One of the sad aspects of these reunions is learning of all the classmates who have passed away. There were several I learned about that hit me quite hard. Including this one. Tammy and I had been through Junior High and High School together, and were in a play called “Charlie’s Aunt” together as sophomores. This shot was taken of us on a Polaroid camera backstage during rehearsals for that show. Sadly, Tammy passed away recently.

Since I quote the song a few times in Wally’s Week, I just had to hear the whole thing again. Nickelback’s “Photograph” played on the radio while I was on my class reunion retreat, and it seemed very apropos in several ways.

Monday the 26th – TRIPS TRIPS TRIPS! – In preparation of my upcoming class reunion in Aberdeen, South Dakota, I had a lot to do. First I stopped by my seamstress Shelley’s to pick up my newly refabricated Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino bowling shirt. It turned out FABULOUSLY! In order to get the S&H logo embroidered on it, and get it back by Wednesday so I could fly on Thursday, I had to pick it up and get it to Lucy the embroidery lady. After some quick lunch at KFC (mmmmm…Mac & Cheese bowl!) I headed over to the embroidery place in Burbank to drop it off. I hit up Rocket Fizz in Burbank to pick up some Dr. Pepper in little glass bottles and some candy. Then I headed to Bang Zoom to do another session for the digital assistant job I’ve been doing for over four years. The mundane recording has been finished, and now we’re recording more “personality-related” type stuff, which is a lot of fun. Songs, riddles, limericks, stories, and even some celebrity and animal impressions! After the session I headed home to walk and feed Roxy, I did my nightly auditions, and grabbed a nap. I got up later to listen and “QC” (quality control) the final 3 hours of the class reunion radio show I’d be doing this weekend in Aberdeen. The first 3 hours will be live, but the final 3 hours will be pre-recorded for several reasons. I checked out flight options for my upcoming trips to the Siouxpercon in Sioux Falls, SD at the end of September, and Ranger Stop in Orlando in November. I typed out Wally’s Week, made a Tombstone pizza and watched an episode of “Mod Squad.” All in all, a pretty productive day!

Tuesday the 27th – THE CAPTAIN HAS LANDED! – I enjoyed myself and slept fairly late into the day. When I did get up, I did some prep work for my upcoming trip. I recorded my auditions, did some more “QC-ing” on the radio show tracks, and then my effects guy Jim Ojala came over with my “nearly” completed Captain Kirk figure. I say “nearly,” because he still needs to have his hair done, eyebrows and side burns added, eyelashes applied, and Shelley needs to come get his tunic (my old Captain Kirk cosplay tunic) and tailor it to the “much smaller” dimensions of the Kirk figure. But soon he’ll be looking AMAZING! I recorded a quick tag for a promo my pals Edi and Elliot Lurie produced for one of his upcoming shows. Then I went to Paty’s to have dinner with my friend Sara. I picked up my mail, and came home to nap for a bit. I had a full night ahead of more auditions to do, and checks to scan for a bank deposit before I left town.

Wednesday the 28th – SPOONFLOWER POWER! – FINALLY! My custom-printed fabric from Spoonflower had arrived! For the upcoming Son of Monsterpalooza event in mid-September (I’ll be hosting events on stage all weekend) I wanted to have a bowling shirt made up featuring some of the characters from my new children’s book project. My webmaster and pal Scott Sebring put together an amazing design for the fabric, but Spoonflower was having trouble delivering because of an import issue with the cotton sateen fabric I ordered. After several back-and-forths with the company, they assured me they would have the fabric in soon, get it printed, and get it sent in time for my seamstress Shelley to make it happen. It arrived and it looked amazing! I stopped by the bank to make my deposit, picked up my embroidered Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino bowling shirt (which looked amazing too!), grabbed some KFC (again!) and went over to Shelley’s to drop off the Spoonflower fabric so she could get started on the shirt while I would be out of town. I stopped by Rusty’s to pick up some supplements for Roxy, and then headed back home to meet with my house sitter Brittney to go over instructions for the weekend. I took a brief nap, then got up later to pack, do laundry, and get ready to fly on Thursday afternoon!

