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Valley City North Dakota is a town of about 8,000 in the southeast corner of the state. The Sheyenne River twists through town so much it sometimes referred to by locals as the “City of Bridges.” It is the home of Valley City State College Vikings.

It’s about 687 miles from Chicagoland, a healthy drive. An even healthier ride on the Greyhound Bus; 17 and a half hours with stops in Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, on down Interstate 94 into Alexandria, then over the Red River into Fargo.

The journey concludes about 55 miles farther down the road when the big bus rolls into the City of Bridges. A 6:30 AM start in the Windy City will get you there before midnight the same day if traffic co-operates.

My sophomore year of college, I made the travel football squad for Luther College, a DIII football team in Northeast Iowa. It was a pretty big deal to me at the time. It’s not that I was REALLY a star player or anything, but good enough to be the 2nd string receiver and a part of the 36-man road team.

I must have mentioned it in my weekly Sunday collect phone call to my parents from the pay phone in the Student Union. (Just that sentence will give you an idea of how long ago this was.)

Our first game of the year was an away game at, you guessed it, Valley City State College. While that trip took about 7 hours from campus to campus, it was kind of exciting to ride the team bus, have an overnight stay at a hotel and play football in a state I’d never even stepped foot in beforehand.

The likelihood of me seeing the field was dependent on how good the Vikings of Valley State were and how well we played. I wasn’t a starter and would only see action in the event of an injury or lopsided game. But heck, I was 18 years old and playing DIII college football in North Dakota.

As we jogged out of the locker room and I took my spot on the sidelines, I saw a woman and a young girl walking alongside the field towards the bleachers. They bore a strong resemblance to my mom and little sister, Donna.

I didn’t gawk at first, because, well, there was a game to play and the odds of that being them were so remote it seemed a mirage being as mom hadn’t been driving all that long and we only had one car.

But, sure enough, it WAS my mom.

She had taken a nearly 700-mile road trip of her own on a Greyhound Bus to see my very first college football road trip. She endured the rigors of that 18-hour bus trip with my sister in tow just so she could cheer me on and share the excitement of my first “away” college football game.

As luck would have it, we won by a large margin (31-0) and I actually got to play a few downs on the field so mom got to see me play football in North Dakota.

I got to share a precious few moments after the game with her and my sister, before she left for her bus and I left for mine.

I mostly stammered, saying things like “great to see you”,” hey, we won” and “how the hell did you get here”.

She just smiled that mom smile, gave me a hug and with a wry smirk, she said, “We took the bus.”

ESPN does a series this time of year called “Dear Mom” where star players extend their gratitude’s for their mother’s support.

This story won’t make that publication. Not because my mother didn’t support me. Oh she did. Time and time again and again. So I share it here.

My mom passed away four and a half years ago. There’s not a day goes by where I don’t think of her.

In tribute to my mom, on a Mother’s Day weekend, I share just this ONE tale of many of her never-ending dedication and devotion to her children. There are MANY more.

As Diana Ross sang and my mom exhibited, “Ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from you…”

Love you mom for your constant support!

How many times has this happened to you?

You put 10 socks in the washer and when you empty the dryer, only 9 are there.
You scrape the washer, impeccably search the dryer and diligently follow your path from the laundry room to the bedroom and no missing sock.

Somewhere in the laundry process, the renegade sock escaped.

My wife has this basket of unmatched socks in our bedroom, hoping for that day when she finds a mate in another load. The day never comes. It’s a mystery we all encounter.

Have you ever thought of this? Perhaps, socks are monogamous or monogosox if you prefer.

When I buy my socks, it’s usually in a 3 pack or 6 pack or whatever and the socks are all neatly matched, usually bound together with a small seemingly annoying plastic piece, that to socks are perhaps a wedding rings of sorts.

And what do we do? We rip apart their band, step on them all day long and then throw them in a hamper when we are done. Leave them there for a few days or so with shirts and trousers and more socks and throw them in a vat of soapy water.

They soon learn that the odds of 12 socks ever being perfectly matched together again are 0.00757575. (Just trust me, my sister Susan is a math geek and got that stat for Wedwand in under a minute.)

As they splash about getting agitated, rinsed and spun you can almost hear them scream, “Bobby, where are you?”

“I’m here, Crew. I promise I’ll never be matched with another.”

It’s kinda like the Titanic for those socks when they get dropped in the washer. The agitator looms like an iceberg in the machine. As the water pours into the tub and the soap is added, they splash about with the suds getting higher.

By the time the fabric softener is added, you can almost hear Celine singing, “Near far, wherever you are…” as socks splash about frantically in the tub. There is no lifeboat coming to the rescue today.

Alas, one sock ultimately goes missing from the load in search of their mate. And THAT’s the sock we’re missing when it comes time to pair socks in the folding process.

Mystery solved.

Chicago’s Rock and Roll Radio Giant, WLUP, the LOOP, 97.9 on your radio dial is going away this Friday, March 9. After 41 years of being the Classic Rock 4,000 watt monster midway on the radio dial, the Loop has been sold. Dial 591- ROCK or 591 ROLL after then and you won’t be requesting Led Zeppelin anymore.

But rather than get nostalgic about the sale, or tell classic old stories about classic old rock and roll radio, I was wondering, what would be a fitting final song to play for WLUP’s farewell spin?

At first I thought, Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”. A classic tune by a classic band seemed an obvious, “to be a rock and not to roll” would be a nice way to sign off.

Then I was thinking, maybe a little “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger “I reminisce about the days of old, with that old time rock and roll.”

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who was a contender as well. “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss” seems an apropos lyric given the sale of the station.

Then again, what is classic rock without The Beatles? “When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me” might be choice lyrics considering the station sold to a Christian Rock broadcaster.

Or, maybe “Sympathy for The Devil” by another classic rocker, The Rolling Stones just to be rebellious. “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name.”

After mulling over and contemplating the possibilities, I landed on a very slight favorite by a vote of .097.9 percent.

“I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan, but my guitar couldn’t hold you so I split the band. Love lies bleeding in my hand.” Yep, Elton John.

“Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” is my choice for last Loop song. Cause WLUP was a radio friend of mine since 1977 and they “split the band”, the radio 97.9 band and a radio funeral seems a good way to go out.

Please complete the Poll below with your choice for the WLUP finale.