Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bartley Midwest Tour 2008 - Part 1

Greetings from the great and all powerful Midwest. Megan and I are on a 3-city tour of the Midwest this week.

First stop: Plain City, Ohio. LET ME HEAR YOU PLAIN CITY....

Plain City is the city's name... and a perfect description. They have 2 stop lights & 5 banks. I sense growth coming. We ate some great food and had ice cream. We drank a bunch.

My older sister Jen lives in Plain City, Ohio. It is a cute & growing suburb of the fine city of Columbus, Ohio. Jen lives here with her husband, Gar, & their 3 kids: Madison, Jackson & Grant. Megan & I drove with my parents, Ralph and Jane, to Plain City. Here is a picture from the living room:

Left to Right (back row): Ben, Megan, Jen & Gar
(front row): Grant -with mouth open, Jane, Jack, Ralph and Madison.

We ate and drank in Plain City. We met the neighbors and played softball. It was a good party.

Next stop on the Bartley Midwest Tour 2008: Louisville, Kentucky.

Never been to Louisville? It looks something like this:

My heart will forever love Louisville for 3 reasons:
#3 - bourbon
#2 - my parents live here
#1 - I met my wife here

I wanted to put bourbon as number one, but I am married to #1 and I am sleeping in #2's house. Bourbon - if you were a horse in the Kentucky Derby, I would bet on you to "show".

We also have great friends here. For lunch on Monday, we met four of those great friends. Megan went to grad school with Keith. Here is a picture of the dynamic (and family-therapeutic) duo:

Believe it or not, Keith is smiling in this picture.

Keith is married to the lovely Meredith. They have a daughter named Sophia & a son named Cyrus. Here is a picture of Meredith, Sophia and Ben:

The final picture belongs to the one-and-only Cyrus. He sat in "the Godfather" position: head of the table, palms down, clearly waiting for a mafia hit to take place.

I spent some of lunch explaining to Cyrus that the Kansas City Royals were the best team in professional baseball. I explained that they have not played up to my expectations in the last 20-25 years, but that 1985 was a magical year. Keith chimed-in that U.L. Washington was a great man who managed to play professional baseball with a toothpick in his mouth.

Keith & Meredith - you are awesome. Cyrus & Sophia - do what your parents tell you.

I have got to spend a bunch of time with family. That has been great. Here are a picture of my parents, wearing matching shirts.

Some things I like about this picture:
#1 - matching teal shirts... mom & dad - are you auditioning for America's Got Talent? Seriously, if I find out you are wearing matching teal pants in this picture, I am changing my last name. I am going to change it to "Tealtwins"... Ben Tealtwins... it has a ring.
#2 - the random guy in the yellow shirt, directly staring at the camera.

Very nice, random guy. You should have worn a teal shirt, too.

Tomorrow, we have dinner with my sister Jess's boyfriend. His name is Zach. He is one part of One Small Step, my favorite band in Louisville, Kentucky. Here is a picture of Jess and Zach. They were finishing a ceremony in which their university told them they no longer had to pay tuition and gave them a piece of paper. In order to get the piece of paper, they had to wear funny hats and large ribbons. I think some cultures call it "graduation".

Zach has decided that 17 years of school was not quite enough. So he decided to continue his studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He continues to write songs & drink beer.

Jess is also living in Milwaukee. She is working for Americore up there. Americore is like the Marine Core, except less guns. I think she is a community organizer in a low income neighborhood in Milwaukee... or she combating insurgents in the streets of Fallujah. I don't know what Jess does up in Milwaukee. I am really confused in this paragraph. I think I will start a new one.

So that is about it from Kentucky. Next stop: Union, Missouri, to see my grandpa.

In summary: Keith's son will hopefully love the Kansas City Royals, Plain City is a noun and an adjective, strange men stare at you from behind when you wear matching teal shirts.

Good Night Kentucky!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!


Jennifer said...

Perhaps if Cyrus doesn't buy the whole "KC Royals Rock" thing, maybe I could talk to him about my beloved Pirates?

Anonymous said...

you are funny. Gar looks like Frazier Crane

Ben said...

Keith, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Pirates are Cyrus's favorite NL team.