Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
Dale Simpson and his wife, Arleen, from Montana, called me a couple of days ago. They want to come down to visit awhile. I told them that would be great and that we just can't wait until they arrive. They are a laugh a minute, and we have such a wonderful time when we get together
There is just one problem, however. There is absolutely no way that we could ever show them the time of their lives, like they treated us to on our last visit to them.
They live in Virginia City, which is a historical town straight out of the 1800s, with buildings just like way back then. They treated us to a ride on an old antique fire truck, four-wheeling in the mountains to old gold mines, toured the town and learned about its ghosts. In the evenings, we loved sitting on the deck of their most gorgeous log home, sitting on the hill overlooking the town. Dale did almost all the work himself, and Arleen used her talents for decorating, so together they have the kind of home that welcomes one in, to feel wanted and loved.
Oh sure! I could drive around and show them all the wonderful historical sights that Maybell has to offer, except Dale was born and raised here and has been there, done that. We will go visit mutual friends who also are eagerly awaiting their arrival, but we cannot, nor will we ever, find a place to eat like they took us to.
One evening, they treated us to dinner in one of the old historical buildings just outside of Virginia City. It was a hoot! First of all, you could look right out the cracks of the log building, as the chinking had fallen out who knows when. The window glass, grimy and stained, had to be the original glass back when the place was built. As we sat inside enjoying the great atmosphere, people walking down the street would press up against the glass, instantly causing their noses to disappear into their faces, shielding their eyes from the light, trying to peer inside and see what was in there. I got to waving at them, and everyone would laugh when they jumped back evidently feeling like "window peepers" to rush off down the street.
It turned out to be a high-end restaurant with excellent cuisine. Our friends ordered the baby back ribs, Mom ordered stuffed salmon and my friend Carolyn from Craig (whom I had coaxed into a vacation) and I ordered jumbo shrimp. The waiter brought out no, they weren't bibs for the barbecue ribs complete full-sized covers, and by the time he got them fitted onto our friends, only their heads were sticking out. That only increased the laughter. By this time, the other patrons in the restaurant realized we were having too much fun and started their own tables of laughter and even took photos of us. While we were waiting, the waiter brought us a specialty of the house called "Deep-Fried Pickles." Well, yes! We will try anything once! My mom picked one up and took a bite while the rest of us anxiously watched to see what her reaction would be.
Imagine if you will, the shock on her face and the insane laughter throughout the whole restaurant as we all watched the pickle shoot out of its lovely fried batter to go flying and bouncing around the table, ending on the floor under Mom's chair. From a state of mortification to when the full realization finally hit her as to what had just happened, she got into the spirit of things and also joined the laughter.
The waiter, with a very serious face, though I knew he wanted to run out in the back somewhere and laugh until he croaked, very calmly walked over, got down, retrieved the pickle, stood up and asked her, "Would you like me to go wash your pickle for you?"
They say laughter is good for digestion. I don't think we will have any stomach problems for quite some time. Oh, and incidentally, deep-fried pickles are delicious!