Thursday the 29th – I BELIEVE IT’S TIME FOR ME TO FLY! – Since I was excited for my upcoming class reunion excursion, I only slept 3 hours. Then my eyes snapped open. I couldn’t sleep any more. I got up to do a few last-minute things before my flight. I was also a little “apprehensive” about whether or not the Delta flights I’d be on would be on time. Since Aberdeen really only has one flight west-coast people can take to get there (arriving at 11:30pm) I was concerned that if my flight to Minneapolis from LA was at all late, I’d miss my connection and be sleeping on the floor of the Minneapolis airport all night. (It’s happened!) I had been tracking the same flights for the past month and “generally” they had been on time, but there were a few crisis days that made me a bit concerned. But the Delta website said all looked good so far. Brittney arrived at noon, and my driver Armen arrived at 12:30. It was a nice drive to the airport, and I got checked in at 1:30. The flight was set to leave at 3:53 and all indications were that it would be leaving on time! I enjoyed a Jersey Mike’s sub in the airport while I waited, completely forgetting that my ticket entitled me to a hamburger lunch on the plane. Oops. The flight to Minneapolis was smooth and we actually arrived a little early. Instead of having to make a mad dash all the way across the airport to catch my connection, I actually had time to get my waking steps in and avoid the moving walkway. Walking from one end of the MSP airport to the other is akin to walking a mile, I think. Good, cuz I needed to walk off that extra lunch I had! I got to my connecting gate in plenty of time. I spoke with a guy who had just been on my LA flight, who was in town to do some recording with his old band Thelonious Monster; a punk band from the 80’s. Then a lady came up and asked if I was Wacky Wally from the Aberdeen Facebook page. I had been posting videos and pictures for a few weeks leading up to the reunion. Her maiden name was Sheryl Eisenbiesz, and I had her did as a teacher in Junior High. One day at school I took my pal Steve’s Super 8 movie camera in and shot some footage. There is a brief shot of her dad, circa 1974, in that movie – and he’s looking very annoyed at me for shooting movies in school. Nowadays kids are shooting video in class all the time! Ahead of my time, I guess. But she said she really enjoyed seeing her dad on film from back in the day, particularly since he had passed away a few years earlier. That warmed my heart knowing that my little movie had meant so much to her. When we got on Sheryl and her husband ended up sitting directly in front of me. And as usual with those small commuter planes, there was a 45 minute delay while they “lubricated a door latch for winter” (winter? It’s August!) on the plane’s main cabin door. But it was nice to spend the delay talking to Sheryl. Not sure what says about these little jets, but this was the third time in 2 months that I’ve endured a 45 minute plus delay on one of these planes. I guess it didn’t occur to them to lube the latch while the plane was sitting idle on the ground before we boarded. Oh well, at least I’m not going to have to sleep on the floor of the Minneapolis airport! We landed in Aberdeen shortly after midnight because of the delay, and there were several cute doggies on the plane. One was a Cairn Terrier puppy (the same breed as Toto) and he was cute as could be! I told his owner that I wanted to get one of those dogs some day and name him Otto (an anagram for Toto). As we were waiting for our baggage I was approached by a guy named Shawn Gross, who I hadn’t seen since he was a little kid. He’s the son of my old pal Dennis “Radar” Gross. “Radar” – as the kids called him at school because of his slight resemblance to Radar from M*A*S*H – was a custodian at Aberdeen Central and he befriended me because of my Elvis impersonation. “Radar” and his wife were huge Elvis and Roy Orbison fans. And I’d go to their house and listen to records from time to time. Shawn’s wife was on the same flight I was, and he was there to pick her up (a funny story about his wife a little later on). I got my rental car and headed down the street to the hotel to check in. Then I went to get some supplies at the local 24 hour Walmart. While I was there I saw my old pal Buckie, who was one of my closest friends in high school. But I hadn’t heard from him in about 35 years so we had a lot of catching up to do. I saw a few other old classmates there as well. The reunion was already WELL underway! I headed to a 24 hour McDonalds to get some food (one of the few 24 hour places in Aberdeen!) and headed back to my room to get unpacked. I hit the hay around 3am Central time.

