Archive for August 2008

Kings For A Day

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Linda and I were out with some friends the other night and a couple people, who recognized me from my TV days, stopped over at our table to say hi. As I approach two years of retirement, that sort of thing happens less and less these days. I’m fine with that but I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss it sometimes.
Steve Hemmingsen was never very comfortable with the notoriety and celebrity status that was a natural part of years of exposure on Keloland TV..but, heck, I always kind of liked it..especially at state fair time.
So did Joe Floyd, the guy who really started Keloland in 1953.  As the station grew and became more successful, Joe really enjoyed the financial benefits of that success..including the purchase of a company airplane and the hiring of a personal pilot. Floyd loved aviation and even served as commander of the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol.  He kept that Beechcraft King Air busy flying all over the country on business and pleasure trips. But for one week a year…that big beautiful 11 passenger airplane was reserved for us; the so-called stars of Keloland.
Early on Wednesday morning of state fair week, Steve Hemmingsen and I along with sports director Jim Burt and a few others would gather at Business Aviation and be escorted aboard our waiting airplane for the half hour flight to Huron.  Ever the promoter, Floyd wanted his on-air talent to get out there and mingle with the folks attending the fair. That’s Steve Hemmingsen mugging for the camera aboard the Keloland King Air on our short flight to Huron. I’m in the middle next to Jim Burt.
After we landed, a Keloland van would pull right up to the plane..just like Air Force One.. to pick us up, take us through the gates, on to the grounds and right up to the double wide trailer that served as Keloland headquarters throughout fair week. Wow..what special treatment. I felt like Elvis!
Dave Dedrick never rode with us on the plane  he usually drove ahead the night before taking Captain Eleven with him for the annual live telecast at the Freedom Stage which always drew thousands of kids and adults anxious to see him in person.
In the early years, Jim, Steve and I would just walk around the fairgrounds passing out program schedules and talking to people which all of us found rather awkward. People figured we were trying to sell them something. Burt and me strolling the fairgrounds trying to give away program schedules. "I don’t know..they’d say..how much are they there then?"Then, sometime in the 80’s, our promotion director, Devin Duncan, had a brilliant idea. He bought a few thousand  sun visors with the Keloland logo on them as souvenirs for the folks who stopped by our trailer. Pretty soon, people were asking if we’d write our name on them. Sensing a great promotional opportunity, Devin went scrambling to find a bunch of grease pens, a table and some chairs.
From then on, there we sat in front of the trailer as long lines of people formed… anxious for a free autographed visor. One of the old Keloland visors. They’ve become quite a collector’s item..selling on E-bay forthousands of dollars. Well, maybe not. I don’t think Hemmingsen and Burt were ever too wild about being plopped down in the sun for hours signing cheap foam headware and answering the same questions over and over..but I have to admit that I loved it.
At the end of a long day being big shots at the fair,  we were chauffeured back to the plane. Pilot, Tim Walsh always had the on-board fridge fully stocked with snacks and  brewed beverages which we gladly consumed since we were excused from our on-air duties that night.
Sadly, when Mr. Floyd retired..the King Air and our fair trips in which we were “treated” like kings, retired too.
Wish that could happen again.
Wait a minute.
Honey, I’ll be right back. I’m gonna run to the store and buy a couple Powerball tickets.

