Postcards

Christmas Song

Yesterday as we rode in our car coming home from a mad dash to the mall for gifts… a version of this song came on the radio. After listening to it again for the uncountable time, I asked my wife this rhetorical question. “If you were asked your all-time favorite Christmas Song…

Steal Like An Artist, (I stole that)

This morning I got an email from our Chef-de-Cuisine, Jeffrey Brana. Last night I had sent him a ‘sketch’ of a dish I conjured up. ‘A Mexican Reunion’ Crispy Plantain Crusted Chicken Cutlet Oozy Slow Poached Hen Egg Fatty Chorizo Crumble Sharp/Sweet Rouille-like sauce w Pimenton Jeffrey is a very thoughtful man…

Thanksgiving and the Bean Kit

It was a woman. She was the one who gave me the gift. She was not gentle. But she was giving. And so it is on Thanksgiving that I want to pay respects to Betty Howard. She lived in Key West and was the Head, (and only) Breakfast Cook at The Pier…

Capote

Last night I watched the award winning movie, “Capote” for a while, trying to rally to watch the football game. I’d seen it before but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of the diminutive author is addictive. I reminisced on how the man for whom the movie was centered around and I shared two…

Truck Stop Nirvana

The big rig was somewhere to the west of me lumbering through the distance, marking its effort with the calisthenic, rhythmic moans of its job to haul its freight to some appointed dock elsewhere in America. The pitch of its sound starting with the crunching, metal thudding wrench of the gear box…

Homecoming Part Two

The dawn broke not long after I woke at The Hampton Inn just north of Mundelein, Illinois, our hometown. I looked out over the cloudy vista of dampened fields outside the hotel window. We showered and headed out. The day had come for the re-dedication of Mundelein High. It was 50 years…

Our Home Town Celebration

We flew up to our old home town of Mundelein, Illinois yesterday for a weekend of family and friends. The place we went to high school at is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the school’s opening…NOT my 50th reunion…the school’s. So there will be celebrants coming from across decades to be here….

Norman’s Orlando

It has now been over 8 years ago that I was asked to create a second “NORMAN’S”. But I can instantly recall how it all began… Some of the senior management from The Ritz-Carlton Companies were having dinner in my Coral Gables restaurant one evening back then and a rather tall gentleman…

OUTWARD BOUND

Our home is a jumble of boxes and things that won’t or have not yet fit into them. The roots of life and everyday living are dangling sideways, slumped on couches, leaning toward windows as if looking for the light they had so carefully known prior to the decision to go back…

Father’s Day

Grampa Van Aken I have read stories of negligent fathers in the past and one again this morning. Its heart-wrenching. I’ve read about the love sons and daughters sought but did not find. I had known of the hurt of a father’s lack of…well let’s just call it constancy. My dad was…

 
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