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camp. The gas on this trip cost less than the tolls. I was overwhelmed seeing the countryside and cities of states I had never before visited.
My college friend, Fran Tarkenton, arranged for me to stay in a dorm at Bemidji State College and take meals with the Viking players, with whom I drank beer after practice sessions. I didn’t keep a journal, but the trip has remained indelible in my mind’s eye for years.
After a week with the Vikings, I headed back to Evanston to pick up my wife for the drive home via St. Louis to see Charley Trippi, who had returned to a coaching assignment with his old team, the NFL Cardinals, and on through Kentucky and Tennessee into Atlanta. By the time I rolled into Athens, I owned a very tired Volkswagen. It was years later before I realized how fortunate I was that an 18-wheeler didn’t blow me off the turnpike or Interstate.
That is a reminder of the story a clever German friend once told me. He said that in the last days of World War II, Hitler was having his last conversation in the bunker and said to his mistress: “Don’t worry Eva, we get them wid the Volkswagen.”