Hudson Wisconsin Nightlife

If your V-Day is being a bust, hear to cheer you are close encounters with rock stars who are Romeos, hey at least for the most part

February 14th, 2017

Now with the Valentine’s Day holiday fading, it’s time to reference some encounters with rock star heartthrobs heard while on the beat.
The friend of one of the stalwarts from Guv’s Place in North Hudson got serenaded at a Pearl Jam concert in the region awhile back. Star lead singer Eddie Vedder sang him a happy birthday on-screen, then invited him up on stage for a few moments. That was certainly a few seconds “of what was everything …”
With the following celebs, it’s the return of No More Mr. Nice Guy. Local people who have worked with them as arena support members say that Van Morrison is actually kind of a jerk, and that the entourage will give you grief if you get in the way of Elton John’s nap in the next room, as happened backstage at the Xcel Energy Center. On the plus side, frontmen David Grohl and Billy Jo Armstrong were very nice when seated next to a man who is now a local bar manager, as was Donald Fagen, who can really warm up to people and even joked about wanting to take a local bartender, Michele, who was working with a touring catering firm to the stars, on tour via packing her in his suitcase. She also said The Boss would always come by and say hello when he was backstage, even though the catering job kept her working virtually around the clock — in many cases running down the precise list of snacking items that some rock stars say they literally could not get on stage without. Among the noteworthy of these picky acts having played in Hudson, is the occasional swing made through the region to play at Dibbo’s by Foghat. The staff had to jump through hoops to meet the fickle needs of bands such as these — did they become a Fool For This City? — and their efforts included running down the street a few blocks last-minute to get some special kinds of snacks.
Another local patron works mainly for such a company that helps book bands for festivals and orchestrate their shows all over the country, but if that isn’t enough, she was looking for another parttime gig. This job has largely stayed under the radar, but has notoriety in its own genre. And also, it is work with fits and spurts — like my freelance writing, I told her.

What for Valentine’s Day, as part of our party-ish roundup? Maybe ‘Wild game’ or ‘Raley good’ pizza and now curds, with rockin’ tunes to boot

February 12th, 2017

Lets get Wild over V-Day, and riled over the Super Bowl, before all good parties must come to an end:
– It’s Valentine’s Day coming up and the ads that we see all over celebrate all things pink in color. That as a counterpoint, could mean referencing the Pink Moose boutique in Stillwater, which needless to say has girly specials that are very much unlike those at the Smilin’ Moose in Hudson. But some of the frilly stuff brought here from across the river could be what puts the smile on that moose’s face.
– Take in two types of transportation while traipsing when out on the town. You can see the Fat Tire-style bike in a step-up doorway along Second Street near the Agave Kitchen, as well as a taxi that’s dubbed the favorite of Wisconsin’s own Miller Lite Beer, at least from the sign attached to the side door of the cab, when parked next to the much-Minnesotan Smilin’ Moose.
– The reigning Hudson Pizza King/hard rock screamer, Rich Raley of Dick’s late night fame, is now going after the cheese curds crown, hoping to dethrone Ellsworth. He was seen at a local non-Big-Box grocery store scouting out quality ingredients for discount prices. One must ask, was there an elevator music ripoff of an AC/DC or G’N'R song by him drowning out the cash register’s clicking?
– Did your team win in the Super Bowl? That was my question for my favorite red-headed bar patron right after the game. Her response? “Tom Brady f—– us over.” And as you could presume from his supermodel wife Giselle’s request afterward that he “retire,” that wasn’t the only action Brady was getting that evening. Which brings me to the point of a woman who in an advertisement on sports bar TV, also named Giselle, said she was very happy with her new dating site. If you have those kind of credentials, who needs a dating site?
– And then, back to the redhead. She was out late after having been to a Minnesota Wild game, and said an interesting and fulfilling path led her to St. Paul. She had planned to stay home and do laundry, and homework, when a roommate called in sick (don’t want to be around the cold ice if that is your status), and wanted to part with her FREE TICKETS. So the redhead took the freebie, and was treated to a victory in dramatic fashion, via a shootout, no less. Now that raises the stakes quite readily for a redhead, rather than reading about it as part of your routine homework!
– Chiming in to sing the national anthem at an informal downtown concert on Super Bowl night, as she’s done many times before locally, was Andrea, a longtime bartender at Agave Kitchen, who also has been flown to pro sporting events over a several-state area to do the ditty. This has been a gig of hers for years, and unlike Luke Bryan at the Big Game itself, Andrea has absolutely no nervousness about belting out her version of the anthem before a crowd.
– Nothing really rattles, either, the Dick’s stalwarts named Matt, whether one be serving behind the bar during the NFL’s biggest showcase, on TV because of his status as Falcons star quarterback, or just a former sometimes-rowdy regular who had been back on the scene for a while and would make a good defender who gets under your skin. All three share the same or largely similar last name, that being Ryan.
– Regional performers of all types took part in a metro event celebrating the music of Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Bob Dylan, and others. Local gamer Dennis 4 Tennis took in the event, and said he was able to grab a seat next to the parents of one of the dancers, pictured prominently, who had come all the way from Florida. He gave me one of his two autographed copies of the program.
– This also sounds like a party. A birthday bash throw for, and by, some Dick’s regulars, began with a wine party at their house, then moved to Dick’s just in time for two-for-ones. There’s a little tipsiness in the house!

