The old man in the stands

Each day, someone brought him out to the field. He was an old man who could no longer see, but while the years had taken their toll on him, robbing him of his vision, he still came out each day to mimic old sports announcers and give play-by-plays to imaginary games.

On this day, he was an old Cubs’ announcer, calling something that announcer had never called.

“Gabby Hartnett, stepping to the plate. Two out, nobody on, bottom of the ninth and we’re tied 5-5,” he said, channeling and old Wrigley Field sportscaster. “C’mon Gabby, get something started. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you up-to-date on what happens after today and any playoff information as it becomes available. Brown winds and fires. That ball’s pretty well hit, deep to left, back, back…. HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! Gabby Hartnett has just smacked a solo home run over the left field fence and the Chicago Cubs have won the 1938 National League pennant! WOW! What a wallop!”

Richard and Melanie chuckled at the old-timer before looking out on to the field. Melanie spotted a woman sitting next to the old man and sat down next to her.

“I’m Jack’s granddaughter,” the younger woman saud. “Grandpa’s eyes aren’t that good anymore, but we bring him every weekend. A lot of people like is old calls.”

“Whose bats are those over by the backstop?” Melanie asked, a mischievous grim crossing her face.

“They’re here if somebody gets a game up.”

She walked over to the backstop, picked up a bat, handed it to Richard and then motioned for him to go to the plate. As he embarassingly walked over to home, Melanie went back to the stands and whispered something to the grandaughter, who relayed it to her grandfather.

“Go on, take a few swings,” she then called to Richard, who sheepishly complied.

“Joe DiMaggio stepping in, with a runner on and a man out in the eighth,” said the old-timer, making like Mel Allen.

“Get a hit Joe,” Melanie cooed.

“Wow, there’s some brunette down the third base line cheering on Joe,” the old man said.

Richard smiled, took a swing and started charging down to first base.

“Aw Marilyn,” he thought to himself. “Do you have to wear the dark-haired wig?”



A love story we really hope everyone will understand

Once upon a time in Fairbury, IL, there was a young Christian farmer named Keith. Meanwhile, in Peoria, IL, there was a young Christian nurse who grew up on a farm in Remington, IN, named Christine. Now, this is a love story which we hope you will understand, even if you don’t quite get the humor.

What humor?

On March 7, 1965, 3,500 Marines were sent to a Vietnam air base, GI’s were in Vietnam again and they were complaining about shoddy weapons (well, what did you guys want anyway? Massive support?).

In Alabama, Gov. Wallace barred a march by (what we called African-Americans in those days and it was before Gov. Wallace could let them get away with marching, so). An alleged Nazi war criminal’s body was found (too much South American food: Bratwurst, sauerkraut, neck bones, etc.) and Keith Steidinger was born near Fehrbury, er, Fairbuty, IL.

On Aug. 28, 1966, the U.S. tried trough a third nation for peace talks. Hurricane Faith hit the U.S. (I thought she didn’t hit the U.S until 1972), actually Faith hit a space tracking station.

Before 1972?

On Aug. 28, 1966, the same day that Hubert Humphrey’s son wed a small-town beauty (probably one of the windiest toasts in the history of Minnesota), Christine Bahler was born in Remington, IN.

I didn’t know she shared a birthday with Princess Di.

No, Christine shares a birthday with Margaret Triplett.

Same difference.

To those of you who don’t know, Margaret was a member of the Peoria Young Group who is a bit of a preppie. She’s sort of a high-class dresser. We don’t call her Di to her face since that might embarrass her. Now, do you have that, Christine?

Why wouldn’t Christine get that?

Well, she wasn’t in the Young Group when Margaret was and besides, Christine is a little bit well,

She doesn’t always get people’s jokes?


Is there truth to the rumor that when Christine was a little girl and her friends told knock-knock jokes, that Christine would get up and answer the front door?

No, the side door, where you would come in from the farm.

Tell be about the time when Christine ran across the road trying to catch he chickens.


Well, someone told her that the chickens crossed the road to get to the other side. Or maybe it was the other slide.

The other slide?

This chicken was crazy about playgrounds!

You’re getting Christine’s roommates confused.

What again?

So tell me about Keith.

He grew up in Fairbury, and a few years ago one night, some girls were staying over at his sister’s house and was on them was Christine Bahler. It left quite an impression on the both of them, which we will find out later.

Even though when Keith told the joke about all the people moving to Bloomington, she thought it was to go to Purdue.

Indiana University is in Bloomington, Purdue’s in West Lafayette.

Then why did Christine try to find Normal on an Indiana road map?

I take it from this Christine has a hard time getting jokes?

She’s the only sister I know who when asked about a disease at work says, “I don’t get it.”

Keith grew up in Fairbury, right? On a farm, right?

I don’t know, ask him.

Actually, Keith’s dad is in the excavation business. How about that?

I can dig it.

So can Keith’s dad.

Keith’s family goes to church in Forrest.

Is the Forrest they go to church in surrounded by trees?

No, a cornfield.

A cornfield?

Yeah. You’ve heard of East-Central Illinois. Livingston County. THE Corn Belt.

That’s Corn Belt (I misspelled corn in the original).

I always wondered where you got your material.

Could we move on to more serious matters?

By all means. As Keith and Christine grew, they both became aware of their need for a change in their lives. As they grew older, Keith and Christine both knew that they were accountable for their sins and had to get right with God. Keith repented in 1983 and was baptized. Christine was taken up in 1984.

Christine also moved in with two other sisters. There was Cathy Huthman.

Huh? Did somebody say my name?

The other sister who moved in with Christine was Shellie Massner.

Oh yeah, Shellie Ray.

They all lived together in little Generic home.

No they had the padded cell. John Brewer and Dean Hoerr the Generic house.

Why do you call Christine, Shelle and Cathy’s apartment a padded cell? There is warmth there, there is charity, a sincere feeling of Sisters who love the Lord.

Who’s their landlord?

Willis Hunzieker.

Were they Willie’s?

Tenants? Yes, they were Willie’s tenants. Now I don’t know if Willie came up to them and said ‘now girls, would you please go in and pay the rent.”

Did you ever visit Christine and the other sisters at their apartment?


You know Willie Hunzieker?



Christine is from Indiana, right?



And what’s the largest industry in Remington?


You’re sure about that?

What other possibilities are there?

Well, a man in the shaver business might have been impressed enough with Remington, Ind., the he bought the town.

What if he was in the firearms business?

Well, after the hunting season, Remington’s economy might be shot.

Are there a number of people in Remington who tie hay in knots?

Not only that, there are a few in Wolcott.

Tie hay in knots?

Are you ready for this?


Ah yes, I wonder if during Christine’s school days, her friends would tell her what she was doing in the summer.

“Hay Bahler!”

Hay Bahler?

Well, you make bales of hay and Christine’s last name is Bahler, so you get if you were to say to her…

Is there anything else you might like to explain?

Does Christine have her hometown on the back of her car?

No, Wander Indiana is on all Indiana license plates.

What might there be on the other page that Christine might not get?

CoIds and flu?

Well, Willis Hunzieker is the landlord and Christine had the Young Group over and we get a little wild at times, and so you have to remember that Willie might have to say something along the lines of what he’d say to people who were dawdling in the halls at Church when he’s ushering.

Got that?


You are not alone.

Keith is either from Fairbury or Forest, we’re not sure.

Why do you say that?

Well, Keith’s family is from Forest, but he goes around with the Fairbury Young Group.

Well, Fairbury and Forest do a lot together.

They do?


They’re all pretty serious in Fairbury and Forrest, aren’t they?

In a way. Why do you ask?

