Theft of the blog: Summer edition

Oh, hey, another reason to use the greatest picture ever submitted by the NewsCut audience.

This is a Theft of the Blog Day; I’m off because it’s my birthday and we’ll be celebrating at Target Field tonight and this is an easy way to get out of doing any work while still giving you a reason to come visit NewsCut.

You know how it works. You take over the blog for the day. The theme is summer. It can be an essay on summer memories. It can be commentary on global warming, the summer of love, the summer of Watergate, or Donna Summer.

It can be a picture (dogs favored). It need only have some passing relation to summer. It need only tell a story — your story.

The best submission will get four tickets to the July 30 game (7:10 p.m.) at Target Field between the Twins and the Cleveland Indians (Section 319, but you can probably sneak down).

Readers can vote on the best submission by hitting the up or down arrow on each entry. I will make the final decision.

Don’t let us down.

  • John


  • Gary F

    Bob, Cleveland v. Twins on your birthday. Did they give you the day (night) off? If not, you are still at the ballpark.

    • jon

      Happy Birthday Bob.

      (I totally endorse hijacking this comment thread to be the happy birthday bob thread, and I furthermore endorse upvoting Gary so the highest ranked submission is a thread of people wishing bob a happy birthday.)

      • Robert

        Happy Birthday Bob and here’s to another year of keeping us knuckleheads in line!

        • Guest

          THAT is why this set of comments is a big notch above the rant and rave usual.

  • Dave S.

    In keeping with the Summer and dog theme, our dog’s name is Sunny. Here he is getting his tummy scratched.

  • Gary F

    This week its the 40th Anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town. One of my most favorite albums.

  • KariBemidji

    This is one of my favorite photos of my kids – heading out to a day at Good Harbor Beach. My mother in law grew up in Gloucester, Mass. We had been planning this trip so she could have a week at ‘home’ with her mother and eat all the clam strips she wanted. We rented a house and planned our road trip route. One month before we were due to leave and 90 days before she was to retire, she died. We were (and still are) heartbroken. We went on our trip as planned and felt her presence in all the places she loved.

    This trip became a reminder for my husband and me to plan adventures now. Retirement and the future aren’t a promise that can always be kept.

    • KariBemidji

      And Happy Birthday Bob!

    • Jack

      2015 was the year of 6 vacations and I felt guilty. Then my spouse had a near fatal health incident at the end of that year. I won’t ever feel guilty about vacationing again. Yes – spouse has fully recovered. Still need to make vacation plans for this year.

      • refereemn77

        I used to feel guilty about vacations as well. My spouse and I haven’t been on a real vacation in a few years. Then, last summer, the rare cancer diagnosis (1 in 5 million incidence rate). We’re still trying to get back into a normal groove, but I tell you what – there will be more vacations!

  • AL287

    Pensacola Beach, June 1975 – The Galatea Inn

    What’s not to like having your first legal drink overlooking the turquoise-blue waters of Florida’s Miracle Mile.

    Florida must have had a better opinion of 18 year-olds back then as well as 29 other states which lowered legal drinking ages anywhere from 18-20 after the legal voting age was changed to 18 in 1969.

    It was a small party, just my mother, my twin sister and me. My dad was at work having just started a new job back in Louisiana. The rest of my brothers and sisters were either married or just about to tie the knot (two weddings, one that summer and another one four months later).

    It was a welcome respite as my paternal grandfather was under treatment for prostate cancer. My mother had left him in the capable hands of my middle sister, freshly graduated from the local nursing school a year before.

    I had just graduated from high school and would be starting college that fall. None of us had any idea what a fateful summer it would be.

    At the end of that summer we would lose my grandfather, my sister’s husband would would lose his brother just days later in a late night motorcycle accident and my oldest sister would marry in a bittersweet ceremony two weeks before.

    The Galatea Inn is now one for the history books and so is the legal drinking age of 18. The National Drinking Age Act did away with late nite beach parties with beer and wine coolers in 1984.

    Happy Birthday, Bob!

  • Justin McKinney

    Happy birthday, Bob! Enjoy a nice day at the ballpark!

    This is a pretty typical summer day for us:

  • Rob

    People born in May are the greatest! Happy Bday, Bob –

  • John

    Prefacing this with – I’m not that old. I’m not yet 40, but the parallels are striking from between my childhood and what I see in my kids’ summers. Sorry – no dog pictures, though dogs figured heavily into the experiences of summer.

    Young me (in my tens) grew up on the range. Summer was the easy time of year. More TV than was good for me, lots of riding bikes around, s’mores, boating, and swimming. My parents had a cabin on a lake in northern MN, and we spent most weekends there – 40 minutes from home. Mom and dad worked (the primary non-financial reason I don’t have a cabin), mowing the few clumps of grass that managed to survive on bedrock, cleaning up cobwebs, fixing everything. We were mostly left to our own devices. Wake up, eat breakfast, complain about being bored, and then down the hill to the lake for most of the day. We had the biggest inner tube I’ve ever seen. I think it came from a mine truck in the 70’s – you could put half a dozen kids on it, if you could manage to drag it to the water. I rubbed the skin of my chest and stomach raw pulling myself up on it from the water fifty times a day just to jump off again. As we grew up, weekends at the lake shifted to weekends at baseball games and summer jobs. Mom claims that there was one summer where we visited the cabin twice between April and October: once to open the cabin up and once to shut it down for winter.

