I stopped at my favorite sweet corn stand Thursday hoping the crop had improved from my last visit before we left for South Carolina. It hasn’t. Apparently, farms around Adrian, Minnesota haven’t had any rain either to speak of meaning a short harvest and short ears. I suppose it could be God’s way of telling me sweet corn should not be on my diet anyway..but why punish all the others who wish to partake of the Lord’s greatest gift to mankind since his only son?
Lousy drought. Or is it drouth? Either is correct. I know because I looked it up in 1976..long before Google existed. We had a giant brown Webster’s Dictionary that sat on a window ledge in the Keloland newsroom. It was pretty tattered from excessive use because it was our primary source for correct spelling and definitions. It was the book I held up to Hemmingsen’s face to prove that it was acceptable to say “Feb-you-ary” even though the second month of the year is spelled with a misplaced “R.” Steve never changed, though, and insisted then as he does now on saying “Feb-roo-ary”and considers the rest of us (Including the late Walter Cronkite) to be mispronouncing rubes.
1976 was the worst drought year I’ve ever personally experienced. (No, I wasn’t around in the Dirty Thirties.) Aside from the Nation’s Bicentennial, it was the biggest story out there; dominating our newscasts. Half the people we interviewed on the subject called it a drouth..so did half of our staff when they talked about it on the air. That’s when our boss, Tom Sheeley, decided enough was enough and said we can’t do anything about how the general public pronounces it..but we sure as hell better find some consistency on how WE do. So the edict went out that we shall, from this time forth, call the prolonged dry spell a “Drought”..dump the “TH.” Violators would be invited into his office to receiveth a gnawing on the posterior.
Now, we’re in the middle of another one which will likely put the kibosh to several years of agricultural bounty for farmers. I wonder what kind of mood they’ll be in when Mogen’s Heroes plays again for the annual Chamber of Commerce Farmer Appreciation Day next Wednesday from 11 to 1 at the Sioux Empire Fair. Hopefully, the free barbeque pork sandwiches, music and a few familiar fun songs from Jim Woster will give them a reason to smile… for awhile anyway.
My drums have been sitting in the garage for at least five years but I’m going to dust them off and see if I can still make some racket with them for next weeks big show at the grandstand.
Mogen’s Heroes will also be playing on the Freedom Stage at the State Fair in Huron again this year but the band’s regular drummer, Bill Hoffman, will be back for that gig so all I have to do is try to follow Woster and sing a few Elvis tunes. Shows are at 2pm and 6pm Thursday August 30th.
How in the world will I fill the hours between shows?
Oh, yeah..there’s the wine tasting tent right next door and maybe former Governor, Harvey Wollman, will be there again to buy Steve Hemmingsen and me a couple of brewed beverages under the grandstand.
I only hope that between the two fairs I can find someone to sell me a golden ear of sweet corn that’s so fresh the creamy kernels, bathed in butter and salt, explode in my mouth with a burst of divine sweetness.
Or, I may have to settle for a footlong corn dog with Ketchup.