for a celebration
in Zion and
to the next
for a celebration
in Zion and
to the next
just floating by you
like a canoe drifting free,
I stole some paddles.
(Much of what follows first appeared on my old 360 Yahoo blog in January of 2006.)
The Lower Slobovian Bingledoose National Perservatory, Marching Band, Drinking and Knitting Society Plus 1 was a group that met to farther the appreciation of single malt scotch whiskey. At the time, I had no appreciation for scotch whiskey, period — I was a bourbon drinker. For me, it was a reason to get together with friends.
Our scotch tasting gathering always took place when Iain Murray was schedule to be here from England, since he was a Keeper of the Quaich at Blair Atholl Castle in the Highlands of Scotland.
“There are two things a Highlander likes naked,
and one of them is malt whisky.”
Having the rank of Grand Pontificator
(PhD — Piled Higher & Deeper),
I share with you information on the
first meeting of the Lower Slobovian
Bingledoose National Perservatory,
Marching Band, Drinking and
Knitting Society Plus 1, which took
place January 29, 2006, at the home
of Gary and Janet Milleson.
In our desire to keep perfect that
which is not perfect, we gathered
not to march, not to knit, but to drink,
pontificate and award charter memberships.
Each member, being bestowed a different rank,
not of grade, but of the most extreme and
obvious kind, partook in tasting what some see
as that foul-smelling, foul-tasting liquid
of the single malt variety.
“Too much of anything is bad,
but too much of good whiskey
is barely enough.” — Mark Twain
The rhetoric (and tasting), lead by our
Scotch tasting Grand Connoisseur, Iain,
was analogous to that of wine tasting.
“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivellers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
Whisky, life’s true dichotomy!
“If you mean whiskey, the devil’s brew,
the poison scourge, the bloody monster
that defiles innocence, dethrones reason,
destroys the home, creates misery
and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread
from the mouths of little children;
if you mean that evil drink that topples
Christian men and women from the
pinnacles of righteous and gracious living
into the bottomless pits of degradation,
shame, despair, helplessness,
and hopelessness, then, my friend,
I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.
However, if by whiskey you mean the
oil of conversation, the philosophic wine,
the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed
when good fellows get together,
that puts a song in their hearts and
the warm glow of contentment in their eyes;
if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip
that puts a little spring in the step of an
elderly gentleman on a frosty morning;
if you mean that drink that enables man
to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s
great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow;
if you mean that drink the sale of which
pours into our treasuries untold millions
of dollars each year, that provides tender care
for our little crippled children, our blind,
our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm,
to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities,
and community colleges in this nation,
then my friend, I am absolutely,
unequivocally in favor of it.
This is my position, and as always,
I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle.”
— Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, Jr
Iain passed away May 2, 2009. For us, Iain was not replaceable. With Iain’s help, I learned to share by love of bourbon whiskey with scotch whiskey. Currently, my single-malt whiskey of choice is Bunnahabhain, Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey — Gentle and mild, with aromas and flavors of citrus, honey, flowers and butterscotch
To Iain, may his spirit always rest in the Highlands.
It is a damn poor mind indeed which can’t think of at least two ways to spell any word.
Any man worth his salt
will stick up for what he believes right,
but it takes a slightly better man
to acknowledge instantly and
without reservation that he is in error.
— Andrew Jackson
This image of Chase is one of my favorites and so too is the Miller Williams poem, “Of History and Hope.” Both capture the essence of life. Williams has written, “I put myself in a spiritual and physical place where I’ve learned from experience the synapses are likely to fire and the juices are likely to flow, and simply begin to write” — read and feel the juices flowing.
Of History and Hope
We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.
But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.
Who were many people coming together
cannot become one people falling apart.
Who dreamed for every child an even chance
cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.
Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head
cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.
Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child
cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.
We know what we have done and what we have said,
and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,
believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become—
just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.
All this in the hands of children, eyes already set
on a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—
but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget.