Remember Paul Simon’s line “ she slipped into my pocket with my car keys?” Well, I slipped right back into Minnesota’s pocket the moment I stepped off Frontier Flight 106. Oh, not that ole Minnie hadn’t changed and looked exactly like I remembered it, but it certainly felt the same. And I liked the way it felt.
I grew up in a time when there were at least 100 kids within every three-block radius. And we knew all their names and the neighbors in between. Before we headed to her lake home, my dear friend Patti took us on a tour of the old neighborhood. We filled in nearly every name on the empty lines of our imaginary map as we drove down Newton, up Morgan and back down Logan Avenues.
I’ll be heading back to Boise sometime tomorrow (once we sort out the cancelled flight through Denver). I’m returning with a box of classic Old Dutch Rip-L potato chips. They still sell 'em in boxes, a box that looks nearly identical to their packaging 50 plus years ago. "Isn’t that like bringing coal to Newcastle," you ask? Nah, these chips will taste like the first half of my sixty years. Not necessarily comfort food, but familiar and iconic of a place and time where Andy Lohman could drive up 70th and Morgan today - and when he got to 7021 (where I grew up) he would still be able to point and say, “ . . . and that’s where the Weihers lived . . . that next one - the Grogan’s." He might stop for a second, scratch his forehead and say, "Darn! What was the name of Patti Grogan’s dog, the one that followed her to the skating rink after school every winter day and after dinner every winter night?” “Aw, c’mon, ”I’d chuckle, “how could anyone forget a dachshund named Snorkel?