Twice a year, for the last 20 years, 16 guys or so from Stephen get together to hang out. The backdrop in the summer is a golf course, either in Leonard or Casselton, ND. In the winter/spring we assemble at a Fargo bowling alley. Teams are chosen and the competition is fierce. Or whatever is exactly the opposite of fierce. The golfing and the bowling have always been secondary at best. The story-telling, joking, and general tomfoolery are what matters the most. I can’t imagine not getting together with these knuckle-heads. In fact, we often come to the conclusion that these tournaments should be televised. Tape delayed, of course, much like a poker tournament so that the proper "editing" could take place. I’m often asked if "ESPN 8, the Ocho" might be interested. They could do worse, and I actually believe it would be quite entertaining.
So in a couple of weeks, we will once again enter a darkened bowling alley, rent our shoes, argue about the selection of teams, and then try not to ruin the birthday party of the 8-year old boy on the lane next to us. All in the name of friendship. If the Stephen newspaper, The Messenger, covered the event, the last line would write itself: A good time was had by all.
Ps…speaking of Stephen guys, it’s a boy for one of the best, Bokko! His wife Kristen gave birth to Braylon early this morning. Braylon’s big sister Elsie must be very excited. And so too are all the Stephen guys, because this will surely mean cigars at the bowling alley.