It’s the Best State Fair in our State

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

My mom sounded a little like one of those carnival sideshow barkers as she opened the bedroom door to wake my brothers and me from our slumber; “hurry, hurry, hurry, come on boys..time to get up and a movin’. We don’t want to be late for the fair.”
It was still dark outside but my dad liked to get an early start for the 60 mile trip to Huron so we could get there in time to still catch breakfast at the Lutheran Dining Hall.
We had taken baths the night before so all we had to do was put on the new shirt and jeans mom had bought for us..brush our teeth and slather our heads with Brylcream so thick that some of it would come out in little white globs between the comb’s teeth  as we shaped our hair into a perfect wave in front and duck tail in  back. Then we’d all pile into our 53 Mercury and head west on highway 14. Dad always made pretty good time until Cavour when we’d start to catch up with cars filled with other excited families all headed in the same direction and to the same destination. (That was a long time ago.)
Even though it was still pretty early the guy directing traffic had us park in a lot that seemed like miles away from the action. “There’ll be a shuttle a long any minute,” he’d say. And, sure enough, here came a Farmall “M” tractor just like my Uncle Johnny’s, pulling two brightly painted trailers hooked together with lots of people sitting on permanently-attached bench seats. As we jumped aboard for our ride to the fairgrounds, mom reminded us all to not forget where the car was parked.
After waiting in line for a forgettable Lutheran breakfast, there was still more penance to be paid before my brothers and I could go off on our own and have some real fun.  Dad hadn’t farmed in years but still insisted we all tag along up and down machinery row to see the innovative marvels of agricultural engineering that would improve both the farmer’s quality of life and quantity of his harvest in this, the second half of the 20th century. Then, despite our grumbling and whining, it was off to the horticulture building to see this year’s winners of the biggest pumpkin, watermelon, squash or ear of corn contests.
Finally, with a stern warning about watching out for each other and being careful, our dad gave us a few bucks and set us free to the midway with strict orders to rendezvous at 3 by the circle of death (the guy who defied gravity riding a motorcycle inside what looked like half of a huge wooden barrel) so we could make the auto races at the grandstand.
Lured by the smell of cotton candy, caramel corn and boiling hot dogs, we hit the carnival and  just about every ride there..except that one with the rocket ship on each end. I just never trusted that thing.  I also didn’t like walking past the row of tents where all the games were. Greasy con men hollering..”hey kid, com’eer..throw the darts..break the balloons and win a teddy bear for that little girlfriend of yours. Step right up..only fifty cents.”  Only fifty cents? That was half of what Mr. Burg paid me to mow his lawn once a week. No thanks.
We also had to walk down sideshow row where sheets of of brightly painted canvas flapped in the wind with pictures of characters and creatures beyond our imagination. “Come right on in..see the two headed Aborigine..alive on the inside.” “The world’s largest anaconda captured alive in the jungles of Africa right here..right now..just 25 cents..on quarter of a dallah.” 
There were even some dirty sideshows allowed at the fair back then."Step right up, see Little Egypt and Pharaoh’s harem of harlots bare it all live on the inside.”I knew my big brother wanted to give in to the kind of temptations Mrs. Hesby had warned us about in Sunday School class. But if he went "inside" to satisfy his teenage lust, it would mean having to leave me and Tommy on the “outside” and we just wanted to get out of that evil place. Besides, if dad found out, he wouldn’t be going anywhere for a very long time.The fair finally banned shows like this but not beforea lot of us innocent little Lutherans got an eye-full in the 50′s.
So, it was one more ride on the tilt-a-whirl then off to meet up with the folks and head to the car races.  It was a steamy hot day and the grandstand was full of fans..many of whom had obviously not taken their baths the night before.I will remember the aroma of 5 thousand sweating people as much as I will the races that day.
As we were about to board the shuttle and head back to our car for the trip home, we noticed a big crowd had gathered around a little white open-sided trailer with a fat guy inside. He had a large microphone strapped around his neck and was making the most beautiful music that sounded like it was coming from a trumpet..a guitar..or a trombone.. yet there wasn’t an instrument in sight. Then he shared his secret. All those sounds were coming from a little round device in his mouth called a “Hum-A-Zoo!”  “Yes, folks, for only fifty cents you too can delight and amaze your friends and family,” the guy said. And before you can say “snake oil” people, including my dad, began reaching into their  pockets for a half a buck to buy one of these magical music makers.
On the road home, we all took a turn on the "Hum-A-Zoo trying to impersonate Harry James or the Dorsey Brothers like the big guy in the trailer did but what came out more closely resembled a swarm of buzzing bumble bees.
“It’ll just take some practice, I guess,” mom said as she put our “Hum-A-Zoo” back in the box and in her purse. I don’t remember ever seeing it again.

