I spent the better part of the weekend watching NCAA Basketball Tournament games. They sure didn’t turn out the way that I wanted them to. I can’t believe that eight of the Big Ten teams were wiped out in either their first or second game. Michigan is the only Big Ten team remaining in the “Sweet 16 “ bracket. I think this year it could be renamed the “Strange 16” bracket.

The Big 10 teams failed miserably — there were nine teams from the Big 10 at the start and after the weekend, only one team remained, Michigan.

My favorite team was Wisconsin, of course. The Badgers won their first game against North Carolina but lost by a wide margin to Baylor. This was about what I was expecting. But I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, Rutgers and Michigan State all lost on opening weekend.

Undefeated Gonzaga looks unstoppable. I think they will win it all although I will not be cheering for them. I was cheering for the Big 10 teams and Tony Bennett’s team, Virginia, who was the reigning NCAA Championship Team and they lost to Ohio in their first game.

Have you fallen for an April Fools joke today?

I think that the late Dr. John Grinde was the best April Fools jokester that I have ever known. He had a wonderful sense of humor and he was always planning April Fools jokes all through the year.

One summer day back in the 1950s my folks invited four or five couples up to our Lake Wisconsin cottage one Saturday for a cookout. Dr. Grinde and his wife, Dorthy were two of the guests.

My Uncle Just and I were sitting on lawn chairs by the lake front and Doctor John came down carrying a telescope. He walked out on the dock and was scanning over the water with his telescope. He turned to his right and was looking down the shore line and he exclaimed to my uncle, “Just, come out here and and look through my spy glass. There’s a woman swimming and I think she is swimming in the nude!”

Just walked out on the dock and said that he didn’t see anyone swimming. Dr. Grinde handed him the telescope and told him to look over by a clump of trees way down the shore on the right hand side. Just looked through the telescope and still didn’t see anything. John told him to hold the telescope right up to his eye and turn it around to adjust it. Just still didn’t see anything and Doc Grinde said “Well. look through it with the other eye but you’ll have to hurry I think she is getting out of the water.” Uncle Just still didn’t see any thing. “Well it’s too late now, she just picked up her clothes and went into the cottage,” said Dr. John.

John went back up to the cottage. A few minutes later my Uncle also walked back to the cottage. As he stepped through the door the whole room exploded in laughter. My uncle had a black circle around each eye. Dr. Grinde had told everyone in the cottage that he had Just look through his “special” telescope at the invisible woman swimming by the shore. He had rubbed lamp black around the eye piece on the telescope that rubbed off on to Uncle Just.

Many years later Molly and I were out in our yard with our two boys, Scott and Jim. They were about five and seven-years old at the time. Dr. Grinde came up and parked his big Cadillac in front of our house. He got out and asked our boys to come over by his car. It was making strange noises. As they approached the car we could hear a voice from the trunk yelling “Let me out! Let me out!” My boys knew Dr. Grinde well and the tricks he would play on people. Scott said, “Dr. Grinde, you’ve got a tape recorder in your trunk!” Dr. Grinde couldn’t get over that the boys had figured out his trick so quickly and gave each of them a candy bar.

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