Making the Best of It
Thursday, August 24, 2006
BAD STUFF HAPPENS… Nature is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. You look at a pretty little bird chirping away, dipping its wings in a small puddle, seemingly just a frolicking bit of background decoration for all of us to admire, but at all moments of its life, that tiny bird nervously twitches in anticipation of some marauding predator making it its next meal.
Mind deadening religious dogma; fine-tuned, searing, hypnotic advertising; diluted, indifferent, redundant, irrelevant institutional education; and ethno-racial-cultural rituals notwithstanding, it is difficult to fully comprehend how we as humans fit into the whole mess. Historically, our behavior indicates we haven’t the foggiest notion.
So trying to explain some of the suffering we all eventually face becomes futile—inert particulate matter floating in a barrel of fermented human experience. Sometimes we need a filtering agent to clear up our muddled lives, like the bentonite clay that sinks through wine, carrying unwanted particles to the bottom of the barrel.
DO SOMETHING GOOD… Recently, another tragic accident occurred along the tortuously beautiful cliffs of Big Sur. Among the victims was young RYAN FIELD. LEFTY GLADSTONE, one of the great guys around here and a principal in the new Hula Hut in the Crossroads, sent me an e-mail with the following:
“Ryan Field was going to be a senior at Carmel High School this year. He was involved in track and field at the high school but his real passion was surfing. I talked to his mother today, she said she always knew her son was a good soul but was even surprised at how many people went to Carmel Beach on Sunday, Aug. 6 to pay their respects. Estimates put the turnout at around 1,000 people. He was one of those people that would go out of his way to help anyone. It was a beautiful ceremony that took from Hawaiian tradition where Ryan’s ashes were poured into the ocean surrounded by friends and family on surfboards. Then everyone dove into the ocean and through the ashes. The symbolism is that you would absorb part of him into your soul. Can really bring tears to just about anyone.
“JENNIFER FIELD, his mother, is a single parent who now has Jason, Ryan’s younger brother (one year younger, he’s taking it especially hard) and his little sister Caty, who just turned 13. She is having a hard time emotionally and monetarily at the moment. We hope this helps to ease her financial woes so she can focus on her emotional healing.”
What Lefty is hoping will help is a special day at Hula Hut, whereby 25 precent of the gross sales (that’s way more than the profit margin in restaurants my friends) on Saturday, Aug. 26 will be deposited directly into The Ryan Field Memorial Fund, First National Bank of the Central Coast, Carmel Rancho Branch, 26380 Carmel Rancho Lane, Carmel, CA 93922 (acct #0100334358).
Please do something to help Jennifer and her young children at least endure the financial burdens while they wrestle with the emotional grief. Send a donation to the fund or stop down to Hula Hut on Aug. 26.
TWO GOOD THINGS… Here’s something you may never have thought possible, but DAN and CHERYL WARNER, the Bonnie and Clyde of wholesale wine and spirits sales, are celebrating 30 years of marriage. How they’ve managed to remain life partners while competing in the highly stressful wine market is a testament to their quality as human beings. I say right on to them both.
My man JEFF MOSES is hitting it big with the Farmhouse Brewing Company. He’s the driving force behind this cool lineup of farmhouse style beers being brewed in Gilroy. They’ve got distribution in 38 states. They’ll be at the Monterey Beer Festival too…(Jeff partners with me in the Monterey Beer Festival—by the way, did I mention? It is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Fairgrounds from 12:30 to 5pm, montereybeerfestival.com, 373-2843.)
ONE BIG BUILDING PROJECT… I was talking to KEVIN PHILLIPS, the Dick Cheney of the JOHN PISTO administration, about the new hotel finally going in on Cannery Row. Kevin met the people behind it and says nice things about them. Apparently, the build out is scheduled for 20 months. It sounds like it’s going to be a pretty cool hotel, upscale with a 95-seat restaurant. Should ultimately bring some nice business down there.
TWO MORE GOOD THINGS… HUNTER LOWDER e-mailed me to let me know his family has taken over Holman Ranch and is returning everything back to its rightful state. Sounds like Carmel Valley is getting back one of its natural resources. Good luck to the Lowders and if you’ve got some questions or inquiries, give Hunter a call at 659-2640.
Go see KERRY WINSLOW at Bouchée wine shop. He’s there turning people on to all the high-end beauties under cork. You can also peer into the operation at boucheewines.com or call him at 626-7882. Speaking of Bouchée, I had a superior dining experience there the other night, all by myself, sitting at the bar. I really loved the ambiance, the style, the food, the wine. That place, under the directorship of GM CORBY “CAPONE” HAGEN and Chef de Cuisine CHRISTOPHER “BULLHORN” GORE, has really hit its stride right now, which I am sure is making DAVID “IL DUCE” FINK and WALTER “THE BIG MANZONI” MANZKE proud.
ONE MORE THING AND… “Last Fridays Wine Bar” at A Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row is 6-9pm on the last Friday of each month. Stop in for wine deals, live music (KEN RAUH and the Grape Stompers—just kidding) appetizers and more, email@example.com or 646-5446…Ciao.