I’ve been thinking about meatloaf lately.
Of course, I’m talking about the comfort food, not the rock star.
For as long as I can remember eating it, I have loved the flavor of, the simplicity of and the pure comfort of my mom’s concoction of ground beef, saltine crackers, a fresh egg, a can of tomato soup and a little bit of salt and pepper.
Your mom may have put hers together differently, but what was that, four ingredients and a little seasoning? Add a bowl of mashed potatoes and you fed your family of six and maybe even somebody else’s kid who might have shown up at the dinner table.
But what I liked best is that it was just that: meatloaf.
Few ingredients and fewer words.
Perhaps the best piece of advice that I’ve ever taken as a writer is this: whenever choosing between a long word and a short word, chose the short word and then start looking for a shorterone. I give Ernest Hemingway credit for that advice without even knowing his feelings about meatloaf.
“It was meatloaf and I liked it,” I imagine him saying.
I’m not saying that I am anything close to Ernest Hemingway, but that certainly sounds Hemingway-ish to me. So I’m going to assume that we could have been on the same page, at least in what made our mouths water.
What I’m trying to say here is that I’m a pretty simple guy.
In a foodie-driven town that can’t decide if it should have more beer or more coffee, I’m sitting at the dinner table savoring my mother’s meatloaf.
In a world driven by iPhone, Android and whatever keeps us from making meaningful human contact with anybody else, I’m a landline home.
In a spandex, Under Armour, form-fitted and appearance-is-everything universe, I’m the machine-washable worn-out sweatshirt that you grab when you really want to get comfy.
I was born in a hospital in Frankfort in the 1950s and raised and educated in the shadows of the Sleeping Bear Dunes during the 1960s and 1970s. I performed the night audit at the Park Place Hotel for three years during the 1980s, and have owned and operated my own small business in Elk Rapids since 1992.
Watching northwest Lower Michigan and all of the characters that have shaped its most recent 50 years has been a lifelong passion of mine. Hopefully, you will come to find this column regularly in the coming months.
As you do, please consider it as one man’s paper towel and not as anybody’s soap box. My words are meant merely to soak up the thoughts as they spill from my mind to the printed page and not to put forth any sort of platform or agenda. There is another special section in this paper for those with the strong opinions.
In my capacity as neither a deep thinker nor an opinionator, I have, however, convinced myself that the things that interest me are often the things that interest most people.
I’m pretty sure that you’ll understand what I’m saying is that we’re all in this so-called life thing together and that if I can manage to find the humor in it, then you can too.
I think we’ll get along just fine. After all, who doesn’t like meatloaf?
Rob Ford was born and raised in northern Michigan. He lives in Elk Rapids where he owns and operates Riverside Title. He can be reached via email at Rob@Riversidetitle.org.