All business up front; party in the back.

Dear Feastlings,
The subject line today is not only one of my favorite descriptions of a mullet haircut (aside, of course, from “Kentucky waterfall,”) but also appropriate to today’s email. The business up front:

Today’s wine tasting, for which you can still come pick up samples, starts on Zoom at 2:00,

Little sister

and if you want the ease of logging in directly from this email, here’s the link but also the info, if you’re more of a Luddite and prefer to enter the meeting number and the passcode. It’ll be a good one, I do believe.

Doug Levy is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Little sister
Time: Sep 18, 2021 02:00 PM Arizona

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 846 8913 9714
Passcode: 910287

The party in the back? I wouldn’t call it a party so much, as a moment to honor a very dear friend. Over the years, many of you, and all of us, came to know a couple who joined us at Feast a lot. In their heyday, they literally had a standing reservation every night, and they’d call us to let us know when they’d be adding guests or canceling. They became our family and we became theirs, and I’ll say this: I love my family dearly, and they, sometimes perforce, I think, love me, but when you choose people to add to your family, that means something special.

One of these two kind and gentle men, together for sixty years, went into hospice care a few weeks ago and won’t be with us much longer, and the other passed away this week, and while we’re all grateful that neither will be alone for long, we’ve all been looking at each other and welling up for the past couple of days. As for me, I’ll miss the way he wet his lips and stuttered as he composed a sentence in his head, and I’ll miss that someone would say something that reminded him of a song and he’d hum a few bars in a rich, soft voice, and I’ll miss that when someone came and dropped the check, he wouldn’t hear of anyone else picking up the tab, and he’d say, “put another bottle of this wine on the check for the troops,” and treat the crew to a bottle of wine.

Tonight, when the lights are raised at the bar and dimmed throughout the restaurant, and we’ve pulled in the doormat, I hope we’ll open a bottle, one left from the time they gave the entire staff a bottle of wine for Christmas seven or eight years ago and we set aside the few bottles that the underage and sober ones among us didn’t take, and we’ll raise a glass to a man whom I aspire to be like one day- graceful and gracious in equal parts, with never a harsh word to say about another living soul, who displayed caring for friends and strangers alike, and would purse his lips for a kiss as we held the doors open for him to push the wheelchair of his best friend and husband out into the night.

I want to take a sip with some of the people most dear to me in my life, and hear what they miss about him, about both of them, and cry together, and think about the figurative kiss we give him as he pushes that chair into the night one last time. We’ll miss him, and he’ll have left us with stories and feelings we’ll cherish until we go too.


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