last years Egg Hunt seems to have been a success. If you are interested in helping make this years Easter Egg Hunt more successful, contributions for the Egg Hunt at Lagoon Park should be sent to Charles Wermerskirchen 220 Jeurgen’s Drive, Jordan, MN 55352 C/O Jordaness Lions or Jordan Lions.
The Egg Hunt Planning is currently underway. The Egg Hunt will be held on April 6th with a back up date of April 13th in case of bad weather. It will be held at Lagoon Park in Jordan Minnesota as normal. Please arrive earlier than the 10 o’clock hope off time to give yourself sufficient time to get settled in and remember that we want everyone to get some of the prizes and candy, so please leave baskets and bags at home. Try to keep to three bags of candy and one prize egg. Also, if by chance someone runs a bit slower than you do, please have a kind heart and share some of your loot with them. The Jordaness Lions, Jordan Lions, Jaycee’s and Radermacher’s Fresh Market wish you a Safe and Happy Easter.
The Egg Hunt is sponsored by the Jordan Lions, Jordaness Lions and Jordan Jaycee’. Radermacher’s Fresh Market is providing lots of candy and prizes for the kids are purchased or provided by the kindness of Jordan’s local businesses, so please support them whenever possible. Without the support of our local Businesses and Groups many of the great opportunities we have would not be possible.
The Egg Hunt at Lagoon Park in Jordan will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2013.
Also coming up is “Celebrate Jordan”, come celebrate the Great things we have to offer at Celebrate Jordan which will be held on April 7th, 2013 at the Jordan High School. The Jordan Lions, Jordaness Lions, Jordan Jaycee’s, Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Jordan Area Historical Society (JAHS), Jordan’s fine City organizations (EDA,PRC,Planning and City offfices), Fish Lake Sportsmen, Commercial Club and Radermacher’s Fresh Market as well as other great local businesses of Jordan should have informative booth’s for you to investigate.
Ol’ Baggy Pants
A something’s true but more is not true story of a large family growing up in Jordan, Minnesota
Written by Daniel T. Elke Sr.
It was the morning before Easter and there had been snow some time during the night. “Aw, rats!” screamed my brother Mike as he looked out the window, “It looks like there’s not going to be an egg hunt again”. After seeing the disappointment in our faces, my mother said, “that’s ok, the Easter bunny will probably hide your baskets tomorrow”, not to let on, but Mike and I had not really believed in the Easter bunny for some time now. It wasn’t that we had any physical evidence, it was far more sophisticated than a normal eight and nine-year old could devise. Simply calculating the probability of a rabbit that could do anything other than sit in a cage and eat what you put in it, was unfathomable. Our complexity in mental status was born through heredity. In our Mothers family we inherited the liking for creativity and humor, while our Fathers side of the family was more into critical thinking and calculations. We had created our own game in reading through the dictionary and encyclopedia to learn new words, this enabled us to speak to each other and in many cases people would not understand what we were saying, unless they too were well read, it was virtually a newly created language, but not really as it had been around as long as the dictionary.
Later that morning Mom looked out the back door. Glancing back at us with an accusing expression she said “you two better get outside and clean up that mess that you left in the yard, your father will be home soon and it won’t be pretty”, “but mom” I said, “no buts!”, “now get dressed warm and clean up that mess” said mom. Grumbling while we put on our boots, jackets, gloves and hats, we reluctantly headed out side to assess the damage.
“WOW!” said my brother and I in unison. “What happened here?” said my brother. The yard was completely littered with toys. Some of the toys were ours, some were not. Some of them broken and some of them might not have been toys at all. Having dealt with this situation before, we decided it best to just go ahead and pick up the mess. “Is this yours?” asked Mike. “What is it?” I questioned, “I don’t know, looks like it could have been a… well maybe it was a… I am just going to put it in the trash, ok?” “Ok”, I said. We had picked up about half of things that we knew were ours when our little brothers came stumbling out the door. Vince, Tom and John were five, three and two years old in the order they came out the door. “You two watch your brothers” Mom chirped out the door. “Oh great” said Mike, “now we have to watch them too”. It really did not bother me that they were with because Mike could be just as annoying as they could be. An hour and one half later, we had everything picked up and started playing in the snow.
