View from the Basement

When the Cold Gets Going—the Tough Still Go by Dee Baby

January is always the “Let Down” month. Your holiday spirit is shot, you face New Year’s resolutions (that you know you’re going to break), and it’s always the worst for a time dragger when you yearn for spring. Notorious as the bitterly cold month, one yearly event redeems January—Dick’s mountain oyster party. This past Saturday night it took place in the worst cold snap.
Soop is to be counted on for the party reminder, but on Wednesday I was trying to chase down my nephew, Garth, (it took three stops) and popped in at Dick’s Welding. Dick inquired if I was coming and I replied, “I’ll be there with a dip, and that’s the kind in a bowl and not a man.”
I like to take credit for boldly going where no woman went before (except Barb). Bartending made me fearless of walking into a shop full of men. Gradually over the years, we have carved out a niche for a women’s table. Sometimes we get thrown off when the card players increase, but we will regroup in another corner. We are strong enough to bend. Our women’s table was an angry hive of bees when we witnessed an inconsiderate husband take a chair to sit comfortably and just left his very pregnant wife standing! A.L., we are calling you out!
Garth brought a stranger to the party, who was showing him the ropes in his new fiberglass business. Georgia exclaimed, “He looks like a little Al Pacino.” She yelled for Garth to bring him over for introductions and she repeated whom she thought he looked like. (I think he was hurt that she said “little”!) Georgia then told Joe Dise he could be Robert DeNiro. Joe replied, “I can be anybody you want me to be.” I chimed in, “Especially after three beers.” He-he. Georgia then told the stranger he could have his pick of our group of 50-70s women, and I think he kinda shuddered.
What a surprise to find out Dick has two sisters, Carol and Donna. Carol attended and was quite a fun addition. When we were introduced, she said her best friend in parochial school had been Helen (Peterson) Baysinger. She wants to say “Hello”! Carol kept her cell phone in her bra like a concealed weapon. I told her I could try that, but it would fall out to the floor.
Once again, I never saw hide nor hair of brother Soop ‘cuz he was planted in the inner sanctum office playing that mystery card game “Sheephead.” A lot of the card players behind us had bags full of quarters. (Isn’t that kind of announcing that you plan on losing?) Thanks to Rich Jensen for being our male waiter and keeping the food flowing to our table. Big thanks to Terry Hill’s son, Eric, who took on the vile job of cutting up those grizzly-looking mountain oysters! Big thanks to Dick and Barb for hosting a community party annually where we see old friends and new. Barb, you are the best for staying awake and being a designated driver to the very end!
Shout out to our best pal, Bobby Nielson! We can never attend without thinking of you and your humor. Hope you are manning the “Sheephead” table in heaven.
Hope to see you next year.
Dee Baby

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