Monday, April 16, 2012

They Call It a Pastry Shop ...

Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe
... but it is much more. The cases are filled with fresh baked bread, croissants, scones, and Danish, but they serve other food. Breakfast and lunch. I stepped up to the counter and asked if they had a menu. The guy behind the counter (Brett Stecher) says, "No. I'll fix anything you want. Except pancakes." I ordered eggs, sausage and hash browns. He poured coffee and Lorna and I went to sit. A lady at a nearby table handed us newspaper as we sat down. We had bicycled the day before, but the weather was brutal, so we lingered. It's an odd little breakfast cafe - one of those places where the newspapers are passed around, people are expected to pour their own coffee, yet there was a couple over in the corner who brought a bottle of wine, which they were sipping from cut Waterford Crystal wine glasses that Stecher furnished. 

The Commonweal Theater
Suddenly, Lorna shouted, "Oh, My God!" and bolted out the door without explanation. She had spotted an actor she had worked with. My Lorna had run off with an actor! I digested this for a moment or two then went back to my coffee and the sports page. Eventually she did return. Her actor friend had dragged her up the street to the theater to meet his new bride, another actor that Lorna knew. Lanesboro, population 752, has both professional and amateur theater. This weekend the pros held sway with the annual Ibsen Festival, or as Brett calls it, "Depression Weekend". 

Brett has a couple of other workers in the kitchen and at about 2:30, after he tires of the Pastry Shoppe, he leaves them to clean up and he walks up the street to a large old building tucked behind the old grain mill along the river - Smokey River BBQ.  At one time he was a chef in high end restaurants and he still does gourmet dinners. When he isn't running the two restaurants and cooking group dinners he makes spinning rods. He indicated that his wife isn't too happy with all the work, but as he puts it, "If you're ADHD you gotta channel it, ya gotta to use it."

Addy and her friend, Abby, not daunted by the windy, rainy weather, went biking anyway. As we had to vacate our hotel by late morning, Lorna was reading a book in a quiet corner of the pastry shop, so I just wandered around town a little. Around the corner was the rightward leaning building housing the shop of my friend, the leftward leaning Frank Wright. I have mentioned Frank in the past. He was a veterinarian who came to the Minnesota Zoo as a bird specialist, particularly raptors. Eventually he found Peggy Hanson, an activist leftist lawyer and he ended up carving spoons and growing rhubarb in Lanesboro. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's basically the Cliffs Notes outline of his life. We talked for quite a while, getting up to speed on family and what was going on behind the scenes in Lanesboro.

Old Village Hall
After I left Frank's I wandered down to the Lanesboro Art Center. There are a lot of artists and craftsman who have chosen to settle in Lanesboro and there was a lot of good stuff to look at.

When Lorna finally found me I was sitting at the bar in a saloon, helping get the big screen satellite lead fixed so we could watch Judge Judy. (When in Rome...)

By the end of the day the kids were back - oh! somewhere during the day Lorna and I went for a five mile hike. It must have been before I talked to Frank.

Late in the afternoon we went to the Old Village Hall and John Pieper served us a Norwegian Surf and Turf in honor of Ibsen. We had grilled elk steak and Norwegian salmon, both garnished with a lingonberry sauce. It took us two bottles of a nice Pinot Noir, which were great, but a little pricey. I think we had a desert, but I forget.

We had to get back home after we ate to get ready for the big wedding the next day. I won't hammer you with all the details, but Lorna's late sister's husband found another great woman. I had been drinking some, so by the time I did the formal toast my delivery was a little ragged. But we talked to old friends not seen in years. We met old and new West Coast cousins. We danced. The children danced. The babies danced. The last dance the DJ progressively sent the most recently married partners to the sidelines. Eventually we were one of three couples still on the dance floor. They had to parse it by months so at least we weren't married the longest. But close. Then they threw us all out of the hall and we went home. 

And one more picture of Addy and Abby's bikes, because there was a television reporter wandering around the village, and Lorna said that last night they finished the news with a close-up of Addy's Goodrich. The bike is famous.


Oldfool said...

A Community
Something I never achieved
The search continues

Tom G. said...

Someday I hope I live in a small town filled with interesting people, so I can be a recluse and ignore them.

A guy can dream.

George A said...

Any dinner that requires two bottles of wine can't be all bad. Sounds like time well spent and bicycles were involved!

We could use some of that rain down here.

Gunnar Berg said...

Overall, still dry here too.