Lunch! Came a voice from the kitchen window and just like fish fighting upstream to a new location, we all struggled through the door to get to the table first. “STOP!” screamed mom. She had noticed that Bee Boop, the youngest (who was John) was tangled in the mesh of children wedged in the doorway. After removing the cluster of kids and seeing that we were all fed, Mom instructed us to find something to do that would not “create havoc”, this meant that we should not be too messy or fight while trying to occupy the time.
It was nearing five o’clock when there was a thump at the door. “Dad’s home” said Rose who was one of my five sisters. Linda the oldest was married and moved out, then there was Ann, Rose, Polly and Mary was the Baby. My oldest three bothers where not living at home because Vernon and Terry were in the military and Tony was in college. Dad came in the house and immediately questioned “who made that big mess out in the yard?” “Not me” everyone said in unison, but it was not a good answer. “Clean up that mess before supper, or you will all go to bed without any”, we all went outside and cleaned the mysterious mess without asking any questions.
The next morning I awoke to the rustling of kids frolicking about in search of an Easter basket with their name on it. Being clued in to where my basket was located my brother Mike kept chanting “warm….warmer…warmer….cold” in an effort to confuse me as to where my basket was located. This did not confuse me for a minute, because Mike had pulled this prank many times before. After a few minutes of searching I had accomplished my mission and basked in my loot.
As I gorged on a feast of Peeps and chocolate eggs I noticed a blurry form cross in front of the window. “Could it be?” I gasped. I called for my brothers to bear witness to the sighting, but the curious shape did not appear. A few minutes later I noticed Tom and John peering out of the window. They were calling out “mama…mama” within a few seconds the blurry shape crossed the window again. “Did you see that?” asked Mike. “Sure did” I said in disbelief. “I think it was an Easter Bunny”, “No way” said Mike, as we both threw on what ever we could grab fast enough and scrambled out of the door. “Oh no!” shrieked Mike. “Look at the yard. It’s all messed up again” We heard a loud pounding that seemed to fade away from us and in the distance glimpsed the same blurry white figure. “I am not saying a thing” Mike said. “Me either” I said as we tried to slip back into the house unnoticed. We did not want to be blamed for the incredible mess in the back yard again; however we knew that we would probably be the prime suspects.
We had just opened the door when our Dad said “where are you two going?” “We are going inside?” I said as if asking him a question. “Nope, you’re going out and picking up your mess” Dad said with a look of disappointment. Without a word, we turned and headed out to clean up the yard again. “I don’t understand” Mike said. “What could be making all of this mess?” We picked up, for what seemed to be the entire day, however was really only a few hours. “Its time for lunch” Dad called out the door. Before dragging ourselves into the house, we brainstormed ideas as how to trap the Easter bunny. Through obvious deduction it must have been that rascal causing all of the mess. The way we figured it, we would need a box or container large enough to hold it and a stick with a rope strong enough to hold the box up so we could pull the rope and trap it inside. Not being able to come up with the devices needed at that time, we shrugged and went in to eat.
“I got it!” exclaimed Mike. “Got what?” asked Dad. “Uh… nothing, I mean…I thought I was thinking of something, but it was nothing.” “Sound like trouble to me” said Dad. Mike looked over at me and winked like he had gotten away with something. That night, after lunch we went back outside to set our plan in motion. “What’s the plan?” I asked. “We’ll take that two by four and some of this bailing twine, put it under the garage door and hang a carrot from the light in the garage and when the silly thing comes in to eat the carrot… slam! The door will be shut and the Easter bunny will be in the garage!” said Mike. “What if he doesn’t come while we are waiting for him?” I asked. “Well here is where it gets sticky, first we have to get Mom and Dad to let us camp in the shed and then sneak the garage door open after they go to sleep,” said Mike. “Sounds like a plan, only what about Dads car?” I said. “Hmmm…I didn’t say it was a good plan.” Mike looked as if he was going to explode, he was thinking that hard. “Why don’t we ask if we can camp in the garage?” I said. “Yeah, that’s it! Then we will sneak over to the shed and wait, you ask them and I will get the stuff ready.”
