Our mother was proud of us as she watched us like little ducks following in some ancient rite of passage as we went to our first swimming lessons at Happy Hollow on Diamond Lake in the late days of May or early June. Truth was that the lake was still mighty cold. I had to be persuaded to not run back to the warmth of our Mom. We were a scant 15 miles from the Wisconsin border on the Illinois side growing up. Yet mother’s beaming smile of confidence steeled my loins and I haltingly walked into the lake pushing back my shock at the cold. We had our lessons knowing that Mom would feel safer that we would learn to survive living so close to the lake’s shore.
With shivering blue lips we were now allowed to go into the tiny village tavern where they had soft drinks and candy for sale aside from the adult pleasures we dare not consider. We followed the tutelage of our more worldly 12 years old sister Jane. We each reached into the chest freezer for frozen Snickers candy bars in the area by the cash register … a safe distance from the bar further inside where the local men drank beer and smoked cigarettes in the midmorning.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show!