Friday the 30th – THE BOYS (AND GIRLS) ARE BACK IN TOWN! – I made a point to listen to 107.7 KABD-FM continually while I was driving around. I’ve been providing “imaging” for the station for several years now (liners, IDs, etc.) and when I called the KABD Program Director Mike Johnson earlier in the year to tell him I’d be back in town, I suggested we do something fun while I was there. I thought it would be more along the lines of having breakfast or getting dinner. But Mike suggested I do a show on the air. Then the idea for the “Class of ’79 Reunion Rewind” was born! I had been working on it for several months; writing the script, picking the music, fleshing out the anecdotes and memories – and this was the weekend it was all happening. Because one of their employees was getting married on “reunion day” (the 31st) the radio crew would be minimal. Feeling badly that my six hour show was keeping Mike from attending the wedding, I suggested we do the first 3 hours and pre-record the final 3 hours. That way Mike could at least attend the reception. Plus, our reunion started at 5:30, and I was scheduled to be on the air until 6. So the pre-recorded hours would allow me the opportunity to go back to my room to freshen up for the evening. It was a real kick hearing myself on the radio again doing the liners and IDs that I record out of my house and send over to the station via e-mail. As I drove around, LOTS of great songs came on the air that made me feel as if I was in some sort of a movie, and the soundtrack was playing appropriate music for the scene. Songs like “Don’t Look Back” by Boston, “Welcome Back” by John Sebastian, “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, and even “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins. Wild! Around 1 I went to downtown Aberdeen to meet with Troy McQuillen, somewhat of an Aberdeen historian. He grabbed a book of old address and information about local business and we started walking around Main Street – something I had been wanting to do the past few times I’ve been to Aberdeen but never had the time. I looked out across the street from his office on Main Street and saw a few empty spaces and a bar (there are a LOT of bars on Main Street now). I used to love a store called Courtney’s Books & Things. It was one of the first stops I’d make with my pals when walking down Main Street to go on one of our downtown excursions. Normally I would always ask if they had any new books on Star Trek or Laurel and Hardy. I remember buying my copy of “The Making of Star Trek” there, as well as my first copy of “The Films of Laurel and Hardy.” I said to Troy, “Where was Courtney’s Books & Things.” He pointed to a bar patio area, where the sign overhead read “Call in sick to work. Come in and get drunk.” Great. From books to booze. This is going to be a very depressing trip, I feared. But to be fair, it’s not just Aberdeen this is happening to. Downtowns and main streets in every town have been hit with this sort of “plague.” The plague of the cyber marketplace. Not a single one of my favorite stores still exists. But the crown jewel of downtown is the newly restored Capitol Theater, where I saw a bunch of movies – including the 1976 “King Kong,” and “Grease” (12 times!). The Capitol used to sell these little perforated ticket sheets at school for 12 bucks. It was 12 Saturday matinee movies that would show throughout the school year, and each one was a buck. You’d tear off the ticket of the movie for that Saturday, head to the theater and see great films like the 1966 “Batman” feature, or “Munster Go Home,” Laurel and Hardy in “Way Out West,” or others. I hardly ever missed a matinee at that theater. A group of brilliant people got funding for the theatre and completely restored it into a multi-use creative and performance space. It includes a community theater, prop and scenery department, wardrobe storage, and a digital theater for movies. Touring it blew my mind! But the thing I loved most about it was their reverence for the history of the theater. They have on display two of the original red velvet theater seats that we used to sit in all the time, as well as the original theater organ (made possible by my pal Rob Richards)! Spectacular doesn’t even come close to describing this facility. We continued our walk down Main Street and then back up again. Just out of morbid curiosity, we stopped into the old building where my dermatologist had her office. She was a strange old bird whom I was convinced was a former student of Joseph Mengele’s; based on the antiquated and barbaric methods she used to use on me. Her I do NOT miss! Troy brought her office address up in his historical book and we went upstairs to see the “scene of the crime.” But some renovation work had moved things around somewhat, so I never did place exactly where the torture chamber – I mean – her office was. Seriously, she was bad news. After I bid Troy goodbye, I took a drive over to the Twist Cone; one of those great little ice cream stands with something delicious called Italian Ice. When they had the Strawberry Butter flavor, having that twisted with vanilla soft serve was nothing short of Heaven on Earth! But when I arrived I was disappointed to find out that it was still Lemon Chiffon, and that Strawberry Butter wouldn’t start until Saturday. Note to self – get to Twist Cone on Saturday first thing! Since Twist Cone is close to the KABD studios I drove over to say hi to the gang and chat about Saturday’s show. It seems like we have everything under control and it should be a great time! Then it was time to drive through my old neighborhood and see my former house at 1516 S. 6th Street. The present owners are good friends of mine now, and I just saw them in L.A. a few weeks ago. They invite me over every time I’m in town, but they weren’t home…so I just drove slowly by as the music kept playing on the radio. When “Photograph” by Nickelback played, I got a chill…

