Posted 10/6/21

Clem is Nona’s date for the big barn dance GRANDMA NONA WEEKLY ADVICE AND SO MUCH MORE! Nona: Do you have a date yet for the big barn dance? If you ain’t got one, I’m askin’! Clem in Colburn …

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Clem is Nona’s date for the big barn dance






Do you have a date yet for the big barn dance? If you ain’t got one, I’m askin’!

Clem in Colburn


You know I like your combover and everything, but when you took me for a drive in your convertible, those strands of hair you have dragged over your bald dome kept blowing in my face.

What are you thinking anyway? The bald look iis in these days. Look at all the babes Chrome Dome Kowalczyk is getting these days. He’s got half the single women in Lublin bringing him hot-dishes every week.

The barn dance is the height of the Lublin fall social season, so I know I’m going to have to scrounge up a date somewhere. I know I can always fall back on Piston Pete. He’s a real looker, and he’s too wrapped up in fixing cars to be thinking about other women anyway. Pete and I have a kind of an on-again, off-again thing going on. We date long enough for his hands to be just about free of grease, and then I dump him, and he turns his attention to carburetors.

I almost feel bad, because he doesn’t get on with his life. “Nona,” he told me. “These six cylinders are my life. They’re what make me happy.”

Sheesh, at least I know I won’t have to spend the $19.99 on an updo for the event. I’ll be able to get an extra value haircut, and that’ll cover it when you’re going out with Piston Pete. The high-end haircut – they call it the Gilman special at the beauty salon – is usually just $19.49 , but they jack it up around the time of special occasions, like for the barn dance or the potluck at the Polish church. All that money, and it’s still $2.20 extra if you want them to take the blue out of your hair. The price of beauty!

Men don’t know how good they have it. I’m in the chair for an hour, under the dryer for half the afternoon and out $20 bucks, and guys are recycling clothes from the bottom of the laundry hamper.

I’m still looking forward to the barn dance, if for nothing else to look at the beautiful gowns the women wear. The mayor, Weasel Smith, always drives up in a limousine. He’s got Speedbump Johnson, the guy who’s in charge of the roads, driving him around in this old jalopy that the mayor of Thorp turned in to the junkyard. Weasel thought that if a 1982 Chevette was good enough for the mayor of Thorp, it was good enough for him, too. Plus, it’s light enough that Speedbump can also push it, which he’s usually doing.

Oh, what the heck, Clem. I’ll go to the barn dance with you. Make sure you glue down the combover.

How about some cinnamon rolls? Here’s Nona’s favorite recipe for the sweet eats!


1-1/2 cup warn water 1/4 cup sugar 2 envelopes or 4 1/2 tsp. Yeast 1 T vegetable oil 1/2 tsp. Salt 3-1/2 cups four (approximately) 1 cup unsalted butter at noon temp. 2 T cinnamon 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup chopped beans if desired. 4 oz/ cream cheese (more or less) 1/2 cup butter 1 tsp. Vanilla 2 cups powdered sugar


1. Combine water and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 6 minutes.

2. Mix in oil and salt. Add enough flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough (I do all the above in a mixer.) 3. Turn out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.

4. Place dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

5. Combine 1 cup of sugar, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Beat together to blend into a soft paste.

6. Turn out the dough onto a work surface, do not punch down or overwork. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 16 X 10 inch rectangle. Spread with the butter mix — sprinkle with nuts if desired.

7. Roll up jelly-roll style to form a log. Cut into 12 equal pieces.

8. Arrange in a buttered 13 X 9 inch pan. (Or, put into 2 buttered 8 or 9 inch cake pans.) Don’t be afraid to crowd.

(You can cover with buttered plastic wrap, then seal in a zip lock back and freeze at this point. Simply set the rolls out the night before you plan to cook and allow them to thaw and rise.) 9. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until puffed, about 30 minutes.

10. Bake uncovered in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool. Spread with frosting.

11. To make frosting: Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light. Chill.