I felt perfectly at home -- in my hometown brewery in front of a wooden beer barrel -- giving a presentation on the wonderful history of St. Croix Valley Supper Clubs for the Wisconsin Historical Society once again. Some event pix are here.
A special thanks to John Warling and his dad, Wayne, who put icing on the
cake of the presentation with some artifacts from the old Country House,
which grandfather/father Vern founded in 1955. It burned in 1974 and to
hear why, well, you would have had to attend the presentation. John and Wayne
also had quite the stash of old menus from Twin Cities and Valley supper clubs
including the Blue Horse, on
University Ave. in St. Paul, which Vern bought for Wayne's brother, Cliff. Wayne let John do
the talking as he was a little shy, but he's got the stories and was
something of a foodie in his day at his dad and brothers' restaurants,
creating recipes at night while working for the USPS by day.
Thanks to Linsey Laufenberg and all the WHS staff who organized the event as well as Molly and Greg Harris, who are the cat's pajamas and their Hangar taproom the bomb at American Sky Beer/Hudson Brewing Co. Love love love American Velvet Coffee Stout, which is brewed with cold-pressed Dunn Bros. coffee. And thanks to Mary and other Hangar staff for a great event. I mentioned to someone, maybe Mary or Molly, that I needed a podium, and shazaaam, the most perfect podium *ever* appeared. Great bratwurst lunch that fit perfectly the setting, too, from award-winning RJ's Meats in Hudson. And thanks to Nate/Chad from the local River Channel. I'll post the YouTube if/when.
I was pleased to see in attendance Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Wis., 30th) [excuse the journalism holdover, folks] and his lovely wife, Joy, who used to be our cats' veterinarians when they had a vet hospital in Hudson. I was extremely pleased to see Dean nodding vigorously when I shamelessly plugged preservation of all or part of the old Buckhorn sign on the new Stillwater Crossing bike trails that will connect the old Stillwater Lift bridge with the new.
Diane Nixa, executive director of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation, welcomed the group. She grew up in Mahtomedi, Minn. and we talked a few White Bear Lake, Minn. supper clubs (and hey, I'm going to the Lakeside Friday night with two MN pals). Also welcoming the group was Ellsworth Brown, director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and in attendance, too, was Christopher Berry, president of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation.