COLUMN: Title Town comes to Monticello

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   So I was all set to write my column this week about my experience at Camp Courageous and the Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour. We provided some advertising for Camp and in return received a couple of passes to this wonderful event.

     But as luck would have it, on Tuesday I missed a day of work due to an illness and on Wednesday I still was a little bit under the weather. I chose to stay away from the crowd. Back in 1972 I experienced a similar event as a youngster in Dubuque. A group of Packer players were going to be in Dubuque for a promotion for our neighbor’s business, Kahle Carpet Co.

     My best friend growing up was Michael Kahle and the two of us would spend hours playing in their family warehouse, climbing the many rolls of carpet that would someday end up in people’s homes.

     The Kahle family was big Packer fans. Every televised game was an event in their household. I felt lucky enough to be able to watch those games with them. The only drawback was we were not allowed to talk at all during the game except to cheer when something good happened.

     They also were part owners, having bought Packer stock. As a young kid I thought that was something big, I was rubbing elbows with one of the owners of the Green Bay Packers.

     When I found out that some Packer players were coming to their store in the off-season, I made sure Michael knew what my level of interest was; I wanted an invite. When I found out that was a go mission, I was determined to get as many autographs as I could.

     I remember cutting the back off of a discarded cereal box and covering it with white paper. When it was announced which players were coming to the store, I located their football cards. I don’t remember if I had all of the player’s cards or not.

     As with any event, the big name Packer players were not listed on the agenda. Most of the guys were second tier players or guys I probably didn’t know very well. The only guy that really mattered to me was a rookie running back by the name of John Brockington.

     Brockington was my favorite player, having just been named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year. And I had his card. Having glued the cards to my cereal box, I was all set for the day of the event. I couldn’t wait to get those autographs.

     My memory is a bit fuzzy about how that day actually unfolded. I just remember how excited I was to get to be able to meet some actual Green Bay players. I savored my Packer autographs for a very long time but I have no idea what ever happened to them.

     I’m guessing they ended up being thrown in the garbage by someone cleaning house. That’s where I happened to find my baseball/football card collection one day as I was walking by the garbage cans sitting out at curbside.

     I wish I still had my old cereal box signed by my Packers. It would be interesting to know now just who all showed up that day.



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