Home > Uncategorized > Day 32: Dramatic license, and friends

Day 32: Dramatic license, and friends

Location: Chicago, IL

Miles Driven: 310

Total Miles: 6,561

Milan, Indiana might seem like it is in the middle of nowhere, and perhaps you are wondering why I was drawn to it.  Does this picture ring a bell?

Ok if that doesn’t help, how about this picture?

Now you might have been able to make the connection.  The 1986 film “Hoosiers”, one of my favorite movies ever, was loosely based on the state championship Milan High School boys basketball team.  All I knew about the present-day Milan was that this water tower still stood, so I figured it’d be cool to get a shot of it.  In the past, I’ve read up about the Indiana state basketball tournament.  Up until the late 90’s, Indiana was one of a few states left, I think, that had an open format basketball tournament where a small school, like Milan, could potentially face large schools.  Since then, it has adopted a class system based on school size (like NY), and schools of only like-sizes would play each other in the postseason.  A lot of people felt the tournament lost some potential for small school magic when that happened.

While reading on that, I have also research over the years what was factually represented in the movie; unfortunately, not a lot.  In the movie, an embattled coach in his 50’s takes over as coach of a team with very low expectations.  In reality, however, the team was expected to make a deep run into the postseason as it made it to the state semifinals the season before, and the coach was a 24 year-old former Butler University player.  They won the state championship at Hinkle Field House (home of the 2010 National runner-up Butler Bulldogs) with a shot by Bobby Plump (character “Jimmy Chitwood”).  In the movie, Jimmy hits a shot near the buzzer to win by two.  In real life, Bobby did the same thing, but after holding the ball on the court for over four minutes (keep in mind no shot clock was used then).

In any case, I still love the movie, and can understand the use of some dramatic license.  And to be able to visit the place that inspired the movie was fun.  I must have seen the movie now at least a dozen times.  Here’s the climatic ending  to the championship game:  (SPOILER ALERT)  But who hasn’t seen Hoosiers, really?

I left Milan in the early morning and made my way Northwest.  My plan was to get to South Bend around noon to meet up with a family friend, Tim.  Around 11AM I arrived at Tim’s house.  I’ve been to Tim’s current house once before, having attended a Notre Dame football game with Tim, my brother Brendan, and friends.  Also, almost exactly five years ago, I visited Tim at his old place in South Bend as I was wrapping up my cross-country trip.  If interested, you can read about that here.

Hung out with Tim for a bit at the house, saw his two cute girls, and also met his dogs.  I knew the dog Fletcher from before, but now there’s Henry, also (Fletcher’s kid).  Great dogs.

Fletcher (in back) and his son Henry

Grabbed some lunch with Tim and caught up with what’s been going on over the past couple years.  Tim, who was in my brother Mike’s class, has been a friend of the family’s for as long as I can remember.  Great visit.  Congrats to Tim on his nice home and beautful family.  Unfortunately, Tim’s wife, Marsa, was at work when I dropped by.  Hi Marsa!

Tim and me in front of his house

Kira and Tim

From Tim’s, I headed to Notre Dame to meet up with Marissa, who was a student at Seton when I was a teacher there.  Marissa was in the business club that I moderated, and now a grad student.  She teaches in Louisiana during the school year, so I got some great recommendations from her back early on in this trip (and she chided me for my wastefulness with crawfish).

Marissa and me

I had been to Notre Dame two times prior for football games, but this time was different as the campus wasn’t a zoo.  Enjoyed walking around and catching up with Marissa, and grabbed a few shots of the campus.  Beautiful place. Good luck to Marissa as she returns to her teaching gig in Louisiana this fall.

football stadium

As I was due for another oil change, I headed over to a nearby quick lube place that Tim recommended, Drive and Shine.  Got an oil change and car wash in about a total of 30 minutes.  Funny thing, in the car bay next to me was a woman from Binghamton.  Go figure.

From there I hit up a McDonald’s to take advantage of their free wi-fi, and eventually got on the road towards Chicago.  I didn’t realize how quick of a drive it was from South Bend to Chicago.  By an hour into the drive, I was already within Chicago city limits.  In Chicago, I’ll visit with my friends Tanya and Alberto who I haven’t seen since their wedding a few years back.

This entire trip I've wondered if there are any toll booths in the nation that take credit cards. Finally, I found one (of course, when I have cash on me)

Approaching the Windy City


  1. July 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm


    Hit me up when you get close to Seattle, we can meet up and discuss the PC in January. Would love to hear your thoughts and meet someone in advance prior to training.

    • July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Will do, Kelly. Would be great to meet up with a fellow future volunteer

  2. The Mommie
    July 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    What a co-winky dink (coincidence)!

    a) I just saw the Hoosier movie for the umteenth time and love it as much as the first time.

    b) I was just approaching your pic of Tim and You when Timmy Dunn called me. It was just a very special phone call. I could feel the hug! He did not have me in his cell phone but remembered the number!

    “Life is to be fortified by many friendships. To love and be loved is the greatest happiness of existence” —–Sydney Smith

  3. Patrick
    July 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Hey joe,

    Tell me how the hot dogs and the deep-dish pizza is.

    PS u DONT want to get the deep-dish with feta, not too tasty

    • July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      hahahh all right, all right, you guys may be onto something with the feta on pizza thing. Going to try some deep dish tonight, can’t wait.

  4. Jonathan
    July 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Joe, I had this crazy 5lb german pancake thing for breakfast the last time I was in Chicago – delish! Give it a try.

  5. July 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I like the clouds in the stadium picture. Did you dye your hair reddish?

    • July 2, 2010 at 12:46 am

      hahah no, though when my hair gets long the reddish hues tend to show more

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