I’m at a loss for words.
Not about anything in particular.
I’ve written this intro three times. I’ve done you a favor by deleting it three times.
I feel like I’ve got nothing.
It feels like Subway, running out of bread. A Red Sox player, clean-shaven. Or a friendly Chihuahua.
It just isn’t nat-rul.
So I’ll tell you this.
When Elise was a toddler, she thought daddy looked like Elvis.
When Marie was a toddler, she thought “yaya” looked like Deepak Chopra.
When Grace was a toddler, she thought dada looked like Jimmy Kimmel.
I really don’t know what this means, but I’m afraid of where this is going.
No more kids.
Anyway, this is what the girls wanted to know.
1. What year did you move to North Carolina from Colorado?
Way back in 1988. That’s like the same year Emma Stone and Julianne Hough were born.
Ouch. I was 15.
Dad transfered with IBM from Boulder, Colo., to Charlotte, N.C. This, for a family that hadn’t been as far east as Kansas. Talk about sit-com pilot. Hilarity ensued, because of my funny accent, funny car (AMC Eagle wagon) and funny team to root for in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (Wyoming).
But North Carolina is where I eventually went to college, got married, had kids, and moved away from. It’s where I buried my dad, began a career, started a blog, discovered coaching, and returned to after nearly two years in Florida in what felt like paradise to me.
But paradise didn’t have Bojangles. And Cheerwine. It didn’t have barbecue month, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and those Carolina fall days I’ve come to love. And it was far from Duke Hospital, where my dad fought the fight of his life. So I came home.
2. Do they ever have concerts in football stadiums?
Back in 1988, Depeche Mode played a rockin’ show in West Germany, and I’m pretty sure Deepak Chopra was in attendance.
It happens all the time now, rock shows in football stadiums. In the 1970s, they even called it “stadium rock.”
REO Speedwagon and Kansas and Styxx would play to sold-out shows where people would smoke and drink and stomp on the turf and leave behind trash and natural substances. And someone would clean it before kickoff.
At University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home of Marie’s Arizona Cardinals, they yank the field out of the arena so that bands can rock out on the concrete, not the Cardinals’ precious grass. It’s also prime real estate for a craft show or rodeo. And the clean-up is much easier, with a garden hose and trash poker, probably.
The first rock band to perform in an American sports stadium? The Beatles, on Aug. 15, 1965, at Shea Stadium, home of the Jets and Mets. You couldn’t hear the lads because of all the girls screaming. Oh, and they put the stage in the middle of the outfield.
Elvis also played the Pontiac Silverdome. hat might have been the last time the former home of the Detroit Lions ever rocked. And I’m not at all convinced Jimmy Kimmel was in attendance.
3. Do catfish live in the ocean?
Not the pretend kinds who date Notre Dame linebackers, I hope.
Did you know catfish don’t have scales? They live in both fresh and saltwater. You can find ocean cats in tropical or subtropical waters, and they’re supposedly scrumptious. In the south, you can catch a hardhead cat, which grows about a foot long and weighs 3 pounds, which makes for a nice po’ boy.
And they’re never mistaken for Deepak Chopra. Ever.
3. What is a bullpen?
It’s the place in Boston’s Fenway Park that Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter likes to do headstands.
Meanwhile, a team’s relief pitchers congregate there in folding chairs and wait for the skipper to call them into the game. Manager Casey Stengel once postulated that managers banished relief pitchers away from the dugout because they incessantly “shot the bull.”
At least none of my girls have mistaken me for Casey Stengel.
5. What’s the longest punt not in Denver?
The longest punt in NFL history did happen in Denver – by the Jets’ Steve O’Neal, a rookie out of Texas A&M, who punted late in the first half out of his own end zone. The ball flew over Broncos returner Bill Thompson after it sailed 75 yards in the air.
Thompson fielded it at the Broncos’ 1, where Wayne Stewart tackled him after a 1-yard gain, and a 98-yard punt, in 1969. (Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Chris Milo tied the Canadian Football League record with a 108-yard boot in 2011 – but they play on a 120-yard field up there, right Les?)
It was the longest punt since Nov. 16, 1931, way before I moved to Charlotte.
On that day, the Chicago Bears’ Joe Lintzenich, a punter/halfback out of St. Louis University, booted a punt 94 yards against the New York Giants in a game devoid of distance-inducing thin air that has aided punts, fly balls and maybe even jump shots in the Mile High city.
There’s just something about that Rocky Mountain air. It helps a punted ball sail, a baseball fly ball carry, and a dude grow up to look more the King of Rock and Roll, a Colombian racecar driver and a jester of late-night TV.
Here’s a 90-yard punt in Denver. Rocky Mountain High, y todo.
You talk about 1988 as if it were so long ago. Incidentally, it was the year I was born, too. JOKE! I turned 18 that year – ouch – so I’m older than you. I would have loved to have been in attendance at some of those concerts. Because of my mom, I know all the great music of the 50’s and 60’s.
Wonder if Elvis ever partook in catfish noodling.
He’s still alive and catfish noodling, Teri, don’t you know?
I love these Friday things you do! 🙂
I agree that North Carolina is a lovely place to be. I was born and raised here, and though I’ve traveled to quite a few interesting places, nowhere has ever tempted me to move away from NC. Ah, 1988…I was just starting high school. 😀
Thanks! Carolina feels like home, although my Broncos, my Rockies and my abuela are all back in Colorado. I’m with you.
