As I was leaving the Xcel Energy Center Friday afternoon I noticed the security guard next to the media exit sleeping in his chair. I had to wake him up so he could open the door for me!

We had become friends during the state volleyball tournament. He worked all three days and we carried on with small talk each day. Thursday he told me he graduated from SMSU in Marshall a long time ago but hadn’t been back to Marshall in years. Saturday when he saw me come through the metal detector he greeted me with a loud “Hey the radio guy is back!” I will always remember this security guard with his head down sleeping in his chair while on duty. I had a good laugh with that. I always meet interesting people when I cover state tournaments.

Another interesting person I had the opportunity to visit with all three days of the tournament was an older lady working inside an elevator. Her job was to push the button to go up or down! I kid you not! I parked in the RiverCenter parking ramps and walked the skyway to the Xcel Energy Center each day. At the end of the skyway was a sign that pointed media personal to this elevator. When I hit the down button the door opened and there was this lady sitting on a stool reading a book with her cell phone on her lap. She greets me and I said hi. She worked all three days! Here’s my question! What is the purpose of having someone inside the elevator pushing buttons for you? It was a simple up or down button! 2 floors!! I shake my head and laugh. That would be the most boring job ever.

My friend Jeff

After broadcasting the Minneota Vikings state semi volleyball match from the Xcel Energy Center Friday afternoon I made the drive to Monticello to cover the Minneota football team at state. Kick-off was at 7 and I arrived in the parking lot at 6. It was a very cold and windy evening. As I approched the media gate the worker working the gate greets me by name enthusiastically! It was Roxie’s and my longtime friend, Jeff Houselog. Jeff is retired from teaching and coaching at Monticello High School. It was nice to see him. Jeff and his wife Darla have been good friends with my wife Roxie since she lived in Ruthton in the early 1970’s. Jeff played college football at University of Minnesota Morris. Jeff and I made plans to meet at Perkins after the game to catch up which we did.

Jeff escorted me to the press box to get set up to broadcast the Vikings state football game. Unfortunately, the press box isn’t very big and it was packed with coaches, media personal and workers. I would need to broadcast the game outside in the cold and wind. So I set up outside next to the press box. I bundled up and broadcasted the game. It was very cold by the end of the game, but when your team is winning and playing well it doesn’t seem as cold. After the game I couldn’t wait to get to Perkins with Jeff and warm up.

It was a fun three days in the cities covering the Vikings volleyball and football teams at state. I’m a people person and love to talk with complete strangers. So from the security guard to the lady working the elevator to visiting with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and talking to the Minneota fans, it was a great time for this extravert.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad


One thought on “PEOPLE I MEET AT STATE

  1. Your visits with those two at Excel Energy Center were probably the highlights of their day! How great that they were ambitious enough to seek employment…no matter how menial it seems to the rest of us! Keep doing what you are doing, as the world needs more extroverts! GO VIKINGS!

    Liked by 1 person

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