Dark Day in Dallas

I was with several other members of the senior class at Volga High School who had just finished eating lunch in the school cafeteria and were slowly drifting back to the study hall for a few minutes before our next class. It was Friday and, as usual, hard to concentrate on school work with the weekend coming up.
Something was odd, though. The portable TV set in the corner had been turned on and a somber Walter Cronkite was on the air reporting that gunshots had been fired at the presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas.
We all gathered around the television..the volume was turned up and afternoon classes were called off.
Then Cronkite reported the president and Governor John Connally had both been hit.
A short while later, he announced the news that we all were dreading; President Kennedy was dead.
I can still hear the shrieks of disbelief from my classmates and teachers as we all pressed closer to the TV for more details. It was the same television set on which three years earlier, we were allowed to watch President Kennedy’s inauguration when he asked us to ask ourselves…not what our country can do for us but what we could do for our country.
After 8 years of Ike, it was so cool to have this vibrant, handsome young president with his beautiful intelligent wife at his side representing the United States of America.
Then in a few seconds, it was all over. Camelot was no more and a boisterous old Texan had assumed King Arthur’s throne. I was sad, miserable, angry and disappointed beyond description.
I don’t think I’m over it yet..which became crystal clear as Linda and I visited the Sixth Floor Museum in downtown Dallas. It’s in the old Texas School Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots. Oswald fired from the square window on the end..one floor down from the top.Longtime residents would just as soon outsiders would focus their attention on all the good things Dallas has to offer not the place were a terrible chapter in American history was written on November 22nd 1963. But as sure as Texas ranchers use a hot iron to brand their longhorns, Dallas..for many of us..will always be permanently branded with the assassination of JFK.
You enter and exit the museum through a gauntlet of souvenir shops which I found tacky. After paying five dollars to park and 27 dollars for admission we were handed a set of headphones for the self-guided tour. No photos allowed.
The elevator door on the sixth floor opens to a maze of photo and video exhibits tracing the history of the Kennedy’s..stuff I’d seen a thousand times before. But then, we approach the southeast corner and there it is; enclosed in glass..the sniper’s nest with boxes placed just as Oswald had stacked them. Suddenly, a rush of emotion came over me as I realized where I was and what had happened there to change the world. I gazed out the adjacent window at Elm street and Dealey Plaza below..an assassins eye view.
It is an incredible experience.Cameras aren’t allowed on the sixth floor. I have no idea why.
On the street below, X marks the spot where the fatal shots occurred. I realize that a majority of Americans are convinced that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy. I don’t happen to be one of them.
Whatever you believe, if you’re ever in Dallas, don’t miss the chance to see where the life of our charismatic  35th president came to a violent end…even if the locals would rather you just forgot about it.

SD’s Best All “Around” Artist

I’ve interviewed a lot of really smart people over the years managing to bluff my way through most of them by avoiding questions that might expose my stupidity.

One that comes to mind is the late Buckminster Fuller. Fuller, who died in 1983, was an American engineer, author and inventor whose futuristic architectural designs, like the geodesic dome, captured the imagination of millions who revered him like a god. ( My friend, Richard Muller from South Dakota Public Broadcasting, was one of Fuller’s disciples and even constructed a geodesic dome for his home in Vermillion.)

“Bucky” as some called him, was lecturing at one of the colleges in Sioux Falls back in 1980 and I was assigned to catch up with him at the airport upon his arrival to town.

What the heck am I going to ask this guy who not only was a MEMBER of Mensa, the high I.Q. society, but its second president?  I thought Mensa was the sign on the door of public restrooms in Italy. Fortunately, Mr. Fuller’s handlers made sure I was provided with a news release and biography so as not to be totally in the dark. The interview went fine as I recall and can still see that old man’s eyes light up when talking about his futuristic concepts.

It’s got to be tough, though, for highly intelligent people to avoid being in a perpetual state of frustration because so few can actually comprehend their thoughts and ideas.

But, I DO know  one creative genius from Spearfish  who has never given up trying to make the world see things from his perspective.