I was not sure how I was going to approach the situation; it was kind of cold outside and not at all normal garage, porch or shed camping weather. I was going to have to be smarter than I had ever been to pull this one-off. “Mom, remember when we went camping up north and it snowed?” “Yes” said Mom. “Well Mike and I thought that was fun and we were wondering…” but before I could finish asking she said “you better ask your father” and that was that, the kill switch. We had not been able to outsmart Dad since he caught us trying to ride our bikes like Evil Kneivel. We would have gotten away with it, only Mike told Dad that a giant flying monkey snapped his bike in half. Now a giant monkey yes, a flying monkey maybe, but a giant flying monkey… never. I figured I would just wing it and ask anyhow.
I searched around for Dad when I realized it was a holiday and one of the rare occasions that Dad chose to rest on the couch. Cautiously approaching the couch and making sure not to be too loud I said “Dad, can Mike and I camp in the garage tonight?” “What did your Mom say?” Dads reply was as if he knew the answer, I was going to have to act fast. “She said yes, but I had to ok it with you first” I said as I hid my expression, that would have been a dead give away. “I suppose, but I want you to clean everything up in there first”, “deal” I said before he could change his mind.
“We’re on!” I told Mike. We gathered what we needed to achieve our goal. Flashlights, twine, sleeping bags, pillows, you would have thought that we were attempting to climb Mount Everest, the way we carted our cargo to the garage. “Can’t forget snacks” Mike said as he filled his pockets with Mom’s chocolate chip cookies. We tried to make it look like we were setting up in the garage and waited until Mom and Dad’s light was out for at least half of an hour before moving everything over into the shed and setting it up. We propped the garage door up with the two by four, hung up the carrot and tied the twine to the board and ran the twine to the shed and waited. We waited and waited and waited, until one of us snored and woke both of us up. This wasn’t going to be easy, so we decided that we would take shifts. Since Mike was older he would take the first shift.
I fought off sleep as long as I could. I could not hold off any longer and just closed my eyes when “Slam!” Mike pulled the door shut. “What was it?” I asked. “I don’t know all I could see was what looked like a pair of old baggy pants” said Mike. We slowly approached the garage but both of us were too frightened to peer into the window. We went back to the shed and stared in disbelief at our accomplishment until neither of us could fight back our heavy eyelids and slipped off to sleep.
The next morning we were awoken by Dad rattling the doors on the shed. “The garage was too scary for you? Maybe when I get home from work you two can help me clean up my tools and you will see that there is nothing to be afraid of in there” said Dad. Dad must not have even looked in the garage and did not know what creature lurked in the innocent garage. We were not too certain what actually conspired the night before and neither of us wanted to go check or even ask the other if it actually happened, but just to be sure we were safe, we loaded up our camping supplies on the wagon and high tailed it to the porch where we left the wagon and jetted into the house.
The aroma of fresh home-made bread and fritters filled the kitchen and sweet smell made short memory of the scare the night before. “Did you get too cold?” asked Mom. “A little bit cold” I managed to choke the words out between bites of the fritter. It was not too long after my second fritter when the clamor of feet stampeded down the stairs and to the feast of fresh bread. After gorging ourselves, we had lost the fear we had of the previous night’s folly and felt brave enough to face whatever was trapped in the garage.
