Tuesday, January 1, 2013

football and books

It's a new year, and I can't sleep. My brain won't let me rest until I tie a few loose ends together.

I was 5 or 6, and surprise I couldn't sleep. A lifetime curse, at the time I didn't understood others didn't suffer my fate. The grandchild of a third grade teacher and her sister in the same profession, I had a library stocked with dozens of children's books long before I was born.

The library dwelt just outside my bedroom door, this was a library most children could only dream about. Oh, I had my favorites, Caroline and her friends, The Wizard of Oz, and a tattered hard covered copy of the original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. It was magical.

I remember that night, it couldn't have been much past 9pm, but to me it was the dead of night as I hovered in my brothers doorway quizzing him on the details of the books I had not yet read. Ronn, older by three whole years seemed worldly and wise to this shy little girl. I held up book after book as he rattled off the premise of each book in quick response. I had no idea if he was making it up or not, but I definitely remember my amazement at his power, his knowledge, his magic.

Ronn won't remember this. How could he? I was the bratty little sister, he just wanted me out of his room.

The years went by. Ronn grew into a passionate fan of sports. It was he who pushed me to purchase hockey tickets that year at UW Madison, and he who paid for my Badger football tickets as well. Football. It was a religion in my house. My father played on the defensive line in both high school and later at a small college watched every Packer game, even tool us to the NFC Championship game in Miami the week after the famed Ice Bowl in Green Bay, but it was Ronn who would teach me the game. To this day, I can hear his voice after every play. Ronn always the teacher. He has since taught his daughter, and I love to read her passionate postings on Facebook; they remind me so much of my younger self.

So this one is for you Ronn. Football and books. The trolls love them both. Who would have thought?
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