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Aboard That Minnesota Cannonball
Gerald Holland
July 30, 1962
Rollie Reynen of Devils Lake, N.Dak. sings loud and clear as he helps to keep the party lively on the special railroad car taking a delegation 400 miles to the ball game. Fans came by train, bus, car and plane from all over the Northwest and parts of Canada to see the hot Minnesota Twins take on Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle and the rest of the hated New York Yankees
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July 30, 1962

Aboard That Minnesota Cannonball

Rollie Reynen of Devils Lake, N.Dak. sings loud and clear as he helps to keep the party lively on the special railroad car taking a delegation 400 miles to the ball game. Fans came by train, bus, car and plane from all over the Northwest and parts of Canada to see the hot Minnesota Twins take on Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle and the rest of the hated New York Yankees

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"Ja," said the other, "but it's for three days. What harm?"

"No," conceded the first woman, "but is a strain. Like my Otto and me, we took this auto trip. We drove 1,700 miles. We don't eat right. We don't sleep right. You know what? Me, I lost 12 pounds!"

"Ja," the other woman nodded, "so what harm? You are a big woman. You could afford."

Meanwhile, Paul Lange, the leader of the radio station group, had his hands full. He had to prepare kits for every member of the party. The kits contained the tickets for the game, a list of the people who would be going (so there would be no trouble remembering names like Balzer Kurtz, Gerald Jorgenson, Rollie Reynen, Leo Janowski, Adolph Feldner and so forth) and a mimeographed sheet with the lyrics of songs to be sung en route. These included On a Sunday Afternoon, Down by the Old Mill Stream, Shine On Harvest Moon, My Melancholy Baby and Du, Du, Liegst Mir im Herzen.

Paul Lange set one night aside, three days before takeoff, for the preparation of sandwiches. With the help of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Wick, Paul's wife Lois, their three children and the baby sitter, Sandy Liudahl, 240 roast beef, ham, tuna and egg salad sandwiches were made, wrapped and put in the freezer. Paul had already arranged for just a little more beer than he thought would be required (on the last trip the party ran out of beer 100 miles out of Devils Lake) and some new pails to hold ice for those who preferred mixed drinks.

Downtown, along the main street, the tempo was stepping up. Al Dawson, the proprietor of Dawson's family-type cocktail lounge, was baiting his customers by wearing a Yankee cap and flaunting a Yankee pennant. Of course, he had quite a few Yankee fans on his side ( Roger Maris is a Fargo, N.Dak. boy), but the majority were true to the Twins and some bets were made. Miss Marti Fiske, the name act of the week, got into the spirit of things. She varied her routine of songs and comedy patter by playing Take Me Out to the Ball Game on the piano, while a bunch of the fellows who were making the trip got up and did a snake dance around the tables.

A traveling man, passing through town, joined in the dance although nobody invited him. Then he asked Marti Fiske, who is an attractive blonde from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to repeat some of the comedy patter she had used on the late show the night before. ' "You know," he said, "like your definition of a bachelor, he's a fellow comes to work from a different direction every morning?"

"I have cut out that part of my routine," said Miss Marti coolly. "It is not suitable for a family-type cocktail lounge and, besides, I desire to put more emphasis on my singing and piano playing."

"Oh," said the salesman, "I surely do beg your pardon."

"Granted," said Miss Fiske, going into a reprise of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

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