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Beyond pop culture's fascination with the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year of this century (or is it the twelfth year?) lies something a bit more profound.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the Year of Our Lord, 1918, Germany signed the armistice that ended The War To End All Wars.
Once it became abundantly clear that The War To End All Wars didn't, maybe it became imperative to distance ourselves from the past. What better way to do that than to honor those who served. As we do that, may we also remember the original reason this day of remembrance was set aside?
236 years ago at Tun Tavern, on the waterfront in the City of Brotherly Love, Uncle Sam's Misguided Children came squalling into this world. If you're in a bar fight, these boys is who you want at your back. Or maybe the IDF. But it ain't their birthday.
Wonder if they'll be serving any of this at the Marine Corps Ball come Saturday:
For the guys out there that still think of wine as a girly drink, get over it. The Norwegian version of 'cheers!' is skål, which means 'skull'. This goes back to the practice of Vikings drinking wine* out of the hollowed-out skulls of their enemies.
Sidebar: If Harry Truman had his way, there would be no Marine Corps. After what they did on Iwo? Can you imagine so little respect?
Tonight we celebrate the amalgam of Mezzo-American, Scots-Irish, and Catholic traditions that, when taken together, form the nucleus of what we modern Americans call Halloween.
The House Blond and her ASB cohorts put together a spiffy haunted house for the school carnival and dance. It was as well done as any at Knott's Scarey Farm.
Katie played the bride-murdered-at-the-altar in the wedding chapel well enough that some frightened ten year old girl smacked her in the face. That was a chapel, btw, and not a church. Not that the adviser cared, but he don't want no grief from upstairs, so it was a chapel. And no, kids, you can't paint room number 666 on the door of the haunted hotel room.
The Boy is off on some Halloween night adventure with his buds. TWC will be plunked by the bonfire in David's front yard handing out wine and candy. Hopefully, it will be candy I don't like. Meanwhile, the wymmin and the girls plan to ransack the neighborhood for a sugar fix.
The American revolution was born and raised in taverns and in the early days of the Republic serious business and political discourse was often conducted in taverns as well.
In the spring of 1787, the Grand Convention, which we moderns refer to as the Constitutional Convention, came to the State House in Philadelphia. By the beginning of a sweltering, humid summer, enough delegates had arrived to get at the business at hand, which initially didn't include drafting a new constitution.
George Washington presided and the delegates hammered on each other all summer long. Nearing the end of the process, on Friday the 14th of September, 1787, General Washington and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention adjourned to City Tavern at 138 S 2nd Street, Philadelphia, Pa, for some well deserved rest.
According to the bar tab they drank:
54 bottles of Madeira
60 bottles of Claret
8 bottles of whiskey
22 bottles of Porter
8 bottles of hard cider
7 bowls of punch so large that, it was said, ducks could swim around in them.
Oh? You did the math? Well, the servants and musicians drank the other 21 bottles of wine (billed separately).
55 delegates and 54 bottles of Madeira? Coincidence? I think not and I wonder which founder was the slacker? Certainly not Jefferson, he was in Paris.
18th Century Print: City Tavern (l) Bank of Pennsylvania (r)
If I did the math and conversions correctly, this was a $14,000.00 night of revelry. Roughly $250.00 per delegate in modern US monopoly money.
Please make a note that the Founders weren't drinking Pinot Grigio or Chard. They were drinking red wine, which is what all wine would be if it had a choice.
Still time to stand in line for a free slurpee. To honor Free Slurpee Day I'll go you one better:
That's right, it is 7:11 on 11/7 at 7-11. We didn't get any free slurpee, neither.
Photo Credit: Uncle Will, who not only noticed the time and place, but managed to scramble back to the car, pop the trunk, grab his camera, and take the picture. All in less than a minute. This store is on the North Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The monsoons swept through yesterday afternoon with cooling rain and a lightning show. By the showtime at Tubac, the temps had fallen from the mid-teens to the low seventies.
Seven bucks a carload and yes, bring your ice chests. No pat downs, no searches, yes you can bring your wine. Pocket knife? Sure. Easy parking, lots of space to spread out, no teeming masses crammed in shoulder-to-shoulder.
Lotta good tunes and, later, some patriotic stuff to accompany the fireworks show. Including this.....
If Ray don't touch your heart, you ain't an American.
The evening was only slightly diminished by the realization that there was no getting around the Border Patrol checkpoint. Left a little bit of a sour taste to be reminded that probable cause has become a meaningless concept in the relentless war on the Bill of Rights.
Sure, unlike the mile and a half line of cars baking in triple digits at the Yuma Border Patrol checkpoint on Sunday, this was a minor inconvenience. Still, had the Green Man decided he wanted a better look at whatever was inside the shell with tinted windows, it would have been more than an inconvenience.