Thursday, July 3, 2008
INDEPENDENT THINKING… When in the Course of human Events it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
The History of the present King of Great Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: He, is at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
As the weenie roasts, baseball games and auto races rage on this weekend of perpetual partying, I thought it might be interesting to remember a bit of why it is we wave Old Glory each year on the Fourth of July. It was on that day, a mere 232 years ago, that John Hancock put his John Hancock on that parchment and officially offered up the 13 colonies and all its inhabitants as sovereign.
Later, during the throes of near defeat (ol’ George wasn’t about to accept our independence lightly), the beleaguered troops of General Washington rallied to the words of Thomas Paine that included: “These are the times that try men’s souls… Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Mr. Paine thought about and wrote about freedom, independence and government with the type of clarity and substance that mobilizes nations. On this weekend of our celebration of the rights of humankind, hoist a glass to Thomas Paine, patriot, scholar, humanitarian.
REVOLUTIONARY SPIRITS… As is so often the case in the struggle for freedom and the struggle of the restaurant business, there are casualties. This weekend, July 5 and 6, from 8am to 9pm is the Final Chow Down at the Central Avenue Bakery at 173 Central Ave. in Pacific Grove. For the last time hungers for European baked goods such as honey biscuit layer cake, borscht, curry soup and freshly baked whole-grain breads can be satisfied– eat in or take out. “We’ll miss all of our customer family,” says owner Tina Thompson, who is closing the business. “We’ll be open on the final day, Sunday, July 6, until we serve all the food we have on hand. Come and say goodbye and get on the list for personal chef services.”
Was skimming through my latest Via Magazine (Triple-A) when I stopped at a photo of someone that looked familiar… Sweet Elena (Salsedo-Steele) of Sweet Elena’s Bakery & Café in Sand City. Naturally, that reminded me to go in for a delicious lunch. Joined by the ever elegant Calvin “Re-Klein” Wilkes, of Fifi’s World Bistro, we enjoyed an open-air bonanza of freshly made delicacies like roasted greens and tomatoes, homemade soup, grilled sandwiches, mango chutney– we had so much food on the table, all of it just as fresh and homemade as you could ask for, with a delightful Provençal Rosé to lubricate the proceedings.
The place is Europeanly charming, even eating outdoors among the bustle of Sand City’s industrial feel reminded me of the many meals I’ve eaten al fresco in urban centers around the country and the world (at least in my mind). Of course there are the unlimited baked goods and desserts, plus regularly scheduled theme dinners. Get there, 393-2063, www.sweetelenas.com.
OLD AND FAITHFUL… The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) national leaders’ symposium will bring together its principals and members in Monterey July 10 to 13 for a behind-the-scenes look at our agricultural, fishing and wine industries. The grand finale will be a gala “Passport Around the World” soirée at the Beach Club. The dinner will feature extraordinary chefs and wines plus a benefit auction. Anyone can become a member of AIWF by going to the website, www.aiwf.org, to sign up and register for any of the events listed. Or call Mary Chamberlin at 624-0830.
Big congrats to Fresno State. Its baseball team won the college world series and brought the school its first-ever national championship in men’s sports and only the school’s second in history. Now the Bulldogs have more than just Adam “The Rock and Roll Winemaker” LaZarre to brag about… freedom, baby.