When you get off the plane in Minneapolis, which you boarded in Sacramento, the humidity hits you like a ton of bricks. I have lived in Sacramento for 9 years now. I have taken dry heat for granted. It's like you don't even notice it. I mean, I'll be out in the back yard yanking a few weeds out of the garden when all of a sudden beads of perspiration will roll down the side of my face. I'll think: what is that? Where did that come from? Oh, yeah, right, it's 95; I forgot.
You don't forget when it's 95 in Minneapolis. It's like a Turkish bath. Not that I have ever been to a Turkish bath but one day I will go. The reason I have not yet gone to Turkey is because Greece is right next door. I hear the two countries do not get along. So, if you're going to visit that part of the world, you might not want to cross boundaries from one country to the other -- they prefer that you choose one and stick to it. Whereas, I am in the "may as well" camp. If you're going to Minneapolis, for example, you may as well go to Saint Paul.
Which is where we are headed tomorrow, to attend the best State Fair in the entire country. Yes sirree, right here in Saint Paul, Minnesota, home of Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion. I had never heard of Lake Wobegon until I spotted somebody in the Home Depot parking lot somewhere in Orange County wearing a t-shirt that read: Where is Lake Woebegon, Minnesota? So, I stopped him and asked if he knew because I did not. Lake Woebegon -- that's how much I know about Garrison Keillor.
Except it's common knowledge that Garrison Keillor goes to St. Paul Saints' games, which is the minor league baseball team in Saint Paul. I am not a huge baseball fan. I once went to a game at Midway Stadium in the 1990s. This was when Darryl Strawberry played for them, after he got into all that trouble with cocaine. The crowd chanted Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry -- they loved him, but he was not from Saint Paul, so who cares, and Strawberry soon thereafter left the state. It's surprising that I am sharing any of this with you because I am not a sport's fan. I don't really follow any sports.
Which is why yesterday I was standing on the Light Rail from the Lindbergh Terminal and wondering why there were so many Sacramento Kings fans on Light Rail with us. The Light Rail was jam packed, filled with men, women and children wearing purple shirts that read KINGS. It wasn't until they turned a bit that I could see there were two more letters on those shirts.
Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub