Memories

Making a grand entry into our 50th state — Wisconsin — in September 2015.

Play a game with me. It’s easy and everyone is a winner. (No trophies included, but feel free to design your own.)

I ran a random U.S. state name generator (you can find anything on the Internet) that produced these six names: (1) West Virginia, (2) Wisconsin, (3) Iowa, (4) New Mexico, (5) North Carolina, and (6) South Dakota.

Pretty random, huh?

Here’s the game: pick one of those states and share with us an in-person memory you have of that state, preferably not one in which you’ve lived. Make it as short or long as you desire.

And remember, everyone’s a winner, so if you’ve never been to any of those states, pick another.

The following form will send your information to me and I’ll put together contributions in a future article. Give your name as you want it published. Email will not be published and I’ll only use it if I have a question.

Here’s my contribution.

Before Leah and I headed to our 2015 summer job near Buffalo, N.Y., we had been to every U.S. state except Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Pulling our RV, we took a longer, overly easterly course to western New York, allowing us to hit the first four states on the way, including visiting a nephew and his family in Tennessee and a Yellowstone friend in Virginia.

Shortly after we started work – and while the amusement park was open only on weekends – we dashed across southern Ontario, Canada, to Michigan and spent a few days there with a friend.

That’s 49 states.

Following Labor Day and the end of our summer season, we took another long path home, heading west to LaSalle, Ill. There, we parked our RV and began the next day driving north 80-something miles to Wisconsin. We stopped at the information center, where a volunteer or employee snapped our photo.

In Beloit, Wisc., we tracked down a restaurant for a burger and a beer. While lingering there, enjoying a view of Rock River, we performed an alphabetized mental review of the 50 states, examining and selecting a specific memory from each one.

It was an amazing exercise, one I’d recommend to any traveler, especially while hamstrung by an epidemic.

Our Wisconsin memory could very well be sitting in that restaurant making our list, but then there was the Cornellier Superstore just off the interstate on the outskirts of town. The first thing to catch our eye was the huge statue of a Holstein cow. Holsteins, of course, are America’s premier milk cow, and milk is used to make cheese, and Wisconsin is all about cheese.

The store was full of anything to do with cheese and had no inhibitions about including “cheesy” collectibles, most noticeable to me being a selection of Green Bay Packer foam cheese head hats.

There’s an example for you. If you’ve not done so already, scroll back to the form and submit your memory.

3 thoughts on “Memories”

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