Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is a filler post.

There is about to be an onslaught of folks checking The Store out......and we are all way to busy to deal with it.

I have some nice, kind posts not completely researched about brain food, Serendipity, etc......Maybe if the new people read this, they won't have the skills to read the last post when I think that I said that Sarah Palin wants to be raped by Jesus......

That might be bad for business.

Tomorrow, the Carmel Pine Cone reveals that Carmel folk have voted us "Best Caterer". We won the "Golden Pine Cone" award.

Xabi the Grandpuppy was very excited. He loves pine cones. He loves anything that looks like a bush. Note the small caps. During a break from his foto shoot for the Carmel Dog Calendar last year......while on a leash........he sprinted into Carmel Bay Company and grabbed a carved maple pine cone objet d'art off a low shelf near the door. The Store Ladies almost fainted. Luckily, he is a bird dog with a soft mouth, and the objet was unmarred.

I thought the best place for the "Golden Pine Cone" would be on the hood of the Store Jaguar. It could replace the original Jaguar that was snapped off at The Beach Club by angry Republican golfers when they saw my license plate frame: "My next plate will be made by Cheney and Bush."

That was 2003. I wonder if they could still muster the same emotion and energy now.

Turns out the award is just a piece of paper.

Oh, well......

Still.......We are actually excited about the award.

Jane and I first landed in Carmel in January of 1976. We had escaped Ithaca in the midst of long series of crushingly depressing snow storms. There was never enough snow to be pretty.....just enough to chill you to the bone in everything you did....and be visually chilling as well...turning the entire landscape into a grey frozen morass.

I had a job as chef at a famous place in St. Helena. When we arrived in Napa, it quickly became clear that there were no jobs for women....outside working in tasting rooms for crap wineries. We loaded our two Irish Setters in the stolen drive-away car I had welded a trailer hitch pull the stolen U-Haul trailer that held all our worldly goods.......and drove to Carmel. We had heard it was cute....and we needed cute.

Because of my built in homing pigeon Champange sensor....we found Nielsen's in a heartbeat. Nielsen's was still on Dolores Street, in the space that became a theatre......and now is probably a failed real estate office. It was quaint and old and had giant tall shelves....and some seriously good champagne chilled to a level that can only be measured in degrees Kelvin.

I have always embraced Champagne as a serious anti-depressant. The French told me so......and I was young and still believe it. The Six Day Bicycle Races in New York at the Old Madison Square Garden always used Champagne to pep up their riders. When I crashed my motorcycle in Burgundy, the hospital in Dijon gave each of its patients a half bottle of sparkling local wine at 10:30 and 4:30. Beats the hell out of Librium.....

Jane and I took our bottle of Billecart-Salmon down to the Beach. We let the dogs out of the stolen car.....and they just ripped it up. They ran all the way to Pebble Beach, to the eighth hole.....and raced back past us all the way to Carmel Point.

We sipped some Billecart, sitting in the perfect white sand......breathing in the negative ions from the gorgeous sea in front of us......and the dogs raced back past, heading back to the eight hole.

They did this a few times......we finished out bottle. I would be lying if I pretended that we bought only one......

As the sun set, it cast a golden glow that stripped away all the crap and stress of our awful semester at Cornell.....Jane working graveyard at the State Diner, me trying to work full time in a French restaurant and become a lawyer....the crazy trip across the country in the stolen car.....

The setting sun lit up our Irish Setters and turned them into molten bronze......we were frankly stunned. I never knew that light and metal and muscle, sinew and movement and joy could all meld into one hammer blow to the soul.

When the sun finally dipped below the horizon.....all the gathered locals (this was January of 1976, mind you....there were no tourists)....... broke into spontaneous applause.

I fell in love in a hearbeat. With Jane, my dogs.....the beach, and these funny people who were not too jaded to cheer something that they must see everyday.

I don't have Jane anymore.....but three fine sons we raised, and I have a dog that loves that beach as much as the Irish did thirty-two years ago.

And fills me with the same joy......and reminds that a part of me is till 26.

The Carmel Beach part.

And if Carmel votes us the best at anything........I am very happy and proud. I fell in love with Carmel in 1976....and it hasn't worn off. To the point that right now I am coming off a 20 hour day, working on Carmel Beach........

Thanks, you guys. You know and I know that we don't really deserve it.....but thanks for the props. I just hope that the old-school guys voted for us: Clayton and Linda Anderson, the Mayor, Stuart and Paula, the Boys, Ms. Livingston, the ladies at The Mission......

Oh.......and the other thing that hits tomorrow is: Monterey County Weekly decided I am the Rebel Chef. Randall Graham is the Rebel Winemaker.

Wow, proud to be in the same zone as Randall.


My friend Mark wrote the article.....Mark, along with Mary Brownfield of the Pine among the last Living Journalists Who Actually Do Their Homework. This can be good or bad...but it will be accurate. Mary and Mark actually interview people, and check facts, and make their own judgements and all that old-fashioned stuff.

And the photographer is a guy who battled Cal Poly SLO into a standstill because he wanted to study visual journalism instead of construction engineering. Only took him six years. If you know anything about Cal Poly...this is a story like the Somali Lost Boys.

Let me summarize the Weekly article. There were automatic weapons involved in the film shoot. At the Farmer's Market....

My only solace is that Tom and Laurie Coke were thoroughly amused by me posing with a Thompson chopper.....and their lemon basil.

Should be interesting.......


Blogger kathy said...

Congratulations Mikey!!!!

8:24 AM  

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