Being Cheese …
This is a tale about wine and cheese, not consuming them but being them. With the 21st annual Forks Chamber of Commerce Wine & Cheese event happening this weekend it is an appropriate time to remember this painful experience.
It was 1997 and Pat Soderlind and I were attending the weekly chamber meeting. It was announced that two individuals were needed to wear costumes to promote a chamber fund raiser called Wine & Cheese.
The costumes had been created the year before and organizers of the event thought it would be good advertising to have a bottle of wine and a wedge of cheese stand at the stoplight for the next two afternoons and wave at the traffic.
I whispered to Soderlind “Let’s do it” she said, “no” I said, “Come on, it will be fun,” she said, “OK.” We volunteered and were told the costumes would be delivered to us later that afternoon.
A few hours later the wine costume arrived at our office. “Where’s the cheese” I asked. We were told we would have to go to the chamber office to get it.
The wine bottle costume was too long for me, Soderlind was taller, so it was decided she would be wine and I would be cheese.
When we arrived at the chamber office we were directed upstairs for the cheese. Again I asked “where’s the cheese.” Directed to the corner of the room I saw a yellow end table with a lamp and magazines on it. It was the cheese, made of plywood and 2×4’s, it was wedge shaped and had head and arm holes.
The next day the time arrived for us to portray wine and cheese. Wine slipped her cloth costume on with ease. It took two people to put the cheese on me. It was heavy but it was only for a couple hours, I could do it.
We made our way to the stoplight and waved at the traffic for a while and then decided to take our show on the road. We went down the east side of Forks Avenue first, no problems.
Then “someone” had the bright idea that we go into Pay & Save Foods.
They sold wine and cheese, we were wine and cheese, wine made it through the automatic door first and then it was my turn. The back of my wedge became, well, wedged in the door, I was stuck. Wine was oblivious she was frolicking about the store.
Finally someone came to my rescue and pushed the back of my wedge and I was finally in the store. Wine had made the rounds and was ready to go.
I carefully rotated my wedge and left out the regular door. By now pain was shooting through my shoulders from the 2×4’s that were embedding themselves into my flesh.
We decided to head back to our office on Spartan Avenue. This entire time the front of my wedge had blocked where my feet were going and finally by the Raindrop Café (now Golden Gate) I tripped.
As I fell forward, my wedge pointing precariously toward the pavement, I caught my balance just before I became cream cheese. The next day I attempted to reprise my cheese roll but discovered that my black and blue shoulders could not take the pain so Soderlind became cheese and I was a short bottle of wine.
The wine and cheese costumes are long gone but the chamber wine and cheese event is going strong. In addition to a silent auction featuring tons of fabulous donated items, the chamber will present their volunteer, person and business of the year awards. This year’s event will take place from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the RAC, 35 N. Forks Ave. Admission is $20, raised go to support chamber programs and visitor center.