I had a beautiful dinner on the Chippewa Flowage with the Hartsough family Thursday night.
I ran into Katie Hartsough last Sunday at the Holiday gas station in Hayward. She didn't recognize me at first because I somehow went from being a six-foot-two dude with chiseled features to someone who now is mistaken for Danny DiVito. Or worse. Some people ask if I work as a troll under a bridge. "Answer me these questions three."
One of the weird things about living in Hayward, Wisconsin, is that I run into life-long friends haphazardly. Which is better than hazardly.
I noted on Facebook that Hayward for Wisconsinites is like a fallopian tube. Sooner or later, everyone passes through.
She invited me to have dinner with her family who yearly spend a week at the Tiger Musky resort on the Chippewa Flowage, which is similar to "Dirty Dancing" without Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze and abortion.
Life occurs at a slower pace and one has time to breathe, enjoy and drinking crapulous loads of cheap beer.
As I sipped on a can of Crapulent Lite, the sun sinking from hot to cool, we caught up after decades. I also talked to her mom, Maureen, and Katie's amazing sisters. Two of Katie's cool daughters showed up to eat the shadows of a hot day.
The vast dinner included grilled brats, salad, beans, guacamole, some bread nuggets and probably half dozen other thing I don't remember. They sent me away with enough food to feed a fat guy for days.
The evening is among the most relaxing I've had, given I worked every day for at least 40 days.
Maureen, the Hartsough mom, has done an amazing job raising beautiful human beings. Which made the evening even more beautiful.
In 1984, Katie was my prom date and we went as friends. Our entire group went as friends and we did the simple prom, making my mom's spaghetti recipe at Chris Melville's house and going to the dance. Katie noted it was a poor choice to make spaghetti when the women were wearing their best dresses.
Proving that boys are, and always will be, stupid.
I think we might have danced, but in my mind I simply do not remember any I've ever taken part of. I kind of dance like the monster in "Young Frankenstein." I am stiff and mostly incomprehensible.
After the dance we went to Jon Lancour's house where nothing happened other than young people being with each other.
And then I drove Katie home. Because we went as friends, there was no kiss. But she did grasp my arm and smile.
That was good enough. I'd like to think it was a sensual grasp.
There we were almost 40 years later catching up. It was really a beautiful evening with her and family.
Before we hugged on my departure, I apologized that the evening sun had made me moist.
We hugged and she whispered in my ear, "You're sticky too. It's like hugging a ball of uncooked bread dough."
She didn't say that. But it's funny so I include it in the story.
Peace unto Ukraine and peace and reconnections unto all of you.