People look at me funny. I've gotten used to it.
This is especially true when they find out I am a ::gasp:: Green Bay Packers fan.
"'WTF" -- How can you be a Packers fan?
My standard line is that my mother dropped me when I was a baby -- but in reality, that's probably how I became a Cubs fan. It's not a great excuse, it's also a reason I probably qualify for handicapped parking.
But a Packers fan? A cheese head?
Heard them all. You know, what do you call a 300 pound woman in Green Bay? Anorexic.
So how did I end up north of the border instead of pulling for the Monsters of the Midway?
I remember going to a Bears game at Wrigley and seeing Gayle Sayers run back a kick off for a touchdown.
The single memory I have from attending a Packers game was almost getting arrested for scalping tickets outside County Stadium in Milwaukee.
Yes, I'm old.
My indoctrination to the Packers probably came from my late sister's husband who was from Fond-du-Lac. I was young, well younger, and probably impressionable. My infatuation with the Packers lasted longer than their marriage. Such is life.
What fostered my Packer partiality was probably the fact that I went to school in Sheboygan. An hour away from Milwaukee and an hour away from Green Bay -- perfect in the days of the NFL's archaic blackout rule.
It also helped that there were an annoying amount of New Yorkers who talked funny and pulled for the Jets and Giants. Really annoying.
As for living in Sheboygan, now that was an experience. Like folks in New York and Cincinnati, they talk funny. There's no "et cetera" -- it's "and so" and for whatever reason, it's always "once" - -as if do say "can you come here once?" Don't ask, because I can't explain it.
And the syntax is equally as challenging. "Hey there, want to go down to Prange's for a coke and schmoke once, and so?"
But Sheboygan had its pluses. Through it all, it was a good eating town. Yes, they had bratwurst, cheese curds, and somewhere along Rt. 42 in Howards Grove-Millersville (which at one point was the longest city name..until they condensed to Howard Grove) was the Log Cabin, which had amazing fried chicken. But when you are a college student, any fried chicken tastes good.
Pizza was at a premium because, well, at the time there wasn't much outside of Pizza Hut (
Campus was not far from Johnsonville where they make, or made, Johnsonville brats.which, after 40 years is still there) -- except for one spot, Faye's Pizza, which according to Google is still there. Traditions linger in Sheboygan, kind of like Packer football.
But don't ask me how to get there because up in Wisconsin they don't name roads, they just give them letters. So Johnsonville Brats may have been on County Trunk (whatever a trunk is) MM, near the intersection of Country Trunk J, which intersects with County Trunk A. And just to keep you honest, you can have the same roads in every county, so if you don't know which county you're in, you're totally screwed. Period.
The great Sheboygan metropolitan area is anchored by the Kohler Company -- yes -- that Kohler Company -- purveyors of sinks, bathtubs, toilets and urinals. It's what keeps the economy going.
I had the opportunity to go back to Sheboygan last fall for my 40th college reunion (I told you I was old). Do I know a good time or what?
Has Sheboygan changed? A bit. The mall is bigger, stores have changed and, as noted, the Pizza Hut is still there. So too is "The Grove" where we used to drink because at the time, you could drink at 18 in Wisconsin.
Sort of like Cubs baseball. Some things never change.
It's a bit of a nostalgic trip to drive through Sheboygan and go by the old place once, and so?
<div><iframe src="//storify.com/ChicagoNow/chicagonow-s-blogapalooz-hour-volume-viii/embed?border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/ChicagoNow/chicagonow-s-blogapalooz-hour-volume-viii.js?border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/ChicagoNow/chicagonow-s-blogapalooz-hour-volume-viii" target="_blank">View the story "ChicagoNow's Blogapalooz-Hour: Volume VIII" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div>
Filed under: Uncategorized