Amount, manner of music is ballooning at 28th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair

February 1st, 2017

There is even more music to accompany the ballooning at the 28th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair, which has the theme Gone With The Windz — and there might even be some woodwinds thrown in as instrumentation.
The event goes on from Feb. 3-5. Music acts, by venue, are: At Mallory’s, Ella and Wade on Friday night and Kyle Kohila on Saturday night; at the tasting event at the Hudson House Grand Hotel, Boondoogle on Saturday night; at Urban Olive and Vine, Jazz Savvy on Friday night and Mark Keating on Saturday night, (with those two taking the stage at 7 p.m.); at The Smilin’ Moose, Kick on Friday night; and also deejay dance music and karaoke on both nights of the weekend.
Mallory’s on the north end of the downtown is new to the local band scene. Acoustic rock and country duo Ella and Wade are often dressed in black, like Johnny Cash, and he is one of their influences, along with Brandi Carlile, Blake Shelton, Oasis, The Lumineers, Garth Brooks, Kings of Leon, Gretchen Wilson, Zack Brown Band, 3rd Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, CCR, The Band Perry, Steve Miller Band, Sublime, The Cranberries, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Miranda Lambert.
Kyle Kohila usually goes it solo as an acoustic show, with strong and aggressive fingerpicking, and he also has a celebrity dress-alike. He and the late, great Michael Jackson have the similarity of wearing one glove. His sets may include, as an example, an acoustic version of Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, as only he could do it, a rocking out take on Folsom Prison Blues by yes, Johnny Cash, and a tune that smacked of slide guitar in Mother by Pink Floyd.
The Roberts-based band Boondoggle will highlight the tasting event, Gone With The Windz edition, on Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m. Guests also can enjoy spirits, wine and beer tastings, and appetizers, along with a silent auction to benefit Operation Help. There is an admission charge for this activity.
Boondoggle is known for their imposing stage-presence, driven by the sheer height of some of the band members, which is even more impressive on a raised stage.
Boondoggle’s members say they have been “terrorizing” the region with loud rock ‘n’ roll and “badass” country music since 2002, playing their version of hundreds of popular songs, which include The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The rock power trio Kick returns to kickstart Friday proceedings at 9 p.m. at the Smilin’ Moose. Their bio and again, manner of dress, evokes memories of the mock interviews done by the band Spinal Tap … “Atop wailing riffs all but forgotten. Young, old, ancient and winking, they’re not stopping. It’s rock and roll.” Kick definitely looks the hair-band part, not too unlike Motley Crue, from which they may have in-part taken their name — but not as hard-core or as much leather, just the big and wavy locks shown in their signature online photo of a lead guitarist taking a scissors-legged leap while jamming between the other two musicians.
You’ll want to tap your toes and snap your fingers to start the weekend, but it’s still savvy, not your usual jazz band. With what’s called a fresh and innovative sound, Jazz Savvy is a unique trio with songs you might not expect to hear locally, even though they have built a following at a number of Twin Cities area venues. There’s no pabulum radio sound, no smooth jazz, or “canned” standard tunes, and every time Jazz Savvy gives a performance, they give the audience a new jazz experience, they say.
After playing a wide variety of instruments and styles in his youth, at age 29, Mark Keating began extensive study of fingerstyle guitar, drawing inspiration from Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Pierre Bensusan, as well as artists such as John Dowland and Turlough O’Carolan for their compositions in traditional and Celtic music. He also boasts styles from jazz to drudging rock, to folk style instrumentals.
Rounding out the music options connected with the Hot Air Affair are acts at two of the other participating sponsors. There is deejay dance music downtown at Dick’s Bar and Grill on Friday and Saturday starting at about 10 p.m., which gives a chance to mingle with the pilots, especially after the adjacent Torchlight Parade and following fireworks starting at 7 p.m. Friday. DJ Ben Michaels, who is relatively new to the scene, has been known to provide some interesting mixes with the songs he plays, not just typical retreads. Also, there is karaoke in an intimate setting at the bar at the Plaza Lounge/Hudson Bowling Center on both nights at 9 p.m., a venue not far from the Moonglow or Field of Fire that is set for Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Other noteworthy Hot Air Affair events are balloon launches at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, all weather permitting, and smoosh boarding at 1 p.m. Saturday. All are at the Rock Elementary School grounds.
The Hot Air Affair is presented by the WESTconsin Credit Union.
Visit for more information.