Dick Termes is a gifted artist who puts a different spin on his creations.instead of painting on a flat surface like everyone else, he paints on variably sized orbs that he calls “Termespheres.”  Not surprisingly, he was greatly influenced by Buckminster Fuller. I first met Dick Termes about 30 years ago showing some of his work in downtown Sioux Falls. I grabbed a cameraman and over we went. I found him amidst a galaxy of his creations suspended from the ceiling by strong fishing line and rotating on a central axis powered by electric motors.  I’d never seen anything like it and couldn’t stop staring at them. Equally impressive was Termes himself. He has a distinctive voice with a delightful Midwestern accent that provides the perfect narration for explaining how to see things from a six point perspective. I remember one of his spheres was like looking into the reflection of the ball on a brass bed. Others were like walking through a Roman palace.

Working out of his geodesic dome studio in the woods around Spearfish, Dick Termes has created hundreds of spheres in the time since our interview. In fact, I did another story with him at the Washington Pavilion shortly before I retired. His Termespheres are now highly sought after and can be found all over the world.

Dick Termes has never lost his zeal for educating others on how to see things his way. Maybe best of all is that he delights in bringing his spheres to schools where kids can experience them first hand and marvel at the mathematics and geometry necessary to make them.  Here’s how he describes the process in a way that even I can understand.

“Imagine that you are standing inside a transparent ball suspended fifty feet above the Grand Canyon floor. You are higher than some canyon walls and lower than others. You have paints and a brush, and you begin to paint what you see on the inside surface of the ball. You paint the north face, then the east, south, and west. Finally, you paint everything visible above and below you. You move your globe to safe ground and step out to observe your paintings.
Walking around the sphere, you see that you have captured the entire three dimensional landscape. In fact, you’ve discovered the structure of your visual experience.”

Dick Termes likely may never be as well known as other South Dakota artists like Oscar Howe, Harvey Dunn or Terry Redlin but I think he’s a state treasure and from my 6 point perspective,  his works are every bit as magical and intriguing.

See you “around.”

Jim Woster Turns Four Score

Father..it’s been awhile since my last confession…er, ah..posting.  There are so many feelings I have about this pandemic…this political chaos..this racial upheaval  in America I just don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said  by others ad nauseam. So I thought I’d post something more pleasant and share a few fun memories..especially  about the landmark birthday over the weekend of everybody’s pal..Jim Woster.
I know many of you remember Jim’s little half hour variety show on Keloland TV back in the late 80’s. It was just Jim being Jim sharing some farm news, markets..interviews lots of good humor and usually a little music. At the close of each program, he’d drag out his flat top guitar and sing a few old time favorite songs..usually accompanied by his friend Kip Scott. He once even featured his talented Mother Marie on his show playing piano. She banged out tune after tune..all by ear..with lots of authority..and loads of talent. Our studio spinet never had such a workout.
I’ll never forget one of the most popular things about that show was the “Saturday Noon with Woster” program coffee mug give away. It seems everyone in the viewing audience had to have one and the Kelo promotion department couldn’t keep up with demand. Well, I recognized a collectible when I saw one and sneaked into promotion’s closet and scarfed up a cup for myself. It still has a place of honor in my basement Lund museum.
A few day’s before Jim’s 60th birthday, his daughter called and asked if I’d write a little tribute to be read at his party.
I’ll be darned if I didn’t run across it the other day and decided to share it again here on the blog; not for self gratification..but out of respect for everybody’s friend and the fact that the words still hold true two decades later. Here it is:
“I have a confession to make. I have been a Jim Woster fan for nearly 50 years since I first saw him do the market reports on television. That must sound strange coming from a “town” kid (Volga, SD, population 830). It’s true, I didn’t and still do not know the difference between a canner, a cutter or a coming two year old but it was always fun to watch you inject a little humor in your daily entries cheering up livestock producers when the market was down and rejoicing with them when things were good, all the while entertaining those of us who didn’t have a clue.”
 
“Over the years, I was lucky enough to get into the television business and you and I got acquainted, then became friends and finally music legends, working the fair and special event circuit singing and playing with Mogen’s Heroes. I got a special kick out of your regular phone calls to me at the TV station..which always began with the greeting, “You dumb Ting” then you’d share the latest joke..laugh..say goodbye and hang up.
I also treasure the time our times on stage together with Mogen’s ..performing the same old songs to the same old appreciative people.”
 
