Benefit dinner for Bonorden brings laughter, hugs

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2001

I hugged so many people last Saturday night, my cheeks are bruised and I have craters on my chest.

Friday, March 02, 2001

I hugged so many people last Saturday night, my cheeks are bruised and I have craters on my chest.

Email newsletter signup

All I was expecting was some of that world-famous Adams American Legion Post No. 146 fried chicken that Fred Harvey and his friends prepare Saturday nights in the Dairy Capital of the world.

Instead, there were Albert Smith, Mike Finbraaten, Jim Bartlett and their wives and others juggling brats.

Now, pork brats taste good but are best eaten at Stacyville, Iowa, in late July, in my opinion, or the Johnsburg Jamboree.

All I wanted that night was a quiet evening with my personal care attendant to suggest to her how much a candlelight sponge bath could help restore my eyesight. But Nurse Ratchet said I was all wet for just thinking such a stupid idea. So I decided to take the family out for Saturday night supper in Adams.

I’ve learned the hard way that Adams Police Chief Gordy Briggs is one tough hombre, so I decided to arrive after late, figuring Chief Briggs would be home watching "America’s Most Wanted" on television, hoping to find clues to the whereabouts of the Johnsburg Seven, not to be confused with the Elkton Eight or the Taopi Ten or the Lodi ‘Leven and other ne’er-do-wells terrorizing Adams.

Turned out to be one of the best nights of my life.

After suffering a minor bout of vision problems, my eyesight still isn’t perfect, so my visit to the Adams Legion Post was a little confusing.

For instance, what the Sam Hill were Dave Hillier, Richard Cummings and Ray Tucker doing there? What were more than 350 other people doing out on a night like that?

It was a terrible winter’s night wind and rain and that was a good enough reason to stay home, so you can imagine my surprise to see all those people.

Byron Huseby was there, but I didn’t get to ask him about how the boys at the coffee shop claim he is a cross-dresser. They say Mr. Huseby doesn’t get dressed in the morning unless he is feeling real cross.

What bothered me the most was those darn Golombowski sisters, Sue and Maureen, sticking a camera in my face and telling me to smile. I posed for so many pictures, I got sunburned from all the flashes.

LaVerne and Norma Hoffman and Vernon and Margaret Hoffman were there or was it LaVerne and Margaret and Vernon and Norma? The boys are twin brothers so even under the best of circumstances, I have a hard time telling them apart.

Good grief! Dennis and Lisa, Al and Lori, the Pecks and Sara Meyer came from the Grand Meadow Jaycees.

The last time so much brain power left Grand Meadow it was when Mayor Jim Baudoin drove to work at Elkton.

Gary and Cindy Ziegler helped Galen Holst and Jackie Attig get married and then drove up to the Adams Legion Post before the wedding dance got started.

Lynn and Jane Sathre, plus their daughter, Cristy, stopped milking cows long enough to pay a visit.

And Harlan and Maggie Boe dropped by. Mr. Boe, the Robert Frost of the prairie, presented me with a poem he wrote. It had a picture of the goofiest looking guy milking a cow this side of Doug Bruggeman.

About the time I started laughing so hard my tummy was bouncing as hard as Keith Voorhees’ when he walks, I knew it was time to go home.

The grandchildren were terrorizing the bar patrons upstairs, my son was falling asleep at the dinner table and the personal care attendant was whispering something about keeping my hands to myself.

I was overwhelmed.

I mean, there I was surrounded by the nicest and most interesting people in the world, including many of my heroes. John Varner, for instance, the best unemployed school administrator in Minnesota. Doug and Eileen Hutchins, Gerald Meier, Bernie and Joyce Salver and the other Prairie Visions folks. Paul and Ann Walter, Brian and Penny Harrington, the Lewisons, Zillgitss, Gerbers and other 4-H families. And, the godfather of good works himself, Tom Mullenbach.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: My eyes aren’t perfect and things are still out of focus, but what I see with my heart is crystal clear.

Mower County is absolutely the best place on God’s good earth.

Did I say "thank you," too?