Mike’s Iowa trip No. 1: Pink uri­nals and old peo­ple danc­ing

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - OBITUARIES -

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.

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