It takes time to like lutefisk

In response to Nickolas Butler’s March 2 article about being exposed to lutefisk for the first time, I second his contention that you need to reach out and try new traditions with an open mind. I, too, needed to try lutefisk more than once to really love it.

Our beautiful country church is located six miles north of Cadott. We have been hosting a lutefisk dinner the same Sunday every year for the last 90-some years. Our spread sounds pretty similar to your experience, with the exception of a good choice of Norwegian sweets in lieu of the pie.

Selling tickets for the last 40 years has given me a chance to visit with the diners and find out a little background. We have people drive in from hours away, and many boyfriends and girlfriends (including my own) have had to pass this test to become fiances.

So my offer to you, Mr. Butler, is to drop by Big Drywood on the third Sunday in October when you are ready for that important second helping. I’ll have two free tickets waiting with your name on them. I know I haven’t missed a dinner since 1930 when I was born, and just last year I remarked to my wife that I really was starting to love the stuff.

P.S. Several years ago when we traveled to Norway, we had a chance to talk to some fishermen who were hanging their cod catch out to dry. They explained that they couldn’t afford to keep and sell lutefisk in Norway, as the demand was too great for it in the states.

Wayne Danielson



Recently, during one of our periods of frigid weather, I was bundled up and driving when I noticed my emergency lights were flashing. Looking everywhere for signs and knobs, I could not locate where to turn off those lights.

Fortunately, a few blocks ahead was a car dealer and, once there, a helpful salesman came out to my car and turned off the lights, saying on the dashboard was a red triangle outlined with thin red lines. I had never spotted it. My dashboard, to me, was a solid dark color.

I was born with a birth defect; I cannot perceive color the way most of you can, especially reds and greens, which is an affliction bothering roughly 10 percent of all adult men who drive cars. I once drove at the speed limit through a four-way stop at the intersection of two state highways surrounded on at least three sides by cornfields. When the horror-stricken other three in the car asked if I hadn’t seen the stop sign, I’m guessing the correct answer would have been “no!”

As a federally licensed bird bander, a male cardinal in my hands is conspicuous, but in the shrubbery at the back of my yard he is just a dark bird and, unless he raised his crest, I couldn’t tell you he was a cardinal. In our state, deer hunters must wear a blaze color in the woods because the DNR determined that 10 percent of male hunters in the woods couldn’t see the traditional red-checkered jackets hunters used to wear. For safety reasons it is now illegal to not wear those fluorescent colors, which allows deer hunters to be easily seen by others.

Yet stop signs are still traditionally red. My students would have asked, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

August Wirkus

Eau Claire