What about Bob? Curling in Centerville

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Catherine Idzerda
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I spent the weekend in Centerville Wis., an unincorporated crossroads in Trempealeau County, where I enjoyed the hospitality of the Centerville Curling Club and met Uncle Bob.

A team from the Blackhawk Curling Club in Janesville consisting of Stacy Sennett-Baden, Sonja Bagley, Jean Moats of Nelson, Wis. and myself were competing in the Centerville’s women’s bonspiel.

We did pretty well, winning four of five games, and taking first in the fourth event. Also, when we stepped into the hotel pool, all the college boys got out. How sweet is that?

How is it that one sport can attract people with such diverse backgrounds such as:

The retired ladies from Rice Lake who wear matching pink jackets and have a ferocious vice (that’s the third position on a four-person team). Ferocious as in “look at that sweet-looking lady with the white hair and the pink jacket,” and then BAM! she’s taking your stones out.

The ladies from Centerville—also matching outfits—who are in their 40s and 50s and drink Jagermeister and Red Bull after games, a drink I thought was reserved for college students.

A woman wearing a kilt, argyle knee-highs and a University of Minnesota jacket. Somehow this combination works, and she’s the cutest curler in the joint.

Then there were the young professionals, students, businesswomen, retired women, women who wear furs, women who wear barn boots, women who coordinate their outfits, women who curl in sweatpants and whatever shirt and fleece vest is clean….you get the point.

And then, there’s Uncle Bob.

Bob apparently spent Saturday “fixing fence lines” (a euphemism for something else, probably involving Pabst Blue Ribbon) and by 5 p.m. was willing to stick his head out the club house door and shout invectives at his sister, who was curling in the first event semi-finals.

His sister, a grown woman who probably changed Bob’s diapers, and Bob’s niece, a beautiful young woman, were on a team that was busy handing us our behinds on a platter.

Bob, who is allegedly a good curler, shouted “Didn’t I teach you anything? You’re playing just awful.”

I was thinking, “Who is that jerk and when can I give hard kick (metaphorical, of course) on behalf of women everywhere?”

But then I realized that all the other women on the ice—at least the women who knew Bob—were just laughing and rolling their eyes.

Women who spent their days in barn boots, women who wore furs to parties, young women, middle-aged women, retired women, women with coordinating outfits— all women who had spent anytime at all with Bob—were all rolling their eyes.

It’s amazing how much we all have in common.

Last updated: 10:08 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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