“Every memory of walkin’ out the front door,
I found the photo of the person I was lookin’ for.
It’s hard to say it, time to say it, goodbye. Goodbye.”

Really gave me a lump in my throat! Oddly enough, directly behind my old house is the house where my pal Radar’s OTHER son Kevin Gross lives! (What are the odds?) Radar’s wife just happened to call me on my cell phone at that very point (I had given Shawn my card at the airport) and I told her to call Kevin and tell him I was outside. I stopped the car in the street and waited. He came running out to say hi. He told me a funny story about his sister-in-law who was on my flight to Aberdeen. As soon as she got off the plane she told her husband (who was waiting for her at the airport) that “there was this creepy guy on the plane and she was hoping she didn’t have to sit next to him.” When I walked off the plane she pointed to me and told him, “That’s him!” Shawn laughed and said, “That’s Wally Wingert! He’s been a friend of the family’s for 45 years!” So…I guess I’m creepy. COOL! (Note to my on-camera agent – please start submitting me for all “Creepy Guy” roles. Apparently my look is very appropriate) After a few more nostalgic rides around Aberdeen I headed back to my room to get a nap. I got up later and headed to the Early Bird gathering at the local fairgrounds. This was the PRE-reunion reunion. Boy was it fun seeing the old friends and hanging out chatting. But as the sun started to set it started to sprinkle. And the mosquitoes began to bite. Time for Wally to head out. I grabbed some food on the way to the hotel from one of my old favorite local taco places, and went back to my room to rehearse the radio show. I had all the segments on my iPad, so I could play the bits and rehearse the announcement intros. Satisfied I had all the timings worked out, I hit the hay. Saturday was going to be a HUGE day!

Saturday the 31st – CLASS OF ’79 REUNION REWIND! – Unable to sleep another minute, my eyes snapped open at 7:30am! I had a lot on my mind and a big day ahead. Not needing to be up until 10am, I focused and forced myself to get some more sleep. I was able to continue snoozing until 9:30am. My first stop on the way to the radio station was at a place called Scotty’s Drive-In, an old haunt from the Aberdeen days. I got a pizza burger, fries and a Diet Coke. I sat in the parking lot enjoying the music and the day and ate my lunch. Then I got to Twist Cone at 10:45 (15 minutes before they opened) and sat there waiting for that OPEN sign to come on. I was going to be the FIRST customer for the Strawberry Butter Italian Ice twist if it killed me! Sure enough, the sign came on and I placed my order. They even put a little happy face on it for me! I love those guys! I finished my cone and headed to KABD to rehearse my bits in the back office. Due to the staff member’s wedding festivities it was a small group of Mike the Program Director and Curt the midday air personality. Treina, one of their office cohorts came by the station to have me sign her KABD t-shirt. Then she headed off to the wedding. I had invited a few classmates to come hang out during the show, but only my pal Al Suedmeier came. He used to come hang out at the old radio station in the 70’s and chat with me while I did my air shift. Then it was high noon – time to go LIVE! “The Tonight Show?” That was easy! All those cartoons? A breeze! But I have to admit – this was making me a little nervous – and I NEVER get nervous! But I wanted this show to go well SO badly, because this was a labor of love for my peeps. The format was a conglomeration of great old 70’s music, interspersed with trivia and information about the music. In between the songs I had story segments, where I would weave a yarn about something fun that happened in the old days. To keep myself on topic, I pre-recorded all the stories. This would keep the stories concise and clear, as I wanted to avoid any of my random ad-libs to muck the stories up. I had all the stories and segments pre-mixed in L.A. so Mike only really needed to open and close my microphone, and insert the commercials. While I was on the air Scotty’s brought over a Rebel Burger and Coke for me! Having just been there I wasn’t that hungry at first, but boy did it taste good a few hours into the show! One of the things I really miss about life in Aberdeen in the 70’s was Lu’s Pizza, an amazing local pizza eatery. My pal Doug is Lu’s son, and he came to town for the reunion as well. So he and his brother stopped out at the station to hang out. It turned into a pretty cool little group! But 3:00 came WAY too fast, and that meant the end of our 3 hour live portion of the show. It was time to go into the pre-recorded hours so I could go get ready for the reunion dinner. But we continued chatting off-air until 4:30! Mike needed to go to the wedding reception, and I needed to go get ready. So I cruised out and listened to the show on the way to the hotel in the car. Unsure if my hotel would have a radio in the room, I brought my OWN clock radio with me, and listened to the show while I got ready. I gotta admit, it really sounded great! Evan the Engineer at Voice Trax West mixed everything so smoothly that it’s an enjoyable program even for those who DIDN’T grow up in Aberdeen! On the way to the reunion I listened to the final half hour of the show in the car. Once I got inside it was a non-stop cavalcade of friendly faces from the old days. Then I heard those Nickelback lyrics in my head again…

