Sunday, July 21, 2013

Touchdown Jesus!

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! That's right, we're in Land o' Rudy!

Cinema Rudy
Real Rudy
Rudy Huxtable
We're in Mishawaka Indiana, minutes away from Notre Dame and the little man who brought fame and inspiration to South Bend Indiana. Until he started taking steroids in '50 First Dates' with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, that is.

Anyway got a full tour of the campus today by Chris and Terry, my dad's cousin and her husband (so their exact title of family relation to me I don't know). The best part of the tour was Touchdown Jesus.

Saw the stadium, where Rudy himself dressed up for a game and ran through this corridor.

PS Tanya and Doug, please, no negative comments about Rudy in the blog. There's plenty to complain about, leave Rudy out of it. For instance, there's plenty to discuss regarding this Mishawaka resident's lawn decor. Tacky? Patriotic? Theft worthy? Guardian of the house? Discuss.

On  a serious note, we went to the Mishawaka cemetery today. I got to see where my Grandma Mel's final resting place was. I cried a little when we found her marker, which surprised me. I miss her.

My grandma.
Me, Chris, and her mother June, my grandpa's brother's wife, in front of my grandmother's final resting place.
My grandma was cool. I remember watching Little Orphan Annie every single time we went to her house. We would play Barbie's together; she had these cool Barbie's from like the 60's, with cateye eyeliner and bangs and old clothes, for hours. She told me she was the littlest ballerina in Wizard of Oz, which I believed for years. She also told me her farts smelled like rose bushes, which I did not believe. She was super conservative but in love with Willie Nelson. She used to tell me she and Willie were getting married someday, and I worried about my grandpa. She sewed us all pajamas for Christmas and would only serve cold cuts and vanilla ice cream because 'whenever she bought food people would just eat it' (because you know, we have this thing called metabolism). She had a big fat fluffy cat named Pug. She had Alzheimer's disease, and it was very sad near the end.

She married Robert Lawson and they had two children. Their first son, Terry, was born sick, and he died at about six months old.

After my aunt Barb was born, her husband, Terry, was killed in the Korean War. He was 23.

She met my grandpa after that and they married. Their first child, Suzanne, died shortly after being born.

They went on to have four healthy children, including my dad, Stan Jr., known in the family as Goog.

Lake of the Woods is where my dad and his four siblings spent a few years before moving to California. It's where my Grandma Mel's parents lived in a cottage, too. They lived in a brick house on the lake, where their cousins Chris (who we're staying with) and Bob would visit often.

One time my uncle Jim stole five bucks from my grandmas purse and treated everyone at the penny candy store, pictured here.

They've since gone out of business. I mean, a penny? Good luck covering overhead pal. We randomly met a guy who'd been living there since the 50's. He knew where all four brick houses on the lake were, but couldn't remember any Garrow's. My grandpa worked at Bendix and commuted from Mishawaka to Lake of the Woods every day. They tore the building he worked at down a few years ago.

So Chris and Terry are totally awesome. They pretty much devoted their entire Saturday to driving us around and showing me family landmarks. Terry went out and bought fresh doughnuts for everyone early in the morning, which helped me forgive him rather quickly when he slammed my middle finger in the car door. They also live in a really pretty neighborhood, next to a golf course and river.

For dinner we went to this totally bitchin Irish pub. No reservations and no hostess seating you, you just walk in and sit down and get to know your neighbors. We ate way to much. I got a steak and guinness pie and some Uberon, which is an aged version of Oberon, which you can only get in the Midwest, which I'm sure made my friend Steven really jealous. Ubeton is actually spelled with an umlaut, making it taste even better.

Doug got this boxty, which was like an English style meat quesadilla. There were a lot of beers, scotch, and Irish coffees throughout, and this band that played the washboard, banjo, clarinet, guitar, harmonica, etc.

Driving home we went on a hunt for fireworks, because their fourteen year old son and my 35 year old husband were begging for them. Doug had already made me stop by this fireworks warehouse on the side of an Indiana freeway, where he explained to the twenty-something cashier and a random customer that "he was from California". When they failed to keel over in shock, he explained that fireworks were illegal except for weak fireworks on the fourth, etc. He'd found his midwestern utopia.

So: have you lit any fireworks lately? Do you have any idea how I'm related to Chris? What's your favorite doughnut shop?


  1. What? I can't comment on Rudy?! OK, then I have little to say right now. I can tell you that if Chris is your dad's first cousin, then you and Chris are first cousins once removed.

    1. Mystery solved! Thank you, on both your restraint and helpfulness.

  2. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Rudy — real name: Daniel Ruettiger — with allegedly duping investors in his drink company, which had its own slogan: "Dream Big! Never Quit!" He has agreed to pay nearly $400,000 in a settlement.

  3. OK, yes that was me. I didn't see a picture with lawn décor, so I had to direct my energy back to Rudy comments. I promise that's my only one.

    When you get back, I can give you a lesson on cousins (1st, 2nd, once removed, etc.) because I finally have it figured out.

    Tell Doug to make it back to CA with all his fingers and eyeballs intact.

    1. Crap. OK, post updated with Lawn Decor Picture, my bad. I blame blogging on a phone. Incredibly frustrating. Do you love it, or do you love it?