A Letter from Howdy

I have not seen many of you for over a month. To celebrate our new restaurant HOWDYS, I took my beautiful wife Linda to Lake Arrowhead for a well-deserved vacation celebrating our success and our anniversary. It was beautiful.  Blue skies, Blue water, No tourists, the Lake almost to ourselves.  We had a room overlooking the lake.  The water was glassy.  It was as romantic as can be.  Hiking, fishing for rainbow trout, picking mountain apples off the trees.  We were in heaven.  Our first vacation in 5 years.

And then I said, "Linda, when I was younger, I would water ski around the entire lake.  Those were the most fun days of my growing up!"  She said “great!”  I was so excited that I made arrangements for the next morning.

Next morning at 9am, there I was.  Booted into the slalom ski, life preserver wrapped, the old Chris Craft ready to go.

I shouted, "HIT IT". The engine roared.  But it was not quite the same. It was a little different than the old days.  I had an extra 30lbs around my waist.  I fell once.  I fell twice. I fell three times.  OK, I thought. Give me a second ski.  I toured the lake.  It was great.  Glassy blue water.  Linda shouting from the boat "Yeah, Howdy!"   I must admit, it was great.  I felt like a boy having the best time of my life.  I felt like a young athlete.  Got tired, day was over.  Linda was so proud.

But then came the challenge.  I could not sleep that night.  All I could think about was slalom skiing.  I told Linda skiing on two skis was like kissing my sister.  She said "Howd, you did great.  You looked great.  I am so proud of you."  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Thanks honey.  Glad you thought so.

Next morning, I woke up early and made reservations for the next morning.  I had to get up single slalom ski.  My name is Howdy.  I have been an athlete my entire life. Golf, tennis, horseback riding, you name it.   I am the oldest guy doing Cross Fit in Malibu.  I have to slalom and see the sparkle of the rooster tails and jump the wake.

Well there I am the next morning, behind the Chris Craft, waiting to shout, "HIT IT!"  I fell once, I fell twice, I fell three times.  Then, the fourth.  My entire back and body spasmed.  I wanted to cry.  After being lifted into the boat, in fact, I did cry.  The pain was too great.  The old memories felt like they were vanishing.  Those days of being indestructible.

So here I am, on October 31st, in my new, real Halloween Costume.  The real me. A passionate, romantic, 70-year-old guy waiting for surgery in 5 days.  After 60 days of not being able to walk, not being able to get through a day without meds, of not being with all of you my friends, family, and customers, and most of all, NOT being able to be with all my staff at HOWDY’S... My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.

Clearly, this has been a life lesson.  Linda had taken such great care of me.  I cannot take ten steps without excruciating pain and shouts, and even tears.  So here I am today, wanting to let all my friends, family, customers, my entire Howdy's Staff (especially Benji and Cristi) know that I will be back soon.  Improved menu, better veggies than ever, and Linda’s famous soups!

But most of all, a team that really loves our customers.

SONRISAS........P.S.  I will be 30 pounds lighter.


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