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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014
Struck Strikes Out : No doubting this Thomas (04/11/14)
One of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching sentiments I've ever heard that embraces the whole of admiration, inspiration, respect, and adulation of a loved one as best anyone possibly could, was penned by Rock 'n Roll legend Bruce Springsteen. And yes. I have all his stuff and many duplicates...
Struck Strikes Out : Pickin' up the pieces of college life (08/21/13)
I was visiting with a couple college kids recently when the topic came up a few times of super-talented high school athletes who wind up tarnishing or ruining their image and/or college careers by getting arrested for breaking the law. It brought to mind my very own college experiences and, although I was never arrested, believe me I easily could have and should have been on multiple occasions...
Struck Strikes Out: Has golf run its course? (07/01/13)
I was not shocked to read recently that participation in the game of golf by the masses in the United States has decreased about 25 percent in the last few years. I shared that with some friends the other day who told me they were seeing fewer and fewer golfers on area courses and they were wondering what the heck was going on...
Struck Strikes Out : Talkin' about my generation (06/12/13)
A well-preserved foursome of current and former Cherokee senior citizens continues to excel on the golf course in admirable fashion, including a recent succesful appearance at the Siouxland Senior Open at Two Rivers Golf Club in Dakota Dunes, S.D. The group will be back in action individually this weekend at the 79th annual Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament at the beautiful Cherokee Golf Course...
Struck Strikes Out : Teeing off really tees him off (01/04/13)
I was looking out my sliding glass doors at the Cherokee Golf & Country Club's frigid winter landscape a few days ago, thinking out loud that, "By golly, this upcoming season, I'm going to play me some golf." I've only played a couple rounds the past few years and I don't really know why, except to say that my game has disintegrated to an embarrassing degree, I lose my balls a lot shorter now, arthritis has gnarled some fingers, and many of my old cronies have quit, retired, split up, or developed other interests.. ...
Struck Strikes Out: Spendin' time with my man Cave (12/12/12)
I've been impatiently sitting on this matter since those Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Eagles rose up to win the 2012 8-player State Football Championship. In a previous column, I lauded, congratulated and identified the present and past MMC football coaches for all having their fingerprints and influence on this year's State Champs...
Struck Strikes Out : Many hands share MMC Eagle magic (11/21/12)
Last spring Leo Hupke, one of my favorite pals for nearly 40 years, was sitting in my office sharing information about the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn girls softball team that he coaches. Leo is a "retired" former Cherokee Washington High teacher, Athletic Director, football coach, baseball coach, track and field coach, and softball coach...
Struck Strikes Out : Accepting the unacceptable (10/25/12)
I recently received an e-mail from a former valued employee wondering why I quit writing my 'Struck Strikes Out' column. He said he and his buddies daily search the Chronicle Times website for a 'Struck Strikes Out' column and are "very tired" of never finding one...
Struck Strikes Out: Bully for coaches' retorts (08/06/12)
The continuing problem of meddlesome parents confronting their children's youth and prep coaches over playing time, positions, teammate jealousies, etc. has simply got to stop. Many times a coach is caught off guard by the timing and bold and callous disrespect some parents display because they're not pleased with how coach is treating their kid...
Struck Strikes Out : Uh, maybe this RAGBRAI thing will catch on... (07/18/12)
Even at this advanced age after burning many candles at both ends too many times, I distinctly remember many things about the very first RAGBRAI ride, the oldest, longest, largest touring bicycle ride in the world. The World! I was a baby reporter fresh out of college back in 1973 when Des Moines Register employees "Over The Coffee" columnist Donald Kaul and Register editor John Karras dreamed up the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa...
Struck Strikes Out (06/14/12)
The photo accompanying this column represents the circumference of a majestic circle that stretches from Iowa to New Zealand to the PGA Tour and the world over that took nearly 50 years to complete. You see, for some strange reason - be it my Dad, uncle Jigs, a dominant right eye, a long-ago Little League coach, or maybe a lack of right-handed bats - I've always batted left-handed. It just came naturally to me...
Struck Strikes Out (05/24/12)
Iowa's official "Sports Fan of the Year" Kenny Bern of Cherokee celebrates his 85th Birthday Tuesday, May 29 and simply loves receiving cards from his many friends. Mail them to Kenny Bern at 614 W. Willow St., Cherokee, Iowa 51012. In the photos accompanying this column is a younger Kenny when he was a national champion bowler who followed the circuit throughout the Midwest in the 1950s and 1960s when he wasn't laboring long, hard hours in the meat packing business in Storm Lake. ...
