Goodnight!

By David Grima | Mar 28, 2019

Last Wednesday was the first evening of spring in Rockland, and a round moon, big and fat, rose up over the South End and the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street where I am forced to live, and no doubt over several other places, too.

As the new spring moon cast its silvery beams upon our fair town, its light was gently reflected in a thousand potholes in our dark streets, all water-filled and lying in wait for your car and mine.

Goodnight, moon! Goodnight, cars in Rockland!

* * * * *

The Courier used to be in the business of publishing books, and this included cookbooks, which turned out to be an immensely popular thing. And although the dear old paper is no longer in that particular trade, somebody else always is.

For example, the South Thomaston Emergency Services Cookbook has finally hit the shelves, and last Sunday Uncle Ed got his egg-stained paws on a copy and gave it the full benefit of his professional experience as a gifted amateur cook and a retired newspaperman.

It was not long before he came up with something astonishing: Not only is this the first cookbook he has ever seen that has a color photo of a house burning down on its front cover, (quite charming), but it also includes a unique recipe on page 22 for “Baked Pork Shops.”

For a few minutes we wondered whether this was some kind of reference to the blazing building pictured on the cover. But we finally agreed it was a typo. It is easy to make typos. After all, I have committed hundreds, perhaps thousands, in my time.

But it is well known in the world of collectible stuff that such small errors in a first edition can amount to a very valuable thing in the long run. As successive editions are published without the original error, so the first edition becomes rarer, (rather like an under-cooked pork chop, I imagine). And with rarity comes value, at least in the world of books, if not of pork chops.

Therefore I strongly recommend that you go and buy a copy of this interesting cookbook, before the shelves are stripped bare. We inspected our copy at the Famous ‘Keag Store on Sunday morning last.

* * * * *

Speaking of cooking, a story has recently been told that involves a wealthy German family business whose members are heavy investors in the Krispy Kreme doughnut business, of which we have a couple of locations here in Maine.

It seems the family has uncovered a sordid truth about its past, and has voluntarily agreed to pay $11 million to a charity as a kind of compensation.

It seems the ancestors of the current business owners, a father and son who are now both dead, used Russian and French slave labor during World War II, and before the war they also made financial gifts to the SS. One of this infamous pair also had the nerve to complain in writing to the German authorities that the Russian slaves were not working very hard.

The details of this surprising situation were revealed (to me at least) under the byline of David Rising of the Associated Press. They thought the truth about their company’s Nazi connections had been 'fessed up to decades ago, but it turns out there was more.

Rising’s story includes this description:

“The father and son, who died in 1954 and 1984, did not talk about the Nazi era and the family had thought that all of the company’s connection to the Nazis had been revealed in a 1978 report, [a spokesman] said.

“But after reading documents kept by the family, the younger generation began to ask questions and commissioned a University of Munich historian in 2014 to examine the Reimann history more thoroughly…

"’We were all ashamed and turned as white as the wall," he said. "There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting.’”.

Rising adds that, In addition to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the company has controlling stakes in Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Panera Bread and other companies.

I sometimes think there will never be an end to the discovery of surprising information about that war.

* * * * *

Speaking of recipes, I learned the other day about an odd-sounding ingredient in bouillabaisse, which is a sort of fishy soup thing, possibly of French descent.

It requires that a lot of fish bones be stewed, or otherwise involved in producing this hard-to-spell dish. However, the recipe in question declined to call for fish skeletons, but rather preferred to describe them as “fish frames.”

Goodnight, fish!

* * * * *

What do you think about this push by several Maine legislators, including several of our own, to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day?

Personally, I don’t mind the principle behind it, in other words, admitting that Columbus was a bit of a rotter. I suppose the idea of removing his name from the day goes rather hand-in-hand with persuading sports teams to give up their Native American nicknames, etc.

But as for the name they want to replace it with, well I find it to be a bit cold-blooded, even almost icily scientific. It sounds about as warm and human as if we were to change Easter into Original Sin Expiation Observation Day, or something equally awkward.

For pity’s sake, are our poor legislators so completely tone-deaf to the sound and the meaning of words? Could they perhaps think of something better to call it, or at least something far less worse? Perhaps they could, if they tried harder.

I could easily go on at great length on this subject, but please believe me when I say it would not make my opinions any more interesting, so I am content to let Uncle Frank have the last word:

“I don’t really care much what they call it,” he said when asked. “As long as I still get a day off work.”

Goodnight, Christopher Columbus!

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Apr 01, 2019 18:07

Satire at it's best! Have a fun day David!



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