Coast-To-Coast Toast: May 1, 2022

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I think there were 27 people there. In addition to Paramount members (Tom R, Mary P, Roger O, Rob K, hostess Diane M, Jean & Par C, Johnny A, Amy B, Linda H, Dave K, Mary J, Jim N, Nan S, Dave K and Barbara S), Diane’s mom, Dorothy, Milwaukee Tall Guy Dave R, and former Paramount Tall Club members Ray and Kathy M were there. I was actually one of the last to arrive at this event. The food was delicious and unlimited. This was an official “belly buster”. It’s been years since I’ve been there. It’s one of my favorite places to go for a meal. Jolly’s also has a banquet Hall typically used to accommodate weddings. No one got married at this event, although I was thinking about proposing to the waitress. That was a somewhat scary thought.

I was bragging about my 2022 bike rides and how the weather wasn’t cooperating. Milwaukee Dave wants to set up a bike ride with me, to see if I’m full of bunk while explaining my bike exploits. I think we’ll try for a bike ride around Chicago Botanical Gardens way up there between Chicago and Milwaukee.

I asked Johnny if he managed to get his yacht into the lake. He said he just did on April 30. I told Johnny I thought up a new name for his yacht,  the “$8K/year”. I don’t think he was impressed.

Rob actually has the ability to monitor his 84-year-old father’s health status on his smartphone, while I, on the other hand, have to struggle with where to plug mine in! I’m out in left field when it comes to “smartphones”.

May 1 is also “May Day”. As little tykes, we’d run around the May Pole each holding a streamer in opposite sig zag directions, resulting in a beautifully decorated May Pole, but actually looked more like a result of a tornado that ran through a yarn factory.

Bike Ride: June 18, 2022

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Today was supposed to be a boat ride on Johnny’s yacht. Jonny nixed that idea. “No dice, the waves are too high, choppy water ends in motion sickness and excessive bailing, ” he says. We were supposed to watch the 2022 Sailing SHip race. Johnny says, ” Normally, I like to ram a couple of those sailboats. But these sailboats go up to 60 MPH, while my yacht tops out at 35 MPH. Plus, I’d get into trouble because there’re a lot of people around watching the sailboats.” Those sailboats look like they are hovering above the water with their submerged wings holding them up. I asked Johnny about this. He says it’s “magic’, while Dave S. says “mirrors”.

So, instead, I went for a bike ride. The weather was perfect, around 75F. Two people attended this “not to be missed event”, my sister, Linda, and yours truly. No stifling heat today. The bike path was quite crowded so I got to honk my horn incessantly.

There’s this one spot on the bike trail where there’s a bunch of loose sand. It’s easy to fall off my bike there. The narrower your bike tires are, the more unstable it becomes. It’s somewhat challenging going over that, honking or being drunk doesn’t help. It kinda looks like I’m “clowning around” while trying to keep my balance.

I’m closing in on 500 miles. No animals unless you include a kid wearing a coon skin cap. No more honeysuckle in bloom, but plenty of Shasta Daisies, clover and thistle weeds. I do enjoy getting off my bike and sniffing the flowers, but those thistles are somewhat challenging. Unlike President Biden, I didn’t fall off my bike today.

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE— WINTER PICNIC 2/26/2022

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Ace Reporter—Tommy C

I had my socks “blown off!” It was phenomenal! My guess is that about 30 people were there! Hostess with the most-est, Milanne  B, Nan S, Jeffrey, Linda P, Dan  B and his wife Mel, Johnny Boy, Dawn P, Pat S and Eric Bvisiting from  Arkansas, Peggy R, Nancy C, Barbara  S, Pat Sullivan’s sister, former PTC member  Kathy E, me (Ace Reporter Tommy) and assorted Tall Club Wannabe’s like Dave S,  Gary, Joe and John P, Linda C, Marty,  Dwayne, Liz, Pat Sullivan’s daughter Shannon,  who was in town from Minneapolis for a family visit, Walter, and Dan were all in attendance. I’m sure I left some people out (my apologies). The place was totally bopping! I chastised several members for not coming to past Tall Club Activities shame on them). My old Tall Club buddy Bob  H. wasn’t there. Apparently, the only time I  see him is at the Tall Club Weekend, guarding the door. He’s probably at Lynfred Winery sniffing corks again!

