Hey, Oshkosh Taverns, How About This?


Well, here’s a dumb question:  Why do people go to taverns?  There’s probably a zillion answers to that questions, but here’s a quick list:

To have fun with friends

To play sheepshead

To have a drink after a long day at work or before a long day at work

To play darts

To shoot pool

To drown some sorrows, etc.


            Then, here’s a second question.  Once there what do people talk about while downing a beer or sipping a Martini?  I asked my son and husband this question.  “Women,” said son Tom. “Yeah, and sports,” said Marv.  Maybe complain about work, or problems with family, and certainly politics. (Although one commenter on our blog said people don’t talk about politics in bars.  Really? Wonder what bars she goes to.)   What do we six beer trail folks talk about? Well, you can cross work off as a topic since we are all retired.  But sports and current issues-city, state, country and world. Also travels, books, movies, TV shows, food, the weather.  Yeah all that stuff.

            I’ll get back to this topic but first a digression.  We subscribe to Science Focus, a slick magazine published every other month in Great Britain.  The articles are short, well researched and illustrated and cover just about any scientific topic, say from A to Z astronomy to zoology.  The latest issue arrived a few days ago and after I finished reading an article on the Nissan Leaf, an electric car, I turned the page to find “The Science Festival Guide.” It was a listing with pictures and web addresses of “the best science festivals happening in 2018.” The 5-page section included festivals for kids (I expected that), family, teens as well as adults-only at places like Oxford University, the Royal Society, Royal Albert Hall, as well as cities:  Bath, Cheltenham, Swansea, Manchester, etc.  And what especially caught the eye of this beer trail gal were ones that would be held May 12 – 14 in pubs located in 32 different cities in the UK, “science in pints” read the ad with web address www.scienceinpints.co.uk.  I typed in the address on my iPAD.  Yep. There it was with registration form included.

            Cool! So cool, I thought, that I linked with them on my Facebook page.  Just minutes later I got a reply from former student Mark, a geography professor at the University of Oregon.  “There is a U.S. version of this called ‘Science Café’ or sometimes ‘Café Scientific.’ Sometimes they are organized by local universities even though they are off campus.  I did one last November in Colorado Springs,” he wrote.  And then he added the link http://www.sciencecafes.org. Of course I went to the website and typed in my zip code to see if there were any science cafes around here.  Five popped up:  Ashland, Menominee, Superior and two in Minocqua.  Not exactly my part of Wisconsin.  Later I learned there are some in Madison and Milwaukee.

            Nada in Oshkosh.  Hmmmm, since this discovery I’ve mentioned the idea to many people-not just my beer trail buddies.  One, Joe Ferlo, director of The Grand said the Grand Opera House Lounge would be a perfect place.  I also thought of mentioning this to science profs I know at UWO and organization like the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance. 

            Would you attend one of these sessions?  They’re not a lecture where you must take notes because there will be a test next week.  But rather a chance to learn something about a science topic and have a conversation about it.  Just imagine sipping a Spotted Cow and taking part in a discussion on some scientific issue. Like why the Packers seem to have more injuries to key players than most other teams?


About Author

Frankie Mengeling

Frankie Mengeling taught English at Oshkosh North High School and Lourdes High School and was co-director of the Fox Valley Writing Project at UWO. She lives on the Oshkosh’s only hill, with her husband Marvin, son Tom and cat Katrina. The blog www.ridingthebeertrail.wordpress.com began in the summer of 2009 after the three couple beer trail began.

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