Monday, February 23, 2015

Grandma and Patricia Neal

Grandma and Patricia Neal at the Troutdale Dining Room.  Either this was taken before dinner or Patricia is an amazing actress.  Hmmmm..

It is Queen of Hearts time here in Bristol.  For those of you not blessed to live in the "Good Place to Live" Queen of Hearts is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.  Each year girls from each local high school compete to raise the most money for the AHA.   The girls have campaign managers and teams of friends that help them.  For the months during the competition I am sure these girls do nothing else but run fundraisers.  We aren't talking about bake sales.  They have pageants, concerts, 5K's and just about anything else you can think of to raise money.  They have raised millions of dollars over the years for this good cause.  I am pretty sure this is the 50th anniversary of the fundraiser.  These girls really need to be applauded for all of their hard work.  At the end of the campaigns they have a big gala and the girl that raised the most money is crowned the Queen of Hearts. If there is anything that we love here in Bristol it is Galas.

My mom got involved with the event because her friend Deborah was in charge of it for many years. Deborah is a bulldog.  Deborah can get things done and when you put Kate on her team the sky's the limit.  When my mom was involved the AHA would contract with celebrities to come and be the honored guests at the gala.  The celebrities usually had some connection to someone affected by heart disease.  I forget the year (Deborah help me out), but the guest of honor was to be Academy and Tony Award Winning Actress Patricia Neal.  How cool is that.  The woman was married to Roald Dahl, had an affair with Gary Cooper and was the epitome of classic Hollywood and she was coming to Bristol.  Even more exciting was the fact that she was coming to town a day early and was going to have an intimate dinner with a select few at the Troutdale.  My parents were invited and because my grandmother was "wintering" with them she was invited as well.  The Troutdale is a local favorite.  It is in an old house that has private and semi private dining areas. Perfect place for dinner with a screen legend.  Everyone was enjoying their dinner and enthralled by Ms. Neal.  She was telling her stories of Hollywood.  She was an advocate of the American Heart Association, not just because they were picking up her bill, but because she understood first hand how difficult recovering from a stroke could be.  She understood that the AHA dedicates it's funds to research and education.  I am sure dinner was delightful and everyone was having an evening they would never forget.

I am sure my parents wish the story ended here, but alas Grandma had to make it even more memorable.  Grandma may not have been the Queen of Hearts, but she was the Queen of Stage Whispering.  I can picture it.  Patricia takes a bite of her delightful dessert.  Grandma leans in and says "you know" (this is your first clue that things are about to get bad by the way).  "When I had MY stroke, the American Heart Association didn't give me a GD bit of help.  The only people that helped me were the Easter Seals so I quit giving my money to those bastards and now all my money goes to the Easter Seals".   Everyone at table looks uncomfortably at their plates. Dad takes deep breath in, hold, hold, hold, deep breath out. He then states, you'll have to excuse my mother she isn't quite the same since her stroke.  But we all know that the stroke had nothing to do with it.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I am really not a big drinker (anymore). I will give those of you that are lying on the floor laughing a chance to catch your breath.    .......  Kid #3 at 40 really made me put sleep as a priority and in my Middle Ages alcohol really messes with my sleep.  I do love cocktails though and certain cocktails conjur up certain memories that usually make me smile.

Shirley Temple ( does that count?)- memory is Tangiers in Akron.  The place looked like a mosque.  We would go there for special occasions.  Once I went as my dad's date for a work function to see a hypnotist.  I felt so grown up with my cocktail.

Fuzzy Navel- the drink from the family Christmas party and trips with Grandma to the Heisy Convention in Newark.  Ohio, not NJ

Sun Country Wine Coolers-  because I know my mom will read this I won't elaborate.  I will just say High school.  I will also say that this is the worst drink when you see it again.  Yuck.  And Mom, that statue of limitations ran out a few years ago.

Milwaukee's Best-  I know not a cocktail, but how can you leave this coming of age beer out of this convo.  Hell Hole. That is all I am saying.

Ron Rico Rum-  making no comments, but Rachel Bowell that is for you.  Really you can mix rum with anything and it is good.  In Puerto Rico a few weeks ago I rediscovered my love for rum.

Cosmopolitan's-  the drink we drank to look sophisticated

PGA Punch- aka Hooch. Best memory, or non memory.  Halloween 1990.  I went as Axl Rose.  We had the same hair and I can sing a wicked Sweet Child o Mine.  Just ask anybody.  So I go to a Phi Delt house party and run into Slash in one of the rooms with orange punch.  This was before Karaoke, but whoever Slash was and I stayed by the punch belting out every song that came on the stereo all night.  I woke up the next morning and freaked out because my right hand was all orange.  Took me a while to figure out it was from dipping in the punch.

Southern Comfort-  went down just a little too easy. Mix with sprite and call it a cotton candy.  I got Grandma hooked on these for a while.

Speaking of Grandma- Johnnie Walker Red

Bourbon Slush-  the Drink of choice for Kentucky Derby Parties.  They are exceptionally good with overpriced simple syrup from the Troutdale.  Right Mike Vetter.

JagerBomb-  not commenting. 

Wine- I like wine.  I really like good wine, but I am way too lazy to learn about wine.  No room in my head for all that stuff.  Luckily I have many friends who can pick out wine and even more luckily I have many friends who like to share.  My best friends know good wines, but are not wine snobs and will happily drink the Yellow Tail that you put out at a party.  Can't be too picky you know.  My kind of people know it isn't about how good the wine tastes, but how much fun you are having with those who are sharing it.

Sometime in the 90's I moved to vodka tonics.  Still my favorite and I just finished one made with a local vodka from St Louis from Rachel.  It was so good it spurred a blogpost.  Excuse the typos and grammar issues.  Remember I don't drink much anymore.