Hi Diddedy Dee, The Actor’s Life For Me

Posted: Monday, August 25, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

                                                                                                                                                                                
 I was born to trod the boards to hear the roar of the crowd to have the smell of  greasepaint in my nostrils.
The only ones who knew how talented an actor I was, though, were the friends I played with as a kid.  They would marvel at the site of me swimming around the dock in front of our cabin at Lake Poinsett in 1958. Suddenly, it wasn’t a dock at all but the Bridge on the river Kwai and I was William Holdenwith a knife in my teeth planting the explosives that would blow the thing to kingdom come.
When the Hesby’s, who farmed just south of Volga, let me go for a ride on their big  plug of a horse, Jack, I did a pretty fair Steve McQueen from The Magnificent 7, especially when  we turned around and ol’ Jack caught sight of the barn. He’d go from a head-hung-low walk to furious bone-jarring trot and me in my western hat and hand-me-down cowboy boots would be charging into battle against the bandits who’d been terrorizing the peace-loving Mexican villagers.
But it wasn’t until high school that I finally got some recognition for my thespian efforts; a best actor trophy for my performance in “Judgement Morning” at the Division II one act play contest. Me and my co-stars in costume and make-up 1964
Alas, that was my final appearance, though. I traded a potential career on stage and screen for a guitar and the lure of rock and roll.
Many years later, my daughter, Suzan, was chosen for a part in a Sioux Falls children’s theater performance. She did very well and received lots of enthusiastic praise. That role led to many more parts in regional theater and she was hooked. Suzan studied theater at the University of Minnesota, met and married a fellow actor there, Joe Moser, and before we knew it, She and Joe were off to Hollywood to become stars. A dream that still hasn’t been completely snuffed out even though they have since returned to more conventional careers back in the Midwest.
And then, there’s my nephew Jay…or Jayden as he’s known professionally.      
We all knew from the time he was three years old that Jay was going to be an actor. He was never ever shy and loved to ham it up whenever his dad brought out the movie camera.In school, Jay used his ample size as a tool in his comedic arsenal. He had the crowd screaming with laughter when, during a talent show at Lincoln High School in 1984, he performed “Maniac” from the movie “Flashdance” wearing leotards, leg warmers and a wig. He, too, became hopelessly hooked and went on to become a member of the Prairie Reparatory Theater group in college..then on to New York where he found work in several shows..including a couple appearances on TV’s, “Law and Order.” 
In the mid 90’s Jay moved to Los Angeles..hoping to catch his big break in Hollywood. From then to now, it’s been a series of highs and lows; lots of auditions and bit parts, a couple of TV pilots that looked promising but weren’t picked up..a few commercials including one for Ford that went nationwide. Just enough work to keep him from getting too discouraged or going broke. Jayden Lund in his one scene as a security guard in the Oscar winning movie, "Crash."
But 2008 may be the turn-around year for my now 41 year old nephew. He had a pretty substantial part in an episode of “Private Practice.” There’s hope for another television series and he’s in a couple movies: “Aces ‘N Eights”..a western in which he plays a homesteader and “The Informant”..a new movie starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh due out next year.
Linda and I still get a kick out of seeing Jay on TV..especially when it comes as a surprise like the other night when he popped up on an episode of “Monk.”
I wish there was something I could do to boost his career so he could finally find his rightful place in Tinsel Town with a Beverly Hills address.
Gee, I wonder if I were to take my best actor’s trophy from high school out there. Maybe it would help open some Hollywood big-shot’s doors.  
Acting is in our blood, you know.                                                          