“I miss that town. I miss their faces.
You can’t erase, you can’t replace it.
I miss it now. I can’t believe it.
So hard to stay, too hard to leave it.”

What a blast we had catching up, laughing, reminiscing, laughing some more, and dining and drinking. Lots of my classmates had heard the show and that meant the world to me. Like I said, jobs like “The Tonight Show” were easy, but this I poured my heart and soul into. We looked at some slides from the old days, heard a few speakers, played some trivia, and heard from our special guest – one of our old teachers – Mr. Elliot! Then we ate and the music began. It was great catching with everyone, but the talk about hip replacements and heart surgeries shocked me! Are we really THAT old?! The day was a full one, but also very long. So around 11 I bid everyone farewell and headed to my room. I had allowed myself an additional day to visit the city, because I didn’t want to have to get up early the next morning and leave. So Sunday would be a day for more memories and reflection. But not so fast! I got back to my room, ready to relax and I got a text from Mike and Treina from the radio station. They had just left the reception and were at the Silver Dollar Bar in downtown. It’s one of “those” bars with “entertainers” who dance. I had just made a Silver Dollar reference on the radio show earlier after I played the song “Main Street” by Bob Seger, so I figured I’d better go see what all the fuss was about, you know…in the interest of “research,” of course! The Silver Dollar was pretty much what I expected, but charming and quirky in its own odd way. Then we went to Marlin’s to eat; a 24 hour truck stop that caters to the late-night crowd. After downing a cold “hot” beef sandwich, I went back to my room and collapsed! What an amazing day!

