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Besides planning trips, Burdell also writes this weekly column which tells about sports happenings now and 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago, sometimes a trip down memory lane that some of you may relate to, what the Ancient Sportsman (Burdell) and Ancient-ess (Charlotte) have been up to and about trips they have been on. Each week is a new adventure.
Tales of the 
Ancient Sportsman
     Hooray! Basketball season is here and I finally got to cover a game. Tuesday night I was in Montezuma for the Montezuma-Pella Christian girl’s game. The Eagles came out on fire and slapped a 1-3-1 zone press on Monte. That caused the Bravettes some problems as PC soon had a 7 – 0 lead. A quick time out was called and Montezuma coach, Janell Burgess, made some adjustments to get her team into the flow of the game. Soon the score was tied and then the Bravettes pulled away for a 56 – 42 win.  
    Pella Christian showed some good things at times, but long scoring droughts proved to be their undoing. The Eagles are under a new coach this year and Jordan Dyk is looking to improve on last season’s record. It will be a challenge as PC is the smallest school in a rugged conference made up of 3A and 4A schools. 
    Another special treat was seeing several old friends from years past. But each year that number seems to get smaller and smaller. I missed my old friend, Al Rabenold. Al and Buddy were in Indianola watching his older granddaughter play for Simpson, while Denise and Marie were in Monte watching the youngest granddaughter. And she did well as Mia Boulton led the scoring with 18 points. 
    I thought that maybe I could get one last day of fishing in on Wednesday. It was in the 50’s and I was hoping there would be some open water on the pond. But a thin layer of ice covered the whole pond and fishing was out. So instead of fishing, I stopped by at Colleen’s place and checked on her. She is fighting hard to regain some strength and I was encouraged by her progress. 
    I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and friends. Ours was rather quiet as we were together the Sunday before. The Ancient-ess and I were preparing for a slow day at home. Our son, Rob, called and said that all his kids were away. He had a turkey and he was cooking. That is all I needed to hear. That kid can flat out cook. He had to get it from his mom, as I am an outcast in any kitchen. A top-notch peanut butter and jelly sandwich is my limit. 
We made our way to Ottumwa and the dinner was marvelous. Spent an afternoon overdosing on football and getting acquainted with Rob’s Tennessee Coon Hound, Harold. Harold is taller than I am when he stands on his hind legs and drapes his front feet over my shoulder. He is a load.
    Friday was a hard day for football fans in Iowa. Iowa State was done in by the Horny Frogs of TCU while the Hawkeyes were done in by themselves. That was the most miserable first half that I have watched in some time. But injuries and an inept offensive plan kept the Hawks grounded. A loss to Nebraska is hard to take, but the Hawks were not the best team in the Big Ten West. The Iowa defense deserves a bowl game, but the offense does not. 
    Friday morning we encountered a situation that leaves me in a state of amazement. Two weeks ago our Chevy Malibu died graveyard dead in the Hy Vee parking lot. We had it towed to where it was found that the original equipment battery was shot. A new battery was installed. 
We soon found that the engine light would not go off, the clock would not work and the cruise control was not working plus some other issues. We were told that the cost to fix the problems would be anywhere between $700 and $1100. Yikes! I can do without cruise control for that. 
    We were told that we should take it back to Karl Chevrolet in Ankeny. I called the service department and they said to bring the car in and be prepared to leave it for a time. Not the news the Ancient-ess wanted to hear. She is terrified about city traffic and being Black Friday didn’t help a lot. 
    We did just fine on the way to Ankeny. When we checked into the service department, the manager asked me what the problem was. I told him that the cruise control would not work. He reached in the window and poked a little button on the dash. “Now it will work,” he said. Duh! Do you suppose that old men should read the owner’s manual?
    The fun wasn’t over. I told the Ancient-ess that the exchange around the mix-master is a little tricky and to stay on my bumper and we would stop in Prairie City for a tenderloin at Goldies. We got on I-35 and sure enough, she fell back and a couple of cars got in between us. I was trapped in the traffic and had to go with it. I was hoping she could negotiate the mix-master, but it was more like a blender and it spit her out on I-235 heading into Des Moines. She made it to University and then on to Prairie City. I was relieved to see her pull into Goldies and I told her that we would not do that again.
    It seemed like that was only the beginning as the rest of the weekend was just as crazy. This week has to be better. I will be able to cover a couple of ballgames and I can get on the tour bus again.