“I envy your constant cheerfulness. I admire your faith, love of family, (especially your dear Penny,) loyalty to friends and dedication to your beloved South Dakota.”
 
“Jim, I don’t know anyone as a good natured as you or anyone I enjoy being around more. You have Linda and my very best birthday wishes and I look forward to many more good times ahead.”
True in 1990..True today.
Happy Birthday and many more you dumb ting.

Doing Your Doodie

Greetings from our corner of the corona 19 cease and desist order.

It’s been awhile since we last chatted here so I’m not sure if my blog site is still active but here goes.

Thank God I have Linda to share this little confinement area of ours. We co-exist pretty darn well. At least she tolerates me…so far.

Things might change once we run out of toilet paper.

We’re down to three rolls with little hope of finding more since the hoarders and worry warts have “wiped out” the store shelves.

The only real argument Linda and I have had since this quarantine business began is over my trying to convince her that we’ve got rolls and rolls of these cheap paper towels that will flush just fine no matter what the Rotor Rooter lobby says.

She says we definitely will not be doing that..so I guess I’ll have to dig out those ears of corn I bought for the squirrels..remove the kernels and use the cob just like our ancestors did. But they won’t flush either so disposal would still be a problem..plus it would likely cause a significant irritation to an extremely tender area with constant use.

We don’t get a Sears catalog anymore but there are plenty of others that arrive in the mail on a regular basis. Trouble is, they’re all printed on shiny (I assume non-absorbent) paper.

There may still be an old telephone book around somewhere. We dropped our landline over a year ago so they stopped showing up.

We also cancelled the Argus Leader which I sort of regret now because it could finally be used for the exact purpose it has become.

There was some talk of hooking a garden hose up to the bathtub faucet then fishing it and the nozzle down through the toilet tank then bring it up and out the flush porthole with the setting on sprinkle. Sort of a redneck bedet. But, it too presents a few problems not the least of which would be my inability to hook up such a contraption with an on/off valve. Also I haven’t a clue as to how to control the water temperature so the defecate-ee isn’t butt baptized with an ice cold shock to the system.

I suppose leaves would be an option..but our two maples are only in the budding stage and won’t achieve wipeable size until mid-summer.

“What about dryer wipes,” I asked.  “Sure if we’re made of money, she said. Plus, I don’t think they’d be flushable either.”

So, that’s our situation.

I’ll let you know how things turn out in a couple weeks when we’re on our last couple of spins on our final roll.

Meantime, stay safe. Love the people you’re with and Pray that this will soon end.

 

Back In The Ratt Race

ratt older

Back in 1969, area AM radio stations pretty much focused on farmers, (WNAX) housewives (KSOO) and teens. (KISD).

No one had thought of..or dared to try..cashing-in on the fast growing popularity of country music. No one until John Breece, that is.

In February of that year, he exploded into the market with KXRB. It had a powerful signal, a powerful country-only format and a powerful team of disc jockeys that included Joe Morrison, Dale Thomas and, Ratt Reno.

So polished were these guys that from the very first day it sounded like the station had been on the air for years. Each had a distinctive voice, amazing knowledge of country music and a crazy sense of humor..the likes of which local radio listeners had never been exposed to before.

I listened to them all but liked Ratt Reno the best. Anyone who can go through life with the nickname of a universally despised rodent is okay in my book.

When I moved to Sioux Falls late in 1969, I bumped into Ratt during a break at a nightclub where he was playing drums with D.K. and the Coachmen.

“I’m a big fan of your show,” I said. “I also play drums.” That’s when his eyes lit up.

“Hey, D.K., say hello to Doug Lund..he plays the tubs with Ralph Lundquist and the Midwest Travelers over at the J&M..can he sit in?”

Sit in? I don’t want to sit in! But Ratt insisted and the next thing I know is I’m up on stage playing my radio idol’s drums on a Johnny Cash song.

A couple years later, I actually went to work for KXRB trying to sell radio advertising. I was terrible at it but did get a chance to hob nob with the on-air guys at the rural studio which at that time was a double-wide trailer parked by the radio towers just east of town.