Struck Strikes Out : Running with the Big Dogs (03/28/12)
Because I know the depth of what it means to so many wonderful people, I was stunned to learn last week that I was named the Honorary Referee of the 2012 Cherokee Tomahawk Relays. Two weeks ago, at the Northwest Iowa Coaches & Officials Association High School Senior All-Star Wrestling Meet in Cherokee, I asked Cherokee Athletic Director Neil Phipps if he would please get me the teams entered and the coveted Honorary Referee's name for the 2012 Tomahawk Relays promo story...
Struck Strikes Out : For Tessie and the girls (03/01/12)
We buried Mike J. Ryan last week. Many of you knew him. Others didn't and that's their misfortune. A few weeks ago, Mike decided he'd had enough of his wicked illness, ceased treatment, entered hospice, and last week journeyed on to whatever it is that's out there for one of those special people among us who never hurt a soul, never spoke ill of others every day of his life, and showed absolute, unequivocal love of his fellow man by action, rather than words...
Struck Strikes Out - Hey, what about me? (12/30/11)
Nearly 50 years ago, then Storm Lake High School boys basketball coach Barry Holtgrewe sat at Raymond and Helen Struck's kitchen table in the "lower east side of town" in Storm Lake trying his damnedest to recruit my younger brother Giles to come to Storm Lake High "and take the Tornadoes to the State Tournament."...
Struck Strikes Out : Ah... ah... ah...ah... SUH! (12/02/11)
The Detroit Lions defensive tackle Donkeykong Suh has used up all his Cut-Me-Some-Slack cards from this cowboy's parlor game. And I refuse to believe that the Lions impeccable center Dominic Raiola, and offensive tackle Jeff Backus, both superb, classy, character-ridden gentlemen greatly influenced by their participation at the CABA Age 10-and-under Baseball World Series in Aurelia too many years ago, even remotely can stomach, let alone tolerate teammate Suh's punk play and behavior way too many times on the grandest stage of them all - the NFL at Prime Time.. ...
Struck Strikes Out: The fast lane someday merges (07/01/11)
Because of my deep love of music and especially the wondrous poetry of meaningful lyrics, I fondly remember and listen often 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."...
Struck Strikes Out: Sioux Valley Am's newest 'beau' (06/22/11)
For 77 years, the magical pull of the Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament has drawn golfers of all shapes and sizes and abilities, with each year 128 of them qualifying in one of eight flights for the forever honor of becoming a Sioux Valley Am Flight Champion...
Struck Strikes Out : An Ode To The Sioux Valley Qualifier (06/15/11)
Last year as I watched and charted the progress of the many players of all ages trying to qualify for the popular Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament at the revered Cherokee Golf & Country Club - THE Northwest Iowa Golf Classic - it dawned on me that it takes a special breed of cat to pay to qualify and play tournament golf...
Struck Strikes Out: An elegy to a prep sports mama (05/06/11)
If I spoke of your colors, folks would figure it out, So your name or your school I will not spout. But you drive many wild, not just me, everyone, From your embarrassed hubby to your perplexed son. For a game called "gentleman's," you never fail to show,...
Struck Strikes Out: On the wings of a snow white dove... (03/28/11)
Ok, hunters. You win. You finally enticed enough wishy-washy Iowa legislators to see it your way and declare war on mourning doves - the global symbol of peace. Like thieves in the night, the Senate introduced the bill and passed it, the House then held its collective nose and broke protocol and hurriedly passed it, and our new old Governor Terry Branstad, perhaps as a little boy traumatized in church by a picture of a foreboding dove on a stained glass window, checked off on it and now it's the law.. ...
Struck Strikes Out: Iowa, leave the mourning doves alone (03/23/11)
Many years ago, in another life, I used to come home from work, slip into something comfortable, grab my guitar and a beverage, and journey out to my second-floor deck where i would while a way an hour or two playing and singing music - just me, myself and I...
Struck Strikes Out : Learning and loving with a one and only (12/29/10)
Before Year 2010 says goodbye and we prepare to enter 2011, which will zip out of our lives faster than a small-town rumor like they all do anymore, please allow me one more Kenny Bern story. Kenny, Cherokee's super mega-fan for all things athletic with our kids from toddlers to college and pros, has penned a thoughtful "Letter to the Editor" he'd like to share this holiday season with the thousands of kids past, present, and future whom he holds so dear and supports so faithfully...
Struck Strikes Out: Sorting through thick and thin (12/16/10)
I've accidentally discovered a way to diminish those annoying global e-mail bombardments force-feeding recipients discount prices on Viagra and Cialis, Rolex knock-offs, earn cash at home ventures, greening America, and how to miraculously make your lady happy by growing things...
