Dog transport + a quick revisit

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I participated in another dog transport today; it was a large rescue transport that originated in Indiana and ended in Minnesota. I took two "legs" of the trip, and did my usual Madison-to-Eau Claire route; my passenger was a gorgeous pit bull named Sapphire. She was an extremely stout, incredibly strong, steel-grey girl with a white chest and a huge, squared head.


For all of the bad press that pit bulls receive, there's an equal (if not higher) number of them that are absolutely wonderful dogs, and Sapphire really demonstrated how awesome a "pittie" can be. She was well-behaved, knew basic commands, and was super loving. She loved to give kisses:


But mostly she just liked being next to you. She spent most of our trip standing by my side, happily watching the miles pass by. I really liked petting her impressively huge head and chiseled shoulders - it was as if she was carved from a huge slab of pure muscle:


I was sad to have to hand her off to the last set of drivers; I could've easily taken her home with me, as sweet as she was. I broke the bad news to her (that she'd be changing cars), and she gave me this look as if to say, "whatchewtalkinbout, Willis?"


After the handoff, I decided to take a few minutes and revisit my old college campus. I've made half-a-dozen trips to Eau Claire this year for transport purposes and never took advantage of being "in the neighborhood." So, today, some twenty-plus years since my last campus stay, I swung through the old alma matter.

Here's my old dorm, which I hated with a passion. During my very first semester, I was paired with our floor's R.A. (Resident Assistant) and that did not go well. From what I remember, the guy was a total "band geek" (he played the clarinet of all things) and was a major control freak. He and I didn't mesh well at all... the housing supervisor had to separate us halfway through my first semester.


After being "re-assigned" to another roommate (the second guy was even worse than the first, as he didn't believe in personal hygiene), I spent the majority of my time living in "The Band House" with my friend John. John was the drummer in a band called "Risk," and he lived in a house along with the other band members. I was the band's sound guy; with my "0-for-2" record with dorm-assigned roommates, I found myself living primarily on a couch in this house:


At least 2-3 times per day, we would walk over to this Holiday gas station and buy "big Cokes." Back then, Holiday sold these massive (48-ounce, I believe) reusable plastic bottles (they looked similar to a bicycle water bottle, but had a straw in them) for $2, and you could fill the bottle with any fountain drink of your choice for $0.25. It was a stellar deal, to say the least, and I think we each had 10-12 of those bottles that we'd regularly refill. It doesn't appear as though anything has changed with this particular Holiday station since 1990, save for the price of gas:


There used to be a Rocky Rococo's pizza place directly across the street; it featured $1 slices of pizza on Tuesdays. Those were some of my favorite days; unfortunately, I couldn't find the old Rocky's, so my guess is that it has long since closed and moved on.

I was shocked to see that one of the clubs that we often played in was still exactly as I remembered it. I don't think this place has changed one single bit, either... it looks identical to how it did back in 1990 - the infamous "Brat" - yep, it's name is "The Brat," and 20 years ago, it was legendary. I can only imagine what its reputation must be like today.


I drove around a bit longer, then crossed back over the river to the campus for one last look. For those not familiar, the Eau Claire campus is divided by the Chippewa river, and there's a huge bridge that joins the two "sides." Trust me when I say that crossing this bridge in the dead of February is not fun; and I did that more often than I'd care to remember, as the band house was on one side of the river, and all of my classes were on the other side of the river.


I strolled around the campus area for a bit, and then decided to head back south toward Madison. While it's no secret that I absolutely abhor school, I found myself feeling a bit nostalgic today. It was good to swing through the place, but I don't think I'd ever want to venture back. School's not my thing, to say the least, although it did leave me with a few good memories.


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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on April 2, 2011 10:18 PM.

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