The first time I delivered ad copy out to the trailer for them to record was nearly my last.

I’d always thought St.Bernard dogs were gentle giants. Indeed, when the KXRB announcers talked about their station mascot, Mama Cass, listeners imagined her to be this loveable lug ready to lick your face and give you a swig from the barrel of booze hung around her neck. But in real life..Cass was nothing like that and we were warned to call ahead and make sure she was tied up before going out to the studio. She had a reputation of treating strangers like chew toys.

As I was leaving and about to get into the car, I noticed Ratt standing at the trailer door with a big grin on his face. Then he said “SIC’EM!”

At that moment Cass came charging out of the building like a grizzly on a salmon.

It was like a scene out of the Cujo movie as this huge orange and white barking beast reared-up against the car with only an quarter inch piece of glass between his teeth and my head.

As I pulled away, I could see Ratt through my slobber-stained window, doubled over with laughter.

I was so glad that Ratt (Duane Kuntz) and I became friends back then..and have remained so for the last 51 years.

Of course, Ratt’s list of friends is long and varied. Many of them turned out at the American Legion Club in Sioux Falls Saturday to help celebrate his 80th birthday.

Ratt, Me and Boomer Hoiland. Pals through the ages.

Ratt, Me and Boomer Hoiland. Pals through the ages.

Ratt’s unique radio voice is still as distinct as ever..but it had been many years since he’d sat down to play the drums (“Tubs” as he prefers to call them.) like he did for so many years with D.K. and the Coachmen. I was lucky enough to sing a couple songs with him on “tubs” keeping perfect time as always.

It was so much fun to once again be a part of the Ratt Race.

Keloland Television…My Home

Bzzzzzt!
“My gosh, it still works,” I thought to myself as I waved my old coded  ID card in front of the little black box outside the Keloland parking lot and the gate slowly rose to let me in. I guess I’ve always been surprised that the gates of Keloland were ever opened to me at all. doug ksfy

I had no real credentials when I was hired in 1974, just an obvious love of the business and a willingness to do anything and everything they asked just so I could be a part of it and learn.

In those early years, that meant operating the audio board and recording lots of commercials. I kept asking for more to do until finally they gave me a shot in the news department. At first my jobs consisted of ripping wire copy from the AP and UPS machines, typing up stories for others to read and making daily runs to Harold’s Photography for news film to be developed. By some miracle, I was never stopped for speeding along Phillips or Minnesota Avenues as I raced back to the station in the KELO car with cans of film sitting next to me in the front seat..film that needed to be edited in a hurry to make the six PM newsreel.  We always made it but sometimes just barely.Those daily deadlines were incredibly stressful, exceedingly exciting and fantastically fun.
Eventually, in late March of 1975, the news director handed me a Bell and Howell film camera, gave me a quick lesson on how to run the darn thing and sent me out to do a story on my own from start to finish..which meant shooting, writing, editing and voicing. As I recall, it wasn’t much of a piece, just a simple report on how people were about to go nuts from cabin fever because it had been three solid weeks of overcast skies and cold.  As luck would have it, the clouds suddenly parted as my camera was rolling and I got a great shot of that precise moment and wrote something like; “There can now be a great feast of celebration and joy in Keloland because the prodigal “sun” has returned.”
The next day I was called into the office of General Manager, Evans Nord. I figured for sure he was going to fire me for blasphemy but to my surprise, he said he found my little report amusing and to keep it up. Speaking of amusing. This picture is from 1976 or 77, just after Keloland switched from film to video cameras. With the hair, tie and jacket, these were my Ron Burgundy years. doug_with_cameraAnd, yes, I know the lens cap is still on the camera. Someone just handed it to me, told me to pretend I was shooting video and then took the photo. I swear that’s true..at least I think I swear that’s true.Before long, he called me back into that same office, only this time it was  to offer me the co-anchor spot on the 10 O’clock news; a position only a handful of others had occupied since KELO signed on the air in 1953.big news 1975 001
All these years’ later, wonderful memories like those rush to my brain every time I return to the KELO building and I still marvel at my good fortune at having been a part of it for so long. How lucky I’ve been to remain an old cog in a new wheel as the “Voice of Keloland” in which you can still “hear” me instead of (mercifully) having to see me age on air. The bosses also still indulge my Lund at Large blog on Keloland.com.
Now, let’s see if my key will still open the back door. Yup! Ah, it’s so good to be home again but I better not stay too long, these people have more important things to do than listen to a grey haired geezer ramble on about TV stories from the olden days.doug kelo party

