Cool July weekend was just what the doctor ordered – Beside the Point

I think this weekend may have been the most beautiful July weather I’ve experienced in many, many years.

The fact that Craig Counsell and Christian Yelich both got ejected in the Reds’ 4-3 win over the Brewers in the race for NL Central, made it a little sweeter. Counsell got thrown out for arguing balls and strikes and Yelich was run for making a baseball move to second after beating out an errant throw at first.

The ball caromed off the wall back onto the field to second baseman Jonathan India who picked it up and walked casually down the line and smiled, touching Yelich with the ball. The umpire was watching the action the whole time and called Yelich out.

Yelich lost his mind over the call, but the replay showed he moved toward second and the correct call was made to the dismay of about 30,000 fans who were already revved up by Counsell’s ejection.

Then Eugenio Suarez belted an opposite field dinger off Josh Hader to give the Reds the win.

It was a good day in Milwaukee. I’ll see the same two teams next weekend in Cincinnati, hopefully with the Central Division lead on the line.

And as much I love to see a good baseball game, the real joy of the weekend came sitting in the historical district of Platteville, Wis. with new friends.

I enjoy meeting new people. A Jameson in a glass full of ice helps smooth the process a little bit, but being a barfly is nothing new to me.

Sitting in the center of a historical district looking at the character and age of the downtown and discussing the politics and path the town has taken is always an interesting topic of conversation.

Platteville is a college town so it has the full gauntlet of town bars in the district. And during the non-pandemic school year the sidewalks and streets are packed toward the end of the week as students look for release from the pressures of college life… while creating more pressures of college life.

It reminded me of years gone by, but I was fine with those years being gone by.

I watched kids play cornhole and darts and doing shots, and pounding the bar after each shot. I don’t know that move.

It’s not the season for this part of town, but the locals still find places to hang out and spend their money.

I don’t make this trek very often… once every couple years. I usually make a stop in Dubuque. I like the downtown area and what they’ve done with their Main Street District. A former warehouse district that has been transformed into upper floor apartments and a lively retail presence.

I also like to get to Galena occasionally and get some steps in while finding seasonings and interesting food.

It’s neat to see the commitment to customers in these places. Things are little pricey, but the environment is worth the extra spend.

I could see Fort Madison getting to that point if things continue to progress the way they are with new business owners taking the risk of starting out on their own and hoping for big returns.

But the weekend is coming to an end and so is the gorgeous temperatures that we’ve enjoyed in this part of the country.

I received several texts on Friday with damage done in Fort Madison, including an Iowa Fertilizer Co. building that was toppled in strong winds that accompanied Friday’s thunderstorms. It seems as though every time I leave town, a storm hits Fort Madison. We hope everyone was safe, property can be replaced – people cannot – But that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of the Pen City Current and can be reached at

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