Well, once I saw a line of very serious-looking brothers at Roanoke. They were all from Fairbury and Forrest. I was standing next to another brother from Fairbury, and I said “I wonder what would happen if I walked over to these brothers across the foyer, and pushed up their cheeks to make them smile.”

Tell me this.


Is it true that between Fairbury and Chatsworth, you can’t see the Forrest for the trees?

You see Christine, there’s this old saying about seeing the Forrest for the threes, and Forrest, IL, and if you drive past it on Route 24, Forrest is on Route 24, isn’t it?

Of course, Forrest is on Route 24. It has an A.C. Church in the town, doesn’t it?

I hadn’t thought of that.

There’s a joke in there somewhere.

There is?

Speaking of bad puns, what is the weather forecast for Southern Livingston County?


Especially around..

Forrest, right?

Moving right along, we find that Keith eventually went into the constriction business. No, he did not farm and he did not tie knots.

Not until June 28.

Christine, on the other hand, had a glove. Actually, she lived with Shellie Messner and Cathy Huthman. This presented an unusual situation whenever they had the Young Group over.

You’re not going to talk about showing up first for everything, are you?

Look at the bright side. Christine, Shellie and Cathy were all presentalbe, er presentable. Besides, you only show up first to play Trivial Pursuit, right?

We won’t get into that right now. Christine moved away from the Generic House, or the Padded Cell, or whatever and moved in with the more with the more sedate group of Cara Nussbaum, Debbie Knoblauch, Stephanie Gerber and Dawn Hoerr.

No comment. After all, one thing is certain.

What’s that?

Are you sure that any house that includes Dawn Hoerr can be considered sedate?

Walk over to those Fairbury and Forrest brothers and start pushing on their cheekbones, okay? You know better than to say that Peoria sisters are sedate. They see a wall and have to be off it. Christine moved in with Cara, Debbie, Stephanie and what’s-her-name and went to work as a nurse.

For how long?

Oh, about a year and a half.

Did you know that Cindy Plattner Strietmatter used to live below Christine, Cathy and Shelle?

Oh, that’s nice.

During this time, Keith had gotten to know Christine better. As we said earlier, Keith had met Christine a long time ago in Forrest, or Fairbury, or wherever they ran around with the Young Group. They also met at singings.

You mean that Keith could actually meet Christine at the singings they have in Fairbury with all those people there?

They wear name tags.

As they got to know each other better, Keith’s love for Christine grew. After praying about marriage, Keith asked Art Bahler for Art relayed the proposal to Roy Sauder, who relayed it to Christine.

Wouldn’t Alfred Bahler also have been notified that Keith had asked for Christine? After all, he is Christine’s home elder.

That’s possible. Anyway, Keith asked for Christine and she prayed about Keith’s proposal. A week later, Fairbury and Forrest invited Peoria for the weekend. Christine went into the Fairbury Fellowship Hall and saw Keith.

Birds suddenly appeared.

Flying back from the South.

Stars fell from the sky.

I find that rather hard to believe.

Keith went to meet Christine.

Their eyes met, two ships passing in the night, glancing at each other across a crowded room.


Suddenly, all the other people in the room faded away (No small feat, seeing that this was a Central Illinois Singing).

Did Keith go ape?

No, Christine is not related to Chip Hemmer.

Speaking of the Hemmers, did Christine notify Art Bahler that she accepted Keith’s proposal and did she let Chuck Hemmer in on it?

Both, since on March 8, the engagement of Sis. Christine Bahel, er, Bahler, to Bro. Keith Steidinger was announced in Peoria, Forrest and Remington.

Were they impressed at the shaver factory?


You said the announcement was made in Remington.

Was the announcement made in Wander, Indiana?

I have no idea.

Thus ends another Joos Roast. I hope I haven’t offended either of you tonight. This meant in a spirit of love. Christine, you’re a radiant sister and it was nice to have you in the Young Group. Keith, all I can say is that you’re going to get a very fine wife.

Again, if I’ve offended either of you or your families, I’m very sorry. May God bless your new Christian Home. Good night.

Okay, explain the dedication.

I’ll have to talk slow, so Cathy and Shellie can understand it.

You see, all three of these sisters had a hard time getting my jokes.

Over their heads, right?

Well in Cathy’s case, that’s pretty easy. She’s short.

Humorous interpretation 101. Class roster: Bahler-Steidinger C., Huthmann C., Massner S. Massner S.R.


Shellie Ray.

Well Christine and Keith, it’s so nice to have you in Peoria. The pizzas are cooking now and when they’re ready, you just call the kids to the table. You can sithe at the head of the table and the jids will behave.

Why are you having Keith and Christine babysit?

Babysit? They’re going to be with the Peoria Young Group.

Keith, if there’s anything here that you need help with, let me know. You’re foing to have your entire wedding trip to explain this to Christine.

Rut these are Peoria in jokes.

I know you should see the trouble Christine has getting Remington’s in jokes.

You’re bombing out. See all those somber-looking brothers across the hall?

They’re from Fairbury and Forrest.

So? Go push up their cheeks.


No Christine! The chicken did not cross the road! Why couldn’t you be stranded in Havana this weekend, like when Keith and Christine were announced?

I had a ride this time.

Juice notes: A Trio of Teen Tragedies

Since the computer at Authorsden doesn’t like taking extended summaries and descriptions of my work, I’m afraid I’m going to have to write a separate article on my last few submissions, starting with my poem about three “Teen tragedy” rock songs which were big hits in 1964-65, the year I was in the fourth grade.

I first got the idea for this piece while listening to a local poet (Linda Reising) read about seeing J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers perform “The Last Kiss” in concert, which got me to reminiscing about where I first heard it. Ms. Reising wrote about keeping time to the song while wearing an Anette Funicello hairdo and about the real-life tragedy which later befell the singer (J. Frank Wilson died at the age of 49). I didn’t go into that over much in my piece, but I did do some reminiscing about it and first hearing it, while riding in my parents’ 1961 Ford Fairlaine while going to pick up my sister from her ushering gig at the Peoria Players’ production of Take Her, She’s Mine one October night in 1964.

There was a spot on the old game show I’ve Got A Secret, where a celebrity guest accompanied the Shirelles in a performance of “Leader of the Pack” dressed like a biker and at the end he came out looking like he’d been banged up the crash. For some reason, I thought it was Robert Merrill, a longtime star of the Metropolitan Opera, but according to the YouTube video notes, the male singer-James Dean lookalike was Robert Goulet (actually, that sounds more logical). I didn’t see the opening for that particular telecast (Celebrity guests on IGAS would often open the show with “I’m so-and-so and I’ve Got a Secret!!”).

Sorry to give Dickie Lee’s “Laurie” just one line, since it was a beautiful song, but know, space considerations. I had heard it a few times and one night, it actually made me cry. Not wanting to have to explain that a sad love song-ghost story made me cry, I made up a story about I don’t know what and that’s what I told my parents.

I know this a little more long-winded than the usual AD introduction, but what can I say? Thanks for putting up with me.

A Trio of Teen Tragedies



Sometimes the songs of youthful heart break

Extend to the unthinkable.

Strange how we remember them,

the vynl tragedies of the fourth grade.


Oh where, oh where can my baby be?

My first experience with

The Last Kiss came while

riding in my parents’ car

to pick my sister from ushering

on Girl Scout night at the Players’ community theater.


What other sadness and shock

from the singer’s shattered life

was lost to us as we sang along,

Though my mother thought it a gruesome thing.


The opera star had A Secret,

He was the leader of the pack.

A girl group in chiffon at the end

came on and he came out like the Wild One.


Opera and rock end in

tragedies and so it was here,

Look out! Look out! Look out!

The leader staggered out, his arm in a sling.


