I see by some of my Facebook friends that Facebook is LOSING friends by the boatload. 7 million last month alone by some accounts. Don’t worry, there are still 700 million of us left. I suspect it’s mostly young people fleeing like deer from a forest fire because they’re tired of having their on-line party crashed by old farts like me who’ve discovered that the social network is just dandy for posting pictures of the grandkids and backyard barbeques or hourly personal status reports on such important matters as what I had for breakfast or where to find the cheapest place to buy Metamucil. It’s like Ward and June Cleaver have moved into Wally and The Beaver’s bedroom so they can pal around together. And even though Eddie Haskell would say to their face, “Why, Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, how very nice to have you be part of our one big happy Facebook family”..he’s not fooling anybody with his phony politeness.
No..No..No. The kids (And, by kids I mean anyone under 30) don’t want us messing around in what was once their exclusive territory and I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg, the 27 year old billionaire whiz-kid Facebook founder, is already devising a new network to accommodate those young exiles demanding a clear generation separation.
Meanwhile, my grandson Taylor, the Marine, has figured out a way for me and grandma to still be his Facebook friends but keep us blocked from seeing his photos or reading his wall. Taylor’s motive is pure, though. I’m sure he’d just rather we weren’t exposed to the occasional (okay, prolific) use of language in his posts that’s common among military personnel but not in polite society and colorful descriptions of life on the front lines in Afghanistan. This image of Taylor is one of the few light moments he’s shared from his time in the desert.
Anyway, I love Facebook and believe it’s here to stay.
Through it, I’ve discovered many long lost friends and relatives. Just last week, I touched base with a cousin in Seattle and a Keloland colleague neither of whom I’d seen or heard from in 35 years.
Like most of you, I’ve seen lots flooding pictures since the U.S. Corps of Engineers started sending ginormous amounts of Missouri River water cascading through the dams and into people’s back yards but I wanted to see it for myself. So last weekend, Linda and I along with our friends, the Graves, piled into Big Red and headed for Yankton.
The road over Gavin’s Point Dam was clogged with vehicles filled with looky-loos like us. The cloud of mist rising up from the spillways is visible for miles. Once you get close, it’s a bit frightening to witness all that water gushing angrily through the wide open gates and boiling up in great white swirling torrents before racing southward. One can’t help but imagine what would happen if the strain was just too much and the whole thing let go. But on the Lewis and Clark reservoir, behind the dam, all was peace and tranquility. Dozens of sailboats skimmed across the water and all of the campsites were full as if nothing was going on just a mile or so downstream.
Well, watching so much running water not only makes a fella have to pee but works up quite an appetite. So we decided to satisfy both pressing issues with a stop at the historic (It’s been there since the mid 60’s) Black Steer in downtown Yankton. I remember dining there a few times in the 70’s and the décor inside hasn’t changed a lick in all that time; deep dark oak paneling, red carpet and dim lighting. I half expected to see the cast of Goodfellas sitting at a back table. We decided to dine in the lounge because we were thirsty after such a busy day. We became less thirsty after learning that mixed drinks cost about the same price as they charge in airport bars.
I recalled that they used to make their own special salad dressings. I was especially fond of the Thousand Island and would buy a jar of it at the checkout counter to take home. I didn’t see any for sale this time though..plus they happened to be out of the Thousand Island so we settled for the homemade French and bleu cheese which were delicious. Three of us ordered steaks and one chose scallops; then the long wait began. Not only did it seem like the cook had to kill and butcher the cow himself but, in our case, he took it to a 4-H show first. Ugh, the only thing the four of us could do during the long wait was talk or drink or both. But with booze selling at five bucks a pop, I wasn’t sure we had enough cash in the debit account. Besides I still had to drive home. The chef way back in the kitchen must have heard the loud growls coming from my empty ample abdomen because our waiter..who was also our bartender..finally wheeled out a cart full of food. It all tasted very good but after two hours sitting there I’d have gobbled down a big plate of road kill raccoon and been happy. It took another half hour to get our check, pay and depart. I know, I know, you can’t rush quality and there’s a reason The Black Steer has been in business so long but if I wish to spend so much time lingering over dinner I’d rather it was my choice and AFTER I ate..not before.
We’ll have to give JoDean’s a shot next time we’re in Yankton. I hear they have a no wait buffet.