Gail, the woman who baby sat us Kapper kids during the Wonder Bread years found me through Facebook. Here she is with yours truly in front of our cabin at Bremers resort on Lake Delton in the Wisconsin Dells, circa 1956. She was our favorite baby sitter and was brought along on various family vacations. To get the job she let my mom believe she was 14 when she was really 12. Fast forward (well not that fast!) 56 years later with Gail and husband Richard in front of their summer home on Big Stone Lake in Three Lakes, Wisconsin in August of 2012. They met in 9th grade and on occasion Gail brought Dick with her to keep tabs on us. We were crazy about both of them. They married (eloped) upon graduation from high school and formed a business which they recently sold. Boating continues to be a theme in their lives with no shortage of grand children around water skis and wake boards. The trip was planned before my dad died. He would have gotten a real kick out of all this. Life continues to have its’ own checks and balances. My dad who was alive when the trip was planned is now a memory, and Dick and Gail who were memories for so long became very much alive.
When our daughter was born in August 1994, I was in the middle of a tour for Acura Automobiles. It started in San Francisco, moved to New Jersey, then Orlando and ended in Chicago. Victoria was born while some guy was on stage in New Jersey telling the east coast Acura dealers how well they were going to do in 1995. I could only wonder about how well a couple of people were doing back here in the current 1994. I flew home after the show to join my family who had come home from the hospital earlier that day.
A week later, between the Orlando and Chicago shows, we had a day off. I rented a car and headed to Lake Delton, forty miles north of Madison, Wisconsin, to see what became of Bremers resort.
From as young as I can remember, our family always had a cottage on a Wisconsin lake somewhere. Most of the time my dad brought a boat with us. Typically it was a different boat every year. The ritual was simple. When the snow melted in spring, it was time to buy a boat. When school began, it was time to sell it. This pattern, as disconcerting as it was sometimes, was also exciting and made for learning about some interesting boats. The lessons in compulsive behaviors would come much later.
Sometimes my older brother Howard and I would go with dad to pick our “new” boat and bring it home. The ride in the car was just as exciting as the anticipated ride in the boat. Looking through the back window of the station wagon and seeing the bow following us was beyond exhilarating for a five year old. All I could do was sit their imagining what the engine will sound like, and how fast will it go, not that I had any real concept of speed. Back then you were either going slow or going fast, rarely did we do much in between. The boats were typically used, almost never over fourteen feet, and rarely powered by more than twenty five horsepower, but for me, it didn’t matter, it was our motorboat.
In college I took a music class. In the syllabus it stated it was for people who could not play an instrument. The professor was Bob Schectman, a jazz buff who played bass but it was his teaching that he was known for. He would lecture about how Beethoven made a contraption with five sticks of wood three feet long, spaced a couple of inches apart. For inspiration he would take it down to the pool hall, lay it across the scattered balls using them as notes depending on where how he placed this thing. At the end of one of these lectures, Bob gave our homework assignment – write a piece of music – for an orchestra. We could use any symbols we wanted to explain if the sounds should go up or down and for how long each should play for. The next week we all showed up with our masterpieces made up of lines and circles and arrows and squares, and there on stage was the Grand Rapids orchestra, not all of them but enough. We each took our turn as conductor, handing out our “music” to the various sections. They would look at their parts, while listening to me as conductor explain what all those symbols mean. The totally got it. Everyone of those musicians took us as seriously as conductors as we took our music, and they wanted to make sure it sounded the way we heard it in our heads.
Want to feel empowered? Conduct an orchestra with your own piece of music.
I think we all write. We write the most wonderful movie scenes, the most moving plays, the “can’t put it down” mysteries, and even award winning novels that might land you a television appearance with Oprah. We do all this in those moments when our job isn’t pressing us, while we are eating lunch, taking our dogs for a walk, driving those two hours for that all important sales call when listening to the radio, XM, or your iPod just doesn’t cut it anymore. We do it alot because I think most of us are in our heads alot. We all lead a public life that everyone sees, yet everyone knows there is a private life that is only seen when we choose to reveal it, and in my way, this is what this web site is all about.
This is a bridge from what is inside my head to your eyes. It is bits and pieces, observations, real experiences, fantasies, what ifs, and a host of other things. Some I have written knowing that one day there would be a venue to publish them and some I have not written yet but thankful that I created this web site so there is no excuse to not put whatever it is I write, out there. Most of it is stuff I have written, and after planting it on Facebook decided there was probably a better way to reach more folks so here it is. What happens after you read it? I suspect in most cases probably nothing but if you are so compelled to offer feedback there is a place for that.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.