Struck Strikes Out : Playing kiss and tell with a rodeo legend (10/28/10)
"Have you ever been kissed by a man?" Bob Barnes joked as he, his limp and cane darted into my office unannounced a few weeks ago. "One time," I solemnly replied, "but then he didn't call, he didn't write, he didn't..." Well, by the time Bob Barnes stopped laughing, bent over at the waist and leaning on his cane like Bo Jangles taking a bow, he had enough time for two more hip and knee replacements, to produce a bunch of PRCA rodeos from Florida to California, and to tell and show Donita, his wife of more than 50 years, how much he loves her for like the millionth time.. ...
Struck Strikes Out : May God and baseball show us the way (10/15/10)
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the National Football League and America's passion for college football, there is no denying the intrinsic values and global impact of baseball - truly and forever our National Pastime. Just this season, the game of baseball and its basic goodness has grabbed many of us by the heartstrings on several occasions when the Boys of Summer have stepped up to reveal an awareness and grasp of humanity that they aren't afraid to wear on their sleeves, or are too embarrassed to display publicly because it might not be "cool.". ...
Struck Strikes Out: So long, Tiger - Nice knowing you (08/12/10)
Singer/songwriter Jackson Browne sings "No matter how fast I run, I can't get away from me." I think that timeless lyric is dead-on for Tiger Woods as he struggles today to right his golf game, moral compass, shattered self-esteem, and whatever tidbit is left of his personal and family life...
Struck Strikes Out: RAGBRAI 'celebrities' a real pain (08/05/10)
(Editor's note: With the 2010 RAGBRAI recently passing through neighboring Quimby and Washta, Struck ran across an old column written the last time RAGBRAI stayed in Cherokee on its first overnight.) In the midst of all this RAGBRAI stuff I've once again found myself hip-deep in, I've uncovered a startling revelation...
BP, it's time to Rock & Roll (06/14/10)
Back in my fast-pitch softball, bar-hoppin' days, every once in a while, a bar in some town on our softball circuit would have a gallon jar filled with some kind of transparent liquid heavier than water - no, it wasn't Terry Branstad. Anyways, there was a shot glass centered in the bottom of the jar and customers could test their luck by dropping a quarter through a hole in the lid into the jar to see if it would tumble down and land in the shot glass. ...
Struck Strikes Out: A special moment for a special guy (06/03/10)
It is often said good things happen to good people. Well, if you stay tuned, you're soon going to read about our Cherokee youths' biggest fan - positively "good people" - and a good...no, great thing some of our incredible Cherokee youths did at the recent Iowa State Track & Field Championships...
Struck Strikes Out : The devil's in the details (03/26/10)
It's kinda weird, considering he's the phoniest pro athlete I've ever encountered, but as a journalist, I'm kinda likin' the new evasive and elusive diva, Tiger Woods. Just imagine the luxury of living a smug life without detail, answering to no one...
Struck Strikes Out: Rebels and Pirates 'pay it forward' (02/26/10)
"Paying it forward" is a relatively new and catchy phrase in today's society that continues to take on more and more significance as many among us so desperately try to recapture the good old days when love of all mankind, decency and compassion were among the most admired traits...
Struck Strikes Out: All them dogs is about the same (12/07/09)
To quote that little-known lyrical genius, singer/songwriter John Prine, "Actually, all them dogs is about the same." And, while I'm on the subject, I'll quote one more unrivaled lyricist, Neal Young, who once sang, "When the losers in the best bars meet the winners in the dives."...
Struck Strikes Out (11/09/09)
To the Cherokee Braves football fan who found a lost billfold at the Cherokee-Eagle Grove football game played Oct. 23 in Fort Dodge Dodger Stadium, there's an Eagle Grove dentist who wants to see your pearly white smile. Michael Moffitt, D.D.S. of Eagle Grove, sent a letter to Cherokee Braves Athletic Director and co-head football coach Neil Phipps last week that read:...
Struck Strikes Out (06/10/09)
Strucker, I said to myself, no matter how hard it's going to be, you just have to sit down and write it. You promised Kenny. So, today you're finally reading about one of the coolest guys on the planet and the most fiercely loyal, dedicated Iowa prep sports fan there's ever been and ever will be...
Struck Strikes Out (12/29/08)
It's a small world doesn't quite capture the essence of the chance meeting between two former Cherokee Washington High School student-athletes at the recent Division I football game between Auburn University and the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM)...
Struck Strikes Out (12/01/08)
You only go around once Monday, December 1, 2008 Paul Struck As I begin to flit around to the various high school gymnasiums this winter season, I've been asking a rhetorical question to some coaches and parents I know and visit with - Is participation in the various prep sports declining?...
Paul Struck
Struck Strikes Out