Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mash those Spuds!

I was over visiting at Stitchin' by the Lake's house this morning, where she was writing about high school mascots and getting together with old high school friends. I thought I had told you all the stories of my growing up years, but her blog entry brought back memories that I haven't written about previously.

Ole and I live in the Red River Valley of the North (yeah, there's another one down south in Texas I think). Supposedly this is one of the most fertile areas in the world because it's the bottom of old Lake Agassiz, a huge lake that covered a portion of Minnesota and North Dakota back in the glacial times. (At least something's older than I am!)

Anyway, the Red River Valley is under that little arm of blue that covers the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. Back in the glacial times when the lake decided to go away it flowed north and drained into Hudson's Bay and left behind the Red River. So now the stupid river flows north, which is the reason that we have such severe flooding in our area - because the ice up north hasn't thawed in the spring as early as the ice down in our southern area so it holds up the flow.

Now, you may ask, where in the world is this demented old bag going with all this - what has any of this to do with high school mascots?

Well, actually a lot. Our soil here is black - not gray, not brown, not red but very, very black - like night. It's silt from the bottom of the old lake bed, and as I said previously extremely fertile. And it grows potatoes like you wouldn't believe. There are potato farms around here that are thousands of acres in size with huge machines that dig the potatoes, load them into trucks where they're taken to warehouses and sorted for size and quality, then shipped in boxcars all over the United States.

So now the connection: It seems all high schools have mascots for their sports teams - the Tigers, the Wolves, Stitchin' by the Lake's high school mascot was the Zebras. Locally we have high schools with names like the Indians, the Bison, the Eagles - you get the picture. Most high schools have mascots that represent something powerful and strong.

Now how would you like to attend a school whose mascot was a potato!! We'd go to football games and the opposing cheerleaders would be out on the field leading a cheer and yelling "MASH THOSE SPUDS, MASH THOSE SPUDS!" How humiliating! Spuds didn't represent anything mighty and strong - just a fluffy plop of white potatoes in the bottom of a kettle. How impressive.

See that little potato guy over there on the left? That was Spud. And we even had someone who was foolish enough to dress up in a papermache potato and run around out on the football field or the basketball floor waving his spud flag. And then to top it off, our high school colors were black and orange. Believe me, we looked like we were dressed for Halloween twelve months out of the year. Every Friday was game day so everyone of course dressed in the colors - black and orange floating around all over the hallways.

I guess you just never know what's going to start my motor. Reading Stitchin's blog this morning brought all this up from the recesses of the computer memory banks. Some days you just gotta take what you get.

I'm off to the grocery store now to lay in a few necessary items before the blizzard hits that we have forecast. In my memory the earliest I've ever seen it storm here was on Halloween. Lovely Daughter was just a wee one then - I think about 4 or 5. They postponed Halloween that year because it was storming so bad you couldn't see to drive. This one may be a record breaker for being early in the year.

Must run - love you all,



Memaw's memories said...

We were the Catfish. One of two unique mascots in the US at one time.

We are still loyal Catfish and have a Catfish reunion every 5 years, and guess what we eat--why catfish of course.

Does that also make us canibals?

As always, enjoyed your story.

Calthea said...

I have to admit, I am a loyal Spud. Go Moorhead! But, when I was in college, the mascot was a comet then changed to the Golden Bears.

Marge said...

That is the funniest thing I've heard lately! The Spuds! Oh, I can hear the cheers:

We are the Spuds, the mighty mighty Spuds! Everywhere we go, people wanna know, who we are, so we tell them: We are the Spuds, the mighty mighty Spuds!

I'm guessing you got very little respect! Mash those spuds and eat'em up! Your team would have been dinner for my team, the Vikings. Yup, as in the pillaging raiders of old.....not the purple ones.

Thanks for the laughs, and blessings to you, my dear friend!