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Brother Bud and The Sliders…A Miserly Meal…

Story ID:8905
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:2013
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Brother Bud and The Sliders…A Miserly Meal…
By Chuck Dishno
May 2013

I have written before about my two half-brothers Shad and Bud Meiser. They were 12 and 10 years older than me and I loved them dearly even though they were as different as day and night. Shad had dark hair and completion while Bud was blonde and fair. Shad was the extravagant one who spent all his money as fast as he accumulated it and Bud said he had to live up to his last name, Meiser and saved every penny he earned. I’m not saying that that is a bad way to be but I fell in between the two.

Brother Bud was not just frugal but as we all said, “He was so tight he squeaked” and it carried on all his life influencing his entire family. I could go on and on about him but one story sticks out in the mind of Roz and I both.

Roz and I had been married about a year and we decided to visit Bud at his home in Albany, Oregon. Bud loved water sports and had recently gotten into sailing. In Bud’s own words, “I like sailing because the wind is free.” Bud had even built his own sailboat from a kit and was anxious to show off his new hobby.

We arrived at his home on a Saturday morning just in time for lunch. His wife, Beulah, said she had just thawed out a pound of hamburger and would make us each a sandwich. While she was preparing lunch, Bud took me out to his garage to show off his home built sailboat. It was great and even though small it could easily hold 4 adults. I liked what I saw and complimented him on his work. About this time, Beulah called us in for lunch.

We each ate our hamburger and although they were small they filled the bill. Bud then had an idea and suggested that we go out to Fern Reservoir to try out his new boat. Even though Roz and I were tired we agreed. Beulah said she would put together a picnic dinner and invite their daughter and her husband, Steve, to join us at the lake.

After Roz and I rested for a while Bud loaded up his charcoal grill and we were soon off to Fern Reservoir. On the way over there, Beulah told Bud to stop at a grocery store and get some hamburger buns. I volunteered to go into the store and get them. Being the good guy I am, with my frugal brother in mind I picked out the lowest price buns I could find. These were just regular size buns, but when I got back to the car, Beulah said they would be just fine but might be a little large. Not knowing what she was referring to, I just shrugged it off and we were on our way.

When we arrived at the lake, Bud put his boat into the water and wanted to take Roz and I for a ride. Roz declined it was getting hot with the sun beating down and very little wind. She didn’t want to get becalmed in a small boat besides water sports were not her favorite. I didn’t blame her and wasn’t too sure myself but Bud assured me that all would go well and he was a good sailor albeit a new one. I guess Bud was a little nervous and as soon as we shoved off and had the sail up, the boat began to go sideways. Bud started to panic when someone on the dock reminded him to lower the centerboard. As soon as he had done that the boat came to life and began to skim along at a pretty good clip. I relaxed and began to enjoy the ride. I was proud of my brother Bud and his newfound sport.

We had been out about a half-hour and in the middle of Fern Lake when the wind suddenly stopped. Bud said not to worry as it often did that and would soon pick back up. Well, it didn’t and we were bobbing along getting hotter and hotter. I asked Bud why he didn’t start up the small outboard motor and get us back or at least where we could find some wind. Frugal old Bud, said he hated to use that motor and waste the gas. I was roasting, and said, “To heck with the gas, I will buy you a gallon when we get home.” Bud agreed but not after saying that he hoped it had enough gas in it because he hadn’t check it for about a year. It all worked out well for both of us because we had no sooner gotten under way, when the wind picked up and we were soon sailing again. I insisted that we head back to the dock so I could get something cool in my dehydrated body.

After we got back to the picnic area, Beulah told Bud he should get the charcoal in the barbecue lit as Sharon would soon be there and we would have dinner.

Bud then, tried to get the charcoal to burn but admitted that he had put it out the weekend before with water since he couldn’t see wasting all those good bricks. Needless to say, they were very damp and no matter how much lighter fluid he squirted on them they refused to glow. About that time, Sharon and Steve showed up. Bud told her to go over to the next camp and ask if she could borrow some of their fluid. By the time she returned with a half filled can of lighter fluid, Beulah was ready to put the burgers on the grill. I heard her say, “Oh my, I guess I should have brought more hamburger.” Roz couldn’t believe what she saw. Beulah had made 6 more burgers out of the original pound of meat that she had leftover from lunch…wow, 10 burgers out of one pound of hamburger meat!

The hamburgers were so small they kept breaking up and wanting to fall thru the grill, but they cooked just fine with all the flames from the lighter fluid. Who cares if they had the hint of petroleum to them? They were by far, the smallest hamburgers I had ever seen, about the size of a silver dollar. I guess I should have bought smaller hamburger buns. All in all the meal was great with lots of potato salad and chips.

In thinking back, I think my brother missed the opportunity to patent the first “sliders”. I can see the advertising now, saying, “Bud’s Miserly Sliders, Made from pure hamburger with the delightful taste of lighter fluid. Just like you would make at home.”

Shad and I loved to kid our brother and he took it all in stride, saying, “Hey, I am just trying to live up to my name.” Well he succeeded beyond all our expiations.

Bud never changed and lived into his eighties being frugal (tight) the rest of his life. He has gone to Heaven now. Bud was a Nazarene, which is probably good. If he had been a Catholic, and Saint Peter told him he would have to say 10 Hail Mary’s to pass through the Pearly Gates, Bud would have surely tried make a counter offer and ask if he could get in with only saying eight.

I love you brother Bud, and look forward to meeting up with you again when I get through those Pearly Gates. I will keep my nose sniffing for the faint smell of charcoal lighter fluid and hope for a slight breeze to get us from one cloud to another.