Time to get outta Dodge

The hubby has been working non-stop without a vacation since his five-day, snowy Northwest Ontario fishing trip in September 2019. Like many of you, our spring hiking trip to Moab and July family fishing trip to Northwest Ontario were cancelled for us.

When I saw my always-joyful and energetic husband’s eyes begin to glaze over, I even set up a brief two-day fishing trip to Port Washington, Wisconsin. in August. But as 2020 fate would display itself once again, our seasoned boat captain called the morning we were supposed to set sail (driving from Greenwood) and informed us that the next two days of marine reports showed 6- to 8-foot waves on Lake Michigan.

Roy, our rugged boat captain with 30-years of captaining experience behind his helm succinctly noted, “The decision to go out is yours, of course, but I won’t be going out in 8-foot waves.”

Although I admit I didn’t see it with my own two eyes, it has been reported that when my hubby got home and heard our fishing trip had been canceled, he began walking in circles around the backyard — our dog Milli thought it was an ingenious new 2020 game and followed him.

So here we go again, attempting to “get out of Dodge” by tackling our first foray into steelhead salmon fishing — headed to a river on the east side of Lake Michigan this time.

As coincidence would have it, our youngest daughter Phoebe and son-in-love Jacob were also headed to his home-state as they were attending (and Phoebe was singing at) a friend’s wedding. The first evening of our drive up ironically found us dining together at Table 14 in Ludington, Michigan. Did I mention the hubby and daughter also work together every day?

After the first four hours of being a delightful passenger and skillful conversationalist, I decided to put the minute details from hubby’s early life to good use in a trivia text game sent to the three daughters and son-in-loves:

At approximately 6:35 p.m., I texted, “For a $10 Starbucks card — how long did your Dad live in Muskegon, Michigan?”

Michael Tillman, who was attending a business seminar in Nashville, Tennessee, answered within one minute: “2 years.”

I commended Michael for his good guess and wrote, “Michael, so far you are the winner because your answer is the closest!”

Within seconds, I immediately received the following replies:

Aly: “1.5 years”

Chloe: “2.5 years”

Phoebe: “3 years”

Jacob: “1 year”


Phoebe: “What was it?”

Chloe disliked Aly’s text.

I responded: “The answer is one year and 8 days — Jacob is the winner.”

Jacob: “WOOOO Starbucks — gotta earn them starzzz.”

Chloe: “Boooo”

Aly replied with three laughing emoji’s.

Phoebe bragged: “YESSS, I LOVE [when Jacob gets] COFFEE!”


There were two more trivia questions. No. 2 was, “What month and day did the Mangas’ move into their home in Muskegon?” Question No. 3 was, “What year did they move in and how old was Steve?” For the sake of the column, I’ll just relent and tell you that they moved in Dec. 20, 1973; Steve was 13.

I’m not happy to report that the texts got quite ferocious:

Aly: “I feel like I should get two votes since both the Tillman [Chloe and Michael] and Ritchie [Phoebe and Jacob] families can circle the wagon on dates!” Then she added the correct date of 1973 — awarding her two $10 Starbucks cards, when she came closest to Steve’s age.

Aly boasted, teasing her younger sisters, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you each a pup cup.”

Phoebe: “I would just like to note that Aly, Chloe and Michael’s answers were AFTER THE STRICTLY NOTED TIME LIMIT AND THUS THEY ARE DISQUALIFIED!!!”

Aly: “I’m in a different time zone!”

Phoebe: “No you aren’t!!!!”

Michael: “Me too!”

Aly: “Michael actually is!

Michael did actually win the last card for guessing nearest to their move-in date. Chloe and Phoebe want to pick a new game to play.

The hubby and I are technically out of Dodge today and headed toward the river to fish and play.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to [email protected].