First Sunday at 38
Again, for those of you expecting something since yesterday, I apologize. I was on the road for almost five hours yesterday, and when I got to Kansas City, I fell asleep right after checking in. I didn’t really get going until 9:15 this morning, and by that time, I had to get in the shower and get over to Buffalo Wild Wings by 11.
TMP-Marian won the Mid-Continent League volleyball tournament championship match in three sets over Phillipsburg. The Panthers won the first set, but the Monarchs rallied to claim their first MCL championship in any event. TMP became a full league member in July, but it participated in some league events last year, including volleyball, wrestling and track.
This year marked the first time since 1994 neither Phillipsburg nor Smith Center won the MCL volleyball championship. The Lady Red won 11 consecutive titles from 1995 through 2005, and the Panthers followed that with six in a row between 2006 and 2011. Smith Center broke back on top in 2012 and 2013, the 13th and 14th for the school, all under coach Nick Linn, who has won 673 matches in 28 seasons at Smith Center. One of his proteges is Phillipsburg coach Terra Keeten, who played at Smith Center as Terra St. Clair from 1989 through 1992. Terra’s little sister, Whitney, played for the Lady Red from 2007 through 2010. Their parents, Ron and Tracy, still come to many matches ,both at Smith Center and Phillipsburg, even though their children have all grown up.
With the championship match going three sets, as well as both semifinals taking the maximum time, I did not get out of Smith Center until 5:30. I stopped at the Belleville Dairy Queen for food and the Marysville Sinclair for a bathroom break.
Then came the real fun.
I was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy in eastern Nemaha County, about halfway between Seneca and Hiawatha. I was afraid the deputy might think I was intoxicated or was doing something else illegal, but it was because the low beam headlight on the driver’s side was burned out. The high beams still worked, and so did the fog lamps, but I need the low beams on the two-lane highways whenever I pass someone coming from the other direction. If you leave your high beams on when someone is coming from the other direction, you could blind them and cause an accident.
It was the first time I have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer since July 2010, when I was driving from Pittsburg to Tulsa following the Shrine Bowl. I have not received a ticket, thank God, since September 2008, for following too closely.
Last night made me the first person from Russell to get pulled over in Cherokee County, n the very southeast corner of the state bordering Missouri and Oklahoma, and Nemaha County, most famous for producing John Riggins.
The deputy only gave me a warning to get the lights fixed, and I was on my way. I used my fog lamps whenever I needed to turn off the high beams. I got gas in Hiawatha, then got to the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs Parkway. I considered ordering Outback takeaway just before closing time, but I passed. Twenty minutes later, I dozed off.
I’ve been playing poker today instead of trivia. Lisa suggested to me. She’s in that mood because she’s going to Las Vegas this week with her parents. She has to drive back to St. Louis Tuesday to meet them before she flies out of Lambert International Airport Wednesday. It also was a very good idea to play poker because the arrogant know-it-all Rondo was sitting at the bar. Lisa told me she had him once as a customer and she did not enjoy it at all. Now that Rondo has left, I’m finally going over to trivia. In two poker games, I won a total of almost $20,000 in virtual chips. Not bad.
Today is Lisa’s last day of full-time work at Buffalo Wild Wings. She’s going on to bigger and better things. I’m really, really glad to have had the chance to get to know her over the past few months. It will leave a hole in my heart not to see her anymore, but it’s for the best. She’s here today, along with Raymie and Ashley, who is doing an awesome job of taking care of me. Alex just showed up, and Brittany is supposed to be tending bar tonight.
I wrote the Smith Center-LaCrosse game story at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ll get started on my column too. My Monday just got fractured by the fact I have to drive to Morse-McCarthy Chevy in Overland Park to get the headlights fixed. Could be worse. Not going to complain, because it will give me a chance for cheesecake.