Al Batt: Featuring Big Tiny Little, Jr. at the Piano

Published 6:12 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

I ate at the Eat Around It Cafe. They ran out of the special. I always order the special.

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So what did you get instead?

A sub.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I was doing well, even though I occasionally needed to remind myself of that fact. I’d awakened early, wondering how many people name their Roombas and if I spend too much time behind the wheel, am I continually tired? I stopped at a gas station to fill my car with getalong juice. I’d done a food-testing gig at the county fair and sampled many beguiling dishes. Some made me think, “Well, that was different” or “That would be perfect for someone else,” but most were scrumptious. It was a tasty resume builder.

Brightly colored road signs have been near my home all summer. They tell me to be prepared to stop. One sign bears a silhouette of a flagman. I haven’t had to stop once or seen a single flagperson. I like people, but I’m not unhappy about missing seeing a flagperson.

We had three TV

channels to choose from

My parents enjoyed the “Lawrence Welk Show.” Welk said, “Wunnerful, wunnerful” and “Ah-one, ah-two” while maintaining a roster of regulars, including the Champagne Lady (Alice Lon and Norma Zimmer), the lovely Lennon Sisters, accordionist Myron Floren, Larry Hooper (his trademark deep bass voice sang “This Old House”), pianist Big Tiny Little Jr., gravel-voiced trumpeter Rocky Rockwell and Dick Dale, an Algona native, a singer and saxophone player. My mother was from Algona. Each Saturday Night, Welk’s theme music “Bubbles In The Wine” played as soap bubbles swirled behind the band. No musicians were injured by bubbles. I kept watching, hoping The Rolling Stones might be surprise guests.

Did you know?

The average American spends $12,914 per year on personal health care. WalletHub used 44 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome to determine that Minnesota was the state with the best healthcare system. Iowa was second and Rhode Island third. West Virginia placed 51st.

Fairbanks, Alaska, street names include Lois Lane, Yellowsnow Road, Da Nephew Street, Da Niece Street and At Your Own Risk Road.

Gibson Discount Center, motto “Where you buy the best for less” began in Abilene, Texas, and had over 600 stores at its peak. Gibson turned down Sam Walton’s franchise application. There are two independently owned Gibson stores left.

I’ve learned

My hometown was a village when I was a boy. It didn’t have enough chairs to be a sitty.

I love seeing fireflies. It’s nice someone is using their blinkers.

The past has its value and so does volunteering at the County Historical Museum.

I can’t remember the last time I heard a reference to “F-Troop.”

Not everyone wants to see whales. I was on a whale-watching boat in Sitka, Alaska, when I heard a young voice, dripping in whine say, “I want to see a cheeseburger.”

If the ceiling fan could hold my weight, I’d never be bored.

I wonder

Do sensitive documents have their feelings hurt easily?

Is a telephone book a massive data breach?

If wombats defecate in square cubes and dung beetles roll balls of feces, do dung beetles hate wombats?

Did Icarus wear sunscreen?

Nature notes

What is a herd of goats doing at St. Aidan Cemetery? Eating. Goats are browsers, not grazers, so they won’t mow your lawn, but 40 goats per acre will clear it of buckthorn, poison ivy, thistle, wild parsnip, ragweed, red cedar, garlic mustard and other brush and weeds in a week. For this job, a goat is the GOAT.

Leaves flip over before it rains for several reasons. As rain moves in, gusty winds often precede it, causing leaves to flip over and show their silvery sides. Another factor that can cause leaves to turn over before it rains is humidity. The humidity can soften the leaves, causing them to hang in a flipped position or flip in the breeze.

AAA said the average price of repairing a vehicle after a collision with a deer is over $5,000 and rising. State Farm says the chance of a driver hitting an animal this year is 1 in 70 in Minnesota and 1 in 57 in Iowa. Your greatest chance of hitting some kind of animal is West Virginia, where the odds are 1 in 35.

Meeting adjourned

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”— George Sand.