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Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Funny you should say that (01/20/17)
“Struck, how come your stuff ain’t so funny anymore?” an old acquaintance said to me the other night. Caught off guard, I had no answer and mumbled something like,” I’ll get better. You can’t always have your A Game on 24-hour call.” But I got to thinking about the guy’s remarks on the way home, and later, I dug out a bunch of old columns to see if this old dog actually was slipping a bit...
Vacation goes to pot (01/13/17)
With state after state legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes, I’m reminded of a former family vacation when pot took center stage. Because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, or any community or state, let’s suffice it to say the Struck family took a vacation to the southwestern portion of a state south of Iowa where this one big river meanders diagonally east-southeast until it merges with another big river near a really big arch. ...
Shootin’ hoops ‘til I’m pooped (12/23/16)
Before he grew up and moved on, my youngest son and his neighborhood buddies shot hoops just about every night and every weekend at the basket in our driveway. The basket is on the side of our concrete driveway directly across from my neighbor’s basket and adjoining concrete driveway, so they face each other and formed a nifty full-court basketball floor. Needless to say, this was quite popular with the kids who played there...
The heartbreak of time fleeing (12/16/16)
"Geez, Struck,” said the guy. “How long you been doing this? Aren’t you about ready to hang it up? I mean, you’re old!” Those questions came from a young youth league coach some years back when I still thought I had something to offer and could possibly make a difference in some young athletes’ lives, just as many noble coaches had done before me...
Hinkhouse ‘Pegs’ his gator (12/05/16)
Just like the TV reality show “Swamp People,” Cherokee’s Rich Hinkhouse recently bagged himself an alligator with a 4-pronged grapple hook from a small boat in the Louisiana swamps, all thanks to his wife, Peg, who arranged for the surprise hunting trip of a lifetime for her avid hunting husband...
Just shut up and play! (11/25/16)
I see it in the gymnasiums and on the outdoor and driveway basketball courts. I see it in pee-wees, grade schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and pros. I see it in both boys and girls basketball games and practices. I see it in city leagues, country leagues, church leagues and it’s probably even 97 leagues under the sea...
The fast lane someday merges (11/11/16)
Because of my love of music and the wondrous poetry of meaningful lyrics, I fondly remember and often listen to golden oldies from the likes of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Kris Kristofferson. One of my favorite lines of an old Kristofferson tune is, "From the rocking of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse, the going up was worth the coming down."...
You're probably a redneck if... (10/28/16)
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy was in Sioux City last week as a guest speaker, and I’m sure he reeled off a portion of his famous "You're probably a redneck if..." routine. I'm sure you've heard of some of Foxworthy's lines, such as, "You're probably a redneck if your home has more miles on it than you car." or ,,, "Your family tree doesn't fork," or ... "Your dog and your wallet are both on a chain."...
Struck Strikes Out: The Rise Man Award (10/24/16)
He didn’t win the Heisman Award in college, but I have named San Francisco 49er QB Colin Kaepernick the first recipient of my Rise Man Award following his refusal to rise for the National Anthem. Kaepernick has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the National Anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States...
Saying goodbye to coach Murray (10/03/16)
Several months have passed since my old Storm Lake St. Mary's high school basketball and baseball coach passed away in January at age 87 and I meant to write a tribute to him before illness impacted my life and job for a few months. Well, I'm back more or less, but my old coach John Murray isn't and won't ever be. And that brings sadness to me and brother Giles every time we think of him...
Struck Strikes Out: Wisin' to those risin' Bison (09/23/16)
A famous line from the classic movie 'Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid' was "Who are those guys?" as a group of cowboys not to be denied persisted in tracking down and capturing lawbreakers Butch & Sundance. Well, it's a good bet folks in Iowa City and Hawkeye football fans everywhere last Saturday were asking that same question after the North Dakota State University Bison stalked and captured the Hawkeyes 23-21 in what was billed as a big school-little school football mismatch for the-then #13 D-1 Iowa team.. ...
Struck Strikes Out: 49ers QB sacks himself (09/02/16)
Many years ago as a rookie reporter for the then Cherokee Daily Times, I was assigned to cover and photograph the traditional Memorial Day Services so wonderfully staged each year at Oak Hill Cemetery. As the National Anthem began to play and everyone stood, I noticed an elderly man confined in a wheelchair with tears trickling down his cheeks while his wife stood proudly at his side. I walked over and asked his wife if he was OK...
Struck Strikes Out: Livin' and Lyin' with the choices I've made (08/26/16)
I was out partying with Lyin' Rochte and a couple of his swimming buddies the other night and they got so drunk I could hardly see them. As is his wont, Lyin' insisted on buying the rounds because he was making so much money with all his endorsement deals and Olympic fame. I just went along for the ride even though I figured he was doing nothing more than buying friends because he didn't have too many legit buddies...
Struck Strikes Out: Down, not out (07/15/16)
There's an episode on History TV's Iowa-based "American Pickers" where a freaky dude tells Mike and Frank when they're interested in an item to "Just put it in the pile." Well, I was put in a pile about four months ago when my kidneys failed and by the grace of God, medical technology, a loving family, and many cherished friends I never knew I had, I managed to crawl out of that pile, battle back to a semblance of normal life, and sit here today trying to get back in the groove as a journalist for which I've devoted most of my adult life because a beloved nun, the late Sister Bernadine, told me I was equipped for it.. ...
Paul Struck
Struck Strikes Out