A Couple Old Anchors’ Reunion

Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Jolted awake again this morning by loud noises and roaring engines coming from outside the house.
Not garbage trucks this time, though.
It’s our neighborhood’s turn to have the streets resurfaced..so the big contraption that dispenses little waterfalls of tar (or whatever that black sticky stuff is) mixed with sand on our avenue..got fired up bright and early.
It’s an all-day job so, we’ve been getting notices from the city for a couple weeks that if we wanted to go anywhere today, we should move our cars to a side street.
I saw one of my neighbors, who either overslept or didn’t get the notice, pleading with a  crewman to let her get her car out..but “ vonce you haf been varned..zer iss no escape.”
Ah, just one of the inconveniences of city life.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I got the heck out of the city last weekend for a nostalgic trip to my hometown of Volga.  By early afternoon I was ready to head back..but thought, hey, as long as I’m this far North, maybe I should give my old colleague and chum, Steve Hemmingsen a call and maybe drive over to his Lake Hendricks chateau and see if the lord of the manor was up for a drink.
“Hell yes, by all means, come on over,” he said. The Hemmingsen Manor built by the lord and master himself.
Now, I know in his own blog, Steve writes plenty about retired life in the little town by the lake..but sometimes you have to separate truth from fiction in his ramblings so here are the facts as I saw them.
TRUE: Hendricks has more golf carts  buzzing  around the streets of town than on the golf course.I followed this elderly gent upon arrival to town. That’s a walker..not golf clubs in the back.In fact, last year, Steve himself sold his convertible and bought one..in part because he’s frugal but mostly, I think, to fit in.
FALSE: Steve’s claim that even after having his cabin at the lake for over 30 years..and living there pretty much full time for the last 9..he’s still considered an “outsider” by the locals; a lone Italian adrift in a sea of Norwegians.
Fact is, Steve became an accepted (tolerated?) member of the community long ago..participating in most city wide events from emceeing parades to writing scripts for the community Christmas program.
He loves to write about Hendricks and its residents..often humorously pointing out their foibles..but he always does so with a respect for their character and traditions..and, from what I can determine, they love the teasing and attention.
FALSE:  Steve has about had it up to here with his carp-eating, fur-flying dog, Cockleburr.That’s Cockleburr right there about to take a roll in the mud last Spring.
On the contrary, he loves that big lummox of an animal even though she sheds about three pounds of black hair a day and will sniff all visitors in embarrassing places after she’s done scaring you to death with a few loud barks.
Like most labs, though..once you get to know her.. Cockleburr is a loyal friendly companion who’ll do just about anything to please you. All she asks in return is a few table scraps and an occasional boat ride.  I’d have one like her in a minute if Linda would let me.
TRUE: Steve enjoys good food…and plenty of it. He loves shopping for it..preparing it..eating it and..as I have discovered..sharing it with friends.
We both fancy ourselves to be cooks..and even though his culinary curiosity reaches far beyond mine..he agreed to a kitchen collaboration for dinner at the villa.
It began with the selection of fresh vegetables we picked up from the Hendricks’ farmer’s market; sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet onions, carrots and green peppers. Hendricks’ farmer’s market..open FridaysWhile I sliced the peppers, onions and carrots to be sautéed with olive oil in a cast iron pan, Steve prepared a couple pork loins..seasoning each differently with a variety of herbs before placing them on the grill.
It all tasted  “mahvelous!”
I suppose there should have been a photo of us..but who wants to see a couple of fat former anchormen bouncing around the kitchen like we were Iron Chefs on the food network?
It sure was a fun day though and, ya know..we didn’t talk about television news once!   

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