa Clause. We often played a pool game we called “it” where I would cover my face with my wet hair and chase my dad and brother around the pool…basically Marco Polo but without the hints, why I did this I have no idea. Our pool time always ended with a trip to the vending machines, where I had a notorious wet feet plus tile floor spill right on my ass.
*Our weekend meals ALWAYS included one Salisbury steak TV dinner, one pint (each) of Haagen-Dazs Cookie Dough ice cream, Jimmy Dean sausage sandwiches and a trip to either Eduardo’s Pizza across the street or the old LeAnn Chin in the Foshay Tower. Sunday morning we always ate at Georgia’s on the Green and our favorite waiter, Blaine always served us. Blaine loved us. He always made sure we have a paper tablecloth so Nate and I could color, and we’d always draw the same things—the Minneapolis skyline. Blaine even let Nate and I go back and check out the kitchen once.
*We always followed breakfast at Georgia’s with an intense game of Skyway Ball. Now, if you’ve ever been downtown to the Minneapolis Convention Center than you have seen the maroon skyway that crosses over Marquette Avenue and comes to a slant….that was center stage for Skyway Ball. We would grab our handy run-of-the-mill bouncy ball and with my dad at one end of the skyway and Nate and me at the other, we would play. The goal was to bounce the bouncy ball past the opposing defender and hit the door behind them. This may sound simple, but trust me, when you are dodging other skyway patrons, handicap buttons and my 6 foot 6 inch father….this game is anything but simple. We played this game every Sunday morning and had some epic battles, that is, until the mysterious voice came over the intercom and asked us sternly to no longer play our game.
*Now, this last story may seem silly but believe me it is very, very serious. Every weekend that we spent downtown Minneapolis, whether we were in the pool, walking the skyways, or grilling on the deck we were always being watched and followed by the one and only Colonial Blockhead. That’s right! Colonial Blockhead was always trying to find us and always trying to get us causing us to have to run and hide in the most interesting places. We still to this day believe that is was the Colonial’s mysterious voice that stopped us from playing our beloved Skyway Ball.
Now, I’ll leave you with my favorite pictures of me and my pops! Happy Birthday Dad! See you at Champps tonight, I’ll have an MGD waiting for you!

1 comment:

cbalgaard said...

What a sweet tribute to your dad! I can just imagine you guys disrupting the skyway for some fun! I love best the photo second to the top where your dad is looking down at you adoringly. That's true papa love!