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Rag In The Bag: Michigan Travels!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

So in line with the shedding of the "bubble" I've been enjoying tossing a rag in the bag (pannier), hopping on my bike and reconnecting with new friends, old friends and family out Michigan way.

After spending the night with a very close friend with whom we shared our MSW years at Michigan State University I got on the bike for old times sake to tool around campus as I used to do way back in 1976-80 (the Magic Johnson-Gregory Kelser years!). Hardly recognized parts of the area in East Lansing as it had changed a lot, but much was very familiar. Fond memories of the Erickson Kiva where the campus hosted such fine jazz performers as Oregon and others. I ushered so I could see everything for free.

I re-visited the housing co-op where I lived and spent the majority of my time in East Lansing. Such cool memories there! We all worked together, very communal spirit, rotating meal prep, each taking care of various chores and OH THE PARTIES!! We weren't quite up to "Animal House" standards...but pretty close! ;-)

Here's a picture of Howland House, an old Victorian home which has been raised up on blocks and moved TWICE in the city!

They're much more colorful than they were back in my day. I enjoyed chatting with the kids on the porch who said they were making an effort to pull together the "alumni" of the house. I loved that thought and volunteered my name and e-mail address and expressed hope that through this I might catch up with an old room mate with whom I completely lost contact over the years. When I shared his name they said "hmm, isn't his son the plumber in town?" I'm excited that they agreed to pass along my name and e-mail to them and hoping to be able to re-connect with him again.

Here's a pic of me en route to our family reunion in St. Joseph:

It was a nice 40+ mile round trip.


Since I knew I'd be out this way visiting family I caught up with WMUGRAD who lives in the Kalamazoo area and earlier this week we had a blast riding along through the relatively new Kalamazoo Valley Trail filling our ride with lots of enjoyable conversation swapping bike tales and Spark tales. Afterward she treated me to a lovely lunch at an Indian restaurant. Both of us happen to be social workers and had plenty of "shop talk" and tales to share as well.

Thank you so much again for your gracious hosting, WMUGRAD!

I continue to revel in the pleasures of catching up with one Spark person after another...every one has been such a delight! We are all part of such a wonderful community and I encourage you all to do your best to make it "real" and connect with each other in whatever way you can!

Here's a "selfie" of WMUGRAD and I:

Viva la SPARK!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like a grand time, Don!
    2370 days ago
  • _MOBII_
    I am so happy that your trip down memory lane was a great one!
    2375 days ago
    A great blog! Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon
    2378 days ago
    Such a fun-filled, memory-evoking trip!! And visiting/meeting with a SP friend while at it! Wonderful! Gotta love the brightness of the Howlad House... especially in the cold states which are so drab in winter! Hmm how many houses get moved TWO times? Once is infrequent, but twice? Must have been too near campus at least one time and moved to enlarge facilities?
    2380 days ago
    It sounds like you are having a wonderful trip. I just love the colorful house!
    2380 days ago
    Happy, happy blog post! I'm looking forward to meeting a fellow Sparker and team member IRL this summer, too.
    2381 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2381 days ago
    Sounds like you have been having a lot of fun riding and connecting with old (and new) friends. I've never riden the Kazoo Trail but have you tried Kal-Haven? Perhaps they connect (probably since the Kal is for Kalamazoo). I've riden part of that one. Fun times.
    2382 days ago
    Have fun ... you animal you. Who knew????
    2382 days ago
    What a wonderful trip and how fun to meet a fellow Sparkie. You look healthy and happy. It must be have brought many memories back to revisit your campus. I love that house! I live in the town of my college so I see the changes.

    Have a great trip my friend!

    2382 days ago
  • _LINDA
    What a fabulous,fun time you are having, meeting online friends and hopefully connecting with old ones :) I would love to meet my Sparkies someday, but it would involve quite the long trip.
    Nice to see you so relaxed, don't worry, be happy is the theme here!
    2382 days ago
    Wow!! You look great and are clearly WAAAAAAY out of the bubble!! What a friendly outgoing person you are . . . love the idea of connecting with alumni!!
    2383 days ago
    Oh, the rides sound grand - both on the road and down your college memory lane. When you decide to ride in NW Illinois, count me in. (I've decided to get fit!)
    I received my MSW in 1981, Syracuse University, after several years in public child welfare post BSW.

    Good to know you're back in the saddle, Don. emoticon
    2383 days ago
    How wonderful to meet so many other sparkies! I think that's awesome.

    Thank you for sharing the pictures and details of your experience!
    2383 days ago
    I totally second that endorsement of meeting fellow Sparkers in person. Every one that I have met has been a delight, and just as they are online! emoticon emoticon
    2383 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14253479
    I am so glad that you are doing what you are doing. It's also wonderful that you are having such lovely experiences with meeting SparkFriends.

    I had the other end of the spectrum happen on more than one occasion so please forgive me for not taking up on any more of these meet and greets in the future.

    Enjoy your family and friends.
    2383 days ago
    What a cool house! Love the colors.

    It's amazing how much things change, isn't it?
    2383 days ago
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