Dear Shirley,

I'm just back from another whirlwind trip to New York City. I was invited back to the Anderson Cooper show. And I had coffee with Tony Bourdain, the famed chef. He has proposed doing a book with me, and I am on cloud nine.

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You might think I am making this up, Shirley. But I swear on a stack of Bibles it is true. I have not gone off the deep end. I am not hallucinating.

It really happened. And Tony Bourdain posted a twitter Tuesday saying, "Met with Marilyn Hagerty today. An impressive very sharp and strong person. Proud to be publishing her. She promised to teach me bridge."

Yep, he wants to play bridge. He only knows how to play poker. I invited him out here to Grand Forks to meet with my bridge club. Wouldn't that be a hoot? When I told Anderson about it, he seemed interested in learning bridge. I said we could work with both Anderson and Tony Bourdain.

Anderson suggested getting recommendations from people around the country where I could go and do my Grand Forks Herald Eatbeats. Wouldn't that be fun!

Time will tell!

Those bloggers who made light of my Eatbeats certainly did me a favor. They opened the floodgates for kind people who do not like to see critics make hash out of somebody in the Midwest. Especially someone who is as old as the Queen of England! It isn't all bad to go viral -- no matter what the reason.

It's a beautiful flight out of New York in late afternoon. Over the Great Lakes we went. And on to the glittering lights of Minneapolis-St. Paul. I had a short time to catch the last flight home Tuesday night. I almost had a stroke racing to make it to A5 gate from the very distant part of the airport. Then I saw one of those guys with an empty electric cart. I jumped on and told the driver to get the lead out. You know, "Floor it, Jethro."

It was a mighty chilly walk from the Grand Forks airport terminal to my car in the parking lot late Tuesday night. I didn't drag a coat or jacket along with me to New York.

I got home in time to see what all is going on in Grand Forks this week. The Circle of Friends Humane Society is having its annual "Raise Your Paws for Pets" auction and dinner tonight at the Alerus Center. It helps, Shirley, to raise this money. I guess the shelter accepts 2,000 stray animals each year.

And the Norwegians are also kicking up their heels this evening. They have a lapskaus stew dinner and meeting. Then they will all wipe their chins with their napkins and go out to the Chester Fritz for the Great Conversation with Ann Bancroft, a famed polar explorer of this more modern age.

Do you know what lapskaus is, Shirley? I was reading it can be anything from a watery soup to a thick stew. I guess potatoes are the base with a combination of vegetables and meat. They say it can be "an original masterpiece."

How are things in Tucson? Do you get out to any of the restaurants we used to visit when I would come down there? I remember you had your favorites, but I can't remember what they are.

Love from your sister Marilyn watching the buds show up on the apple tree outside my window.

P.S. The most fun of all this viral business is sharing it with readers around Grand Forks. They, after all, are the people who matter most. I was really pleased when Shiela Rabe of the Towner County Record Herald at Cando, N.D., asked for an interview. She came over and took a picture of me and the dachshund Dot.Com.

Shiela and her husband Bruce used to run the Cando Bakery, but they gave up on that. Not enough business. Now she writes for the Record with birding and quilting columns as well as recipes and features. And he has been a school cook. Where there is a will, there's a way, Shirley.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or at (701) 772-1055.