Just as last week, I’ve got another Throwback Thursday post. This time, it is from July 24, 2004. In the summer between my junior and senior years in high school, our family went to Fort Dodge, Iowa. We have family friends there who participate in dragon boating, and when we were in Fort Dodge earlier that year in January (as a stopover before Casey’s gymnastics meet in Ames), they had told us about the national championships that summer. This weekend also happened to be when RAGBRAI would go through Fort Dodge.
Just like my other journals that I post online, these are not necessarily the originals. Any stets have been edited out unless it is part of the journal.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
I got up at 6:30, did all the morning “stuff”, and then got the newspaper. Nothing too interesting today… oops! I shouldn’t use a red pen to write in my journal… <goes to switch pens> Take two! just Dragon Boating, the 9/11 Commission’s report, and sports. In the sports section, I did notice that Fort Dodge’s softball team continued into districts and was doing very well! (I didn’t realize at this point that spring high school sports in Iowa can have a summer season!) I ate a cinnamon roll (yum!) for breakfast. Then, I simply killed time until 8:45. Then, once more to Kennedy Park for the Dragon Boat National Championships!
We arrived at Kennedy Park (duh!). Since the format of Dragon Boating was still unfamiliar to me, I was completely lost. Mom and Dad had an early race with the local adults and got third place (out of three boats in the heat), but they thoroughly enjoyed it. Soon enough, the marshaling call for the Jr. Dragoniers came. The fun is about to begin!
Our team boarded the boat, we got instructions and commands, and we rowed toward the starting line. In Dragon Boating races, teamwork is imperative, that’s why there’s a Japanese drum on board! It was a different experience than anything else that I have ever done. Also, our drummer, Shanna, was really into it. The opponents were a baseball team (the Junior Dragon Slayers), and a seasoned team (the Weekend Warriors). It was a good race—we finished second. Not only that, it was an intense but brief workout!
After the race, the team got a photo. Then, I mingled around, stopped by the MIX 94.5 booth, and got interviewed on the radio! I explained my view of the races and the weekend during my interview. Mom and Dad then were in another race, but got last place again. Those other teams are completely out of their league, but qué sera, sera. Afterward, I ate a taco boat for lunch. It almost tasted like chili (just 52 days left until Runza will have chili available!). About 1:30 [at this point, I had not shifted to using 24-hour time in my writing], the Jr. Dragoniers raced again, with better technique but still a second-place finish. After one more race that my parents participated in, we returned “home” to the Schwendemanns’.
Well, actually we went to the Bike Shop in downtown Fort Dodge to buy some bike shorts for Monday first. THEN we returned “home”. We called several people to tell them that we were in Fort Dodge. I also attempted to call Mrs. Moen, my second-grade teacher. I left the worst telephone message ever! Until 6:00, I killed time. Then, we went a roundabout scenic route to dinner at the Cellar. I had a hamburger (no, I will have some originality later…) I took the wheel to the Cooper Elementary School neighborhood, where the past met the present!
We first stopped at Cooper to see the school and the playground. Needless to say, it looked different from when I used to attend there, eight years ago! We all walked to Natalie’s house, that was still on the kitty corner from the school’s fields. Eight years ago, we shared a third-grade class. I often used to walk to her house after school to hang out until Mom would pick me up. Their family will be moving to Florida at the end of this upcoming academic year. With her, we walked back to Cooper for more memories, including a photo with the school’s backdrop. At her house, we talked about my childhood, moving, college, etc. Eventually, we left to visit another family of elementary school friends.
Gil (the dad of this family) was working in the garage when we arrived. He immediately notified Eric (who was in Casey and Molly’s first-grade class) and Brian (who was in my third-grade class) that we had arrived. History repeated itself again—s’mores in their backyard. (Eight years prior, on Labor day of 1996, we visited Fort Dodge for a Labor Day party, a week after having moved to Lincoln. Dad was still finishing up his job in Fort Dodge when this happened.) Vicki got a picture of Brian and I. Then, we went outside, talking about memories galore. Eventually, Marissa and Morgan (FDSH softball players and former classmates) appeared. Of course, that meant more pictures, good times, and wishing of luck for their State pursuits! As the time wore late (about 11:15), we headed “home”. Man, all these good memories make me teary-eyed for the past! In fact, it makes one line from the book My Antonia that I had read this year, “Optima dies…prima fugit” spring to life! One more thing: even though I am a Knight and soon a college student, I’ll always be a Dodger too!
>>>TO BE CONTINUED…
Today is the ninth day of MAPLE, which makes one week and two days.
היום ארבעים וארבעה יום, שהם ששה שבועות ושני ימים לעמר
If I had some of the photos from this trip on my computer, I would have posted them with the thing. But, I think they are in Lincoln…