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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
23 July, 2015
The 29th annual Gala Re-interment of Uncle Buddy is now history. The 29th year of memorializing Gilbert was, as always, a celebration not only of Gilbert's life, but of our friendship. This year, Kathy Connor, oboist of the Lamplighter orchestra, joined us.
We left hot Davis around 3 and drove down through Marin County to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. The traffic going in the other direction was horrendous. By the time we got to SF, I realized that if you'd started in the city and were headed to Vallejo, a distance of about 45 miles, it would be bumper to bumper the entire way, except for a couple of pockets of a couple of miles. And people do this every day!
As we were approaching the bridge we lost the sunny blue (hot) skies and saw that welcome blanket of fog.
By the time we crossed the bridge, you wouldn't know that it was 90⁰ in Davis.
We met at the Presidio Social Club, erected in 1903 as a military barracks and now converted into a lovely restaurant across the street from the Industrial Light and Magic building. This was the third time the GRUB group had eaten in this place. This group is one of my "home" people. You know how they talk about people that you don't see for long periods of time, but when you get together it's like you just saw them the week before. There are only two groups of people where I feel that way, one the Pinata group, and this Lamplighters group. We started out as a large group, but have been whittled down, by death and attrition, to the faithful 7 or 8....2 actors, 2 musicians, 2 tech guys, a dresser, and me.
The evening started at the bar, while waiting for our table (I had a Manhattan, the only time I ever have this drink, which I had frequently with Gilbert) with the now traditional "organ recital," catching up on whose body parts had been broken, bruised, or replaced since last year, and how our friend John, incapacitated by pain for the past several years, and thus unable to join us, is doing.
We made our annual toast, 'Oh...it's you...," the way Gilbert frequently greeted you, if you were a friend.
Dinner was delicious. Several of us ordered "smashed peas." We encountered the British "delicacy" (I use the term advisedly) "mushy peas" when the Lamplighters competed in an International Gilbert & Sullivan festival in Buxton, England. We didn't fall in love with them, but Presidio serves them with mint and they are decidedly more green than the grey-green vat of peas that was served to us each night in Buxton. I ordered mine as a side dish to my macaroni and cheese.
Many people ordered "fried bird" (duck) and I got to taste truffle oil fried potatoes, which were delicious, but not worth the $8.50 price.
We talked about Gilbert and other things, and hugs all around at the end of the night, promising to meet again for the 30th anniversary next year.
I love these dinners.
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