Dickie Lee’s date with Laurie

Made me cry, but I didn’t want

to tell anyone such a sad tale

of dancing with a ghost would do that.

Strange things happen in this world.

Little Deli Donna’s


It seems as if some quaint

European cafe had been dropped

into the middle of a little Hoosier town.


The beige plaster walls,

Checkered table cloth

and green painted siding

invite them into a wondrous

little tea room, in an idyllic village,

or a bistro in rural France.


As I sit and eat my All-American meal

my mind takes flight to another world.

My mind goes off to some foreign land,

a squeeze box playing while young lovers

walk along exchanging dreamy glances.


What was the name

of that little café?


A tale of love and a bad influence, and /or the Bride’s brother-in-law


This is the story of Craig in Michigan, who liked Jenny in Illinois.


Do you mean “like-like” or “like-you know”?

What is this? High school?

Well, Jenny was a senior at the time.

On Aug. 10, 1959, some collectors charged with looting $750,000 from bridge tolls were suspended. The Senate faced the issue of rights again, and Ike was going to make Bonn the first stop on his world tour, while in Bay City, Mich., Mr. and Mrs. Don Weiland gave birth to a son named Craig.

Ah yes and when the doc slapped Craig on the you-know-what, his eyes bugged out and they’ve been that way ever since.

Didn’t I hear that somewhere before?

It’s just your imagination.

On Oct. 23, 1963, 49 died in a South Korean flood, a hurricane headed for Florida, the strafing of a U.S. ship by a MIG from Cuba was probed and half of Chicago’s pupils staged a one-day boycott of classes.

Any good news?

The Republican won a special House election North Dakota?

Not that kind!

Jenny Waibel was born in Peoria, IL.

That’s better.

As they grew, Craig and Jenny traveled on different paths. Craig’s dad was in (surprise!) construction and he was the oldest in his family. Craig was also an oddity among the Bay City Weilands.

You mean the Bay City Weilands?

Them too (this time, I corrected the typo).

Why was he an oddity?

He had a first name and a last name.

What’s so odd about that?

He’s got cousins named Blaine, Blair, Reagan.

Well, he’s also got cousins named Brad, Todd, Scott and Brace.

The last one’s part of a middle name. S. Brace R. Weiland.

S.Brace R. Weiland? What do the S. and R. stand for?

After shave.

  1. Brace R.? Skinbracer Weiland! Why you,

How’s that grab you, Bay City? The Weilands can sing, but can they do humor like this?

Fortunately not. Talk about Jenny.

Jenny’s in a big family. If Rhoda and Nook Meister wanted a small family, we’d all be calling Joyce Planned Parenthood’s Public Enemy Number One.

As it stands, she’s number two.

Did I tell you about the Waibel family pictures one and two?


Well, you see, Bill and the boys are in one picture, while Joyce and the girls are in the other.

Tell us about Jenny’s family.

Debbie and Danny are twins, Jody and Jenny are sisters, as is Jackie.

Then there are Mike, Matt and Jessie.

All football players.

Not the girls. Jenny was a cheerleader, though.

The Waibels have an unusual house. One time, I was looking at their family picture in stereo, and had to use the necessary room. Danny told me to walk in the broom closet, which I did. I shut the door, and the next thing I know, I’m standing in the middle of the bath tub. The Waibels have a big house. It’s like a plantation house. It was there before the road was. Throw open the upstairs and get a panoramic view of Sterling Avenue. Why, on a clear day, you can even see the John Bee store (in East Peoria?).

Do you want to walk in the broom closet again?

Sorry, they changed the passageways. Now if you walk in the broom closet and shut the door, you wind up in the TV room if you’re not careful.

As time went by, Jenny and Craig both started thinking about where their lives were going. Jenny’s three older brothers and sisters had repented when they were very young. Danny even gave up football and eventually gave his life to the Lord. Jenny gave her life to Jesus in 1980. Craig had been a member for a long time when that happened. After that, their lives could begin to have meaning.

