Friday, July 10, 2009

Cultural Activity in Bismarck ND

As mentioned before I took 2 days of R&R in Bismarck to recover from over a week of wind bucking and to get ready for the push to Council Bluffs. I need to cover about 600 miles in 8 days (counting today). Normally that is pretty doable if the wind at least evens out with at minimum few days of neutral or positive wind. I have not checked on today's forecast and will not before getting on the road. It will be what it will be .

I would like to say that I spent this down time looking at all the many historical and cultural things this busy city has to offer but I can not do that. Besides writing the blogs I became 1 with my remote control and almost wore that sucker out checking out the over 80 (yes 80!!) cable channels in my motel room. For $39.00 a night I certainly got my money's worth.

I also rode pretty much aimlessly aroung the area just moseying and looking things over. at least 50 miles in the 2 days combined. I now have a goo dfeel for life in Bismarck.
A big highlight for me yesterday afternoon was discovering the world's largest and best thrift store (in my opinion). It is called Seeds of Hope Thrift Store and it is huge, 2 floors, with tons of cool stuff, at least 2 steps up from the normal places like this I visit.
Initially I was drawn to this thrift mecca by the need of another hat to wear while riding. I was looking for one of those high foam front mesh back "farmer/trucker " ones for 2 reasons. #1 the headwear I have been wearing is not real breathable and I want to see if that situation can be improved (more on this in a later post). #2 I wanted something that fits my noggin a little better. Like my feet (size 12 EEEE) I have a hard to fit melon in that besides being a tad oversized in general it has what my son Jeff , the wordsmith and family hat model, likes to describe as an aerodynamic front (slanted Neaderthal forehead). I have found very few caps in my life that both look reasonable and actually fit OK too.

Well my search led to me to the Seeds of Hope and it was successful and much more. My hat situation was solved for 53 cents but I spent another 2 hours just browsing. While doing so I kept thinking of Miss Sassy and that cute girl who does the Spandex Pony blog (see my favorites) . They would have to bring a lunch and dinner picnic and an oxygen bottle if they got into this place. There was a 30' x 30' room of nothing but preowned shoes !!! 2 big rooms for dolls , 1 room each for paperbacks and hard cover books, as well as all the other stuff that thrift stores usually have , only a lot more of it, maybe 2 or 3 acres minimum. Yes, I strongly just know that Miss Sassy and that Spandex Pony gal will one day visit here with an empty truck.

I had been wondering how to best spend my last evening in Bismarck . I could find no religious or meditative services listed anywhere. There was a Shakespearean play being put on by a local childrens theater but I distinctly remembered what someone in Fort Benton said to me "the most boring 2 hours of my entire life" in describing the previous year's summer event play The Merchant of Venice so I passed on that.
Then I read about the Northern Outlaw Wrestling Organization (N.O.W.O.) doing an outdoor event on the other side of town and I had my answer. It was only a 4 mile bike ride and I was all over that. The kicker was the feature guy on the card was none other than THE HONKEY TONK MAN "The greatest Intercontinental World Champion of All Time". Even though it was 20 years ago that this guy ruled the WWF he is still a hero of mine (even though he is several years younger than me). I remember as if it were yesterday the good times my boys and I had watching and reenacting WWF action in the 1980's, especially on that king sized waterbed with no baffles . It was the best of times.

So I get there early hoping to get a pic of me and "THE HONK" as his close friends call him. I did talk to him for several minutes but he said no pics because there were a whole lot of other folks thinking the same thing and once it started it would take too much time to appease everyone. Slightly disappointed I found a front row seat to catch the action of the undercard and quickly got into the spirit of the night.

First of all I was part of a crowd of maybe 200 sitting/standing very close around a ring set up in the grass near the swimming pool area of the Best Western motel. The night was perfect (absolutely no wind) and the crowd was awesome. As I looked over my fellow wrestling fans I quickly noticed how many "farmer" hats there were with either Farmall or John Deere logos on the front. Also, about half the rowd was wearing Kum N Go and Grab N Go tshirts, which told me a lot. Also, at least half the crowd had 2 or more facial piercings and/or visible tattoos. It was a real mixed crowd and many were liquered up and ready for some action/entertainment from the squared circle ring.

I knew I was in for a treat when the ring announcer bellowed out that the first match was between 2 guys making their debut in pro wrestling (it was their first match). It was between the 135 pound CROW(the instant crowd favorite) and 220 pound MR. INCREDIBLE (instant crowd non favorite-and not because he ws one of only 2 black guys in the entire Bismarck area). It was a tough match in that for 10 minutes CROW got the hell beat out of him but he was able to pin MR. INCREDIBLE , and I along with my fellow wrestling fan brothers and sisters were stoked.
Match #2 was one of the best and involved state honor/pride (not an oxymoron) in that 250 pound DIRTY ERNIE a huge local favorite from "somewhere in the Northwestern part of North Dakota territory" took on a low life dirty 220 pound bastard named SHINDAG who hails from that rotten state of Iowa. This was a definite Good vs Evil match and DIRTY ERNIE was clearly the better athlete but after pounding SHINDAG the whole match SHINDAG , with the help of DIRTY DAN HANSEN (from the even rottener state of Minn-eh-sew-ta) pinned DIRTY ERNIE, but when the crowd went wild and became unruly the N.O.W.O commisioner stepped in and awarded the match to DIRTY ERNIE due to outside interference. The commisioner also gave DIRTY DAN HANSON the choice of stripping him of his recently won N.O.W.A. title or having to wrestle THE HONKEY TONK MAN in the main event. This was big time stuff and after much soul searching DIRTY DAN HANSON agreed to take on THE HONKEY TONK MAN and the crowd went wild. There was a 15 minute break so folks could celebrate and get even more liquered up.
btw--this is a pic of CROW walking the ropes and trying to be talked down by the ref.

This is me and my new best friend COOTER from "somewhere in the Ozarks"(that is me on the right wearing my new lid) . In exchange for this photo op I had to buy his "smokin hot" girlfriend a Bud Lite. As you can see COOTER is real backwoods friendly and got kinda close during pic. He seemed OK but I got sorta uncomfortable when he started rubbing me and asking what type of farm animal noises I could make.
COOTER was involved in what I consider the best match of the night which I will detail in a later post.

This is me and MR. INCREDIBLE (I am on the right-again wearing my new hat). This is an intense dude and was still smarting from that unexpected loss to the 135 pound CROW.


Well,although there is so much more to relay about last nights cultural experience in Bismack ND, that will have to wait until tonight or whenever I can get back to it. I am all packed and ready to hit the road and face whatever wind the wind gods throw at me today.
I am really looking forward toriding again and also reliving last nights events in my mind so I can write about them.
It's gonna be a good day.

and I am off(literally)
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  1. There were 8 wrestlers on the first WWF video game on Nintendo. Honky Tonk Man was one of them. That's quite the honor and makes The Tonk a true legend! And you got to meet him!
    He reminds me of my wrestling days on my brothers water bed. I was always the Ultimate Warrior. We made a championship belt with a steel peanut-jar cap, a leather belt, and a Sharpie (sorry, not purple - it was black. That would have been too ironic!)

  2. Howdy, This is Dirt Dan. Just wanted to say thanks for coming out to our little show and hope you had a good time. It was fun but would have been better if Honky didn't cheat by thumbing me in the throat!