SOUR GRAPES: Making do

Jim and Johnny

By Jim Magdefrau

The last column was about getting by. This one is about making do. I sense a theme.

This is the week that myself and thousands of others travel to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament. It’s an annual trip we’ve made since the days of the Big 8, Hornacek, Manning, Johnny, Grayer and yes … Elmer Robinson. Last year as we were getting closer to attending, the further away it became. The tournament was called on the drive down, and then the run/walk in Westport for St. Patrick’s Day.

We swore we’d make it back this year. But like many others, we’ve had to make do.

Instead of driving through scenic Southwestern Iowa and northern Missouri, I biked up to the Post Office, then caught up on the city news with Donny, Moose and Bob at the Legion Hall.

In Kansas City, I’d be figuring the lanes and exits to get to Southwest Trafficway, and then the car drives itself. Familiar sites. As if we’d never left.

Back home, I studied how to put that cool triangle on the end of a toilet paper roll.

At the Westport Saloon, we’d be listening to regional musical talent, such as the great Kelly Hunt on banjo. Back home, I’m breaking down “El Paso” and “After You’ve Gone.” On the latter, Bessie Smith is great to listen to, but Fiona Apple sings it at the right tempo and key for me.

I’d be having a pizza at the back of Kelly’s Westport Inn, or an Italian sandwich. At home, I’m figuring out how to make The Foundry’s Buffalo seasoned tater tots.

In KC, I’d be looking for the packet for the St. Patrick’s Day walk/run. At home, I put together a bicycle rack.

In KC, we’d be relaxing in the area out back of Harpo’s or Harry’s, watching other groups of friends making their annual trip to KC. At home, we’ll be texting our thoughts on the games.

In KC, we’d be scratching our heads over the ISU basketball season. At home, we’ll be scratching our heads over the ISU basketball season.

And in KC and home, we would be appreciating our friends, our health and looking forward to when we can all get together in real time.

Until then, I have tater tots to bake. And toilet paper to fold.

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