I took a mid-afternoon break from my table in the Author’s Corner at the Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota. I walked over to Copenhagen Hall to have my Hostfest fix of Williams and Ree. They have always been my favorite act here, with their irreverent comedy and good music.
Earlier in the day, I introduced myself to Terry Ree as he walked by my signing table. I had sent Keep On Rolling! Life on the Lefse Trail and Learning to Get a Round to his agent, and he immediately recalled getting the book in the mail. We laughed about their participation in the Lefse Masters Celebrity Competition in 2016 and my interview with Bruce Williams, which is in Keep On Rolling!
After their 2:15 p.m. show, Williams and Ree signed CDs and whatnot in the music store in Copenhagen Hall. I introduced myself to Williams; we had done the interview for the book over the phone. He had not yet seen the book but said he would check with Ree, who had. I signed a copy of “Keep On Rollin’”and gave it to him, laughing that he was under no obligation to work the song into their act.
I had to get back to Helsinki Hall for my little 4 p.m. gig. All of the authors speak about their books at a set time each day, and the times are listed in the Hostfest program just like the big-name entertainers. Cool! I talked about scenes or characters from my books, and I sang two lefse songs from my books: “Keep On Rollin’” and “Iss Called Lefse for a Purpose,” a song about overcoming perfectionism in order to make good lefse.
The first day I sang “Keep On Rollin’”, I butchered it, missing words at page turns, feeling the stage fright, and wondering how a lefse song, of all things, would fly. But each day was better, proving that when you bump up against some bad stuff, you “keep the faith, oh give thanks, and you’ll be fine,” as the lyrics say. And I was heartened when several people returned to the table a day or two after hearing the song and said the tune just stuck with them throughout their day.
That’s ending the Norsk Hostfest on a good note!