Jenny, of course, went through school at Central, like her older siblings and her dad.

Was she a waffle whiffer?

A waffle whiffer?

You know. “Here comes that pesky waffle whiffer. Waffle, waffle, waffle.”

In her case, I suppose it would be “Waibel, Waibel, Waibel.”

No. “Waibel, Waibel, waibel?”

(That’s not as funny when you spell it right the first time).


Now, Craig had been down to Peoria many times with the Bay City young group and choir. He also visited his friends, the Hoerrs.

Which Hoerrs?

Why do you always ask me these questions? The John Hoerr family. You know, Julie, Joan, Jeff, Jack.



Oh, that Jack. As I was saying, the Hoerrs were pretty good friends with the Weilands. The Hoerrs are the largest family in Peoria and the Weilands are the largest family in Bay City. a lot of friends, right?

But nobody is as big as the Waibels.

Ever met Nook Meister’s family?

Let’s get back to the business at hand. By the way, you like Jenny, don’t you?

Well, isn’t that a bit of a loaded question? How do you mean “like”?

“Like’ you know, a friend, or a sister in the Lord, things like that.

But not, you know, “liiike” Jenny Waibel.

Please, we haven’t even gotten Craig to the elder yet. What do you think this is, high school?

Well, Jenny did just graduate.

So, did Craig finally meet Jenny?

Not yet. In 1978, there were a lot of weddings in the Peoria. The young group didn’t dissolve, it merged. Jenny’s three older siblings were among the couples.

Debbie married Carl Hoerr.

You mean Carlie?

That’s right. Carlie Hoerr, son of Carl Hoerr Sr.

I know that guy.

Danny married Karen.

His dad has a lot of money, so does her dad.

Well, you know what they say. “Those who have Getz.”

Jody married Jack.

Jack who?

I think it was Jack Meister.

There is no Jack Meister.

Well, then that means what I’m about to talk about was just a rumor.


Well, I didn’t know which Jack it was, but at the engagement dinner, Bill was talking to Jack on the phone and was also talking to his wife. Well, after setting the time he’d pick up Jody, Jack asked “How are we going? Tour Pontiac? Or my pickup?”

Bill crushed the receiver and said “It’s Jack! Jack!”

Jack is back.

And Jody has him.

Jack and Jody gave birth to two truck drivers, Wesley and Samuel.

Wes and Sam. Now, don’t they sound like truck drivers?

Yeah, but what’s this got to do with Craig and Jenny?

Well, Craig was spending more time in Peoria and he was a very good friend of Jack’s, so he met Jenny a lot since she was Jack’s sister-in-law.

Oh Jack, are you going off that big board?

Who brought the Rocke sisters in here?

It’s a good thing Jack and Jody got married when they did. Jack, Danny and Bill Schick each got a couch to sleep on then.


Let’s talk about Craig.

Why? Isn’t that dangerous?

Craig has bulging eyes.

He does?

Will you cut with the wide eyes bit?

Craig is also a very good singer.

Who do you get all this about Craig from?

Another old friend of his from Peoria, Dean Samreyser.

That’s Ramseyer!

That’s all right brothers, I’m used to it.

How does he get in on this?

He works for D.A. Hoerr and sons.

So, as time went by, Craig made his usual visits to Peoria. He became pretty well known to the young group. Of course, he was a member for some time before Jenny was converted, but that doesn’t mean that Craig and Jenny didn’t get to know each other.

Did Jenny save Craig a seat on the van?

No, they never went to Princeville with the other young members. Craing, I mean Craig is a better planner.

Just like hsi buddy, Dean Hamrider.

That’s Ramseyer!

Craig’s been on the boat ride.

Does that have anything with meeting Jenny?

With 300 other kids on the boat? How could they meet?

You have a brother, he stands at the front of the boat and he shakes hands with everybody as they come aboard.