Christmas Beginnings

If you’re allergic to corn, or are diabetic, stop reading now!  It’s about to get awfully corny and sugary sweet around here.
As I close in on my 74th Christmas, I got to thinking about which ones have been the most memorable.
The first Christmas I have any recollection of at all was in 1949 when mom brought home a new baby brother from the hospital. At the time, I would have preferred more presents but, as it turned out, he was an okay gift.
The year I got a ukulele was a wonderful Christmas. My cousin, Cliff, showed me how to tune it (“my dog has fleas” C.G.E.A.) and to play a few chords. I strummed those chords non stop for two days and about drove my family nuts but it turned out to be the beginning of a musical career that continues to this day.
One of the saddest Christmases was in 1963..just a month after President Kennedy was assassinated. On Christmas Eve, one of my uncles insisted on playing a phonograph record he’d just bought of Kennedy’s most memorable speeches with the sound track from “Camelot” playing in the background. It was too much and I went for a long cold walk so others in the house wouldn’t see me cry.
In the late 60’s it was a delight to watch my two little girls experience the joys and wonder of  Christmas..only to see it replaced a few years later with sadness and worry as they were left to wonder why their mom and dad had to split up.
Another marriage that began with promise, high hopes, and a few joyful Christmases, ended with a sour separation and divorce. That’s when I vowed never to marry again. I was just no good at it.  Then I met Linda..a recently divorced mother of three who lived in my neighborhood. We got to be friends first..sitting for hours at a time drinking wine and talking.
She had pretty much reached the same conclusion as I; that another marriage just wasn’t in the cards. But as our relationship grew, things changed and we began to consider the possibility.. but not until Christy, her youngest who was only 11 at the time, graduated from high school.This went on for over 3 years. It got to the point where all five of our kids were dropping hints about moving this thing along already.
So, in December of 1983 when Linda was off shopping, I cornered Brenda, James and Christy and told them what they already knew; that I loved their mother, would never do anything to hurt her and wanted their  blessing to propose marriage. Well, they each started laughing, gave me a hug and said, “It’s about time!”  Three down, two to go.  Considering all that I’d put them through with two previous failures, I figured my girls, Suzan and Patty, might be a tougher sell.  But, as usual, I was wrong.While nervously trying to find the right words and give assurances that this time it would be different, both my daughter’s eyes fill with tears.  As the three of us embraced, they said, “Dad, we just want you to be happy. Besides, I think we love Linda about as much as you do.”So the big surprise was set.  The seven of us, and grandbaby Tara, would have Christmas Eve dinner at my house..after which I would say “How about some ice for dessert?” At that point, I’d bring out the modest ring, purchased at Vern’s Diamond Shop in the basement of Lewis Drug Store, drop to my knee and ask Linda to marry me. Throughout dinner, I was sure the kids were going to blow it because they kept staring at the both of us and smiling. But the whole thing came off as a total sweet surprise and once Linda saw everyone around the table was in complete agreement and shedding tears of joy, she said “Yes!”
There have been some wonderful Christmases since then as our combined families have continued to grow in size and love. But that night, 36 years ago, with all of us sitting around a candle-lit Holiday table in anticipation of the big question, will always be the happiest and most memorable Christmas of my life.Lund family portrait from Taylor's wedding

A more recent photo of Linda, me and “the kids.”

(L to R) Me, Suzan, Linda, Patty, Brenda, James and..in front..Christy.

May God bless you and your family this Holiday season as richly as He has ours!

Home Movie Memories

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?

I have the answer..my dad’s home movies of Yellowstone National Park.yellowstone 1

Trouble is, I haven’t figured out how to market them to all you insomniacs out there yet.

