Turning Archive 2007
Ken Grunke from SW WI
>Two fellows whom I respect and admire share a birthday today. One, who I've never met, is Wally Dickerman. Happy Birthday Wally, hope you enjoy many more and to meet you some day.
The other I know very well, in fact since I was born--Earl Grunke, my dad, residing in a nursing home in La Crosse, WI. Between about '95 and 2003 or so, he let his hair grow and became a professional Santa. He had a blast with it until his aging joints couldn't allow it anymore.
The picture below shows Dad in 1999 with the mayor of La Crosse WI, the municipal judge, and a family friend at a press conference for the SpokesNFolks event, an annual hap promoting the use of pedal power.
Now at 83, Dad has cleaned up his act with shorter hair and less flamboyant clothing, but his age hasn't stopped him from scooting all over the home in his wheelchair, visiting everyone, flirting with the female nurses and giving the male nurses a hard time all in good fun. I'm just proud to be the son of such a kind, big-hearted fellow and hope I'm like him when I grow up ;)