    Jump to now, and I have two kids who are in that sweet spot of childhood summers – 9 & 13 years old. They spend much of March asking how much time they’ll be able to spend with Grandma and Grandpa at the cabin. Usually it’s at least a week – this year it’s nearly half of summer break for the older one, and probably two weeks for the younger. The inner tube is long gone, rotted to nothing twenty years ago, and has been replaced by a paddle boat, a kayak, and several inflatable toys that don’t scrape your skin away. My son loves to fish, and my daughter loves to play in the water. Swimming, fishing, s’mores, and less TV (digital broadcasting has a big upside – the signals don’t travel as far, so their choices have dropped from four channels to one). They love it more than I ever did. I think partly because it’s special to go – not something that just happens every Friday night. These days, Grandma and Grandpa live there much of the summer – going into town to buy groceries and fill the drinking water jugs. They do a little less work, or at least they spread it out over more time.

    Progress is great, but I’m happy that for at least one more generation, some things haven’t changed.

  • kevins

    My wife and I have two dogs, but I like this one, which is sort of a dog; a great, great great…well you know…grandpa to mine. Pic taken at the Wolf Center in Ely some time ago when my first son and I were touring. My son passed away last summer, so no touring buddy this year, but I just know, I just certainly know, he can still see this wolf. God bless him, God bless the wolves!

    Addendum: Happy B-day Bob and enjoy the game.

  • Ben Chorn

    Just want to say I’m going on a first date tomorrow to a Chicago Dogs (independent baseball) game and weather is supposed to be perfect. Can’t wait to watch some baseball, get a free t-shirt, and meet a (hopefully) great person!

  • Al

    We plan to spend the entirety of our summer on our new [tiny] deck. Our old one was uninhabitable–rotting, structurally unsound, more lichen than deck. I put my foot through it twice (so, obviously, no kids allowed). Especially precarious as it was a second-story deck and we [foolishly, maybe] parked underneath it. Obviously, the kids are as happy as I am that we upgraded.

  • ZombiePonycorns

    Happy birthday, Bob! Here’s a picture of my dog and son enjoying the summery weather.

  • Scott R
  • Jeff

    Over the holiday last weekend we went on a long road trip with our dog, Lupe. She was a very good dog and stayed in the back seat mostly or tried to back seat drive from the center console.

  • Susan WB

    This is my little piece of paradise “up North.”

    My parents bought this place when I was in elementary school. Now I bring my son there. Last year was the first year he was big enough to paddle a kayak by himself. I took this picture after we came back from an absolutely perfect afternoon on the water. In the long dark days of winter, I pull out these photos on my phone and remind myself why I live here, where the air hurts my face. These endless summer days are the sweet reward.

  • Nicholas Kraemer
  • joetron2030

    Happy birthday, Bob!

  • andy

    Our dog Maximus is not a huge fan of the heat that summer brings, but my best buddy loves to help prepare the empty sour cream container for the recycle bin.

    • JamieHX

      What a great name for what appears to be a very large dog!

  • Postal Customer
  • Ben V

    The best summer of my life was the summer I didn’t have to work. The year was 2002. My contract expired in May and I was all but promised a permanent position that kept being pushed out further and further. Oh well, I had enough in savings and my pal Adam was back in town and crashing in our storage closet (no lie – he slept on a hide-a-bed in our closet the entire summer). My roommate Vijesh could care less, except for the part where he was the one who actually had to go to work.

    Anyway, this was in the top-level of a now-leveled house on Lake Street near Lake Calhoun. When we felt like it we’d mozy down to the beach and spend a few hours there, tossing the ball and being lazy somewhere else. One time we got talking to a girl and she changed the topic to Jesus almost immediately. We couldn’t exactly just wander away, so I offered up an attempt that would not only end the conversation, but also make it okay to do so: “Well, everyone has their thing.”

    It was met with a blank stare – why don’t these boys want to do an impulsive deep-dive about Jesus? – so Adam jumped in:
    “What’s your thing, Ben?”

    Now we HAD to get outta there, up the little hill and back home. Probably rented a movie from Blockbuster, watched it, ate a frozen pizza, waited for Vijesh to get home, then down the street to The Smiling Moose for some free drinks from the landlord’s boyfriend bartender. What a life.

    The promised job finally started in September, just as a chill hit the air and Adam left for his next adventure.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    Most vivid summer memory from childhood was 1969. July to be exact, my parents let my brother (age not quite 11) and me (age 8) stay up late to watch the coverage of the moon landing or moon walk, one of the two that was on at about 9:30 PM. It was on an old 25″ Black and White console TV.

    Twenty seven years later I got married on a muggy July afternoon at Excelsior Commons Park. on the point that sticks out into the lake. There was a softball tournament that afternoon and just as the judge who married us presented my wife and I to the small assemblage someone must have hit a home run in the game. There was a wild cheer from down the hill at the ball field. The timing was perfect.

  • Keith P.

    Many moons ago, before my daughter was six feet tall, my wife took this using a Superior backdrop. We didn’t hold the pose and try a bunch of takes; our fleeting kiss was captured nonetheless.

    • That is gorgeous

      • Keith P.

        Thanks, Bob. My favorite shot of us together.