Dale Watson @Ginny's ~ Photo by Ike
A quick trip to Austin for a couple of meetings and work landed us smack dab in the middle of SXSW. Commitments at home had us heading right back to Dallas, but a huge storm delayed the return. Stuck in hill country, where my son is working, we decided to stick it out as long as we could and then braved the raging torrents. Little did we know we’d run right into another winter storm and more snow.
Thank goodness we got our fill at Cooper's in Llano; don’t know when we’ll dig ourselves out of this one.
One thing I know for sure, my schedule in a week looks like this and I’m gonna have to get back on the wine trail, snow or mo’ snow. I'll have the last installments of the Illuminati Chronicles before then.
In other news
This week in Austin, friends and clients had a little discussion around the dinner table over matching food and beverage. The place was Uchi, and we decided to order beer, sake and an Italian white, the unusual and wonderful Coenobium, to sample with the delicious tastes that showed up on our table. It’s all part of another big story, in another place. Just a little teaser and an exercise in drinking outside (and inside) the box.
Several of my dear friends have lost their parents this past week in Houston. Lynette Hawkins, who is a long time friend and has a wonderful restaurant, Giacomo’s, lost her father, Sheldon "Hawk" Hawkins. Lynette’s mother passed away a few years ago after losing a 30 year battle with MS. When her father became a widower, Lynette took her father in and made sure he was never alone. Lynette, I’ll say it for your dad now, He couldn’t have asked for a more loving daughter.
My other friends, the Mandola's, Vincent, Damian, Tony and their sisters Rose and Margaret Ann and their family lost their dear mother and matriarch of the Mandola family, Grace Testa Mandola. A lot of us thought of Grace as our second mother and loved her, so I can only say it with the deepest sorrow that she will be missed by her family and her friends for a long, long time. I am sorry I cannot be there tomorrow with the Mandola’s but I will remember my last visit with Grace a few weeks ago. She reminded me of my own mom, who is a year older than Grace at 95, both full of life and energy. Grace was sitting in the Vincent Mandola’s kitchen, snapping the ends off of beans. She still came to work several days a week, always with a zest for life. Grace, you were dearly loved and will be missed deeply as well.
We’ll keep a pit of suga on the stove and save a place for both of you at the table, always…