– Also, calling all modern country, rock and pop music lovers to “fly” to Burkhardt and take in a “Shotgun Wedding,” the name of a band, not a train wreck, at the Willow River Saloon on Friday night. This is called a double or triple shot, musicwise, of a must-see female and male fronted band featuring some of the Twin Cities’ best musicians — not just national influences, although they play a range of popular, plus a few lesser-known artists — and hailing from local bands such as Under the Covers, The Bad Animals, Playback, Shane Wyatt, Shadowstone and The Hootenanny.

Band of blues brothers from the St. Croix Valley make The Avenue electric first — twice in a month

January 18th, 2017

A youthful Stillwater-based trio is attracting lots of regional attention, to the point where they are playing the prestigious First Avenue venue in Minneapolis not once but twice in a month-long period.
They come roaring into the avenue on the heels of high praise from a Grammy Award-winning guitarist who also has played the St. Croix Valley area, that being Scott Holt who has performed in concert at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse between Hudson and Houlton.
Colin Campbell and the Shackletons held an EP release concert for The Horizon Lines on Dec. 27 at the venue’s 7th Street Entry, and they will go back on Jan. 18 for a concert in its mainroom, of the best new bands of 2016, which is sponsored by The Current and Radio K. And they hope to be back in Stillwater in a week or two.
The band of brothers — who often fit the blues style by playing in like-minded, colorful suit jackets — consists of Colin Campbell, age 20, on guitar and vocals, Cameron Campbell, 21, on bass, and Evan Campbell, 16, on drums and “screaming” background vocals, Colin said.
But getting back to guitarist Holt, who performed in the band of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, he said this about Colin and his kin: “Colin is one of those young guys that just has that fire in his eye.”
That fire did not come about in a flurry. “I can’t say we have ever had an official start. We have always lived together and always had instruments, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that we put an official name on it and started gigging under it,” Colin said.
The band is writing and playing songs rooted in the rich influence of the iconic “Minnesota Sound,” influences of which are readily apparent in their music, Colin said.
He added the group is also “living a double life” as both a knee-buckling, indie rock band as well as a stomp-your-foot-through-the-floor blues band, adding they have been generating buzz throughout the Twin Cities area and beyond.
Despite their young ages, the band has shared the stage with Jimmie Vaughan, Melissa Etheridge and the Wallflowers. Early in 2017 the band will travel to Beale Street in Memphis to again represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge. Known for his hot blues guitar licks, Colin opened on the main stage at the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival as part of a national all-star band of emerging talent.
“The 7th Street Entry to us feels like a home field advantage at this point, so we always look forward to playing there. We are so dumbfounded in the most joyous way about them asking us to play as part of the best bands of 2016 in the mainroom,” Colin said. Their band is listed first among the six that will play as part of the best-band show. “If I’m not mistaken the poster has it in alphabetical order. So we (currently) have no clue what the (order of the) lineup is,” Colin said.
“I know Nick Elstad from Sleeping Jesus, who is also playing. He’s a great dude,” Colin said. “And I’ve never met the members of Tony Peachka but they are a super rad all-girl punk band and I’m excited to finally see them. The band ‘tabah’ is playing as well and they were included in First Avenue’s ‘Replacement’ tribute, as were we, and we loved them from what we saw.” Colin is referring to his group’s recent invitation to play the annual tribute show for the stalwart Minnesota-based band The Replacements.
“I adore Stillwater, but sometimes it’s very hard to bust into their scene,” Colin said, adding that there are so many longtime bands that play the clubs there almost weekly. “We have played a handful of shows and fests downtown though, and the outreach has always been very supportive. But we find more places to play and places to play louder in the Cities.” The group does have another downtown Stillwater gig tentatively being arranged for late January.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 concert in First Avenue’s mainroom are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. To order, visit

