Photo by George Lauby
Brady Beauties, from left, Bonnie Jo Aubushon, Carolyn Seaton, Marjorie Miller, Nancy Anderson Fisher and Ruth Rayburn talk cooking Aug. 10 at A to Z Books in North Platte.
If the latest publication is any indication, the Brady Beauties are finally maturing.
Every year or two since 2005, the Beauties have issued a frolicking publication guaranteed to generate laughs and benefit a good cause.
This year, the light-hearted group of elder pranksters published a cookbook instead of the calendars that they put out in bygone years, which portrayed them on motorcycles or out behind the barn.
Their first calendar raised $9,000 for the Brady village library. It featured photos of five saucy cheerleaders and a trio of biker chicks, among other pictures.
Organizer Bonnie Glo Abushon, then 78, tossed out the idea of creating a calendar at a meeting of the Red Hat Society, a group with the sole purpose of enjoying life, no matter how the years stack up.
Their second calendar came out in 2008, with lots of biker babe photos. It benefited the Brady Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.
“We decided we are old and decrepit and we might need their help someday,” Aubushon quipped at the time.
Each of the first two calendars covered 18 months and sold for $30.
A shorter, year-long calendar in 2011 featured 12 spicy photos, one for each month, set in Old West scenes near Maxwell.
“We’re beautiful women, we should be out there fluffing it,” Aubushon told her friends.
In that calendar, the ladies bounced on horses, waved invitingly from a hay mow, attended a shotgun wedding and “catted” around the barn.
Aubushon said older women just want to be friends with one another, have fun and get things done.
“When you get to be our age, you want to do something worthwhile," she said. "We don’t want to sit at home and rock the rockers off the chair, we want to get going."
All photos for the calendar were taken at no charge by retired professional photographer Steve Anderson of Cozad.
This year, the more conventional cookbook is named Miles, Memories and Meals.
It came out in July and the first 250 copies are gone, leaving only 50, Abushon said Aug. 10 at a book signing in North Platte.
Recipes in the book span decades. There are recipes for appetizers, salads, side dishes, main courses and desserts. There is a 1939 recipe for barbequed raccoon and a 1900 recipe for sourdough starter, plus several from the 21st century.
There is also a World War II recipe for “how to cook a husband.” The first thing to be done is to catch him, the recipe says. Later, cover him with affection.
Historical home remedies for broken arms, burns, chest congestion, nosebleeds, wrinkles and hair loss are included.
To start the book, Gloria Marlin wrote an excellent history of the Lincoln Highway in conjunction with the 100th centennial of the highway. Abushon’s poems decorate several pages; so do some of the Burma Shave sayings that entertained motorists on fence posts along highways throughout the country until the early 1970s.
Copies of the cookbook are on sale at A to Z Books. This time the proceeds go to the Brady School Foundation.
In more normal times, the Beauties play bingo once a month... and joke around a lot.
"We have a ball," they said.
First published in the Aug. 14 print edition of the North Platte Bulletin.