LOAVES AND FISHES
It's late August and the Clintons are visiting the Island. They always come at this time of year to celebrate Bill's birthday. It's a strange time of year. Fall is beginning to make it's presence known. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. People are preparing to go back home and return to their regular lives. Kids are getting ready to go back to school. Tim and I are preparing to sail away in the Dragon raft for the winter.
Shirley calls me and asks if I can help her with the last party of the season. It's a party for writer, David McCullough at the Guggenheim's house. Shirely has never worked for Mrs. Guggenheim, but it is a favor to Art Buchwald.
I get to the house and Shirley is in a tizzy. "Your not going to believe this", she whispers. "Mrs. Guggenheim called me yesterday and insisted that I not buy ANY food. She said her refrigerator was completely full and she is leaving the island soon. She doesn't want anything to go to waste! Oh, my.... I'm glad I brought these shish-kabobs!"
Just then Mrs. Guggenheim comes into the kitchen saying "loaves and fishes, Shirley, loaves and fishes".
"She's been saying that all afternoon", Shirley whispers to me when we are alone again. "She expects me to make loaves and fishes from this..." She said, pointing to the small quantity of potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts and a little bit of fish in front of her.
The phone rings and Shirley answers it. "O.K., Wendy, sauté the shallots until their soft, then add half and half plus some of the lobster broth, O.K., call me if you need me again... and put some shoes on!".
Shirley explains to me that her daughter Wendy is cooking a birthday dinner for Bill Clinton tonight at Vernon Jordan's house. Wendy works for Vernon. The dinner is just for the two men.
Bill and vernon playing golf on the Vineyard
"I didn't know Wendy can cook", I said.
"She can't really, that's why I'm helping her. I just wish she'd wear some shoes". Wendy is known for going barefoot all summer long. The phone rings half a dozen more times before the guests arrive for their pathetic meal. Each phone call ends with the topic of shoes.
Looking at the food, I'm pretty sure I can eat this entire dinner for 12 people all by myself. As I serve "loaves and fishes" to each guest, each of whom is world famous for one thing or another, I can't help but feel sorry for them. On each plates there is one shish-kabob, 3 baby potatoes, 2 brussel sprouts, and about an ounce of fish.
As soon as dinner is on the table, Mrs. Guggenheim says "O.K., Shirely, you can go home now. I'll just have Gretchen stay to clean up".
"Over my dead body", Shirley whispers to me. "She just wants me to leave to save money".
Everyone makes their excuses and leaves early, hoping there might still be some dinner at home, no doubt. The meal is a complete disaster. It's amazing how some of the richest people in the world can be some of the cheapest people in the world.
Wendy, on the other-hand, served a fun, successful, and delicious dinner to Bill and Vernon... barefoot.
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11 months ago