Chill of wind and cold hits even bar doormen and sarcastic radio deejays

January 15th, 2017

The long spell of severe cold is on the way out the door — although sometimes it seems it hasn’t ever actually left — and as Metallica so famously sung, “the memory remains.”
– The doorman at Dick’s Bar and Grill said that because of the cold he needed another sweatshirt to stave off drafts from the other side of the door three feet away, and had to scour the store racks to find one to match his bright-red Dick’s “staff” T-shirt. I suggested that, like that old McDonald’s commercial where you’d only fork over for your Big Mac the rate of the current temperature, perhaps he should charge me the equivalent of the wind chill. But wait a minute, then he’d be giving me money! We both laughed, even though our jaws were nearly frozen in place.
– The radio was playing — ugh, although they’ve gotten better — Kool 108, to which the deejay recently read the call letters “kkoo-oo-l” to mock the frosty conditions outside his cubicle. OK, that was cool (conventional spelling). Earlier, however, another deejay (if you can call her that) gave her rockin’ out apologies to one-upting the much more-up-tempo companion stations in the same building. Then she played of all songs, one by Toni Basil. Huh?
– Minnesota recently was announced over the airwaves as being ranked the worst state in the country, as far as its difficult winters. Wisconsin was a few states behind. So wear exactly does that leave those of us here in the Hudson area of Minnesconin? Hey, we’re No. 2?
– Another applicable number is 60, as in degrees below zero. Some emailed a Twin Cities TV news station, which was reporting on the coldest weather ever seen in Minnesota, and said he had lived through that record cold up in the hinterlands of the state. The response from the weatherman: “If you have experienced 60 below, you’d hold it over everyone else at the bar.” As a sign at Dick’s about their beer has said, “No great story every started with a salad.”
– That number 60 is almost the difference in degrees between what we have here and what is typically felt in Vegas, which caused a recent transplant a couple of months ago at the Village Inn to say that she was having trouble adjusting, even though it was nowhere near the freezing mark. Just wait, she was told. Now, she probably knows it does get worse.
– With the much mourned passing of Randy St. Ores, there was the Agave Kitchen sign: RIP RSO HPD. There were other such references, all using versions of those three letters grouped together, at The Village Inn, Kozy Korner and Seasons Tavern, all in North Hudson.
– When I was in Dick’s very late one recent week-night, which has become more unusual for me since I “got old” and was pointed out by the bartender, that same staffer jokingly complemented one of the patrons for hanging around the entire night. He said to do this was his new year’s resolution. Maybe that should be mine as well. Or not. When I had walked in close to bar time, a women slipped on the ice and would have fallen except for giving a stiff-arm to the concrete, like might have been seen earlier on Thursday night football. Maybe, if a bit tipsy, she should forego any such resolution.
– What would Coach K say about the lack of a given letter? There was a sports bar sign recently revealed that said to favor the “Vicings” and the “Pacers.” — Things are mostly Green Bay based right now, although only a couple of weeks ago sports bar signs referenced Skol! as much as Go Pack.
– A sports TV broadcast right before the new year cited a scoring stat, then added the effective period of time was “this calendar year.” Might he just have said “2016?” For another calendar-related bit, the new Next Stop bar in Houlton promised to serve Happy Hour prices all day from Sunday through Thursday to wrap up the old year. But wait a minute, that would only take you through the 29th!
– With Trump now firmly in place as president, word has it that there will be a constitutional amendment, in conjunction with a certain Redneck Woman, that all Americans be required to “leave the Christmas lights on, on our front porch all year long.” Just kidding.

Even though new year’s is gone, this is the first weekend of 2017, so get out there!

January 6th, 2017

See a tried and true band for some dancing, or some football for quarterly prize-winning, as is (briefly) outlined in this web site’s Picks of the Week department.