I think everyone should tell where they were in 1988 when the comment.
Oh, and the catfish thing reminds me of a discussion I was having with my Grace. Fish that people eat but don’t live in the ocean…what do we call them? Not seafood, of course. We finally settled on just calling them “fish.” Because we’re clever and creative like that. 😉
Your Grace is wise and intuitive. It’s a mystery, much in the same way “jumbo shrimp” is. Riverfood or lakefood doesn’t do it. Fish. That’ll work. But what if it’s something from a non-ocean body of water and not a fish?
I love the way you unfold your life for us to enjoy! So glad your daughters are so inquisitive. Great post, Eli! 😉
Unfold, or dump out? Either way, I’m glad you like it … these girls’ questions keep me in business!
I’m curious – did you just know all of these facts (like the punt and catfish) or do you have to look some of it up?
North Carolina is on my list of places to visit one day – especially DUKE!!!
It’s all in the ol’ noggin, Kim. My mind’s like a steel trap. Cruel, cumbersome and archaic.
I might use the Google function on my Internet window.
Duke Chapel, Kim – you’ll be in awe. If you pray there, you feel like you’re on God’s red line.
Elvis, Deepak, and Jimmy Kimmel, now there’s a combination! 🙂
I’m their love child, apparently. Don’t forget Juan Pablo Montoya.
Just googled him… from your avatar well, it’s uncanny!!! 🙂
You’d think someone would at least buy me some wings at the pub or something for that.
You would actually wouldn’t you! I will cyber buy you wings! 🙂
I most definitely would. Do Brits-turned-Mexicans eat wings?
Alas not this one. She’s too vegetarian. 🙂
There’s a cure for that, Gina. It’s as close as the nearest plate of wings, actually.
Best concert ever was U2 at the Carrier Dome. Amazing.
And then I followed up with New Kids on The Block at The Skydome (now called the Rogers Centre) — which I feel I must point out is NOT where the Maple Leafs play. because that would be wrong.
And no, NKOTB is not wrong.
the teen years are hard and confusing you know. 🙂
Awesome – I’d watch U2 even in the raiders stadium.
Would you go to a U2 concert in the home of the maple leafs? (What a stupid name for a franchise, by the way. You’re vegetation.)
The hardness of the teen years extends into the 40s for some of us!
When I met my husband he was wearing a Depeche Mode tshirt. I went out with him anyway. That was after 1988, but not not far. Damn, I’m old.
What was his hair like? that’s the question.
Think about it – kids today see the 80s the way we saw the 50s.
In 1988 I was eight. I was in 3rd grade at Jefferson Elementary School and when I wasn’t being a perfect student, I was daydreaming and reading Amelia Bedelia books.
That’s all I got today too. It’s Friday after a hard week.
It was easier in 1988. I had long hair, and I wasn’t being a perfect student, either. I was sleeping in and missing first period.
Tamara, why don’t you take the weekend off. We’ll cover for you.
1988 is the year I moved from Texas to Virginia. I was 10. Culture shock!! Now I call this place home and I only claim to be a Texan when promoting the Cowboys in order to annoy all the Redskins fans around here!
I suppose there’s a bit of a rivalry there, right?
You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.
Trying to picture what a combo of Elvis, Jimmy Kimmel and Chopra would really look like! Wayyyy back in 1988, I was in my first year of high school, seems just like yesterday. Answer this for me, what the heck does Cheerwine taste like anyway?
You don’t have to picture it – it’s me, apparently.
You and I are the same age, so we must both still be young.
Cheerwine is like … syrupy Kool-aid.
We’ve caught a few cat fish in our neighborhood lakes and one of the neighbors actually took them home one time and fried them up. 1988 – so close to the fall of the wall but not close enough for me to see Depeche Mode in (West)-Germany,
Fried catfish is good in small doses – i’ve found it tasted pretty lake-y if you have a plateful.
I think Depeche Mode and the wall coming down were page 1 and 2 in the German history books, eh?
Elvis, Chopra and Kimmel: music, spirituality, and humor – sounds great!
I’m kind of proud now that you put it that way – what great company I’m in, Letizia!
In 1988 I was in college at the CU-Boulder. I grew up mainly in Golden, moved away (out of state) for the last part of high school and promptly moved back as soon as I can so I could pay out of state tuition. However I left for the East Coast after college and now this is home. At least for the past 20+ years. These posts crack me up!
Go Buffs! (Unless you’re playing Colorado State). The state of Colorado appreciates your financial contributions, I’m sure. I thought about going back to CSU after we moved to North Carolina, but that out-of-state tuition …
The East Coast is home for me, too, even though the Broncos, Rockies and my Abuelita are still in Colorado.
Glad you’re into the Go Ask Daddy scene – it’s a madhouse.
Thanks for sharing this post at the Blog Hop Blitz, bringing the testosterone!
I need to dig one up for this week, don’t I? And what’s up with Justin Blackmon? That cat is on my fantasy team!
Wow, my son just came in and told us about that! My husband was counting on them not losing this week, seeing that it’s a BYE week, how could they possibly lose. Losing comes in different forms! Can the season be over already…
Maybe the Jags can draft Clowney from South Carolina with the top pick.