Men In Trees

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

It had been a restless night; up every two hours to do what a lot of old guys have to do..especially if they consume a beverage or two before bedtime. My last call of nature was at 6:30a.m. so I just decided to stay up..make some coffee and read the paper. An hour later I’m on the couch watching Olympic women’s beach volleyball. (Only because I find the “game” so fascinating.) After the two USA girls bounced their way to victory, I dozed off. The next thing I knew I was in the Ardennes forest under attack by German artillery. As I lay there in my fox hole, I could hear the noise of the buzz bombs coming in and feel the earth shake with each explosion.
“Doug…Doug..did you see that?”  I could hear Linda’s voice..but how did she wind up here at the Battle of the Bulge?
“How can you sleep through this?” she said. I slowly opened my eyes and looked out the window to see a huge tree branch that had come crashing down with a ground-jarring thud onto our front yard. Then came another..and another.
Oh, yeah. I suddenly remembered this is the day Andy and his crew are cutting down the neighbor’s old cottonwood.
I hate to see big stately trees like that one unceremoniously chopped to pieces but, to be honest, that cottonwood was on its last roots anyway. It had become a mess; shedding thousands of twigs and branches onto the roof of our house and all over the lawn. The neighbors finally called in a tree doctor who diagnosed some kind of disease.. so a decision was made to pull the plug.
While they were at it, Linda and I hired the crew to give our huge maple a good trim so the sun could have a chance to shine on the rather sickly-looking grass underneath.
I’ve never been a big fan of circus high-wire acts and Linda is even worse. She got so nervous at the sight of men with chainsaws swinging around in the treetop that she got in the car and went shopping.
So, I thought to myself, this is what an earthquake feels like; as one branch after another slammed to the sod causing my mother’s antique china plates to rattle in the hutch. 
I’m sure glad I marked all the sprinkler heads with those little flags, as requested, so they wouldn’t get squished.  Yeah, right.
By the time I got home from golf, the fight was over. Everything was pretty much cleaned up. All that remains is for a few remaining severed limbs to be removed from the battlefield.I haven’t tested the sprinklers yet to see if they survived the bombing.
I’m also not sure why there is still a sizable stump from the cottonwood still standing there as if defiantly willing to fend off one more attack from the chainsaw army. 
Maybe the neighbors plan to have a totem pole carved out of it.
We need to talk.

Miss Lee And Me

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

I talked with two of my granddaughters in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday to wish them well on their first day of school this week.
6 year old Zoey is starting the first grade while 18 year old Allison is one of the fresh new freshmen at the University of Nebraska. She arrived on campus over the weekend. Mom and dad were there too helping her settle in and saying their good-byes sort of stunned at the realization that their baby girl wouldn’t be going home with them.
Even though Zoey already has a couple years of pre-school and kindergarten under her belt, you can bet her parents..mom especially..will be shedding huge crocodile tears Wednesday morning when their only child..wearing her Hello Kitty backpack..gives them each a hug and..with the school bell ringing in the background..happily skips off to begin a new exciting chapter in her young life.
I have rather foggy memories of my first day of school at Volga in 1952.  There’s a home movie showing  me on my bike peddling off to the school house three blocks away but I sure don’t recall mom being terribly sentimental over my historic departure. That’s probably because she had to run back into the house and start cooking up something for my brother and me to eat when we peddled back home for lunch a couple hours later.
The more I think about it, though, there are some things about that day that keep rising to the surface of my memory. The strong smell of floor wax as I walked into the building. The smiling face of the guy who waxed those floors, custodian, Clayt DenOtter who..for the 12 years I knew him through school.. always seemed to be holding a large dust mop in his hands. The squeak of the wooden stairs as me and a group of kids I’d never seen before walked up to the second floor and were pointed toward the 1st and 2nd grade classroom in the northeast corner. I remember entering the brightly lit room filled with little desks and hoping to find at least one familiar face sitting in them. And there he was, my friend Dixon Hoberg who lived just up the street from our house. He gave me a nervous little wave. A row over sat Lynnal Annundson..another neighbor.. who had a big smile on her face appearing anxious for the adventure to begin. I also spotted my cousin, Diane DenOtter who looked particularly terrified.
I suppose we were all a little scared to be bunched together with so many strangers.  At the tender age of six the only other kids I had known to that point were either relatives or classmates from First Lutheran Church Sunday school.
And then…there she was..the most stunning sight of all; our teacher, Miss Lee,  standing in front of her desk at the head of the classroom. She was like no woman I’d ever seen: tall, slender, statuesque, dark haired wearing a silky blouse, pleated black skirt and bright red lipstick. Nothing at all like mom or any of my cheerful heavy-set aunts whose wardrobe consisted mostly of  gingham dresses.
      I was in second grade when this photo was taken.  I’m square in the middle of row two; the only kid who wore a sport jacket for picture day. Dixon is in row one..second from the right. Lynnal is on the far right of row three, cousin Diane is in the center of that row and at the left stands my very first teacher, Miss Lee.Miss Lee broke the ice by having each us stand up, say our name and tell a little about ourselves to the rest of the class. She carefully went over the things we’d be learning in the year ahead and at recess time she even taught us some new games to play. By the end of that first day no one felt like a stranger anymore or quite as fearful about day two.
I imagine that Miss Lee (I never did know her first name) is long gone. I wish now that I’d had the chance to tell her thanks for helping ease us all across that threshold from awkward kid to promising young student.
I hope Zoey and her fellow first graders are so lucky.