Despite some venues scaling back, the pairing of food and music still goes on for NYE, if you know where to look

December 30th, 2016

Even with a change in attitude, you can still find tunes.
Club owners may be taking a wait-and-see posture on their current offerings, based on political situations, and some are going for high-end clients and are top-heavy on dishes you can’t even pronounce. But there still is music to be found, as well as the other New Year’s Eve trappings, and here is a listing, (for one more idea I will also put forth, lighting up some snowy fireworks, see this web site’s Pick’s of the Week department, or below):
– Maybe the best of both sensory worlds is to be found at the Bungalow Inn in Lakeland, where there even is a sax playing on New Year’s Eve, something the people at the Bungalow say is big and different. You can have varied choices for dinner and then the rockin’ part of the party starts at 9 p.m. — a full three hours before the new year — featuring Ken Wanovich with his full band, who invite you to move-and-groove with all your favorites. Ken himself says he uses acoustic classic rock styles, accomplished acoustic fingerstyles, smooth and engaging vocals, plus a little magic harmony and some driving percussion to forge an experience where you can dance, sing along, or just enjoy the journey.
– Hunting for a new favorite on New Year’s, as many have already found? How about the Buck Tucker Band at the Willow River Saloon in Burkhardt? Among their fans are another group with local players, Boondoggle, who on the flip side of this year that’s soon to be in the record books, shared a summer festival stage with them and couldn’t stop raving about their ability. So take it from them, the Buck Tucker Band and their variety of styles that include country and classic rock, is not one you’ll want to miss as they are at the Willow for the second straight New Year’s Eve. And especially before formal ringing in, pizza at the adjoining Carbone’s isn’t to be missed either.

– Other options include a couple of venues who are relying on a couple of things that recur. Dick’s Bar and Grill has two different musical offerings, both of which are old standbys, starting at 6 p.m., and the Smilin’ Moose has not one but two ball drops, at midnight and at 3 a.m.

– Again, with the theme of twos, Season’s Tavern in North Hudson for the second straight year has dinner for two. This establishment, which has now been in existence for several years, has offerings that start with a choice of a filet with either lobster or their signature walleye (of course), with baked potato, and house vegetable and salad. For the appetizer, as the theme recurs, share two walleye cakes with bernaise or two teriyaki chicken skewers. And again, that’s only for starters, not mentioning the offering of other goodies such as decedent desserts. While the ever-present house band Thirsty Camel will be taking a break this Eve, like in many venues this year, there is the jukebox to fill the void.

Add to the festivities of your New Year’s with some Hudson fireworks, if I can ‘Venture’ that suggestion

December 26th, 2016

The up-coming holidays are a celebration of flashy colors, so why not add to your festivities with an activity that by all accounts takes the events of the season to another level.
Making these memories even more meaningful can be introducing fireworks to the mix, especially when you consider the bright way they reflect over the new-fallen snow.
If you plan to enjoy a fireworks display before year’s end, a prime place to consider is the locally owned and operated Venture Fireworks. While summer is the main time most people associate with such displays — and you might want to consider checking them out then as well — winter has its own special advantages, and this Hudson store is making the most of this opportunity for their customers by re-opening for the last week of the year.
Venture Fireworks will be open to serve you on Dec. 26-31 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. That means that even on New Year’s Eve, if you have been too busy with the holidays — just like Christmas shopping — you can still get your fireworks at the last minute. They are conveniently located just off of Interstate 94 near Exit 4, just a few miles east of the border with Minnesota.
Jeff Osbeck of Venture Fireworks is a longtime Hudson resident, so he knows a thing or two about them. He says how they are different from the big box stores for fireworks is the friendly and knowledgable staff, who will steer you in the right direction to have a fun, safe and hassle-free experience, whether it is December or July.
And it is that summer vs. winter consideration that can be especially illuminating. The presence of frosty snow, with colors of fireworks flashing around it, creates a whole different visual effect to enjoy that’s over and above what you would normally experience. This is a way to make the holiday truly memorable.
Osbeck heard such high praise from a couple who recently got married. The wedding gift of fireworks he gave them created memories beyond the usual household items that are typically received. It was such a hit that a phone call was received from a long distance away on the wedding night, to say that the extra visual effect had made their celebration truly extraordinary.
There are military and cash discounts available. Venture Fireworks can be found at 631 Commerce Drive, Hudson, WI 54016, just north of Interstate 94 off Exit 4 in the town of Hudson. Contact them at (715) 386-8767, or at, or on Facebook. Please mention this article if you patronize Venture Fireworks.