We made that family trip to Yellowstone in the summer of 1953, I believe.

I just remember being car-sick most of the time from riding in the backseat sandwiched between my two brothers. It was especially bad when we arrived in geyser country.

Now, there’s a place where the devil has provided people with  a little preview of what Hell will be like; hot gases boiling up from the bowels of the earth causing water to shoot high into the sky or just ooze to the surface creating little burps of slimy mud… like a thick spaghetti sauce bubbling on the stove.yellowstone 4

The whole place stinks of Beelzebub too..a sulfuric stench not unlike rotten eggs.

It didn’t seem to bother anyone else in the family but me.  So, while they explored this steaming wonderland on foot, I stayed in our  new Mercury..miserable from a combination of heat, car sickness and that awful odor.

I remember being afraid to cough or sneeze for fear that I would erupt like Old Faithful from both ends.yellowstone 2

Anyway, that’s my memory of Yellowstone National Park.

But my Dad loved it there and took reel after reel of film..much of it while he was driving the car.

For some reason, he didn’t trust my mom or any of us boys with the camera.

So a lot of the footage is shot through the windshield and shows his left hand gripping the steering wheel with a Camel cigarette between his fingers.

After we got home, it wasn’t long before Dad had the film developed and spliced together on one big brown reel.

My Mom was a great cook and she loved to have company come over for supper. But those delicious meals usually came at a price; an after-dinner show that we should have called the “Wonders of Yellowstone” narrated by Harry Lund.  “You haven’t seen these have you?” he’d say to our well-fed guests. Before anyone could answer, though, the lights were shut off, the projector was switched on and..there we were…back at that hell hole he was so fond of.

But after a few minutes of watching Dad’s long rolling shots of mountain highways, trees and Yellowstone Falls, people’s heads around the living room would begin to bob backward and forward as if Mom had slipped a Mickey into their roast beef.

Children, including my normally hyperactive cousins, would crumple on the carpet and doze off out of boredom.

It never seemed to bother Dad, though. Showing those home movies always gave him great pleasure even without an attentive audience.

I think of my folks a lot during the month of November. Mom would have been 111 on the 13th, Dad 113 on the 27th. I would give anything to taste her fried chicken or pot roast again and to sit in our darkened living room listening to the hum of that projector and hear Dad’s voice describing..one more time..the joys and dangers of feeding bears from right out of our car window and the unforgettable aroma of Yellowstone’s geysers.

I would stay awake this time.

Food For Thought

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.”

I haven’t seen the movie, “The Sound of Music” in years..so why is that song running over and over through my head?

I like the tune okay but can’t possibly imagine what caused it to suddenly pop from the subconscious to the conscious between the time I fell asleep last night until I awoke this morning. I did see a Julie Andrews biography..but that was quite a while ago.

I have been thinking about some of my least favorite things lately. Maybe that’s it. More specifically, foods that most people like and think I’m supposed to like too but don’t.

Olive oil, for example. I’ve been paying through the nose for extra virgin olive oil at the store because all the TV chefs use it and it’s supposed to be good for you. We ran out of it the other day so I used butter and a little corn oil to cook some eggs. They were delicious! I sautéed some onions and peppers the same way. Terrific! No funny aftertaste. I also don’t like bread dipped in olive oil at Italian restaurants that everybody seems to go gah gah over.

Cilantro is another alleged food item that I don’t like. To me, this popular herb used primarily  in Mexican, Italian and Middle Eastern cooking, tastes like someone peeled soap chips onto my enchilada.  I’m not alone in this. The beloved chef Julia Child enjoyed eating and cooking most everything but detested cilantro. There’s even an “I hate cilantro” website.

You can put rare meat on my yuk list as well. My friend Bob Miller, longtime owner of  the Brandon Steak House, used to just shake his head in disgust when I’d order a filet “medium well.” “That’s a terrible thing to do to a nice piece of meat,” he’d say. I’ll have to butterfly it.”  “Fine,” I’d reply..as he went back into the kitchen muttering something that sounded like what Ralphie said in “A Christmas Story” when he dropped the lug nuts.