Sunday the 1st – LAST LOOKS! – At 1 I met Mike for a quiet lunch. After talking all night at the Early Bird gathering Friday night, talking all day Saturday and Saturday night, I didn’t have much of a voice left. So what did I do? Talked some more. Bad idea, but necessary. It was a gorgeous day in Aberdeen, so after lunch I a drive around to see some things. I put up a special playlist on my iPad and started my self-guided tour. I heard the cicadas chirping in the trees, which reminded me of staying at my Grandma’s in Mitchell, South Dakota as a kid. To this very day there are times I really miss hearing their hypnotic chirps in the trees above. I took the opportunity to record it on my camera for future reference. I stopped in at the place that used to be the Super City Shopping Center. Lots of good memories thee, but everything has change so much. I stopped by the old park, drove through the neighborhoods where I had my paper routes, drove by the spot where the baseball fields used to stand, and then I headed over to 1516 S. 6th Street to wait for my friends the Ruxes to return home. I had bought some things while I was in town and needed to pack a box to ship home. Thanksfully, Dan Rux was bringing a few options from his shop for me to choose from. As I sat outside their house (my former house) waiting for them to return, I rolled down the window and enjoyed the gorgeous day. While staring at the old house and thinking about all the great stuff that happened there when I was a kid, and hearing the cicadas in the trees overhead, the song “Hello Old Friend” by Eric Clapton came up on my iPad. The moment overwhelmed me a bit and I got very sentimental and misty-eyed. That’s what these trips are all about I guess. The Ruxes arrived and we all went inside to chat. They let me go downstairs to the basement and see the area that used to be my room. There are still a few “footprints” of the Wingerts left in that house, and I always love seeing those. Be it a random piece of floor tile that remains, a bit of paint or wallpaper on the wall, or certain cabinetry and doors that still exist, it sure is a kick to see those things and get taken right back to the 70’s. It was delightful to go to visit a few of the old neighbors who are still residing in the neighborhood. But I was losing time quickly so I headed back to my room to get ready for dinner. At 6:30 I met the Ruxes and the Grosses for dinner and had a blast catching up. But my voice was going away VERY rapidly! After a fun dinner I boxed up my stuff to send back home. But it was then I realized! FedEx and UPS were closed on Sundays, and closed on the Labor Day holiday! And I didn’t want to burden the Ruxes to have to ship it to me on Tuesday. The only option was to take the box with me on the plane and check it as a second bag. Then I got curious. I checked my ticket and WOW! My first class ticket automatically allows for TWO checked bags! EXCELLENT! I boxed up my dirty laundry and the stuff I had bought in Aberdeen and packed up the rest of my stuff in my garment bag. The flight would be leaving at 5:05am Monday morning, which meant I had to be up by 3am to clean up, check out of the room, return the rental car, and get checked in for the flight. I figured if I went to bed at 10pm it would give me 5 hours of sleep. But it was not to be. At 11pm I woke up abruptly. Good thing too! My house sitter Brittney was calling on my phone. Never a good sign at that time of night. Even though my ringer was off, somehow I knew to wake up. She said that Roxy had been crying and whining like she was in pain. It sounded very similar to what Roxy had a little over a month ago just before I left for the ELO concert in Minneapolis. She had suffered from a bit of diarrhea before I left, and now she’s clearly in pain. I told Brittney to take her to the emergency vet down the block from me right away, and to keep me posted. I tried to get back to sleep but couldn’t sleep much. Between nodding off here and there, Brittney would call back with updates on Roxy’s condition. I think when Roxy senses that I’m leaving for an extended period, she gets stressed. I don’t feed her anything out of the ordinary so it’s not her diet. But I believe she gets very dehydrated after a bout of diarrhea like that. And that’s probably the source of the discomfort. The vet checked her out and gave her lots of fluids. Brittney got her some medication and took her back home around 4am L.A. time.

Monday the 2nd – REUNION WRAPPED! – My alarm rang at 3am Central time so I could be up for the flight. I made a plan to take Roxy to the vet when I got back to see what could be done about her recurring issue. If this is going to happen every time I pack my bags to travel, it’s going to be crazy; considering I have a very busy travel schedule coming up. I checked out of my room and in the dead of night I drove to the Aberdeen airport. It was an amazing weekend, on many levels, and one that I had been looking forward to for many, many months. Just then, Don Henley’s words from “The Boys of Summer” popped into my head as I drove through the Aberdeen night…

“A little voice inside my head said don’t look back, you should never look back.
Those days are gone forever, I should just let ‘em go…”

I went into the airport and got checked in, dropped my car keys in the slot (the car rental guy doesn’t show up at 3am to check the cars back in. It’s totally on the honor system.) My old pal Dwight Walth and his wife were on the same flight, so we chatted some more until we boarded the plane. Not only was Dwight a fellow radio D.J. at the old radio station, but he was also the keyboard player in our Elvis band in high school! My layover in Minneapolis was tight, and my flight to L.A. was all the way on the other side of the airport. But their layover for their flight to Phoenix was even shorter, and they had a greater distance to go in the airport! Thankfully we arrived in Minneapolis 10 minutes early so we both had plenty of time to make our connecting gates. The flight home to L.A. was perfect, and while I slept a little, I didn’t get much rest. And since it was Labor Day morning the traffic on the freeways was very light. My driver Armen and I breezed back to my house. Roxy seemed to be doing better (the medication really helps!) and Brittney appraised me of her medication schedule. I unpacked, did some work, checked e-mails, downloaded the photos and video off my camera, and did some updates on the Aberdeen Facebook page. By the time 5pm rolled around I was exhausted. I spent several hours in bed napping, got up to feed the pets, and then slept another 5 hours on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe.” Around 1am I got up to record my auditions, edit some photos, feed and walk Roxy, and make myself a sandwich. I started to arrange some thoughts for Wally’s Week and then I hit the hay for the night. I have a session on Tuesday, and while my voice is better, it’s not completely back. I’m hoping I’ll be OK for Tuesday’s session. But WHAT A WEEKEND!

