Sunday March 12, 2006 was another
perfect day in the great state of Michigan, specifically the city of
Rochester. We had planned to hike over at Bloomer this morning. Being
the second Sunday of the month the Rochester fire department was having
their last pancake breakfast of the year. They do a pancake breakfast the
second Sunday of the month for the first three months of the year as a
fund raiser. Bob and I stumbled into the first one in January and it was
very good so we decided to go again this month.
We talked Pete into joining us, so
it was the three of us this day. Bob and I decided we could get a little
more exercise if we jogged the 2.3 miles over to Pete’s house and then
Pete could drive from there to the firehouse. It is a nice run to Pete’s
from my house and the final uphill on the last couple streets make it a
good workout. We generated a good sweat by the time we got to Pete’s.
Pete was almost ready when we showed up. The short drive to the Rochester
firehouse gave us the few minutes we needed to catch our breath. We
figured it made sense to eat first before doing our hike.
By the time we arrived at the
firehouse we were surprised to see the large turnout. We each paid the
five dollar admission fee and then walked into the garage area where the
tables were setup. We had to wait a minute for a spot to be cleared and
then we sat down. The table we sat at had room for eight people, so
basically we took up about half of the table. I was sitting in the middle
and Bob was right next to me on my left. Pete was sitting across from Bob
and the chair directly across from me was empty. The firemen bring out
pancakes, sausage and either coffee or milk. They do a really nice job
waiting on everyone. Shortly after sitting down we had our food and we
were enjoying our breakfast.
After a couple minutes the firemen
seated some more people to the right side of me. It was two elderly
ladies on the opposite of me on Pete’s side. The chair to my immediate
right was still left empty, but an elderly gentleman was with the ladies
and he sat on my side next to the empty chair just to my right. We didn’t
say anything right away to the recently arrived people at our table. They
got their food relatively quick and were starting to eat when I noticed
both ladies were wearing shamrock pins on there jackets. They were all
three dressed quite nice, I’m guessing they may have come directly from
church. Pete was also looking good wearing one of his favorite dew rags.
I broke the ice with our table
neighbors by looking over to the lady closest to me and I told her I liked
her shamrock pin. She smiled and said thank you and proceeded to tell me
she has had her house decorated for St.Patrick’s Day for a few weeks
already. I said you must be Irish and she told me that she was and her
friend was as well. The other lady leaned over to show me her shamrock
pin as well. I told that one was really nice as well. After a little
more small talk we all went back to eating our breakfast. Then another
elderly gentleman showed up and he sat in the chair directly to my right.
He was obviously a friend of the other three and he joined right in.
Since he showed up late the fireman didn’t notice right away that he
didn’t have any food. He was being patient for a few minutes, but I could
tell he was getting antsy. Sensing that I might be able to get this guy
stirred up I leaned over and asked him why he didn’t have any food yet, I
told him it appeared the fireman were just ignoring him. Well this just
set this guy off, he started yelling out demanding for his pancakes.
Apparently this guy was quite a character and it didn’t take much to get
him going. He must have yelled out three or four times demanding for some
pancakes. I couldn’t help but egg him on a little, I told him it appeared
to me that the firemen were now deliberately ignoring him. In between his
outbursts we were talking to this elderly character.
At one point Pete asked me to ask
this guy if he was a retired professor or engineer. I told Pete I had
already riled him up enough that I wasn’t going to bother him anymore.
Pete said he would ask himself if I got his attention. So, I tapped our
new friend on the shoulder and got his attention. When he looked at me I
pointed to Pete and said that guy over there wearing the funny hat has a
question for you. He got kind of scowl on his face and looked directly at
Pete. Pete proceeded to ask him if he was a professor or engineer. Well
you would think Pete had just insulted this mans dignity because this
really set him off. He glanced briefly at me, and I just gave him a quick
I didn’t say it look. I was concerned he was going to slap me upside the
head. Then he quickly looked back at Pete and said, “What are you
insulting me like that for.” I am not sure why he considered this an
insult but he certainly did. I noticed the ladies sitting across from
this guy were both smiling, I think they are used to this guy getting
upset and it appeared to amuse them. Pete could tell he had insulted this
guy and he tried to explain why he had asked the question. I looked over
at my new friend and over to Pete and said, yeah why are you insulting
this gentleman. This made the ladies smile a bit more pronounced.
Finally Pete was able to explain
that he had noticed the man had a small pocket notebook and a pencil and
pen in his shirt pocket. Pete told him his dad was a professor and he
always had the same thing in his shirt pocket. Before our riled up friend
could answer one of the ladies said, “Go ahead and tell them why you carry
that stuff, it’s because Walt can’t remember anything unless he rights it
down.” Then she started laughing after making that comment. Walt
promptly pulled out the note pad and replied to his lady friend sitting
across from him, “What did you do on June 24, I’ll bet you don’t know, but
I do,” as he turned open the pocket planner to June 24. He was quite
proud of his pocket planner and the fact that he actually used it. I was
glad the lady across from Walt got him distracted from Pete, it seemed to
calm him down for a minute. While all this was going on Walt still didn’t
get any pancakes and periodically he would shout out his demand for
pancakes, it was actually quite a scene.
After a couple minutes of no one
saying anything Walt looked over at Pete and said, “What are you a smart
ass.” This made us all laugh and Pete replied to Walt, “You are sitting
next to one of the biggest smart asses around.” Pete was referring to me
but Walt immediately turned to his right and said to his friend, “Did you
hear what that guy called you.” This was hilarious, Walt’s form was
classic, he made it sound like Pete was calling the other guy a smart
ass. Again, we all laughed and Pete couldn’t do anything at this point
other than look straight up and laugh himself. Walt turned to us and
said, “Them is fighting words.” I told Walt we didn’t want any trouble
and that seemed to calm the situation.
Once things calmed down we went back
to eating our breakfast and we were almost ready to leave when Walt broke
the silence again with a classic line that will go down in bike club
history. He looked directly at Pete and said, “You’re as dumb as a hoot
howl.” That was all he said, that was his last comment and after a
comment like that what else is left to be said. Obviously we all started
laughing again and now I have something to call Pete when ever I feel like
reliving this memorable event.
We bid our new breakfast partners
farewell and we left the firehouse ready for our walk. We took the
Clinton River Trail west toward the bridge that was built a few months
ago. It is a really nice bridge kind of out in the middle of no where.
The river below at this location is fairly wide and it makes a couple of
pronounced bends. This area is one of the most scenic areas around
situated closely to downtown. The backside of Rochester College is down
in this area and we took a path up from the river toward the small college
campus. We came up to the back of the new big building the college built
a couple years ago. We went inside and used the restroom and looked
around. It was a very impressive building.
Next we headed east on Avon to the shopping center on the
south west corner of Rochester Road and Avon. The old Kmart is now a
Sears and we went inside to look at the rear projection TVs on display.
Pete is still shopping for a new TV. After checking out the TVs we headed
back outside and walked back over toward the firehouse where we left
Pete’s car. We estimate we walked about four miles total which turned out
to be quite enjoyable.