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Friday, May 6, 2016

Gray Matters:Them's Fightin' Words

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'Hawkeye' and 'Cyclone' are the "fightin' words" I'm referring to. This really rings true on one Saturday in early September, the day of the Iowa -- Iowa State game. This year it falls on the 13th. However, there was a delightful preview offered a month ago at the Marcus Fair.

A truly creative Cooking School committee built their theme around tailgating and then proceeded to make it a competition between Iowa and Iowa State. The former was represented by Betty Knudsen and several family members, and who better to do it? It all began when Chuck and Betty met on the Iowa City campus--he from Fort Dodge and she from Fort Madison. After she received her BSN and he his JD, they settled in Marcus where he has practiced law for over four decades and where they raised their family of two sons and four daughters, all U of I alums, of course.

Meanwhile, they have set a bit of a record having attended all of the Iowa games since the late'70's and tailgating at every home game. Both Chuck and Betty have been recognized very specially too. She was named Mother of the Year in 2005 and he was designated Father of the Year in 2006.

Iowa State was represented by Linda Smith and Ann Drefke. Linda and husband, Steve, received degrees from ISU, she in applied art and he in music, and Ann is a loyal alumni wife. Her specialty of med. tech. was not offered at ISU so after two years there, she transferred to the Univ. of Nebraska to complete her training. Her husband, Dr. Ray, did receive his DVM from Iowa State. The tradition carries on as two of their three sons are 'Clone alumni.

The recipes presented at the Tailgating Cooking School were great and the good-natured repartee was even greater.

In my own family, things really heat up on the day and I'm sure many of you have similar stories. I have just one sibling. We get along fine the other 364 days, but on Game Day we're bitter enemies. She graduated from ISU in '39, while I got my BA from Iowa in '43.

In the family of one of my sons, the daughter is a Cyclone, and her brother a Hawk. Things were pretty well balanced until the daughter's husband recently earned his MBA from Iowa. Now the competition is increasing. Their little ones are being bombarded with subtle, and not so subtle, subliminal messages.

This has us all breathlessly waiting to see whether their little son's first "academic" word will be Cyclone or Hawk.

My daughter's oldest son went to Ames where his dad had gotten his BA, but I'm happy to say, her other four boys are all Hawkeyes. I suffered some real humiliation during those years when two of my "grands" were at ISU, and none in Iowa City. My sister often remarked on the astute wisdom evidenced by her great-niece and nephew, while I could do nothing but bite my tongue and wait for my revenge.

Well, the great day is fast approaching. Bring out your scarlet, or black, to go with the gold of your choice and cheer for your favorite. May the best team win, and may we all return to reasonable sanity by Sunday, Sept. 14. Still, there are those among us, those die-hard Nebraska fans, who will never understand what this is all about. Bless them, I'm afraid they are doomed to continue on in their Big Red oblivion for the rest of their days!