Real Life: Spilled Milk #26
What's going on?
Memorial Day has come and gone.
I had one last thought about the long weekend… well, really two of them.
I will return to regularly scheduled food/travel fun with a great recipe tomorrow. I don’t feel like you are missing out since we bonused you all a superb grilling round-up on Monday. And you can read more on BottleRock in Napa Valley California below as well.
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First, we should keep those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our hearts all year long, that seems like the right thing to do.
Second thing… yesterday I posted a picture of our flag. It was the wrong pic. On Memorial Day, our nations colors always fly at half-staff. That was an oversight on my part and I hope no one was offended by that. If so I apologize, and if you read the text below it, you know where my head and heart are.
But, and it’s a big one, our flag is also lowered in honor of those who died in Uvalde and Buffalo, and in the more than a dozen mass shootings that followed the elementary school shooting in Texas . We remember and hold dear our fallen soldiers, supermarket shoppers and little schoolkids among many others.
I bring this up not to debate the Second Amendment, or to be political. This is a point about culture and civics. I was born in 1961. I can’t remember another time in my life, including the late 60’s, when extreme violence was such an accepted and ignored aspect of everyday life. It’s unfathomable that we call ourselves an evolved society.
According to the Pew Research Center, “The 45,222 total gun deaths in 2020 (the last full year for complete stats) were by far the most on record, representing a 14% increase from the year before, a 25% increase from five years earlier and a 43% increase from a decade prior.”
Gun murders, in particular, have climbed sharply in recent years. The 19,384 gun murders that took place in 2020 were the most since 1968, and mark a 75% increase over 10 years. The number of gun suicides has risen 25% over 10 years.
We are in bigger trouble as a nation if these extreme rises in the numbers are ignored. We need real solutions to these truly existential crises.
Places to donate:
Scenes from BottleRock
And so I needed some ‘getaway’ time this past weekend, and so I headed to Napa and had a great time at the BottleRock Festival.
Huge love for Dave Graham, Justin, Jason and the whole team at Latitude 38, the incredible people at Williams-Sonoma and all the volunteers, musicians, fans, chefs, vendors and anyone else who turned out and turned up. Thank you for creating an epic weekend each and every year. Hearing live music, being with other humans, being with friends and enjoying a music festival was exactly what I needed.
I had some epic eats over the weekend…
Chef Thomas Keller’s La Calenda is as fine a Mexican dining experience as you can have. Chef Christopher Kostow’s Loveksi makes as good a pastrami on rye as any I have had in recent memory. Ad Hoc makes buttermilk fried chicken that curls my toes.
Visiting OxBow Public Market in the morning is the best way to start your day.
Pink, The Black Crowes, Marcus King, Kosha Dillz, Luke Combs, Ice Cube, 21 Pilots, Vance Joy, Drew Holcomb, Greensky Bluegrass, Taipei Houston were the highlights for me. Coolest folks I met, well, there were a lot.
But as a dad, listening to 21 Pilots, hearing what their real messages are for their fans clearly communicated from the stage, and being able to talk to Josh about it the next day, was a highlight. Ditto sharing the culinary stage with Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Luke Combs, two very fun folks.
We had a blast, and Luke is about as solid a dude as I have met in years. Six years ago he was playing in restaurants for tips. Seven years ago, he was doing open mic nights. Never give up on your dreams.
Roy Choi led the crowd in a very personal moment of reflection that brought tears to my eyes and Kosha Dillz, you are the best and you know why.
Thanks for reading Spilled Milk.
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