Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Grandpa Nick Herak (pictured) passed away when I was a teenager. I never cried so hard. He was a cattle rancher and wheat farmer, and he and Grandma also had chickens, pigs, dairy cows, horses, and nine children. Grandpa loved sports, pinochle, and ice cream. He was a staunch Democrat and devout Catholic. Two weeks ago would have been his 99th birthday.

He was the sweetest guy there ever was. He would come to all my little league baseball games. Afterward he'd take me to Dairy Queen for a "Full Meal Deal"--hamburger, fries, soft drink, and a sundae. He encouraged me to believe that I could become a professional baseball player. The truth is he probably could've gone pro if he hadn't been tied to the farm.

Grandpa's parents came from Croatia. If there's one European country I truly want to visit, it's Croatia. I've even thought about calling myself "The C.R.O.A.T.: Countriest Rapper of All Time."

I'm proud that Roll Out, Cowboy's European festival debut took place last week in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. I hope that some of my distant cousins attended; I'd like to hear their reports.

I'm also pleased that Roll Out, Cowboy made its North Dakota debut at the Fargo Film Festival last week and WON top prize for Best Musical Score! Kudos to my musician cohorts--Shawn Parke, Jonah Carpenter, and Jeff Vezain--and also to director Elizabeth Lawrence and editor Elizabeth Ross for combining the music and footage so expertly.


Unknown said...

Hi Chris, Hana and Gilgamesh.

My girlfriend Nives and myself thought about writing you after we watched Roll ot, Cowboy at Zagreb Dox festival, and after we saw your post about your grandpa who was from Croatia, we could'nt pass and not to leave a word or two.

We liked the movie a lot, we were amazed at your way of thinking and your views on the world around you, because you live in very small town and population is lets say in their best years. This is a proof that thought doesn't have boundaries, only we people are making them.
Liked simple and modest way of living, and living in the moment, that is great stuff.

Then after the movie Nives googled, and found your blog, and sent me the adress. So we read a bit, and were really surprised to see that you like lot of stuff that we do like to. Like hiking, walking in the nature, you like dogs like we do(Gilgamesh is great name!!!!!), making stuff with your own hands, and Nives like Hana like vintage clothes, and she is sewing clothes for herself.
We both like to explore abandoned houses, so we're more like Hana in that part, ha ha.

Back to your movie, we do not know anyone with Herak surname so don't know any that is maybe related to you, but we can search if you have any more info?
The movie theater was almost full packed to last seat when Roll out Cowboy was viewed, we think that a lot of people had great time, laughed a lot for sure.

If you ever would plan to come to Croatia, Hana and yourself will have a place to sleep and a plate on the table, Gilgamesh also ;-)

Take care Mr Sandman, give our best to Hana and Gilgamesh, and if you would like to write us here's our adresses or

Bok(in Croatian sleng it means bye or hi)

Nives and Dubravko
Zagreb, Croatia

Chris Sand said...

thank you for this lovely letter dubravko and nives. you'll definitely be hearing from us!

Unknown said...

It was our pleasure.
We'll be waiting for your words in the mail box ;-)

Take care