On the plus side, it smells good in here.

Dear Feastlings,
I’ve done pretty well overall at putting it out of my head. Partly because we’re getting used to this new normal, and partly because I’ve been taken to task for sounding like I’m whining in the emails I write, though invariably from someone who hasn’t watched their life’s work cut from beneath them.
I don’t say it to be a drama queen; one of my biggest concerns with the combination of pandemic, social unrest and natural disaster is that each of us is so steeped in our own personal amalgam of fear and stress that we can’t always lift ourselves high enough to get a bird’s-eye view of humanity and see that each of us is going through a different struggle. As of right now, I, gratefully, can’t understand how it feels to lose a loved one to COVID-19. The person that does perhaps has no idea what it’s like to be thrown to the ground and handcuffed for jaywalking. That person doesn’t know what it’s like to be evacuated as a fire moves closer to his home, and the person who does has no idea what it feels like to have her income fall by 80%, or to find herself on the phone for days trying to get unemployment.
I made the mistake of reading an article in the Atlantic today¬†and it made me wonder if I have the energy to recreate Feast after creating it once, and already re-creating it twice as it’s grown. I know I’ll wake up tomorrow with the article far enough behind me that I can envision the changes we can make to get through this, and maybe to come back a more interesting restaurant than we have been thus far, but today I’ve read an article that’s made me envision 2022 as the year that we have Jimmy John’s and the Olive Garden and Applebee’s to choose from, and people like me, or John Martinez at Tito & Pep, or Jeff and Murph at KingFisher, find ourselves working in, I don’t know, insurance? And working alongside our friends and colleagues who until this summer worked in the wine and spirits industry, or produce, or linens, or small farms and ranches, or restaurant supply, or commercial real estate.

There’s no doubt in my mind that today’s just one day and if I stop catastrophizing, I’ll have a good attitude tomorrow and Feast will get through it. And if I’m supremely lucky, we’ll do it without any more of those emails from someone who’s lucky enough to have remained gainfully employed throughout the pandemic. I don’t have a lot of patience for those. I will say this: in spite of sounding more than a little forlorn today, it’s truly not sympathy that I’m after so much as 4500 pair of ears to listen while I vent, and more importantly 4500 hundred sets of fingers to tap a few keystrokes at this website in support of passing legislation that will help support independent restaurants, who, the article points out, employs fifteen million people.

It took me about 35 seconds to do it, and I hope you’ll consider it. Maybe you’ll even put a link on your social media. And, fiscally conservative as you may be, let’s remember that while restaurants have their hands out right now, restaurants are the first place people come when they’re looking for that raffle prize for their fundraiser, or a sponsorship for the soccer team, or a special deal on a place to hold that board meeting. One hand washes the other, and adding your voice could help slow the ripple effect that will eventually reach far beyond restaurants and the people who immediately supply them.
And as I step down of the soapbox and put it away for another time, undoubtedly not as far in the future as you or I would like, I’ll dash off the bits I want to remind you of for the next few days: first, tomorrow’s wine tasting happens on zoom at 2:00 pm and you still have plenty of time to pick up samples. Details are here.

Next, today is the last day to order food from the special Father’s Day menu, so whether you’re a dad or not, you’re invited to partake, but you’ll want to get your order in by 7:30 tonight.

After that comes the Bonfires of San Juan, for which you’ll need to order by tomorrow evening.

And finally, hot on its heels is our donation run to an assortment of animal shelters and adoption agencies on Wednesday, and if you’re keen to donate a meal or two, so are we.

There’ll be 230 meals going out, of which we’ll be donating 44, and I’m still working on a way to get meals to those firefighters on the next donation run. I’m hoping to work something out with the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation, and I’ll keep you posted as to my progress.
There’ll be more next week- donations to either firefighters or the hospital workers that are facing a rapid increase in new COVID patients, as well as delivery runs to outlying neighborhoods again- meals heading out to the communities in the northwest on Saturday, June 27, and to the south and southeast on Sunday the 28th. You’ll find more on those soon on the website, when I’m feeling chipper again tomorrow. Don’t let me read the news between now and then.

Your mopey friend who’ll be fine tomorrow,

Doug

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