Traveling Trails Less Traveled. By Buckshot Anderson
For January 8th, 2010 Edition.
For me, annual traditions are something I look forward to with a great deal of expectation and joy, especially if the events or adventures are shared with family and/or friends! I'm sure for those of you who frequently read my weekly drivel, you are well aware of the fact I have a lengthy list of annual traditions.
A quick run down of a normal twelve-month period most certainly includes numerous annual events, such as birthday celebrations, national holidays and family get-togethers. Then of course I have to add all the special outdoor annual events that make my old heart go pitter-patter with expectation. S sampling of which includes, a few ice fishing outings, fishing for catfish on the Fox River in early April, turkey hunting in late April, the opening of fishing season in early May, the fall hunting seasons for grouse, waterfowl and deer, the annual pilgrimage to the prairie pothole region of North Dakota in October and my annual trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers play on the historic frozen tundra of Lambeau Field!
I'll freely admit I enjoyed watching the Pack play football in the comfort of our living room on our own personal 50 inch HD TV set where viewers get close up shots of the action, instant replay and cold beer from the frig that doesn't cost six bucks a bottle! My recliner or rocking chair is also much more comfortable than the bone chilling aluminum benches at Lambeau way up in what might be referred to as "the cheap seats", if one considers fifty-dollar tickets cheap!
Another added positive feature of watching the game at home is not having someone frequently jumping up in front of you every time an exciting play develops, or folks stepping on your toes when they head for the restroom or are making a beer run. And I don't ever recall having cold beer spilled down the back of my neck while watching football games in our living room.
I experienced my first ever game at Lambeau about fifteen years ago, before the new renovation took place. A very close pal of mine, Dr. Thomas Tilkens, invited me to attend a Packer-Broncos game in 1996. Tom's office, that houses Green Bay Podiatry, is kitty-corner across South Ridge Road from Lambeau Field. The experience was very memorable, as seeing a pro-game in person for the first time casts an entirely different light on the event!
I was amazed seeing human beings could actually avoid frostbite, hypothermia and possible brain damage by spending three to four hours in sub-freezing temperatures without wearing a shirt, jacket, gloves and a hat! I assumed the vast quantity of alcohol those bare chest individuals ingested must have been their salvation.
The Pack won big that day but I had one major disappointment as Tom and I watched the game together. The Bronco's future hall of fame quarterback, John Elway, sat on the bench safe and sound resting up for his team's appearance in the Super Bowl!
In recent years Tom has invited another of our mutual pals to attend the annual Packer game outing. Don Capoccia, a dyed in the wool Bears fan from the Chicago area makes the event interesting, especially when the Bears beat the Pack 26-0 in 2007!. And even when we make Don sit between us we can't force him to cheer for the green and gold. Don's favorite announcement before the game begins is "No matter who the Packers are playing I'm rooting for the opponent!" However, Don has other negative traits besides being a Bears fan, which includes hanging out with the like of Tom and I!
This year Tom secured four tickets for the Packer-Seahawks game. I departed our home at 5:00 a.m. on the day of the game and enjoyed a "white knuckle" three and a half hour trip to Tom's home in a western suburb of Green Bay. Don and his girlfriend, Linda were already present, and Tom's girlfriend, Chris, acted as our taxi driver by delivering the three of us to Tom's office, where our host was very busy parking cars in his office parking lot.
The air was crisp and interspersed with mouth-watering odors of countless tailgate parties in progress. The temp was hovering in the low 20s and a layer of fog shrouded the imposing bulk of Lambeau Field across the street, which also helped muffle the joyous sounds of Packer fans gearing up for an expected victory.
Tom makes for the perfect host. He buys the tickets, lets us use his lovely home as a motel, and feeds us gourmet meals after the game. If I drive my truck to his office on game day he lets me park for free, (the normal fee is one Jackson) and if the weather is really cold, such as it was on December 27th, we eat our "tailgating meal" prior to game time in his spacious and warm office!
I usually volunteer to be the tailgate chef. This year I prepared my special formula "grilled venison chop sandwiches" which rapidly vanished upon their completion! Don contributed a dozen yummy brats, Chicago style, along with chips and an assortment of beverages.
I marinate the chops in a mixture of Soy-Vay brand Veri-Veri-Teriyaki and Lawry's Steak & Chop Marinade for about five hours. Then I wrap a strip of bacon around the chop, and secure it with toothpicks. Cooking the chops to medium well on a gas grill takes about ten minutes, making sure the bacon is fairly crisp. Place the finished product on a fresh 'burger bun, add a generous portion of crumbled blue cheese and a dab of sandwich horseradish spread and take a bite! "It's oooohhhh ssssoooo good" will immediately follow! This same recipe also works well for beef and pork chops or chicken breast.
This year the four of us had great seats, although I don't believe there is a "bad seat" anywhere in Lambeau. The stadium is truly a work of art! We were situated at the very top row of seats with our backs against the wall that supports the deluxe "skyboxes" overlooking the northwest corner of the end zone. Besides getting to watch a lopsided Packer victory, we were entertained by an attractive young lady sporting one of the most unusual "get-ups" I've ever witnessed at a bitter cold Packer game!
The young lady in question sported a "see-through" white frilly blouse with short sleeves, (bra intact) white knit gloves, skin tight bright yellow silky tights, knee high gray leather boots with spike heels and a bridal veil hanging down the back of her long, dark hair. Imprinted on the back of her blouse was, "Mrs. Rodgers." (The Packer quarterback.) She displayed an original homemade sign that carried an urgent plea; "Aaron, Let's Make it Official!" For those who carried cameras and were seated in the vicinity of the young lady, she was the subject of numerous photos!
While Don, Linda, Tom and I were enjoying the game and the sideshow, Chris was at home preparing a delightful chicken dinner, complete with condiments and appetizer snacks!
When the four game-goers arrived at Tom's home, we shed our winter garb and put on relaxing clothing. Don became our bartender and for the next several hours the five of us indulged, dined and socialized.
After a goodnight's sleep the three houseguests packed up, thanked our hosts for a wonderful time and went our separate ways. But just prior to departure I reminded my friends that we have ice-fishing dates coming up shortly followed by our spring turkey hunt in late April and the opening of fishing season on May 1st!
Ah yes, I love those annual traditions!
Mr. Leon "Buckshot" Anderson is one of the few old time hunting and fishing guides left in Northern Wisconsin. Buckshot is a personal friend of the family and has known and worked with my grandfather, Howard "Pop" Dean, both of whom are members of the fresh water fishing hall of fame, Legendary Guide. Buckshot has authored 7 books on the great outdoors. All of his books can be purchased directly from him, at a discount, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: 2220 Deadman's Gulch Road, St. Germain, WI 54558.
Books by Leon "Buckshot" Anderson Click Here
Yes; Deadman's Gulch is the correct name, I have been on that road many times. Sincerely David D. Cruger
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