And how was YOUR week?!?!


As I toured around downtown Aberdeen I stopped at the building which used to house Lu’s Italian Villa – one of the best pizza places I’ve ever been to. Here’s a “Then-n-Now” photo of how it looks today, and how it looked back then when my family was going every Saturday night for dinner.

The historic Ward Hotel downtown has renovated their original front desk and switchboard. Gorgeous!

One of my favorite places to shop as a kid was Klein’s Big Dollar. But it’s been gone for a long time from the downtown area. Here’s another “Then-n-Now” photo.

It was great to see the old Capitol Theater sign, restored and looking pretty much like it did back then.

“Two for ‘Grease’ please.”

Once we had our tickets we entered the lobby. This looks almost exactly the way it did back then, with the exception that the snack bar was off to the left.

Though the interior décor is different, this is the place I’d usually sit while watching movies at the Capitol. Sitting there dreaming dreams of Hollywood and making movies.

Downstairs, there’s an unrenovated ladies bathroom, complete with the original plumbing fixtures, wallpaper and paneling. My youthful tour guide said she didn’t understand why there was a room with couches before you got to the bathroom. I explained to her that it was called a “Ladies Lounge.” A lady’s bathroom excursion back then was a slightly different experience than it is now.

One of my happy places.

Though it now serves as the examination room for my buddy Dr. Scott Hopfinger, this was the former on-air studio for KABR 1420. I’ve lined it up in this “Then-n-Now” pic as best as I could so you can see the placement of the station’s facilities.

My window to the world. As I would do my airshift, sometimes I’d stand up and stare out the only window in the studio. It overlooked the highway outside the building. As I watched the traffic speed back and forth, my young mind wondered, “What else is out there?”

When I shot some Super 8 movie footage in Junior High, my pal Darwin Wolf flashed the peace sign at the camera (a very hip thing to do in 1974). So in another “Then-n-Now” pic, I had him recreate the scene from the film.

It was nice to see that many of the girls I had crushes on in high school are STILL “crush-worthy!”

Back in 1978 our Elvis band played here at the Moose Club. It still looks virtually identical to how it used to look.

First lunch at Scotty’s…

…then a Twist Cone for dessert!

A very successful day at KABD-FM!

“We’re getting the band back together!” Well, not quite, but here’s how Dwight, Holly, Signe and Darwin and I all looked back in our Elvis band days.

My prom date Sherri and I had lots to talk about and catch up on! And HEY! We’re still hot!

I lined it up about as good as I could, but here’s the room as it currently looks in the basement of the old 1516 S. 6th Street house, and how it looked when I resided there.

My pal Steve “Hutch” Hatt and I took this photo as Starsky & Hutch in this very doorway. WILD!

Who’s that creepy guy with Mr. and Mrs. Radar?!

For fun, here’s a picture from the old days of Radar with one of his favorite LPs! (Mine too!)

And for more fun, the time Radar had me surprise Mrs. Radar for her birthday dressed as Elvis!

EVERYTHING’S ARCHIE! My Archie cut-out-from-the-cereal-box record shirt was quite a hit!

Here’s a quick overview of some fun ‘Memory Lane’ excursions in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Jim Ojala puts a few finishing touches on the lifesize Captain Kirk figure. Sergio Lopez will be over soon to do his hair, eyebrows, sideburns, eyelashes and styling. And my seamstress Shelley will tailor the tunic to fit Kirkstyle!