Jenny’s a sweet girl, she’s always got a big smile and she seems younger than she is. I mean it’s hard to believe she’s almost out of high school.

Si anyway, Jenny and Craig got to know each other better. They did it by going to singings, on choir trips, young group trips and by Craig visiting Peoria once in a while.

Craig and Jenny became closer as time went by. He eventually took his proposal to the elder at Bay City, who relayed it to Roy. Roy gave the proposal to Jenny. After praying about it, Jenny accepted. The wedding is set for Nov. 8.

When were they announced?

Well, it was on June 7, while the rest of the young group was in Lexington, Ky.

There wasn’t any horsing around, was there?

No, but we did see a lot of hay.

Did I tell you about some of the bad influences on Craig?

Like what?

Jack Hoerr. I mean, he’s taught a lot of crazy things to Craig.

Like what? They’re saying wait until the blackout page.

I’ll tell you then.

We come to the end of another Joos Roast. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my craziness tonight. Jenny, we’ll miss you, so think about down here in Peoria if you ever feel down. Craig, you’ve got one of the good ones. You don’t have to quit coming down now that you’re married and hey, when you two start having kids, the Lord willing, they’ll all have wide eyes. May God bless your new Christian home and may He be with you when you feel lonely for Peoria, Jenny. So, good night.

Did you hear about Craig and Jenny?

I know nothing about it, I was in Indianapolis trying to win a foot race in a parking lot and keep my pants up.

Craig, Craig, what do you want?


You taught him well, Jack. You taught him well.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Joos Roast Poll. Tonight, we are asking the pertinent question “Do you like Jenny Waibel?

Our results are as follows based on question asked of 100 members and friends of the Apostolic Christian Churches of Peoria, IL, and Bay city, MI:

Yes                                                   13%

We love her as a sister                  63%

We love her as family                    16%

No comment                                    3%

Boy, that’s a loaded question       4%

Yeah boy!                                          1%

Here are some answers with quotes-

Margie Webber (that’s Mar-gie Webb-AH): OOH, OOH, JENNY’S A REAL NICE GIRL!

Thanks, Margie.

Sidney, er, ah, Cindy Plattner: Oh, she’s neat!

Valerie Hess: I love her, I love her.

Johnny Brewer: Could you repeat the question?

That’s “Do you like Jenny Waibel? ,” not “Do you LIKE Jenny Waibel?”

Jack Hoerr: She’s my sister-in-law, but you’ve got to watch this guy.

Dean Syrammer: Jenny’s all right, just ask Craig (he thinks she’s super).

Craig Weiland: Yeah Boy!

Karen Waibel: She hardly Getz to me.

We understand that Karen Waibel helped another respondent change his answer from “no comment” to “We love her as family.”

Weekend in Bay City*


Las night, I waived good-bye,


Now it seems years.


I’m back in Peoria,


whhere nothing is clear.


The thoughts of you, led to me


bring us near and tell me


When will our eyes meet?


When can I greet you?


When willthis strong feeling end?


And when will I see you again?


Tine ub Bay City took me away,


to Lake Huron’s beaches


and you in the way.


We started a story which now must begin


(Repeat chorus)



I feel a change coming,


I feel the wind blow,


I feel the Lord’s leading,


I feel richly blessed.


He’s brought us together


with His wonderus grace


From here until Heaven


things won’t be that bad


(Repeat chorus. * Sing to the tune of “Weekend in New England”)

Now we explain why we dedicated this to whom we dedicated it to.


First, we’d like to thank some people for their aid.

We’d like to thank Johnny Brewer providing the poll question.

You like spreading the blame around, don’t you?

And we’d like to thank Dean Samriser for helping us research Craig’s birthday.

Dean Samriser?

Dean Hamrider?


Okay, okay, it’s Ramcharger.


