Sunday, July 27, 2014
Hot Diggity Dog!
Out here in west central Nebraska, especially out in the panhandle, they have been brutal over the past couple weeks. Temperatures well above one hundred in several places, and for several days in a row.
Here in the Ogallala area we've had mid to high nineties, but only broke a hundred once or twice. I've seen worse. And today --- and also as forecast for the coming week --- looks like we'll be seeing mid-eighties, maybe a high seventy one of the days.
These hot stretches of days, commonly called the dog days, are nothing new.
But, for me, this summer has brought the welcome arrival of a new kind of "dog day".
Anybody who knows me or has perhaps ready some of my interviews and also a couple posts here on this site, should know what a freak I am for Chicago-style hot dogs. One of my big laments about moving out here to Nebraska --- and I don't have very many --- has been the absence of a good Chi-dog. I've gotten to where I can do a pretty good job of making my own, but some of the ingredients --- especially the *main* one, a Vienna beef hot dog --- are hard or impossible to come by. And the Sonic fast food chain (out this way, at least) has introduced a Chi-dog to their menu; it's decent, but doesn't really hit all the right notes any better than my homemade attempts. And, being a chain joint, the quality is inconsistent as hell, depending on the crew that is working.
However, at this pivotal point in my life --- when creaky old age is crowding me harder and harder, when the world is in flames, when our country is being run by corrupt morons with no better choices in sight ... A brilliant ray of light has shone through the gloom and despair and now illuminates my path with joy and hope for the future.
I now have relatively easy access to honest-to-goodness, for-truly-real Chicago style hot dogs (complete with Vienna red-hots) made with loving care and precision by fellow transplants from the Chicago area!!!
In the little town of Sutherland, just twenty-five miles to the east, they have set up an outdoor hot dog stand --- gleaming stainless steel covered by a colorful Vienna-logo umbrella --- and suddenly there is a whole lot more right with the world than wrong.
On a little Bose boomer, the lady who runs it, Michelle, plays oldies like Credence Clearwater, the Beach Boys, even Elvis sometimes.
I'm tellin' ya, people --- a sunny day outdoors, chomping on a couple Chi-dogs, with the Beach Boys playing in the background ... is this a great country, or what?
God bless America, baby!