Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

Searching for a sense of normal my wife and I found it twice this past weekend.
The first time was Friday night on Burtside Lake with Doug and Karen Luthanen. The four of us plus their lovable dog Rigby (remember the name) hopped on the pontoon boat and cruised the west end of the lake.
Doug grew up on Burntside and shared stories of his youth as we tooled along. He had a playlist of 200 songs for us to listen to and there wasn’t a clinker.
For those who don’t know, Doug is a bit of a Beatles fan. He taught a music class at the Folk School awhile back and the Beatles were the main chorus that night.
The pontoon replaces a runabout and it didn’t have a name yet. We agreed “Yellow Submarine” would be an apropos moniker.
There was a bit of nip in the air when we bucked the wind and then a heat wave that caused an outer layer to be removed when we headed into the sun.
We feasted on sausages, cheese curds and enjoyed beverages Doug has mended since his kidney transplant and was able to partake as well.
All the while, the music played on. There were some great Abba songs, the sentimental “Year of the Cat” from Al Stewart and of course, John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Which brings us back to Doug and Karen’s dog, Rigby. If you’re not a Beatles fan (hard to fathom) then you may not have made the connection. Here’s a hint, Eleanor should be Rigby’s first name.
There were no lonely people on our pontoon Friday night. Thanks for a lovely evening on the water.
Saturday morning Mary and I drove to the Twin Cities for a concert. Yup, live and in person. We were outside in St. Michael at the Le Musique Room for a performance by the Chris Hawkey Band.
The last time we went to a concert was with Rob Wilmunen on New Year’s Eve, also to see Chris Hawkey.
Saturday night we sat in bag chairs on a beautiful Minnesota summer evening and enjoyed the music. Limited to 250 people the concert was intimate yet people had a good time.
The governor’s orders don’t allow dancing but apparently there were no undercover state troopers monitoring the crowd. Dancing happened and nobody minded.
Hawkey played his normal set including songs “Cherry Hill,” “North Country,” “Empty Bar” and “Northern Lights.” The crowd cheered, the bar was busy and the two food trucks did a brisk business.
It’s been a long haul through this pandemic and people are ready for life to get back to normal. Listening to music while sitting on a pontoon boat as well as in a parking lot reminded me of what normal was and how vital it is that we get back there soon.
No one knows what the future will bring and if there is one thing to be learned from this whole pandemic it’s this. Treasure life’s simple moments. Enjoy your time with family and friends. And when life gets you down, turn up the music from the Beatles to Chris Hawkey.