Brewers, motorcycles, trains, and an historic rural church — all in one weekend!

No rest for the wicked.

Saturday was the Harley Davidson of Madison run for muscular dystrophy. It took us down to Argyle in Lafayette County via some delicious back roads on a picture perfect day. Our group of four consumed justly praised hamburgers at Good Fellas tavern, washed down with some barley pops with the blue ribbon on the label.

One of the poker run stops was the Toy Train Barn, W9141 Highway 81, Argyle. Incredible! Well worth the $5 admission.

Several tableaus of trains of all gauges running over rivers and through mountains, past picturesque general stores and houses. The attention to detail is incredible. At one of the tables, a figure is polishing his classic car at an auto show, next to an car race and a circus in progress. A block away, firefighters are pouring water on a house afire and yes, smoke is billowing into the sky above this miniature city. To the east, cars are watching an outdoor movie that is actually playing. I joked to cousin Johan that the only thing missing was a car rocking so don’t come knocking. We looked closer. Yep, one car is rocking ever so slightly!

Buck, the owner, said he comes by his love of trains naturally, having been a railroad engineer some 30 years. His wife Jan showed us some of the mechanicals underlaying the display, many of them adapted from household items. You can ride an outdoor train on the farm. What a great find!


A nod to the past and a blast at Miller Park

Sunday, our annual picnic at The Island Church, a tiny white structure with a crooked steeple built of tamarack logs and overlaid by boards and batten in 1863 by my ancestors. It’s a time capsule sitting on top of its hill in the picturesque countryside southeast of Waterloo.

Peter Klein, former longtime curator of the splendid Sun Prairie Museum, took these photographs.

Friday night, took Number One Son to the Brewers baseball game, which featured a grand slam home run by the aging (how strange that sounds) Ryan Braun in an 8-run second inning. What fun! Started out from the Stately Manor on the southwest side of Madison at 4:30. A full house, just under 42,000, meant that we endured a trying traffic jam due to the ever-present orange cones (yes, some roads are being repaired in Wisconsin). So we missed the free Paul Molitor jerseys, given to the first 20,000.

Seats in the fourth row from the railing on the second level (diamond loge box) were $53 each. Plus $2 each for a “convenience fee.” (Guess that’s for mailing the tickets.) A Miller High Life is 8 bills plus a buck tip to the appreciative vendor = $9. Preferred parking is $16. The brats are good — nice fresh buns make all the difference. Max got some Mac & Cheese sprinkled with bacon bits. Also good. Roof was open and life is good. Brewers in first place in mid-July. Who’d a-thunk it?

Now for a kvetch. Never understood why your best relief pitcher, your so-called closer, is confined to the ninth inning when he’s as likely to face the bottom of the order and with no one on base.

In the Brewers’s loss Sunday, they bring on a brand new player — untested in a Brewers’ uniform — to pitch the sixth inning with the sacks full and nobody out. Sure enough, the Phillies send his first pitch into the seats for a grand salami. There’s the game, right there. Aren’t those the situations you want a Corey Knebel?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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