EIGHTEEN Hundred & Thirty Eight was the date. The location, somewhere between New Hampshire and Canada. A very sparsely occupied area with the roughest of living. The inhabitants prefered to be left alone. Both countries thought it their territory.
A man pushes his wagon deep into the wilderness, looking for a place to set up trade. Far from the law, far from questions about his past. The wagon’s load? Two barrels of Jamaica rum, powder, lead, fabric, small housewares, a woman.
Mr. Lent captures the dirt, grease, and hardship as a first hand observer. The depth of his observations will transport the reader back to a time before electricity, automobiles, telephones. You will not notice they are missing. You will live in this world not so long ago when survival depended on your work and your neighbor.
Jeffrey Lent was born in Vermont and grew up there and in western New York State, on dairy farms powered mainly by draft horses. He lived for many years in North Carolina, an enriching and formative experience. Lent currently resides with his wife and two daughters in central Vermont. – Grove Atlantic
IN THE mid-50s, men still wore suspenders. One man with vision, thinking belt sales would eventually far exceed those of suspenders, had just sold his suspenders company and was walking along Chestnut Street near 8th, thinking. He was in the heart of Philadelphia’s vibrant Financial District, and he had a pocket full of money.
He’s offered a business deal in a chance encounter with an acquaintance, the purchase of a cable company in Tupelo, Mississippi. Knowing nothing about cable TV, he nevertheless purchased the company. His name is Ralph Roberts and his company became Comcast.
The Financial District is long gone, along with it’s NewYork-style diners. Change comes to everything, however. Renaissance is striking even this area of Philly. We are graced with a new eatery which makes an authentic Cubano Sandwich for nine bucks [comes with plantain chips]. Clean and shiny, visiting Rosa Blanca @ 707 Chestnut will be a pleasant and memorable experience.
Something a little more hearty? Try the Masitas de Puerco, a bowl of fried pork shoulder and other very tasty stuff. The side salad is strongly recommended. Fantastic blending of flavors!
It will be very east to over-order in this place. On a date? Stick with one entry and one sandwich and share. You may still need a take-away box.
In honor of President’s Day,
Surefire offers free ground shipping this weekend.
Remember the American Toolbox post about a great headlamp? The batteries that it uses, the CR123, can be bought this weekend direct from the manufacturer with free shipping. A great value just made better! 10-year shelf-life. Made in U.S.A.
την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας
IN 1925, a builder constructed a row of attached brick homes on farmland outside Philadelphia, across from a new high school. In time, sidewalks were added. Travel forward to the year 2014. I am standing on the same sidewalk, in front of my home, contemplating the approaching nor’easter. 10″ of snow is due to begin falling at midnight. My neighbor’s shovel, borrowed by me since time immemorial, was stolen off his front porch a week ago. A hanging crime in these parts.
Selected was a mid-level product, suitable for home owners and perhaps even contractors. 18″ wide, all aluminum, heavy-duty riveted steel wear strip. Roomy handle for gloved hands. About $20 at The Home Depot.
NOTHING adopts a personality of owner as nicely as decent leather wear. Your first thought is a pair of shoes or a belt, perhaps. But today we’re talking about a guitar strap from Bitterroot Guitars!
Yep, who would have thought! Usually one purchases a padded nylon fake-embroidered strap to go with their new guitar. What else does the music store stock, anyway? It’s all economics, and Jake the Snake doesn’t want to tie up his crisp Yankee dollars on a display rack.
After playing my new acoustic for a few months, it became clear a guitar strap was necessary to keep up with my bluegrass buddies. I wanted leather. I wanted USA production. A little post-internet investigation turned up a great online seller, Bitterroot Guitars.
The strap was promptly delivered, smelling tannery-fresh! Perfect execution! At the time of purchase, the year 2013, the cost was about $17 delivered. Bargain to boot!
PHILIP R Craig, I’ve never met. Yet I feel a kindred, a bond, with one of Craig’s best buddies. Craig was an American writer who, among other accomplishments, produced 20 mystery novels set on Martha’s Vineyard. The star of the series was J.W. Jackson, retired cop-turned-fisherman, who lived a simple life but got caught up in some complicated situations. I’ve lived vicariously through Phil’s writings, for which I will be forever grateful.
J.W. loved to fish. What he didn’t sell or give to the needy, he ate or smoked to eat later. J.W. made, and consumed daily, his own smoked bluefish paté, on sandwiches and among cocktail nibbles up on the balcony.
J.W.’s recipe was reproduced on the flap of one of the books, and, I’m told, is listed within the collection of J.W. Jackson’s recipes in the book Delish, by Shirley Prada Craig.
Smoked Bluefish Paté
5-6 ounces shredded smoked bluefish *
8 ounces whipped cream cheese **
½ tablespoon finely diced red onion (more, please)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dash of Worcestershire sauce if desired
* Trout works fine. Bet any good smoked fish would do.
** Package of cream cheese, softened, in the mixer with a little milk or sour cream.