Go down south to battle those from up north — but not as far as Santa — because with U.S. dart tourney win, the rush in on

December 15th, 2016

Those Canadians got pointed about the use of darts, other than by their Mounties:

– How would you use $50,000 during the holidays? Maybe to buy more darts. Or an extra fancy board on which to practice, so you can defend your title against those pesky new rivals from Further Up North. Rick Anderson, a patron at the dart shooting mecca that is Guv’s Place in North Hudson, won that big portion of the overall $740,000 jackpot in a national fall tournament in Kansas City, besting a team from Canada that also had a large and boisterous entourage. While Rick became the winner, the Canadians even got a little bit in your face as their fans watched the action play out both live and on an adjacent huge TV screen. These events have become big business and the crowds can be huge, and shown the toss-by-toss play-by-play on stunning high-tech visuals. It was only a year or two ago that Guv himself had quite similar success at a national tourney. But especially in this recent case, the action was shown at his establishment in a recurring fashion, as the locals relived their latest success in a pointed way. And if they want to be like Rick, they can always buy some of the top-of-the-line shooting equipment that’s typically available for purchase at Guv’s in a display case the size of that circular part of the dartboard.
– Turns out that Whitney, bartender at Pudge’s, has many talents that include being artistic, as shown by the Frosty the Snowman draw on their inside specials-display sign. It’s simply dead-on for that holiday children’s television character who sometimes appears almost dead himself, at the hands of that evil magician. But I never have understood why Frosty needs to carry a broom, both inside Pudge’s and on the screen …
– Speaking of Pudge’s, their winter drink specials are over-the-top as far as tons of quality ingredients, and of the eight at least two are Hudson themed. Just be prepared to pay more than, say, a small tap of Pudge’s own slim beer.
– And on your way home, be prepared to have a feast for your eyes if you’re going between Hudson and North Hudson, as the holiday lights are on even near bar time at houses in a two-block area. (Or make that a four block area if you’ve had a few and are seeing double).
– Longtime local patron Alice celebrated her birthday at Dick’s on a recent Sunday night, and this person who is perhaps best known as an unofficial video-maker for bands during the former Dibbo’s days, on this day made a name for herself by winning two of the three name-a-tune trivia contests. One of the song titles was Hard Luck Woman by Kiss. Now that song couldn’t possibly be about the birthday girl herself could it?
– Not to pick on The Donald again, but while channel surfing to find one of the last debates, I came across The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Was the new First Lady one of the background singers?
– And since the holidays are all about food, I just had to suggest this to my bartender buddy, who thought I might just get slapped, for all the wrong reasons. I told him that its a family tradition to have so many kinds of simply spectacular food that you simply can’t sample them all, as well having including multiple kinds of poultry. Just maybe, I suggested, I could say to the young lady next to me that her breasts are almost as savory as my grandmothers! My buddy vetoed that suggestion.

Tony Blair pheasants, shot then shipped, and zombie deer that just keep coming mark this holiday’s entertainment focus

November 25th, 2016

While we are weaning ourselves off of Halloween and elections, we still have hunting to be the target of our focus:

– Thanksgiving is here, and it still isn’t exactly a lame duck of a holiday season, as what better way to
celebrate than hitting the woods. Two Tony Blair pheasants, a specialty type shot by the politician while on a
hunting outing in his home England, were express shipped to a North Hudson man and bar patron. He put them in
his freezer at length while debating how to prepare them in an over-the-top way, because this was an over-the-
top situation. The commonality between the two men came about because a relative of the local guy was doing
business with Blair, going back a ways.
– And on the hunting theme this season, I think of the shoot ‘em up game at an area bar that’s Wild-themed,
with zombie does to shoot, (harkening to Halloween), and like a bad hunting day, the does rather then bucks just keep
on coming.
– A better bet has been the special featured at the new Next Stop bar in Houlton, which had opened early at 8
a.m. with Mexican tortilla offerings to cater to deer hunters. Has it now been replaced with a venison feed?
– The similar odd bedfellows as far as featured food continued with the hot pizza and cold snow cones at a
late summer party in Lakeland. Right now might be an apt time for such themed appetizers, as we are between
both temperature-based seasons.
– It was all over the regional networks at local sports bars. The Minnesota Wild coaxed out a win while
watching were hundreds if not thousands of hunters wearing blaze orange headgear, even if the rest of the
outfit was usually a standard color. What gives for the idea of only topping it off?
– It was busy everywhere on that Thanksgiving Eve, including at times people with shirtsleeves and even
shorts, (does that cause a wrinkled up turkey-leg-like look when out in the newly fallen snow?) At The Smilin’
Moose, however, security people in the doorway made up the difference with multi-layered sweatshirts. On the
side street was a lime green bus with an X from front to back (could they be from my favorite radio station?)
And out front across the street, a pickup truck from outside Minnesconsin made his own parking space in back of
all the ones that were taken. Leave it to an-out-of-stater times two.
– A restaurant manager I know planned to get off his late-night shift and make a beeline for Pudge’s Bar to
watch with interest the last election results come in. Knowing his politics, I think he might have had to drown
his sorrows, (this was the same guy who exactly eight years ago at the same bar chastised someone who’d had a
2few too many and made the idiotic proclamation: Bush is the environmental president.) Or, the local guy could
just focus on all the Minnesota races that you could find on network TV out of the Twin Cities, (after all, as
far as all things presidential, they basically fired Trump). Meanwhile, at a bar across town, a local musician
was saying this about the ultimate write-in: All things considered, I voted for Jesus.
– Across the street from the Downtown Hudson Party District, the Democratic Party offices are now up for rent
to a new tenant. Maybe The Real Estate Mogul in Chief could help with the arrangements. Or his newly appointed

“king of bankruptcy” to head the Commerce Department. Not that a political party would need such help.

– Oddly, there were virtually no Trump or Clinton masks to be found on Halloween, a matter that was still
being discussed days and days after. Gaining more attention, based on the buildup various people gave, were the
guy-in-the-shower costume, as word spread he’d now done this for 20 straight years and that enabled him to take
home major prizes in contests at both the Village Inn and Pier 500, and possibly others. Also mentioned, as a
model, was a friend of mine who went as a harem girl/genie adorned in not much more than most people wear in
the shower.
– And what do you wear to Paisley Park? All things Prince remain in the news, as do the tales that come from
people who’d had a brush with him. A friend said she partied at the Park going back 20 years. Did she ever get
a chance to actually talk with Prince? “No” came the answer, as people always had to be hush around him.
– Ellie’s on Main officially shut down operations and held a sale of all sorts of assorted merchandise on the
patio back by the alley, not far from their friendly rivals at Dick’s. This was no “short sale,” as a sign out
front listed as examples about a dozen types of stuff they were trying to unload, starting the list with
something called ravioli forms (a specialty) and going down the list to crock pots and the like. Not unlike
when the old Sandbar that was two blocks up lost its lease, and the regulars were invited to a drink-until-its
gone party to get rid of numerous bottles of liquor that no longer served a purpose. The Ellie’s building has
reportedly been purchased by the people behind the Smilin’ Moose, located between the former Ellie’s and former
Sandbar. Maybe that’s why for several days running, the Ellie’s sign remained lit, for as they say at Motel 6,
“we’ll leave the light on for you.”
– People were out in force to root for their favorite World Series team, ‘cuz they don’t get that chance very
often. The numbers were smaller at the Green Mill and Buffalo Wild Wings, but more boisterous. At The Mill,
there were four guys watching with interest, one of whom kept saying in the ninth inning,” we need just one
more. Just one more.” Meanwhile at The Wings, there were seven people at the bar, and more at back tables, who
were watching with keen interest. The three closest to me were soon on their social media devices. Maybe that
had something to do with the rain delay, which occurred right before the Cubbies were crowned the kings of
clout in extra innings.
– And as that goes, overheard about the recent WNBA slight that cost the Twin Cities team another title: “They
screwed the Lynx.” That goes along with a comment from some journalism colleagues back in college days, who
were dating: “She screws like a Lynx.”
– The sign at Kozy Korner said, “Let’s go Big Red,” in reference to Badger football game it would air the next
day. It then added, “we deliver.” Maybe delivering more than some football teams in the region. Then add to
that the Kozy sign that thanked the “Zias” for opening their house to the public for the Tour of Homes. Is that
Zais singular of plural? After all, hubby Tim said it was a ton of work.