Mogen’s Hero Worship

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
1 Comment | Trackback Bookmark and Share

When John Mogen called me about playing drums and singing in his band, Mogen’s Heroes, back in 1988, I hesitated…unsure of being up to the task.
I’d have to fill the shoes of Scott Klaverkamp who’d been Mogen’s Heroes’ first and only drummer and who could sing all the high notes.
I’d heard the group play many times and loved the sound..especially the  tight vocal harmonies produced by Scott, John and guitarist, Tom Steever. A sound that comes with years of working together and featured on nearly every song they played.
“I don’t know, John, I’ve smoked a lot of Marlboros over the years trying to develop  a low broadcaster’s voice. I can’t even “think” as high as Scott sings..much less hit the notes,” I said.
“Ah, you’ll do just fine. We’ll have you sing melody on the tunes that are too far out of reach or you’re not comfortable with..no big deal,” John said.
John Mogen is the most easy going optimistic person I’ve ever met but it turns out he was right about my fitting in. I was one of his heroes for the next 13 years."Mogen’s Heroes" early 90′s I think. That’s radio personality and farm broadcaster Tom Steever on guitar..me on drums and band founder, John Mogen who plays keyboard with his right hand and bass with his left.
In the beginning, John’s calendar was full nearly every weekend. We’d load up the equipment and ourselves into his 1976 Chevy van and head off to Parkston, Mitchell, Brookings or any one of a thousand places to play for a birthday party, anniversary or wedding dance.
Gradually, though, more couples opted for DJ’s rather than a live band to provide music for their wedding dances and we began to have nothing to do on Saturday nights.
When Tom Steever left the Heroes I figured well, that’ll be the end of it for sure but then John found Denny Gale..a terrific guitar player and singer.. to fill the void.
After my departure in 2001, Bill Hoffman came aboard. Not only is Bill an excellent drummer but his voice is amazing. He can sing bass when necessary or do a spot-on impersonation of Frankie Valli on songs like Sherry and Rag Doll..hitting notes high enough to shatter glass.
Although not as busy as the old days, today’s Mogen’s Heroes band sounds better than ever and continues to be in demand entertaining  at concerts, fairs and other events throughout the region.   Hawaiin shirts have replaced tuxes as Mogen’s Heroes continues to go strong after 30 years.Performing at the Day County fair are Denny Gale on guitar, Bill Hoffman on electronic drums and John Mogen still playing the same DX7 Yamaha keyboard.
As part of the band’s 30th anniversary, John invited me to sing with the Heroes for a few of their shows this summer including McKennan Park 100th anniversary concert, the Brookings Art Festival, Day County Fair, Turner County Fair and the Brown County fair in Aberdeen next Sunday.  
It has been great fun but I’ll be just fine when it’s time to step away from the microphone again.
John Mogen retired from the Sioux Falls school system this past spring after a long career teaching music. He’s now decided to try his hand at politics entering the race for a seat in the state legislature.
So if he wins will that finally be the end of Mogen’s Heroes after 30 years?
Not on your life.
He just won’t book any gigs during the month of January..unless they’re close to Pierre.

The New China Syndrome

Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Years ago our Aberdeen bureau reporter for Keloland was reprimanded for what might be considered to be multi-tasking to the extreme. A viewer spotted him in the news vehicle on his way to cover a story.Not only was our guy speeding but he was also smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of coffee and had the newspaper spread out in front of him across the steering wheel. He did get called on the carpet for it but was darn lucky not to get killed.
Well, this morning I spotted a guy doing something just about as stupid; he was riding his motor scooter along busy 41st street and blabbing away on a cell phone.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  If he makes it to the end of the day unscathed I’ll be surprised.
I try to avoid 41st street whenever possible because the crazies and the traffic cause my already high blood pressure to soar past boiling.I had no choice this morning, though.  I had to pay a visit to Karl’s TV to buy yet another replacement lamp for my Toshiba hi-definition DLP television set.  This is the third time it’s burned out in the four years since I bought the blasted thing. Nobody mentioned in the sales pitch that these high voltage lights were only good for about a year and that replacements cost over 200 dollars a pop. That little fact coupled with the frustrations in dealing with the craziness of 41st St. drivers made for a rather sour morning.I couldn’t go without my TV this weekend, though.  It’s the last major golf tournament of the season, the Twins are in hi-def and so is the NASCAR race from Watkins Glen.
One thing I probably will “not” be watching is coverage of the Olympic Games from Red China.NBC is trying to hype-up interest by manufacturing some story lines to follow but I just can’t get all that excited about the Olympics even though they are in Communist China for the first time in history.Boy, just the mention of that country brings up memories of fear and uncertainty.When I was a kid in the 50’s and 60’s, China was the frightning dark mysterious country that contained one fifth of the world’s population, had the “A” bomb and chosen to shut itself off from the rest of the world presumably to make plans for conquering it someday.During the Korean War, I remember seeing comic books depicting evil Chinese commie soldiers in their pajamas and flop-eared hats with the red star on the front, sweeping down the mountains in huge numbers aimed at slitting the throats of American GI’s. 
China remained a deep dark secret for the next twenty years until, ironically, relations began to thaw because of a “game.”   Table tennis is the national sport of China and in 1971, the ping pong team from the United States was invited there for a tournament. Reporters were also allowed in and what became known as “Ping Pong Diplomacy” led to President Nixon’s historic trip to China a year later and bingo..today we’re the best of pals.Heck, if it wasn’t for the once evil and foreboding Chinese, Wal-mart and the other big box stores in America wouldn’t have anything to sell. China in the 21st century is communist in name only. Thanks to the insatiable American market, it now makes and provides us with everything from cheap furniture to under pants; tennis shoes to swimming trunks.  Chinese have become so industrialized that it’s billions of people can now afford to drive cars instead of having to peddle around on bikes. They’re using up all the oil which is driving up the price of gas around the world. They’re putrefying the atmosphere with clouds of yellowish smog hanging over Beijing. 
It’s been nearly 20 years since that guy stood in front of a People’s Republic of China military tank willing to be run over rather than continue living under communist rule.
If the object of that unsuccessful revolt was to have China become more like America, there’s every indication that it has been “mission accomplished.” And it happened without  a shot being fired or some dreamy idealist having his bones crushed into the pavement of Tianaman Square.
Oh, by the way…guess where that lamp I had to buy for my TV was made.

