Why Celebrate Today? July 9, 2011

I grew up in a Lexington in which air-conditioning was not universal. In the summers, the windows in our neighborhood would stay open unless it rained. We would be out in our yards or our neighbors’ all day and well into the late evening. We could hear each other laughing…and crying and living.

We would cook and eat outside at our backyard grills and picnic tables. It was not “cool”: it was cooler.

Most of the time, it was just our family at our outdoor meals, but if other folks happened to be around, they could join us.

I have warm memories of, but I’m not longing for a return to those very warm times. I think air-conditioning is a mighty fine thing! However, I have been recently reminded of those backyard meals. A friend has begun to have what she calls “sustainable suppers” in her backyard. She cooks an entrée and invites her friends to bring dishes and join her for an evening outside featuring local food and wine.

We break bread together and reconnect in way that has little to do with a multi-tasking world. Wine and stories flow. The wine is true and the stories occasionally approach truth. The company and the pace is sterling.

Janie was up early this morning to get eggplant from the Farmer’s Market for her contribution to tonight’s event; eggplant parmesan. I’ll be taking a couple of bottles of Kentucky wine made by my friends Lowell Land (Richmond) and Allen Dossey (Paducah).

I will “listen” real hard to the food, the wine and the most excellent company.

You may now envy me if you wish.

What are we
celebrating today?

– It’s a big day for writers of scary books. It’s the birthday of Gothic writers; Ann Radcliffe (1764) and Matthew “Monk” Lewis (1775). It’s also the birthday of modern Gothic writers; Thomas Ligotti (1953) and Dean Koontz (1945). Be afraid!

– On this day in 1962, Andy Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Cans” exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Perhaps if he’d had a bigger breakfast…

– It’s also the birthday of actors; Richard Roundtree (1942), Brian Dennehy (1938) and Tom Hanks (1956).

– And it’s the birthday of composer Ottorino Respighi. Yes, I might be “pining” for Rome. Sigh.

But our Cocktail 4 2day will commemorate swimmer Johnny Weissmuller.

On this day in 1922 Mr. Weissmuller swam the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds, breaking the world record AND the “minute barrier”.

Thus, our Cocktail 4 2day is;

Tarzan Cocktail

¾ oz. Amarula Liqueur

1 oz. Ron Diaz Gold Rum

¾ oz. Crème de Banana


Build over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Cheers…and Kreegah! Bundolo! (whatever that means in ape talk)


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