What do you mean, this isn’t funny? Look at Jenny’s brothers. They think it’s hilarious. Look at Jack and Jody, they think it’s a riot. Ryesammer thinks it’s funny.

His name is Ramseyer.

Nice house your folks have, Jenny. I think I’ll go upstairs. Don’t use that stairway. Go up through the fireplace.

Dean Ramseyer.

You got the dedication right.


Why is Jack a bad influence on Craig?

Well, since they’ve been running around together, Craig has been saying things like “yeah boy!” and says that if he’s blessed with sons, they’re both going to be truck drivers.

Craig has also been telling nervous brothers in Bay City to relax.

You know, “relaxxxxxxx!”

Yeah boy.

Craig used to greet one brother from the highway at church.


A-HA-HA! I got you first!

What do you want Craig?


Did you see those eyes light up?

He does that all the time.


Hey, whoa, hold it, hold it.

Well Jenny, I’ve made your brothers laugh again.

Yeah and no Howard Cosell.

Howard Cosell?


That’s all right. We don’t need a sample.

Look at the bright side, Bill. One more and you get your coach back.

You were saying, sir.

Look, just because the Waibel’s house looks like a Southern mansion, that’s now a reason to talk like a Southern colonel.

Col. Sanders?

That’s where I was when I heard about the announcement.

Kentucky Fried Chicken?

You’re getting ahead of yourself.



Their memories followed me on vacation (with Juice notes)

For those who favor coloring books,

listen very well,

on that day Brenda Lee sang.

Her most unusual coloring book.

I know that song, I know it well.

Begin to color me.


I know that song,

it’s one of the songs

which open the gates

of bittersweet memory.

Those songs which break my heart

and bring them back.

Near a building storing the Rolls

Princess Di toured Chitown in,

My princesses paid a visit.


Some old rock and rollers

reminisced about their heydays

and their crush on little Miss Brenda

before she sang her song via satellite.



I sought a car from that year,

a muscle car, of course,

but not a Dodge, how sad.


But they seemed to be all around.

A fleet of vintage T-Birds,

a mystery blonde’s cute sister in each.

A short-brown-haired girl with a fetching smile,


her best freiend with a tempting grin,

waiting in the back of of a slinky Olds ragtop.

Which one? Who knows.


All the places they followed me to,

while riding around in my heart,

and now their memories

finally followed me on vacation.




Juice notes: The memories of three girls I attended grade and junior-high school with inspired this poem, which became inadvertently about one. The circumstances surrounded a trip to the Volo Antique Auto Museum in Volo, IL, one day in August, 2007. While going through the muscle car section of the museum, I caught a satellite radio oldies show, where the host was talking with a musician from the early Rock and Roll era. They were talking about Brenda Lee and played her rendition of the song, “My Coloring Book”, one of those sad love songs guaranteed to bring back bittersweet memories of my first crushes.

How did this poem revolve around her by accident?

Among the cars for sale and on exhibit was a 1963 Ford Thunderbird roadster (two-seat convertible), about three early 50’s T-Birds, a 66 model and a pedal car with a frame resembling a 58-60 Bird. This particular girl’s dad was an FBI agent (I want to be clear, SHE CHASED ME) and a long-haired blonde. Here are why these items are important.

The 1960 TV series The FBI (which I never missed) starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who previously starred as Stu Bailey on another long-running detective show, 77 Sunset Strip, where he mostly drove a (that’s right!) Ford Thunderbird, much like kiddie-car frame and the 63 roadster. The fleet of 55-57 models were similar to the one Suzanne Sommers drove as the mystery blonde who Richard Dreyfus’ character spent most of the movie “American Graffiti” trying to meet up with. Both girls were blondes. There is a natural explanation, isn’t there?

I just hope that this gives you a better understanding of this poem without taking from some of its impact. My only regret is that I was unable to go into my usual case of longing for my lost loves after this, mainly due to the fact that I had learned the previous evening that my father, Charles Joos, was seriously ill (he died two months later).