Dave Rahrman of Larson Allen stirred a new pot of beans before they were served at last year's Bean Hole Days.
As the lakes area celebrated our nation's Independence Day, not everyone was a flag-toting, sparkler-waving, fireworks-gazing American.
Instead, Bernice Rohde and Jeff Walden sat with furrowed brows and full-faced frowns because they had a problem of epic proportions on their hands.
Beans. Once again, they went missing at the most inopportune time.
It stinks, doesn't it?
If you recall, a popular lakes area event comes on the heels of Fourth of July celebrations each year. Yes, that would be Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes, of course.
This year's feast of secret recipe beans baked underground overnight, buns and beverage will be served starting at noon Wednesday, July 11, in Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes. Four hundred pounds of beans will be served steaming hot from the six cast iron pots Thor, Big Bertha, Ole, Sven, Lena and Baby Olga as each is unburied and raised from the coals.
But first, the event co-chairs had to find the 16 25-pound bags of navy beans. It's not just something you run out to Pequot Lakes Supervalu to buy on the spur of the moment.
Each year, those beans are shipped all the way from Central Bean Co. in Quincy, Washington, to Pequot Lakes.
But the cast iron pots can't be lowered onto hot coals Tuesday, July 10, and buried overnight without this most essential ingredient.
The beans had been shipped but disappeared from radar around Williston, North Dakota, site of the oil boom. Perhaps lakes area families working there wanted a taste of home? Finding a spot to bury the beans there might be tricky, and adding oil as a new ingredient seems a bit suspect.
Perhaps the beans floated down river after all the rain the lakes area received.
Or were they being smoked in the wildfires of Colorado?
Perhaps they were locked in a vault at Lakes State Bank right here in Pequot Lakes all this time.
No matter what, Rohde and Walden were right to be confident the lost beans would be found in plenty of time to serve to the long lines of people who will form as they do each year in Trailside Park for this annual delicacy.
The beans turned up in the recent heat wave, though no one will say how or where the shipment went astray.
In the meantime, Paul Bunyan misplaced his paddle and it needs to be found to stir the beans on Wednesday when the kettles are unburied. Visit www.pequotlakes.com at 9 a.m. Monday, June 9, for the first clue and do your part to find the paddle.
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