Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mich Again

The mitten-shaped state has new driving laws for those dastardly teenagers.  For those unsupervised drivers under 21, you cannot have more than a single passenger and you must be off the roads between 10 pm and 5 am.  Since my driving privileges are not affected by this, I say its a wonderful law.  That means less obstacles on the road when I leave the local establishment at closing time. Now if we could only do something about those cars that try to prove that they have the loudest bass speakers on the planet.

The Detroit Tigers are currently tied for 1st place.  I hope this holds true the rest of the week.  Tomorrow is the season opener.  If they are only in 1st for 3/4 of the season, then I hope its the last 3/4 and not the first like last year.

Center Line, the city where I have spent a lifetime, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.  I imagine there will be festivities.  I have memories of the 25th anniversary in 1961.  I recall how they had a greased telephone pole with money stapled to it.  The further up the pole, the bigger the denomination.  They were letting the youngest contestants attempt to climb the pole first.  Single dollar bills were at the seven, eight and nine foot levels. A five was ten feet from the ground, a ten at the fifteen foot mark and a twenty at the twenty.  The biggest prize was a fifty atop the pole, thirty feet up.

The singles and the five were gone fast, taken by elementary school kids.  It was funny watching kids my age get all greasy trying to shimmy up the pole.  I wanted to try but my parents wouldn't allow my participation.  I protested loudly and my father gave me a quarter to shut me up.  I could always be bought cheap.  The high schoolers were next in line.  One of the early entries got the ten in the first few tries, but the twenty proved to be harder than any teenager expected.  They could get up to where the twenty was stapled, but as soon as they let loose their grip on the pole to try and snag the bill, they would slide right down to the bottom.  Finally one of the teens came up with the idea to use his mouth.  As he hugged the greasy pole at the twenty dollar level, he chomped his teeth down on the bill and won the prize.

The fifty was the last prize and proved to be the most allusive. This prize was open to anyone willing to climb.  I tried to coax my father to give it a try but he refused to consider it.  Instead he talked our next door neighbor, Al, into giving it a whirl.  Al failed at retrieving the big reward.  When he finally retreated from the pole, my father was close to rolling on the ground with laughter at Al's greasy striped shirt and pants. As the contest wore on, more and more grease was wiped from the pole by its climbers.  Finally, the pole was easy enough to climb and the fifty dollar bill was won.  The winner was a good sport and he invited all the  adult climbers over to the beer tent to have a cold one on him.  Al was happy at this.  My father, not so much.  He hadn't participated in the climb and would have to buy his own "cold one."

I hope they have the celebration this year and include the greased pole.  I doubt if I would partake in the climb, but any excuse to have a "cold one" is good enough for me.

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