Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday observance


Friday marked what would have been the 96th birthday of the subject of my current biography project, Jay Berwanger (1914-2002), winner of college football's first Heisman Trophy.

John Jacob Berwanger was born in Dubuque, Iowa. His mother Pauline was born in Germany and his father, John, the son of German immigrants, was born in Dubuque just a few weeks after his parents' arrival in the U.S.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Break out the sunscreen!

On my recent trip to Florida, I took in a spring training game at Port Charlotte. The contest featured two teams I don't follow -- Minnesota and Tampa Bay -- but it was a sunny, fun afternoon at the ballpark.

Monday, March 01, 2010

A 'getaway' without leaving town

Grey House, the main building at Four Mounds. (Four Mounds photo)

The highlight of our past weekend was a "getaway" experience -- without actually getting away.

As the result of having the top bid at the live auction during the Opening Doors fundraiser a few months ago, six couples, including Madame X and yours truly, enjoyed a B&B experience on the former Burden property now known as Four Mounds.

The estate overlooks the Mississippi River is in extreme north Dubuque, located off Peru Road just south of the John Deere factory. It is operated as a conference center by the Four Mounds Foundation, which is maintaining and improving the property.

Though February weather limited some of our activities, we got out for a hike or two and enjoyed the magnificent views. We also got a walk-through of the White House, which is undergoing renovation and in a few months is expected to be open for lodgers.

I hadn't had much occasion to visit Four Mounds over my years in Dubuque. But I will look forward to the next opportunity.