They say bad things happen in threes. The past couple of weeks I needed to replace a dying computer. Two days later, my television set croaked. I thought I could go without a TV, but I am a news junky and I needed my CNN and MSNBC news! I am waiting ever so patiently for the next big bad wolf to come knocking on my door… forcing me to spend money on yet another incident.
So aside from a few bad days, I look forward to my weekends, in the event I don’t have to work. This time of the year, people are planning vacations, taking weeklong breaks off of work. I fear I’ll never catch up after a week off, so instead, I enjoy taking a day off here and there, getting “away.”
I’ve gone to a beach (Yes, we have them here in Iowa.), picnics at area parks and a hot air balloon festival in Galena. All of these daylong trips cost very little money and allow me to spend time with family and friends at the same time.
And speaking of trips, last week I talked with some pretty special guys and brothers: Ed and Louis Folken in Anamosa. Ed is the father of Denny Folken, principal of the Monticello Elementary Schools. Ed and Louis served during World War II in separate parts of the country. (Ed was in Guam and Louis in North Africa.) While they share that experience, they also recently shared an even greater experience, going on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight together! What a way to travel and see a memorial dedicated in their honor in Washington, D.C., than with your brother and fellow serviceman!
I had a busy schedule the day I sat down to interview Ed and Louis, otherwise I would have talked to them for hours. The two were such a delight to speak with! Their banter back and forth reminded me of the comedy routines of Abbott and Costello. (I know I wasn’t around when these two hit it big, but I have several DVDs of their comedy sketches and laugh my you-know-what off every time!)
Ed and Louis had completely different experiences while in the war. Neither saw combat. Neither was wounded. Ed was single and carefree at the time, while Louis had a wife and family back home.
I’ve done a lot of stories about our area WWII veterans who have gone on the Honor Flight. Each has a different story to tell as far as his time in the service during the war. Some were in the midst of fighting; while others, like the Folken brothers, were fortunate they didn’t come up against any fighting. However, each had the exact same reaction to going on the flight and seeing the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. They’ve all expressed what an honor it was to be on the flight, to see D.C. (some for the first time ever) and to do it with fellow service men and women. Such great stories worth sharing and telling!
On a completely different note, I came across an interesting article while reading the news online. With the 2012 Summer Olympics coming up in a little over a month in London, I thought it’d be worth sharing some useless, but interesting Olympic tidbits.
While I am not a sports fan, when it comes to the Olympics, I go hog wild! I love watching the swimming events, gymnastics, track and field events, beach volleyball, hockey, rowing, weightlifting; I could go on and on!
But, I found out about some Olympic events that were, at one time, part of the sporting arena…
• Croquet ended in 1900 in Paris
• Live Pigeon Shooting ended in 1900 in Paris
• Hot Air Ballooning ended in 1900 in Paris
• Tug-of-War ended in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium
• Glima (Icelandic folk wrestling) ended in 1912 in Stockholm
• Korfball (gender-mixed combination of netball and basketball) ended in 1928 in Amsterdam
• Club Swinging (gymnastic event, not to be confused with another form of “club swinging”) ended in 1932 in Los Angeles
• Water Skiing ended in 1972 in Munich
• Solo Synchronized Swimming ended in 1992 in Barcelona.