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Brian Fleck

Roll-ups for breakfast

Walkin'

Watching Mom make roll-ups was a study in motion and efficiency. With two pans on a medium-hot fire, she’d ladle the batter, swirl it in the pan, flip it in a wink and serve them to the nearby kitchen table.
In a half hour, she could turn out dozens of the breakfast treats. She had to, I could eat a half-dozen myself, and Dad and my siblings weren’t far behind. Plus there could be extended family and/or friends bellied up to the kitchen table.

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Tradeoffs

Walkin'

Before starting our bicycling trip alongthe Danube, we took a side trip from Vienna to Salzburg.
Tim, a classmate of Sabra’s from junior high school, settled there with his partner and husband, Heiner.

Love a parade

Walkin'

So where did we leave off last week?
Oh, that’s right, Frank and I were out on a double date, and we came up short on the bill.
So what did we do?
Frank called his older sister, Sue. Even though she just put her hair up in rollers, she threw on a housecoat and brought us $5. The kindness of strangers and siblings at play.
Fast-forwarding to today, the highlight of their recent visit was attending the Beef Days parade. Frank, as it turns out, loves a parade, and rarely misses a chance to see one or better yet, be in it.

I’m back

Walkin'

It’s been a busy couple of months since I last filed a column at the end of June.
In July, my oldest and dearest friends, Frank and Jan, stopped by for a long weekend.
Frank and I go back to junior high.
In the earliest days of our friendship, we went stag to the Rolling Meadows movie theater and sat, an open seat between us, hoping a couple of lovelies would look over and find us irresistible.
Then, as we matured, we’d take dates to the show instead of hoping they parachuted into the seats next to us.

So it’s happening again

Walkin'

I always thought I’d write volumes when retired and had time to devote to putting fingers to keyboard, but the reality is, well, I don’t know. It keeps getting harder and more challenging for me to come up with a topic that seems new and fresh for this space. And when I do come up with an idea, the old gray cells just don’t have the same capacity to turn an idea into a story that has a common thread.
So to hell with the thread, here’s some things going on in my life of late.

Annual bike ride

Walkin'

This year’s annual summer bicycle ride will be into Dubuque and back on June 17 to 18.
We’ll leave from our house in Iowa City about 8 a.m.
We’ll ride the Heritage Trail. It’s a 26-mile multi-use recreational trail comprised of compacted crushed limestone that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way connecting the Mississippi River town of Dubuque on the west end and to Dyersville on the east.

Captive of heritage

Walkin'

“Samples!” I said out loud, to no one in particular, as I rolled my cart through the grocery store.
Getting excited and going for a free sample is something I always do, and it’s one of those times I always think of Dad.
The old man could never pass up something offered at no charge, sometimes to the point of being weird. As a kid, for example, I remember purposely parking the car on the far side of the Woodfield Mall so we would walk through Marshall Fields on our way to Sears.

Mud and blood brother

Walkin'

On my recent trip home for my folks’ 70th anniversary, I found myself digging in the garden with Brad.

Facebook is back

Walkin'

When Pearl and I walk we have an understanding.
As long as she stays by my side with the leash slack, I’ll let her take a few breaks so she can stop and smell... well, anything and everything including... the roses.

Married 70 years

Walkin'

Harold and Vernabelle (nee Sickler) Fleck marked their 70th anniversary this April in their longtime home in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
Harold is the son of a butcher and grocery store keeper on Chicago’s north side. After WWII ended, Harold got out of the army and took a job as a deliveryman for the Marshall Fields Department Store. Vern was a farm girl from Wisconsin who came to the big city with her twin sister Isabelle to take jobs at the War Bond Department, housed in the Merchandise Mart.
They met by chance through a roommate.

The dental diet

Walkin'

One of my biggest dreads is going to the dentist and it’s for good reason.

The dental diet

Walkin'

One of my biggest dreads is going to the dentist and it’s for good reason.