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I have been talking about restaurants and my long time affiliation with a coffee club and have decided I was not quite finished with that topic.

I mentioned when we first came to town it seemed the only "fancy" restaurant in the area was the Holiday Motor Lodge in Clear Lake. Going there was a Saturday night event and I recall the food being excellent. I also recall on Saturday nights they frequently had entertainment.

One particular Saturday evening I remember they had a hypnotist there and whether it was pure coincidence or I was "set up" by a "friend," I do not know but I was called to the stage with four or five other individuals with the idea we were the guinea pigs and we would be hypnotized.

I recall all the others apparently were hypnotized as they were doing and saying some pretty crazy things as prompted by the hypnotist. But apparently, I was non-hypnotizable and he eventually gave up and just had me sit down. I was actually kind of disappointed I could not be put under his "magic spell!"

Other great restaurants I recall from that era or possibly a few years later, include the Ritz in Clear Lake, the Chart House, Costa's and the Pheasant Run in Mason City, and the Colony and Rich's Muskie Lounge in Ventura.

The Ritz was unique in that you could approach either by car or boat. You picked your own meat or fish when you entered the restaurant and it was virtually a requirement you get an order of the Ritz's famous onion rings (the onion rings at PM Park are supposedly from the same recipe and they are excellent).

My impression was the Chart House was located in an old warehouse, but if the ambience was lacking, the steaks were excellent and often times there we were able to enjoy Hobb Mason playing the piano.

I revert back to Forest City when Dick and Delores Larson managed the restaurant at the Forest City Country Club.

Delores was an excellent cook, who always came up with delicious noon specials, as well as an excellent dinner fare. Pies were her specialty and she made every conceivable type.

Our friend, Ron Hansen, always ordered pie and ate it before anything else using the understandable logic he didn't want to risk getting too full to eat the pie. For years Joan and I had a standing date for lunch at the Country Club on Fridays. I believe many other couples did the same as it was always packed. And the Country Club was always busy on Friday and Saturday evenings. The thing we loved the most about it was if you went there alone you always ended up sitting with friends or soon-to-be friends.

Forest City was bustling at that time and I could provide a countless list of various-aged people we got to know. Many have passed or moved away but there are quite a number of us who have "weathered it all."

When we get together, the stories abound and no doubt improve/enhance with age.

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