Our daughter, Christy and my friend Hemmingsen are two examples of people who believe that fire is the enemy of a steak and (I think just to show off) will spend several minutes explaining to the server just how rare they want their meat…no more than 30 seconds per side..or some such nonsense.

If I had to look down at a plate with a hunk of luke-warm flesh swimming in a puddle of blood..I’d become a vegetarian faster than you could say e-coli.food steak

I don’t like orange juice with pulp, Imitation Baileys Irish Cream, (yes, there is a difference) anything seasoned with hot..hot chili peppers, (Why should eating be painful?) bananas, (just something about the texture that automatically induces gagging.) and, perhaps most controversial of all; seafood!

How can someone of my ancestry not like fish?

I could lose a lot of weight if all there was in the world to eat were lobsters, oysters, crabs, salmon or most anything that lives in the water…including lutefisk!  I don’t mind a tuna sandwich; breaded shrimp or fish without the bones dipped in beer batter and deep fried. But nibbling on a trout that’s presented on a plate with its skin still attached and it’s dead black eyes staring back just creeps me out. food troutSo does the thought of eating raw oysters: having them slide off the half shell down your throat and bragging to your buddies how many you ate and how great they were while never having chewed a one.. And, hey, you can call that liquid these grey creatures live in “oyster liquor” if you want to but we all know it’s just slime.food oysters

I suppose I’ve made a few of you angry showing such disrespect for your favorite culinary cuisines.

I’m sorry. And just to show there are no hard feelings I leave you with another lovely Disney tune:

“It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all..it’s a small world after all..it’s a small small world.”

You’re welcome and bon appetit!

Sentimental Journey

Linda and I are just back from 12 days of togetherness; unavoidably..but still comfortably inseparable because we decided on a serious 36 hundred mile road trip in our new (to us) Big Red II Ford Explorer.  big red II

Our motivation to embark on such a long journey to Seneca, South Carolina, was the 50th anniversary surprise party for my brother, Tom and his lovely wife, Ilene arranged by their three grown kids.

I wasn’t convinced they could pull it off…but couldn’t resist the challenge of giving it a shot and having the chance of seeing their jaws drop when they spotted us showing up to the party.

[GETTING THERE]

For years, our friends, Tom and Lori Steever have been saying if you’re ever near Jefferson City, Missouri, please stop by. Well, turns out we were near there so called ahead and were greeted by a wonderful welcome to their lovely home for cocktails and dinner. What a great time reminiscing about our years together in broadcasting and playing in the Mogen’s Heroes band.steevers

Next it was off to Nashville. Sort of felt like the Griswolds in the movie “Vacation” as we as we made a wrong turn in heavy St. Louis traffic and took forever to find our way back on the right road.

Rolled into Nashville with hopes of going out on the town and experience some good ol’ country music. Ended up snarled in Friday evening traffic and looking for a motel. We found a Day’s Inn in a dubious neighborhood..but were willing to settle until the clerk quoted the price at over 100 dollars. This was after spending just 60 bucks in Jeff City at a much nicer place. We decided to press on to Murfreesboro just outside Nashville and found a very new much nicer Day’s Inn at half the price. We opted to have pizza delivered to the room and forego a night of honkey tonkin’ for some honkey zonkin’.   A great free hot breakfast at the Day’s Inn and we were ready to face the easy five hour drive to Seneca. Our Google GPS warned that there would be some slow downs through Chatanooga. But those warnings weren’t stern enough. We ended up stuck on a five lane freeway squeezed into just one lane for ten miles. Stop and go for an agonizing two hours.  After that, neither Linda and I were in the mood to take the scenic route to Seneca as planned..but really had no choice since we’d already missed our chance to take the Atlanta route. So, the next four hours found us on, what seemed to be, an endless trek on a winding road that would put the Needles Highway to shame. Beautiful..but..finally upon arrival in Seneca.. we were ready to get out of Big Red II, into the motel room..relax and have our evening toddy.

When we got settled in to our home for the next two nights, Linda happened to mention we were about out of distilled beverage. No matter, I said, we passed a liquor store a few blocks away. Surprisingly,  the darn place was closed..not open again until Monday at 11 AM. Wait..what?? Called the front desk. Yes, she said. South Carolina doesn’t sell package beverages after 7 pm Saturday through the weekend. I glanced at my watch: 7:30.

