Today is special in many ways

Today is a special day for several personal memories.
This Mother’s Day reminds me that my mom died 24 years ago, one year and two days after my dad passed. God rest their souls.
This year is also a special reminder that my bride, Kathy, and I are celebrating our 50th year of marriage.
And today, May 8, 2022, marks the seventh anniversary of my survival with pancreatic cancer. It was May 8, 2015, when I received what I thought was my “death sentence.” At 68, I doubted I would make it to 69.
That was then and this is now. Thanks to God and my fabulous Rochester and La Crosse medical teams, I am blessed to spend more time with my wife, sons and their wives, grandkids and friends, and to continue enjoying my lifelong “outdoors pursuits.”
I say more than a few prayers every day, thanking the Good Lord for not only giving me these extra years, but for allowing  me the chance to witness his glory.
Yes, this day is very special!

Old ‘Bedtime Bible Stories’ book makes this Easter extra special

Nine-year-old Ady, our only granddaughter at this time, is asking more and more questions about God and the Bible.
My wife, Kathy, dug out one of our old book bins, and found a couple books I didn’t even know we had anymore.
One of those books, titled, “365 Bedtime Bible Stories,” was given to me by my dear grandmother - God rest her soul - when I was only 5 years old. Wow! I can’t believe that was 70 years ago. I treasured it back then, but cherish it even more now as it brings back so many memories about my first days learning about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
The tattered and torn 380-page treasure trove even smells like my first bedroom back then.
Grandma delicately wrote, “This book belongs to Robert Erick Lamb, 320 N. 7th St., La Crosse, Wisconsin.”
Thanks again, Grandma for making my Easter extra special with all these cherished memories.
For example, I remember the times my mom and dad took turns reading those daily bedtime, one-page Bible stories and answering any and all questions I had before saying prayers together and me drifting off to sleep. Paging through the book, I also recall many of the daily elementary-written vignettes and how they relate to my daily Bible study messages and readings today.
On this Blessed Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Christ Our Risen Savior, this old book is a blessing in itself.
Grandma, I promise to say a special prayer of thanks for that old book you gave me when we attend Easter service today.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
A Very Blessed Easter to you and your loved ones!

Basketball, anyone?

I watched a few basketball games on Saturday. More than 8 hours worth to be exact!
I watched seven games and had a six-game winning streak going for my favorite teams before the seventh and final game of the night was the spoiler.
My first five games were in person with three games at the Terry Erickson Greater La Crosse Boys and Girls Club and two more a couple of blocks north at Logan High High School. In the end, the Boys and Girls Club captured the McDonald’s Classic fourth grade girls championship and raised its record to 26-1. Its only loss this season has been to a fifth grade team, although Coach Jo and the girls defeated two other fifth grade teams in the same tournament.
My next stop was in front of our TV watching the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball game at Rutgers in a critical Big Ten Conference matchup.
Thanks to a 66-61 victory over the Scarlet Knights, plus Michigan State’s 68-65 upset over Purdue earlier in the day, the Badgers took over sole possession of first place in the conference with a 14-4 mark. Purdue, No. 4 entering the weekend, and 13-5 in conference play, makes Tuesday’s showdown even more important against the No. 13 Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Wisconsin, 23-5 overall, played perhaps its best game of the season when the two teams first met in West Lafayette, Ind., earlier this season.
Without question it was a season highlight for Badger sophomore Johnny Davis, who scored a career-high 37 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and made most of the big shots to lead Wisconsin past the Boilermakers, 74-69.
I completed my daylong basketball watching marathon in front of the TV again later Saturday night. I was hoping for a Milwaukee Bucks’ victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets in an NBA battle. Unfortunately, the Bucks lost 126-123. And to be absolutely truthful, I didn’t make it to the end in front of the tube. I went to bed and listened to the final 7 minutes.
I’m “basketball fatigued” for the day, but I’ll be ready for Tuesday night.

I tip my cap again to Fairgounds Speedway’s Deery

I enjoy stock car racing at the local level and try to attend as many races as I can at the La Crosse Fairgounds Speedway in West Salem, Wis., each year.
I have developed a longtime relationship with track manager Chuck Deery (pictured), covering several stories at the local track as a sports journalist, and countless more stories, photos and videos for my website at the last 11 years.
I have always thought Deery is the best at marketing ideas and always finds unique ways to attract more drivers as well as more fans to the speedway and the sport in general.
Knowing Chuck, he doesn’t want any credit for it, but he was instrumental in creating the “High School Racing Association a couple of years ago and all the hard work paid off when the Melrose-Mindoro School Board approved auto racing as a letter sport recently. You can find all the details at
Great work, Chuck!

Good luck from all of us, Drew!

I really enjoy it when good things happen to good people.
Holmen’s Drew Schroeder is one who fits that category perfectly. From the first time I met 25-year-old Drew, he is one of the finest people I have had the pleasure to meet in my 75 years.
From his friendliness, politeness and servant leadership on and off a golf course, Drew is a consummate gentleman.
Drew (pictured) is leaving his hometown roots of Holmen for Milwaukee as tournament manager for the Wisconsin State Golf Association beginning Feb. 1.
Drew, a former Holmen High School golf standout and Viterbo University letterwinner, is so well-deserving of his new position with the association many golfers don’t appreciate enough.
“I love the association, I love the state. I’m going to work my tail off,” he told me recently. “I’m really extremely excited to have the opportunity to work for the WSGA. It’s a great group of people down there, who are all passionate about the same thing… and that’s golf in Wisconsin.”
I first met Drew in 2014 during his debut in the annual La Crosse County Men’s Amateur Golf Championships which I have served as tournament director for the past 31 years.
I was completely surprised by the level of maturity and courtesy from the then teenager. I wasn’t the only one impressed by Drew. So were Jackie and Bruce Kaiser, longtime associate directors, as well as many others.
From our entire County Amateur family, the best of luck Drew.