Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

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Traveling a good way to spend the summer

Summer is right around the corner, and many of you readers are no doubt making plans for a trip of some sort. Some of you will travel to another country, others will travel within the United States, and some residents will spend time discovering the many treasures that Wisconsin holds.

Trips with family and friends are some of my favorite memories. As a child, I traveled with my parents to both western and southern states. If you have never visited the west, you might like to consider doing so; there is so much to see. I remember studying about the Badlands, the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore in school, so to visit these landmarks as a grade school child was so exciting. We stayed in Yellowstone National Park. Watching Old Faithful erupt was a sight I have never forgotten.

During the years I traveled with my folks, there was no air conditioning in our car. There were vents, but they really didn’t help. Traveling to southern states in the heat of the summer wasn’t my idea of a good time, but my mom loved the south. The heat never bothered her, but Dad and I did our share of drinking lots of ice water.

One of my favorite memories is the trip we took to Disney World when our children were young. Watching our kids have such fun made it all worthwhile. I still have our son’s little blue Disney autograph book containing the signatures/doodles he collected from Disney characters.

Another time when traveling south, we made a stop in Plains, Georgia, the home of former President Jimmy Carter. It was like taking a step back in time. The buildings were old with no modernization of any kind. The clerks were slow moving, but very friendly. People were sitting on store steps drinking lemonade with hound dogs laying at their feet. It was like visiting Mayberry. We saw Billy Carter’s gas station and picked up a six pack of Billy beer.

We also made a stop in New Orleans. My mother was on the trip with us. We decided to go to a club where jazz music was advertised. Al Hirt played and during his break, he came and sat at our table and visited with mom and me. I remember how delighted my mom was. I’m sure all her friends heard about it — often.

Speaking of New Orleans, during the time I was mayor, Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage. Shawano adopted a sister city, Summit, Mississippi. Our community collected supplies for them and we also sent truckloads of water. Wisconsin Film and Bag partnered with us. The city sent Clerk-Treasurer Marlene Brath and me to Summit to present them with the much-needed supplies.

What an experience. The devastation was incredible. Never had we seen such a disaster. None of us could speak as we took it all in. All we could do was wipe our eyes and pray for the victims.

We were met by dignitaries who were more than gracious. We were invited to a dinner at a plantation. The home was both magnificent and charming. Before serving us a delicious southern dinner, prayers were given. They thanked the Lord for the citizens and businesses of Shawano for sending help. I remember thanking him too for allowing us to be a part of this mission.

The Braths and hubby and I decided to drive over to visit Kiln, Mississippi, the home of Brett Favre who was our quarterback at the time. We heard about his favorite hangout, the Broke Spoke. When we drove up, the gravel parking lot was filled with motorcycles and bikers. The bar was a small very run-down building. When we entered, we had to go through a maze of bras hanging from the ceiling. There was a variety of bar stools lining the carved-up bar, none of them the same. The bartender was very welcoming. He was excited to learn we were from Wisconsin. He encouraged us to drive down the road a piece and stop in to visit Bonita, Favre’s mother. He said she loves to visit with people from Wisconsin and she would invite us right in.

There was an unusual smell permeating through the bar and we learned they were cooking up a possum and raccoon stew. We were told it would be done soon and we were invited to stay. Funny thing, none of us were hungry.

If you like traveling, then I encourage you to do it if you can. Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can enjoy today. As you age, for many, traveling long distances becomes more difficult and less enjoyable. Legs hurt and kidneys demand attention. I am so glad we saw most of our beautiful United States during the years we could fully enjoy the sights and one another.

When I retired from the city, Sam and Wendy Crawford gifted me with a wonderful book titled “Backroads and Byways of Wisconsin.” In the future, hubby and I will take day trips and weekend excursions and discover what our beautiful state has to offer. First on the list is Baraboo, to visit the International Crane Foundation to see all 15 world species of cranes including the very rare whooping crane.

Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere.

Question: In what year was the Shawano Rotary Club founded?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: The Shawano Rotary Club was founded Nov. 23, 1923.

Lorna Marquardt is a former Shawano mayor.