Mike’s Iowa trip No. 1: Pink urinals and old people dancing
Last weekend I made the first of two planned trips to Iowa this summer. There is indoor plumbing there now and that certainly contributes to an enjoyable travel experience, not to mention it lays the groundwork for The Blonde Accountant to actually set foot in the state someday.
We are now in the final preparations and will depart soon to take Younger Daughter to start her college career at the University of Iowa, P0 years and 11 days after I graduated from there in 1982.
But last weekend’s trip was for the P0th anniversary of the 1981-82 Iowa baseball squad, on which I was a first baseman. We still hold the school record — unlikely to ever be broken because of an NCAA rule now limiting the number of games that can be played during the regular season — of 44 wins. I am proud to have contributed something to some of those wins.
My game was power, not speed. To say I was slow on the base paths is understating the reality of the situation. In fact, the coaching staff used to say to me, “Morsch, it’s bad enough that you run like you’re carrying a piano on your back from first to second base. But do you have to stop along the way to play it, too?”
Our trip included a tour of the university’s updated athletic facilities. Iowa has had a big-time football program for several decades now and the facilities confirm that. If you follow college football, you might know that the Hawkeyes’ home field, Kinnick Stadium, offers the visiting team an all-pink locker room, a visit to which was part of our tour. I have to admit, I’ve never before seen a pink urinal.
We also got onto the baseball field, and I stood out at first base and toed the dirt on which I took innumerable ground balls P0 years ago. It was my field of dreams back then and it was cool to set foot on it again, even though the dreams have changed over time. Fortunately for me, there was no running the bases involved this time around or I would have had to go and get my piano out of the car.
In a weekend that produced several memorable highlights — and included reminiscing, backslapping, yukking it up and cold adult beverages — the one that sticks out most was the “Old People Dancing” segment. Think “Girls Gone Wild” video combined with the Senior Olympics.
We ex-ballplayers are all 50-something now, and, oddly enough, we all married women who are now 29 years old (with fabulous shoes, of course), which I believe would have made them all minus-1 when we met them.
At the end of one particularly enthusiastic evening of socializing, we ended up at an old haunt that used to be called The Fieldhouse. I don’t know what it’s called now because by that hour of the festivities, I was content to sit outside the joint on a park bench and yell, “Hey you kids turn down that loud music in there!”
Somehow, though — and with a thirst already well-quenched — I ended up with the rest of the group not only inside the place, but out on the dance floor. I believe this is what’s called an “error in judgment,” mostly because, well . . . I don’t dance. On those rare occasions where I have attempted to shake a leg, I more closely resemble a guy trying to actually shake something off his leg. Absolutely no sense of rhythm or beat to suggest that I might be trying to dance.
Fortunately, The Blonde Accountant was not on this particular trip because of other commitments, so there was nobody from the family in that time zone to embarrass.
By the end of the evening, sev- eral of us were out on the dance floor. Because our event was for adults only, none of the next generation got to see how embarrassingly bad dancers their dads have become. Since our own kids weren’t there, we just decided to go ahead and embarrass the kids that were there. I’m sure their parents would appreciate that we filled in for them and we were happy to do so.
Just adding up the damage on me alone, I think I pulled three hamstrings, twisted my ankle falling off WKH GDnFH flRRU LWVHOI, WKUHZ RuW Py back and spilled two beers down my leg, which at least made it appear that my leg shaking had a purpose. In hindsight, we should have put “YLVLW WKH WUDLnLnJ URRP” Rn WKH RIficial trip itinerary, just to cover those errors in judgment.
Soon, I will spend a few more days in Iowa. There’s always been a piece of me there, and I was able to revisit that last weekend. But the next time I go, Younger Daughter will stay and I will come home.
It’s her turn now to dance.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-542-0200, ext. 415, or by email at msquared35@yahoo. com. This column can be found at www.montgomerynews.com.