Weekends were made … to be like this


FROM THE LEFT: Gordon Holmes, Mike Whitehall, Bill VanAtta (in the back on the drums even though you can’t see him), Barry Beranek, Steve Young and Joel Smyers — otherwise known as the Creepin’ Charlies — perform at Ardon Creek Vineyard & Winery in Letts, Iowa. 

Just when it seemed as if the weekend couldn’t get any better, it did Sunday at Ardon Creek Vineyard & Winery followed up with a bonfire and impromptu potluck supper at the home of good friend, Dave Cooney. 

Anyone who wasn’t there missed a great time. 

I biked the 12 miles from Muscatine to the winery with biking buddy, Marnee Acker. We met up with Cooney, Carol Ward, Nanci Ellis and some others who had hauled their bikes to the winery and rode about 30 miles before returning to listen to the band, drink wine and eat some of the food that everyone brought. Nancy — the one who has to put up with me all of the time — drove out and joined us. It was a beautiful day for a ride. I’m glad I rolled out the bike and road a few miles. And an added plus: Madonna Novak’s homemade pickles. Mmmmm good. 

Steve Garvin gives a tour at the winery.

For those who think Muscatine comes up short when it comes to cool, my advice is to try the winery the next time its owners, Mike and Diane Furlong, line up a band. I’ve been there twice this fall and had a great time.  It’s a really neat and scenic spot in a rolling-Iowa-hills  kind of way. And while I’m more of a cold-and-cheep-beer kind of guy, I even like the wine. 

The same group of friends ended up at Cooney’s, where we ate BLT sandwiches, hot dogs cooked over the fire, grilled eggplant, Nanci’s really good potatoes, yellow squash, tomatoes and topped it all off with roasted marshmallows. 

When I was a kid, this was a popular commercial and jingle. But this was way better than a Michelob weekend — one that I won’t forget for a while. It’s too bad the rest of you missed it.

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