“Geeze, Doug”…said Linda, “there are a couple of beers and a few Mike’s hard lemonades in the cooler..we’re fine.  “But…but” I replied,  “I don’t drink beer except with pizza or after mowing. ..and lemonade makes me gag.”

So, I took my first step towards sobriety thanks to South Carolina’s ludicrous liquor laws..and, in truth, it didn’t hurt a bit.

[ THE SURPRISE]

Tom and Ilene live in a beautiful home on Lake Keowee..a lovely man made lake just a few miles from Seneca, South Carolina. The surprise party..arranged by their children, Erin, Kim and Brad, was to be held at the Keowee Key Marina. It was a  great setting and fifty or so of their family and close friends were anxiously awaiting their arrival under the guise of an anniversary dinner with just the kids and grandkids…heh, heh.

My Nephew, Brad and Nieces, Kimberly and Erin.

My Nephew, Brad and Nieces, Kimberly and Erin.

[SOME HISTORY]

After our dad died in 1977, my two brothers and I (each four years apart) became a whole lot closer. When mom passed in 1995..and Tom suffered a near fatal brain aneurysm five years later… much closer still…even hugging and verbally expressing our love OUT LOUD.

Then when Denny the eldest brother (pictured in the middle at Lund reunion 2012)..died in 2014..Tom and I realized just how fleeting time is and the respect, admiration and affection we have for each other and our families should be…and has become.. emotional and strong. What might have once been embarrassing for the Lund boys is now the joyful norm.Keowee Kapers 086

So it was with great anticipation that Linda and I along with Ilene’s sister,Kay and brother-in-law Eric, of Brookings, waited to see the looks on their faces when they spotted us South Dakotan’s had made the trip. I’ll just let the following photos tell the story:

Tom spots us.

Tom spots us.

big red II hug 5big red II hug 3

Linda's turn

Linda’s turn

Linda shares with Ilene and her grandson Kakoah highlights of our trip South.

Linda shares with Ilene and her grandson Kekoa highlights of our trip South.

Look, Grandma LInda brought a big jar of homemade pickles.

Look, Grandma Linda brought a big jar of homemade pickles.

Tom and Ilene's grandkids later sang one of Tom's songs for the program.

Tom and Ilene’s grandkids later sang one of Tom’s songs for the program.

Tom and Ilene loving it all.

Tom and Ilene loving it all.

The whole bunch.

The whole bunch.

Tom and Ilene's bunch...God is good.

Tom and Ilene’s bunch…God is good.

Next day while the kids swam, Captain Tom took us South Dakotan's for a pontoon ride on Lake Keowee.

Next day while the kids swam, Captain Tom took us South Dakotan’s for a pontoon ride on Lake Keowee.

keowee party 24doug lund pontoon

Such a wonderful time.

As it was time to leave, I mentioned to Linda that I wasn’t crazy about driving the same route home and sort of suggested we go by way of Austin, Texas where her two sisters and a brother live. It was a few hundred miles out of the way…and wasn’t without it’s highway frustrations..but thanks to Big Red II’s previous owner whose subscription to Serius XM was still valid, we had Classic Radio shows..the Sinatra Channel, the Elvis Channel and other fun stations to listen to all  the way to Texas where we met up with Linda’s sister, Cynthia and her husband Tom. keowee party cyn tom selfieThey also have a terrific place at Horseshoe Bay..North of Austin. Our short stay ended with a wonderful dinner with Linda’s Brother, Chad..his wife Lisa and her Sister, Shelle with husband, Troy. Everybody was so wrapped up in conversation no one remembered to take a photo. Then it was on to Lincoln, Nebraska where we spent a night with daughter, Suzan, son in law, Joseph and granddaughter Zoey and got to check out their long awaited and finally completed finished basement project. It’s great.keowee party suzan keowee party zoey

By the time we finally rolled into our Sioux Falls driveway..Linda and I looked at each other and smiled…glad to be home..but so grateful, too,  for the joy our families bring to make any journey near or far worth it all.