Mike and I decide that we would trick Tony into seeing what creature was lurking behind the door. “Hey Tony, Dan and I were in the garage last night and someone must have been messing with your motorcycle. It has a dent in the tank” said Mike holding back a smirk. “WHAT?!” exclaimed Tony as he grabbed at his jacket, opened the door and headed towards the garage all almost all at the same time. But when he was about half way to the garage, he stopped and turned back with an angry look on his face. “Uh… oh no” Mike and I said, both thinking the exact same thing. We had forgotten that Tony had sold his motorcycle the week before and now he probably thought we were teasing him. We turned tail, found Mom and acted like we were trying to help her the whole time. Mom was usually way ahead of us; it was almost like she had some kind of mind reading capability. “What did you boys do now?” she asked, with only a slight hint of scorn in her voice. “Not a thing” I said. “And what is this not a thing that probably never happened?” Mom asked, fighting back a smirk. Mom always had this way, she would never have to directly ask you or might not even suspect that you had even done anything, but before you knew it, you were singing like a bird. After blurting everything that had happened the night before and all the way to how we tried to trick Tony, Mom just said “That’s nice; now just go apologize to Tony.” “Mom did not even believe us” Mike said in disbelief. “Maybe she would if you weren’t making up all of those stories” I didn’t even get the full statement out when mike punched my arm. “Ouch, hey that hurt” I said as I started chasing him through the house.
As I rounded the corner of the living room there he was, my brother Vince. Vince would always manage to get me in trouble for doing nothing and he had that look. I could tell he was going to do it. “Wahhhhhhhh!” he screamed from the top of his lungs. “What happened?” Mom said with a concern in her voice. “Dan hit me” he sobbed. That was it; I knew I was not going to get away with, with not even doing a thing. Sure enough Mom said “Dan, go sit on the couch for half an hour and think why you shouldn’t do that”, while Vince, still sobbing, looked at me with a smirk on his face. I didn’t even bother trying to explain, because I had been through this before.
The clock in the kitchen seemed to move in slow motion as Mike and I tried to create a reasonable answer to what could be waiting in the garage. It was just then we noticed Tom and John looking out the window. Both of them were saying “Mama… Mama… Mama”. I did not want to look out of the window for fear of what lay on the other side. Mike blurted, “I’ve got to see!” as he darted to the window. His jaw dropped in disbelief and a pale expression came across his face. “Easter Bunny” was all that he could manage to let escape from his mouth. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. It was defiantly not a bunny, but what it was? I did not know. Mike and I backed away from the window and fell into some chairs that were by the kitchen table. Just then I noticed an alphabet book opened to “L” and sitting on the table. “Llama, not Mama!” I shouted into Mikes face. It seemed that the whole time we thought they were saying Mama, they were actually saying Llama. Mike and I jumped to the window and both breathed a sigh of relief.
“There has to be a good explanation of what is in the garage now!” Mike screamed in what only could be described as questionable joyous disbelief. We both looked back out of the window to see the Llama, who was scrambling around the garage as if it were trying to find a way into it. “What ever is in the garage has to have some sort of attachment to the Llama” I said, as if I had just discovered a cure that deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. “But what is a Llama doing in Minnesota?” Mike said which crushed my hopes for notoriety. “Hmmm… we both sounded as we looked back out the window. “Definably, this is a perplexing question.” Said Mike with a yawn and stretch. I rubbed my eyes and held my head while looking out the window, both of us were trying to come up with some reasonable explanation as to why a Llama could be here in Minnesota, or better yet, why had it chosen our house to stop at, and what, if anything was hold-up in our garage?
“You go look” Mike said. “No, you go look” I said. Ok, then we will both go, we said together. We slowly crept towards the garage and crouched down below the window. For what seemed to be an eternity, we waited for the right moment to creep up and peek at the mystery that waited beyond it. “On three we will both look in…. are you ready?” I said. “One… two…three” I popped my head up to see what was in the window, but Mike had tricked me and stayed down. Not to let the moment of bravery slip I gazed in wonder at what I could only describe as… a pair of baggy pants. “Aw, there is nothing in there but a pair of…” just then the pants moved and a long snake-like figure approached the window. I jumped back and fell right on my back side; it was as if I was hypnotized… I could not pull my eyes away from the actions in the window. “What did you see?” asked Mike. “I am not sure, but it looks like an elephant” I said as if questioning what was coming out of my mouth. “Hey, what happened to the Llama?” I asked. Just then the Llama turned the corner and came charging at us. I don’t think any time lapsed from the seeing the Llama to the time we were safely locked behind the door of the house.
