Many have told me that the best place to visit in Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior off the Bayfield Peninsula. The islands were named after the 12 apostles (for the 12 largest of the 22 islands). I have never been there. Instead of these 12 islands I keep coming back to my group of 12 high-school friends.
Not all of them can make the gathering, but when I get together with any of them, my old spirit gets recycled a little bit. As Walt Whitman once said, “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
We will all gather somewhere in the middle of the state. I won't say exactly where in Wisconsin we're going, but I heard the town's motto is: "If Elvis Really Still is Alive, He Sure As Heck Isn't Living Here."
Usually when we get together we do a lot of outdoors and sport activities. I know that sounds like potential-for-serious-injury for a bunch of guys well into our fifties, but don't worry. We all have a nice big piece of yellow, wedge-shaped foam that we wear on our heads to protect us.
Actually Wisconsin is a very safe state – that is, unless you happen to be lactose intolerant.
In the evenings we sit around and relive our glory days in high school – and some of our not-so-glory days. The best part of going to high-school in the eighties is that it was too early for all of the foolish things that we did to still be floating around the internet for people to google.
Michigan and Wisconsin have long been fighting over which state shape most resembles a hand. One of my friends says they are both hands – meant to be folded together in prayer for those wayward Minnesotans. That’s the sort of spirited banter I will be subjected to all weekend.
Know that while I am gone my hands will be folded and offering prayers of gratitude for my mother-land of Wisconsin where I was born and for my father-land of Minnesota where I strive to be a good Father to all of you. See you in August,