In this vacation season, some whos, whats and wheres of our personal dream travelogue

John Steadman

August 12, 1992|By John Steadman

People, places and things we would either like to meet, visit or observe:

The Pope -- To respectfully solicit his absolution.

Lonaconing -- The Maryland home of Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove.

Old North Church -- A chance to find out, firsthand, if a lantern is still lit.

The "Rose of San Antone" -- Could she have been as pretty as the song?

Belle Vernon -- The Pennsylvania town that nurtured Bert Rechichar, the Baltimore Colt hero of yesteryear. It has to have a character all its own because he surely was one.

Off-shore oil well -- Asking if the work force goes swimming in its free time.

Chuck Bednarik -- To listen again to what it was like to have 30 missions over Germany in World War II while he was still a teen-ager. Playing football was a lark after that.

Coeur d'Alene -- Comparing the view in Idaho to see if the natural beauty surpasses the Shenandoah Valley or the Monterey Peninsula.

Cahokia Downs -- The charm of bush-league horse racing.

Mother Teresa -- A chance to be in the presence of a saint on earth.

Catalina -- An isle of dreams and, as a historical reference, the Chicago Cubs haven't won a pennant since they stopped training there.

Harmonica -- Not to play but to turn it over to Stan Musial and ask for his version of the "Orange Blossom Special."

Montgomery -- The Alabama gravesite of Hank Williams Sr., where every night, if you listen quietly, you can hear the haunting lyrics of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Casting rod -- With Ted Williams on the business end displaying a deft touch that's all his own.

Any Supreme Court justice -- To find out firsthand how professional baseball for 70 ongoing years can be termed a "sport" and not a "business."

Pawnee -- The sound of the name is soft, sweet, melodious. It's where almost every Oklahoma country boy has been known to excel in an outdoor game called "sail-o-cat."

Okefenokee Swamp -- To see if the mosquitoes are strong enough to derail a freight train.

George Bush -- It would be exciting to see him pound a fist in his keepsake George McQuinn model first baseman's mitt and take a little infield practice on the White House lawn.

Winnemucca -- You can't claim to have been everywhere until you've made it to Winnemucca, the Nevada town Hank Snow saluted in stirring song.

Pocahantas Mine -- An opportunity to see close up the helmet-wearing coal miners who tunnel the earth and defy life-threatening risks every step of the way.

Jesse Jackson -- The chance to talk to the man we voted for in two previous Democratic primaries. But not to discuss politics. Only football, the game he played in college.

Shinnecock -- A classic golf course on the tip of Long Island.

Calgary Stampede -- Has to be the most remarkable exposition on the face of the earth, surpassing the circus, the Olympics, goat ropings and yodeling contests.

Darrell Royal -- That he would buy Willie Nelson's golf course when it went up for auction by the IRS, with the promise of giving it back to him when solvency returns, tells all anyone needs to know about the decency of the one-time Texas coach.

Walla Walla -- The town in the state of Washington that deserves, ahead of Tampa Bay, to be the new home of the San Francisco Giants.

Corn Palace -- A visit to Mitchell, S.D., on a personally conducted tour by favorite son Ordell Braase, to see how it stacks up against the Cow Palace.

Amelia Earhart -- To find out where she has been keeping herself all these years.

Big Mamou -- Merely the chance to meet up with any casual Cajun and listen to tales of LeRoy "The Black Stallion" Labat and his deeds as a fearsome running back at LSU.

Mount Rushmore -- A chance to interview four stone-faced presidents and elicit their opinions on the present state of the union.

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