Doug Halberstadt: Finding the silver lining in a Saturday morning hail storm

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

It’s somewhat peculiar that a Saturday morning (April 12) hail storm could inspire me to write a column, but it did. Please allow me to tell you why.

I was sitting with some friends having breakfast at Doc’s Diner in Loves Park when all of a sudden, around 10 a.m. or so, the hail started pounding the pavement in the nearby parking lot. The inherent noise caused by the hailstorm was supplemented by the cacophony being spewed by the abnormal number of children in the restaurant that morning.

The children were laughing and screaming with delight at the unusual atmospheric event. A few were even brave enough to venture outside to gather up some of the ephemeral souvenirs. That’s when I realized why there were so many kids in the place. They were all youth soccer players.

There must have been a tournament in town on Saturday morning, and because of the inclement weather, it appeared they all evacuated the local soccer fields and sought refuge from the storm in the tiny diner. The noise these kids generated was deafening.

Under normal circumstances, my friends and I are able to carry on a quiet conversation over our biscuits and gravy without too much commotion. This wasn’t the case Saturday. I was forced into a low level shouting match just to express my desire to have someone pass the pepper.

I’m fully aware this column is making me sound like an old fuddy duddy, but that’s truthfully not the reason for the column. What I’m really trying to convey is that those soccer families were a boom to that local establishment. I’m sorry their games were postponed or canceled because of the storm. However, the silver lining in those clouds turned out to be a windfall in business for the diner.

It’s nice to see that this area is still hosting many out-of-town families on the weekends for various sporting events. It’s even nicer to see them spending their money and supporting our local businesses. If that means I have to shout a little bit to get a refill of my soft drink, so be it! It’s worth it to see some extra cash dropped into the register of a local small business.


Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

Posted April 16, 2014

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