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Monday, August 23, 2021

 You cant go home again.

I write the cliché because I returned to my hometown last weekend to take one of my brothers out for his birthday.

We had a great lunch, hot beefs at the place where I used to bartend. The recipe hasnt changed in 70 years. As we sat there waiting for lunch, I told the bartender that about 30 years ago on a slow afternoon, an older guy walked in and bought a beer. He asked if we still served hot beefs, like the kind we did in the 1950s. I served him a sandwich – on me – and asked what he thought. Same hot beef, he said, with a mouthful of tender meat. I responded, Yeah, probably the same cow.

Now I was that older guy.

We drove around a little bit – its the first time, though, in recent visits where I didnt get lost on the new highways around town.

My brother asked if I wanted to drive by the old family home.

I couldnt do that.

But we drove down the main street, which has changed and stayed the same. I looked up to see the windows of my dads old law office.

We stopped at the Leinie Lodge where I dont get points off even though Im an inaugural member.

We drove through Irvine Park, our beautiful little reminder of the Northwoods before it was timbered (thats a word up here).

The visit was beautiful and Ill see my brother again soon. Thankfully, hes patient with my humor.

For some reason, though, nostalgia makes me sad – and it shouldnt.

I had a great life in my hometown and so many friends I cant count. In fact we ran into an old friend at the bar. That only makes sense in that city.

I cant be sad for what was once.

Only rejoice in those memories.

Because I returned home to Hayward, my newest and last city of residence, happy to be home.

Which is where I am.


  1. Just a guess as regards them hot beefs...Tomahawk Room???
    I totally get that nostalgia makes me sad thing though...seems like a pretty natural thing for most anybody to "want to go home again" [provided that home had been a happy place to begin with] and for the most part that's about 'Time' not geography and until we invent time travel we can't ever really "go home again". But you're also right about the memories...they are a bane and a blessing...but mostly a blessing and our pasts are the "stuff" from which we are made. Welcome back to the Northwoods Rich

  2. You’re so lucky you can still get "hot beefs," whatever they are. There should be a special word for the craving you get for a special recipe from a special place … that isn’t there anymore.