Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Journey: A Journal Part 3

  Elrond is surprisingly spry for 73, but I guess in elven years that's middle-aged or younger.  We meander through the Wisconsin suburbs towards our goal and we get to talking about Happy Days and how I was pretty excited to be in Milwaukee because of it.  Back in the '80s, that's what people watched for prime-time TV, followed by its spinoff Laverne and Shirley.  Staple stuff.  Three's Company followed that night at 9pm.  Back then in the early '80s, everyone watched it and it's what was talked about in school, "Did you see Happy Days last night?"  Of course.  It was one of 3 options on the dial, the other two were a news show and who knows what else?

 Elrond mentioned he had met Henry Winkler and spoke at length with him about life and things.  We joked it was interesting he was only 5'5" and a little Jewish guy but was the badass of the whole show as "The Fonz" aka "Fonzie" aka "Arthur Fonzarelli".  As a side note, my barber who's 24 had never heard of any of that.  Sad.


Elrond and I talked about many things both military history and actors he'd visited with.  Rather impressive background and we got-on nicely for the hour journey despite my mild jet-lag.  He started on about this one malt-shoppe place and how good it was for a bit and if I wouldn't mind stopping with him there as he normally would do so on "empties" when there were no passengers.  I was fine with it.  A chocolate malt seemed "right".

  We arrive at Cedar Valley Cheese Grove in Belgium, WI, just south of our destination by 5 miles or so to a cheese "factory" run by chipmunky older women and I commented, "This is good because when you're in Wisconsin, you should buy cheese!"  It's where most American cheese is made.  He suggested I buy some for the trip.  While they're making our chocolate double-malts (there's a little sitting area inside) I find a cheese wheel of cheddar that's around 20 pounds or so; the only one.  I get it and ask if it'd keep for several days' worth of travel unrefrigerated.  Since it's aged over 2 years it'll do just fine I'm told by momma-chipmunk. 

  I pay for Elrond's malt in exchange for his free service of travel escort (though we're not there yet, and Chris De Burgh would disagree of my choice...)


  I sit with him as we enjoy our malts with my good-sized wheel of cheddar.  I am amazed at the awesomeness of the shake.  Whole milk from the cows out back with real malt powder  (the only way to go).  Amazing, and it reminded me of my work at Richardson's Dairy where I worked in 1988.  Quality milk and non-bovine-growth hormone additives.  Pure, simple, whole milk and not Hershey's syrup crap but something local-made.  Great, and soul-restoring as elven "cram" or "lembas" and took off a good deal of the travel-weariness from my flights.  This was helpful as the pre-made Pizeria Uno's was a bit unsettling and I had a loooong journey ahead of which I didn't realize, full of peril and danger.  It fortified me on a spiritual level.

  I mentioned to Elrond that I always admired the "cute chipmunky" girl look and that Wisconsin is the home of all "chipmunk girls" (to include Michigan and a few other closeby places).  He laughed and understood what I meant very well and said so as we're both well-travelled thanks to the military.  I like Elrond.  My kinda guy.

  We continue on and I see the Great Lake Michigan and I comment on the SS Beaver that ferries folks across the lake to Michigan and he knew of it well and we chatted about that for a while as we finished our journey, and talked of cars, the evil of The Soviet Union and how Putin is as if Al Capone became President of the US in the '30s would be similar, and of fine things.

  We arrive close to Rivendell Van Horn Chevrolet where my "Rosie" awaits.  He calls in a 1/4 mile out that he'll be arriving soon and the elven guards are to lower their aim as he travels with a friend.  My antici.......pation is pretty intense.  I have know idea what I'm getting myself into, be it good or bad.  I realize the "lemon title" can mean any number of things, and Becky had noticed a potential nail in one of the tires...

  We park and the dealership is TINY.  Much tinier than I had thought.  Business is impossibly brisk, especially compared to Colorado Springs and Elrond prepares to hold council with the others as I step inside.

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