Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

My parents harvesting pears from our Weston, Connecticut orchard

My father loved to cook—I think not so much for relaxation as to impress guests with his culinary prowess in an era when few men entered the kitchen. He also liked to take over when Southern cooking was required, making spoon bread or grits or Southern fried chicken. Our Thanksgiving turkey always had two kinds of stuffing—traditional bread stuffing in the front of the bird, and cornbread stuffing in the rear. There was always a friendly battle over which guests would prefer which stuffing, with most guests diplomatically opting for some of each.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wartime Transportation

The Met’s opening night for the 1942–43 season was November 24. James Melton, newly signed to the opera company, but having yet to make his debut, drove down Broadway to 39th Street with IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr. and his wife in a 1922 Detroit Electric he had reconditioned for use during gas rationing. 

In February of 1942, as the last civilian car rolled off the Ford assembly line, my father had 76 cars and one “A” ration book (limiting his weekly fuel purchases). The ancient buggies all ran, but he certainly couldn’t drive them during the war, except the steam cars and the electrics. The electrics became so popular in Fairfield County that my father supplied a number of friends with cars from his collection "for the duration."