I could tell when I arrived, that some type of great gathering in Oak Park was taking place because there were so many cars parked in front of  Milanne’s house. I had to park half a block away! It was sunny when this shindig started around 2:00 pm. It was about 30 degrees F. The  “Beer Fairy” had visited this place prior to my visit judging by the number of beer bottles stuck in the snowdrift to keep them cold. Things got a lot cooler when the sun went down.

I tried to pin down where Pat S actually lives, which ends up being a pervasive question.  The more Pat told me about all the houses she currently resides in, the more confused I got. Pat’s daughter, Shannon is still happily married after six months.  I asked her if she was going for the world record in the lengthy marriage record book. Eric  B is really proud of his new grandson. He said,  “when he loads up  his diaper, I don’t  have to change it,  I just hand him  over to my son or  his girlfriend and  they take care of  it, grandchildren  are great!” 

My sister Linda and I talked about our trip to Florida; tales of frozen Iguana’s falling out of the trees, and the giant boa constrictors and alligators now terrorizing the state, eating dogs and small children.

Meanwhile, the food at this event was terrific. There was so much to eat. I wish I  could’ve eaten like the Romans with their vomitoriums so I could empty my stomach and then start all over again. If I took one bite of every dish that was there, I would have exploded! Dave S did a  masterful job with the grill. He did very well keeping pace with our demands for delicious sausage and red hots. Fortunately, his pants didn’t start on fire. Liz got a standing ovation for her chocolate creme mint lasagna, a delectable mouth-watering treat. She refused to take a bow. 

Johnny Boy doesn’t sound very excited about remaining the  President even though the rest of us would listen to his incoherent ramblings about increasing membership at our monthly meetings.  I asked Nan and Peggy (on separate occasions) if they’d be interested in running for President. They both declined by telling me to “jump into a lake”. Nix on that idea. If Johnny quotes, guess where that leaves me, the VP?

 Inside the garage, we were imbibing in liquor while telling jokes  and talking about “the continuing  “Butt-weiser flag saga.” I gave these magnificent flags to Dave Sandborn and  Johnny Aylward (over a year ago). None of the flags were present at the picnic because they were all attached to various yachts. For some reason,  Milanne refuses to ride on Dave’s and her yacht while flying that commemorative flag and she’s the  Captain! 

I guess my jokes were pretty lame, probably and I  wasn’t drunk, but because I was inebriated by joke-telling time. Hanging out in the garage with a huge booze collection and drinking shots was quite challenging to remain standing due to all the drinking of celebratory shots.  

There is some interest in upcoming Summer bike rides now that COVID may be ending. I will probably still be the chief honker at such an event if it were held, due to my massive bicycle horn collection (I can’t fit anymore on my handlebars, my bike is now totally “honkified.”)  Johnny was taking RSVP’s for his upcoming “not to be missed,” Saint Patrick’s Day  Parade event. Dollar Dave didn’t show up (a fellow yachtsman). Johnny thought he’s probably in “Dutch,” with his wife about putting roadkill he picked up in their refrigerator (to be used for meat at a later date). I told Marty that if he was a  little older we would’ve gone to reform school together. Marty replied, ”only if it was a Union  Reform School.” I asked Barbara why she wasn’t wearing a  mask, and she told me that “COVID  is ending” and she’d rather use a hanky if she has to sneeze from now on. 

Jeffrey filled up his SUV gas tank to the tune of $85, which made him mad,  so he kicked his  SUV, breaking his foot. Now he walks around like Hop-a-long  Cassidy. We also played musical chairs in an attempt to stay away from the smoke the two fires were spewing; everyone pretty much smelled like a cheap cigar from sitting around the fires. Johnny said, “I can now smoke  cigars at the Winter Picnic in complete comfort because we now all smell the same.” 

A Message from the President . . .  3/22/2022

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To all who came to the Weekend, thanks for coming. It was fun. And if you missed it, I hope to see you next year.  

We had the Winter Picnic three weeks ago and that was fun. Thank you Milanne  B for hosting it. We had over 30 people there and a lot of food, beer, and just good fun. And yes it was cold. There were people there that I had not seen in a long time. With two campfires going, the cold was not too bad, you just had to make sure you had layers of clothing on to enjoy it.  

This past Sunday, March the 13th, we attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The weather was good, and I think St. Patrick took pity on the downtown parade and gave us on the South Side a better day; long live the Irish.  

This month we will talk about elections. I am not going to run for a 4th term. I don’t have the time anymore to do this. I work in the food delivery business, and with everything opening up, I end up working long hours. Summer is coming and I’d like to spend more time on my boat. With gas prices going thru the roof, I  won’t go boat riding as much, but I will still use it. All the positions on the Board will be open. If you want to see changes in the Club and have an interest in this, try it.  

The Scholarship is coming along fine. Jim N is doing a good job on it.  

The first Sunday in May will be the Founder’s Day Brunch. If you are free, come out and join us. Specifics will be posted in the newsletter.  

The Marfan walk is scheduled for May this year. The exact date and place will be posted in the newsletter.  Our Club Roster is in the last stages of being finished up. You should see that in the near future.  If you are free this Summer, think about going to the Convention this year. It’s going to be held in  Providence, RI. This is a great place to go in the Summer. For details, check your newsletter.  Lastly, say a prayer for Ukraine. They need all the help they can get. John 

Tommy’s Take : TALL CLUB WEEKEND; JANUARY 29-30 2022

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 – Ace Reporter Tommy Castleberry  

Here’s to another fantastic weekend! I think there were around 57  people attending this “not to be missed event,” with a few wannabe’s.  

Upon arriving at the hotel, they wanted to see my COVID shot record  (required) and they put a green band on my wrist. Besides being a fashionable piece of jewelry, it notified the hotel vaccination police that I was vaccinated so I didn’t get “cuffed.”  

On Friday night my roommate Johnny dressed up as a beer can, commemorating  “Oktoberfest.” I was a pirate commemorating “Pirate’s Day,”  so I got to say a lot of ARRH’s.  I pretty much danced the night away and had a good time. I didn’t ask Johnny to dance. 

Delicious pizza ensued with unlimited booze after the dance at  “Afterhours.” You had to drink quickly because the open after bar closed at 2:00 am. That allowed you two hours to get drunk with a fancy Union hotel bartender who only used union-made ice cubes! 

Saturday, due to COVID, we ate our “all you can eat breakfast,”  apart from other hotel patrons. I suspect it’s because we’re special and very noisy and obnoxious. After that, there were lots of daily activities. Unlike in past years, there was no belching contest during breakfast. If they gave an award for singing (or more like yelling) off-key, I would’ve been a serious contender for that. 

I thought the dinner was better than previous dinners. I had salmon and it was great! There was lots to eat. I even figured out how to use a napkin! Johnny started off the after dinner speeches. I was hoping to call him on his phone during his speech and ask him what time it was, and then call him back two seconds later and ask him am or pm, however, Johnny left his phone in the hotel room intentionally to dissuade me from providing some levity during the speech and award ceremony.

Everything went off without a hitch. Although Miss Tall International, Donna Stocker, was not able to travel, she was able to join us via ZOOM on Saturday night. Jim N got Miss TCI on his phone to wish us all a good time. She was sorry that she had to miss this specular event. 

I got to dance with Sue M, the President of TCI,  so I felt like a big wig. I told  her, I know this guy  “Johnny,” that you should  kick out of the Club.” She asked, “Why?” And I replied,  “Because he’s a bum!” Sue then told me that I was the more likely one to be kicked out of the Club for being a bum!  

 Sandwiches were served at Saturday night’s  Afterhours and the bar closed at 2:00 am again. It was hard to believe that people would be hungry enough to eat again after being served so much food at a great dinner six hours earlier. 

I was excited to see my old “Tall Club buddy,” “Bob-a-reno!” You probably know him as “Greeter Extraordinaire,” Bob H! I never ever see him except at Tall Club Weekends where he watches the door to keep unwanted intruders out (I suppose he might be a  

vampire or werewolf which would explain why we don’t see him  

often). He does go to Lynfred Wineries where the Tall Club went for  

a visit on past occasions; everyone at the Winery knows “Bob-a 

reno” because of his high style and generous tipping. I get somewhat  

tipsy after imbibing at Lynfred. In addition to exotic dancing and  

love of alcohol, we both “play the stock market.” If you ever want to  

clean up in the stock market, you would do just the opposite of what  

we’re doing. Just call up your broker and say “you remember what  

that last guy told you to trade, well do just the opposite for me!”