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Getting to know Joe Nundahl

Spending an hour with my friend Joe Nundahl was a perfect way to pass this quiet Sunday afternoon.

Joe was born in Perham in 1962 to Bud and Cecelia Nundahl. Bud worked at various jobs in the Perham and Detroit Lakes post offices.

Joe was 18 years old when he began a career of working in several area restaurants, including Perkins pancake house. He has worked as a dish washer and also as a cook.

Joe likes to cook. When he worked at the Eagles Restaurant in New York Mills for four years, his specialty was big delicious caramel and cinnamon rolls, made from scratch -- a fresh batch every morning.

Customers came early to enjoy Joe's rolls with coffee. Other times he had chicken and ham dinners on Saturday and great smorgasbord dinners on Sundays.

Then Joe decided he wanted more education and enrolled in the Wadena Technical College to learn to service cable TVs. A car accident that landed him in the hospital put an end to that plan.

Working in a Brainerd tackle shop came next. During these years he did other things he wanted to accomplish as well.

Joe has been a crew leader at Fair Oaks Apartments for 16 years. Here he superintends the job with four workers. We who live in the apartment, can attest to the fine job Joe's crew does. He gets many compliments.

Joe owns a home in Verndale where he raises a fine garden each year. A fun project was restoring a 1929 Model A Ford. The very worst place he ever lived was in an old house full of cockroaches. Well, I can tell you that he did not live there any longer than it took to move out again.

Joe enjoys his dog, Scooby Doo. He likes to watch "The Price Is Right" and takes in a show in Brainerd now and then. He likes rock music and absolutely hates drunks.

Little items he recalls about cooking was the time he was cooking in the Eagles Cafe and had an order for 20 gallons of chili. Then there was the time a guy brought in a big turtle to make soup.

Did Joe make soup? Yes, but never again, because that old boy had too many bones. Would you believe that a turtle needs 61 bones just to hold its shell up?

Turtles can live 150 years under right conditions. Big ones, called leathernecks, can weigh 1,800 pounds and be 10 feet across the shell, which is actually very sensitive and can feel pain.

Joe is spending time under our big roof while back surgery heals.