Unmeaning Flattery

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The Barn

Thursday 11/29/2007 10:54 AM

You can't talk about my father's family and The Farm without mentioning the barn. It's been standing for at least 50 years (help me out here, Dad) and has played a variety of roles over the decades.

Of course, it was originally used as all barns once were: To store hay, protect animals from the elements and serve as the nerve center of a working family farm.

The best part of the barn's story is what my dad did with it, what he did upstairs. He and his buddies cleared out the second floor, put up some basketball hoops and started playing barn ball up there. This would have been in the early 60's I believe (again, Dad, let me know what I'm getting wrong here). After a while, it reached a point where folks came from all around to play basketball up in that barn.

Just like I can walk around Negaunee or Ishpeming and some parts of Marquette and eventually someone will hear my last name and ask me if I'm related to Bert (or Bertha) Lakanen, my grandmother Mummu who taught high school English in these parts for many a year, every once in a while I'll run into someone who remembers all the barn ball games up at The Farm.

The days of chicken coops, milking cows and red barn basketball are long gone. Now the barn just waits, tolerating its forgottenness like a patient, jilted lover way past her prime and prepared to live out what's left of life in solitude, all the while hoping to one day be the center of someone's attention again.

File Under: Dad; Family, Lakanen; Farm, The; Michigan
Music: Nine Inch Nails "Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D"

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