Atkins Diet Grumbling

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

As I sit here at the computer this morning, my still ample-size stomach is growling away like Ol’ Yeller at the end of the movie just before they shot him.
I’m hungry. I’m also angry.
For some reason, the Atkins experiment has become the Atkins discouragement.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up on losing weight but after four months of going without  potatoes, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables, milk, sugar or ice cream, I’m not seeing the kind of results that others who’ve been on this diet love to brag about;  “Yup,” they’ll say. “Dropped 35 pounds in six weeks on Atkins.” “Feel and look great. Bought a whole bunch of new slim-fitting clothes. The wife can’t keep her hands off me.”
Horse Hockey!
My knees still hurt. I’ve only managed to get from  3X to 2X, my golf pals still snicker at the site of me in shorts and Linda is perfectly content maintaining a proper ten-foot pole touching distance.
Things are about to get worse too.
I’ve been dreading it for a long time and now it’s here: SWEET CORN season!
Next to sanctification by grace, fresh-from-the-field sweet corn is God’s greatest gift to mankind. But it’s obviously off-limits to me this year and that’s why my gut is gurgling and that’s why I’m so ticked-off.
Driving past those stands along 10th street without stopping to buy a dozen golden ears is as difficult for me as a junkie sitting at a table piled high with cocaine and not plopping his head down for a deep sniff.
Usually by this time, Hokeness has a semi trailer parked next to their vegetable stand. It arrives every morning and is stacked with 12 thousand ears of the best sweet corn I’ve ever tasted for only a dollar a dozen..provided you buy some other vegetable from them.But the truck has been conspicuously absent this year.Turns out this season’s crop near Adrian was damaged by hail and had to be replanted. Shipments won’t start arriving until the middle of August.
I suppose it shouldn’t make any difference to me anyway since corn is absolutely taboo on Atkins. But I’m feeling weak.
Instead of thinking how nice it would  be to jam my carcass into size 40 relax-fit pants again, it’s the vision of biting into a buttery, salty-sweet, perfectly cooked ear of corn with long full rows of creamy kernels, that now fills my head.
Out..out damn thought.
The kitchen smells of sausage and creamed cauliflower. Yum.

A Little Slice of Heaven

Posted: Monday, August 4, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
No Comments | Trackback Bookmark and Share

Lund at Large
My back is really aching after playing golf every day this past week. It’s not that I want to play so much, you understand, I’m retired and it’s the law.
On several occasions recently, my friend Denny Graves and I have teed ‘em up. We play to about the same handicap and have tested our limited skills at the Westward Ho Country Club, Brandon Golf Course, Spring Creek, Watertown Muni, Six Mile Creek in White and at Rocky Run in Dell Rapids. (more about that in a minute)
On each occasion, the weather has been absolutely perfect for golf; a rarity in these parts, and without fail one of us will comment during  a round about how the lush, green, picturesque pastoral settings of golf courses must be what heaven is like. “Maybe without all the swearing,” Denny says. The view from 18 toward the clubhouse; heavenly.It’s true. Despite a concentrated effort to keep emotions in check after a lousy shot or missed putt, bad language..in varying degrees of severity..often, and uncontrollably,  boils up and erupts from our lips.
Oh sure, we are always repentant after each profane outburst; asking that our French be pardoned as if the French had anything to do with it; Je pue au golf et blâme le diable. (I stink at golf and blame the devil.)
Yes, it’s true. I do blame the evil one. I’m convinced that Beelzebub himself…the great deceiver..lurks amid the serine settings of golf courses just waiting for the chance to make us forsake all the principles we’ve held dear since Sunday School.
Dell Rapids..deceptively beautiful.He has his favorite hang outs and seems to be fond of the number twelve.
For example, hole number 12 at Spring Creek where Lucifer causes about  75 percent of the balls to go flying into the creek in front and to the left or into the trees on the right. It’s the same story at number 12 at Willow Run and at 12 in Brandon except its more water on the right instead of trees. These holes have caused young ministers fresh out of seminary to lose composure, take the Lord’s name in vane and fling drivers up to a hundred yards or more.
But perhaps nowhere will you hear George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on television more often than on hole number 16 at Dell Rapids.It’s beautiful to behold with a babbling brook meandering through the fairway but it is the gateway to hell. Not only do you have to cross the water three times you must also hit a small green that slopes forward. Dell Rapids #16. The devil lives here.
After Denny and I both took triple bogy eights.. spoiling our scores for the day..we laughed sarcastically over those earlier comments we’d made about golf courses being a little slice of heaven on earth. 
Not today &*%$!*^&%!!
Pardon my French.