For the next hour and a half, we watched the Llama toss our toys about the yard. Back and forth, up and down. Until it suddenly stopped, ears high in the air, it glanced toward the south and then back at the garage and quickly bolted away into the small woods, which was not far from our house. Mike and I walked into the living room and fell back into the seat of the couch. We had only been sitting for one minute, when Dad opened the door and said “Dan and Mike get outside and clean up your mess!” We did not even argue, however we did ask if he could watch us clean up. “I should not have to watch you, I should be able to trust that you will do it and that you will pick up after yourselves from now on… can I trust that?” said Dad. “Sure” we said meekly and almost certain that it would happen again.
We were about half way through the clean up when we noticed a figure walking toward us. He was whistling a song that we had heard our dad sing… “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” Mike chanted as he cleaned the yard, it was the song the figure was whistling. “Hello, I am Elvin the entertainer” said the tall man. “I’m Dan and this is my brother Mike” I said. “Have you boys seen an Elephant or a Llama around anywhere?” asked Elvin. With a blank stare we both shook our head in disbelief. “Cat’s got your tongue?” asked Elvin.
We both pointed at the garage in a zombie like state. “Yep, that’s a garage” Elvin said, with a look of confusion. “No, the garage is in the elephant… I mean the elephant is in the garage.” Mike said with a tone of uncertainty. Elvin tipped his head to the side, like a dog does when it looks confused at what you are saying to it, then he walked over to the window and his confusion turned into a large smile. He let out a sigh and said “oh, oh… if he is in there, than where is…” but, before he could get another word from his mouth, the llama came jetting around the corner and started bouncing against him, it was as if she was excited and playing with him at the same time. Elvin laughed and played with the llama, until they both settled down, and he stroked at its wavy white hair.
Mike and I were both a little bit confused by all that had happened the past two days; however we were relieved that we would not be blamed for any messes that we did not make. Elvin reached in his pocket and pulled out a yellow carrot, “yellow carrot?!” Mike and I exclaimed in confusion. We had never seen a yellow carrot before, nor had we ever seen an elephant or a llama that was not in a book, for that matter. Elvin explained that she liked yellow carrots and the elephant liked orange carrots and that they would follow him back if he led them with the carrots.
We asked Elvin if they had names. Elvin told us that he had not gotten around to naming them yet and asked if we were calling them any names. Mike said, “I only saw a pair of Ol’ Baggy Pants” and explained that we had trapped the elephant in the garage the evening prior. “It sounds like a perfect name to me!” said Elvin. Just then my brothers Tom and John came out the door shouting “mama, mama” and we explained to Elvin how they could not yet say llama and that is what they were actually trying to say. “Sounds perfect for her, yep, Mama Llama will be your name.
“I tell you what boys, for finding my friends and keeping them safe, I am going to give you and your whole family tickets for the circus”, “whole family?” I said. “Yes, the whole family.” Mike then explained there were thirteen children and two parents in our family. Elvin’s eyes just about fell out of his head, but he managed to get out “the more, the merrier”. Elvin’s eyes fell back to normal and then he smiled and chuckled. He started telling us how the circus was in town, which made sense, because there was after all a Llama and an Elephant roaming around. He then told us another story of how he had joined the circus and been an actor. Elvin realized that he had better get the animals back to the circus and we still had to clean the other half of the yard, so he opened the garage door, took out a yellow and an orange carrot and slowly walked away with Ol’ Baggy Pants and Mama Llama following him, until they disappeared into the shadows.
As Mike and I had placed the last of the mess into its proper place, our Dad was walking towards us and singing his song “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray…” We did not ask him if he passed a man with an elephant and a llama on his way home, because we knew the answer. We also did not even try to explain how we received fifteen tickets for the circus, however, I always wondered if he didn’t have something to do with the confusing day, but that is sometimes how it should be. Some days things may not make sense, but if you keep trying to do all you can to make sense of it, it may still not ever make sense. However, if your patient while you try to figure out what you may never know, you may still be rewarded in some odd way, or then again maybe not. The point really being…. Who really knows?
The End or Fin… no matter how you look at it… it’s about time it’s over.