So, today is 9/11. . .and, it is–for all practical purposes–one of those days–you know, when someone asks you–where were you on 9/11? Do you remember? Do you recall what you were doing? Who you were talking to? Did your world slow down or even stop when you saw the buildings coming down? Ours slowed to a crawl.
It was three days before the biggest Shrimp Festival in Texas. . .Shrimporee was scheduled for September 14, 15 & 16, and as quick as the buildings began to disappear, so did a first opportunity at organizing this huge, community event that had been going on for 51 years! Funny how it seemed insignificant–if only for a moment–here was an event three days away from happening while people miles away were running for their lives. Airports closed. Security on high alert. Schools in lock-down. The event’s closing night band on Saturday was the country group, Ricochet. . .only they were stuck in Laughlin, Nevada.
But, there were people screaming for helping. . .massive debris piles. . .planes crashed into The Pentagon. . .a plane crashed into a field. Today, 11 years later it is more real than ever before. What a shame it is that our “national” media refuse to give it the true respect it deserves. As anyone who has been around since Pearl Harbor, how many times have we stopped to watch and remember what happened on December 7th 1941 in Hawaii? It was and is a reminder that we are strong, but we are vulnerable. But–we digress.
As the rest of the week unfolded, there was much debate about cancelling this annual event or making it happen with what we’ve been dealt. A trip to the television station for a 7 a.m. interview the day before we opened sealed the deal–we would NOT let these events deter us from our celebration–the very thought of cancelling it is EXACTLY what they wanted. The weekend was amazing–American flags like you’ve never seen before. People turned out in droves to celebrate–as our President said–the very freedoms that were under attack. And, then the call came to a cell phone around 1:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon from Ricochet’s road manager. . .the airports have been re-0pened, but all they can get is a flight to Houston and they can’t bring their instruments. We had a great band opening for Ricochet that night. . .they were Perfect Stranger, and they said something to the effect that whatever instruments they had with them were available to Ricochet. The band arrives in Houston–they rented a van–drove to the Shrimporee fairgrounds, and at 9 p.m. on Saturday night September 15th–four days after an American tragedy took place, these guys played their hearts out–for two solid hours! Their final song of the evening was by request–an A cappella version of The Star Spangled Banner! There wasn’t a dry eye under the tent.
Tonight, we share a wine that is appropriate for the day. A delicious blend from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. It’s a 2007 Hook & Ladder “The Tillerman”:. According to their website, the wine is “named after the position Cecil held as a San Francisco Firefighter, the Tillerman is a Cabernet based-blend produced from grapes grown on our Los Amigos Ranch. ” We’re guessing that ‘Cecil’ is one of the owners of the vineyard.
When opening this wine, you’ll be greeted with a wonderful aroma of dark fruit, vanilla, and even a little mineral. It’s gorgeous deep purple hue is very pleasing to the eye and a constant swirl confirms the wine’s nose! We sampled this wine with Smoked Gouda, Jarlsberg Swiss and Triscuit crackers which provided a terrific way to enhance the flavor of the wine. We decided that this–like some of the others we’ve sampled thus far–would make an excellent ‘deck wine’ or would be a wine that would make a very nice impression if you were visiting people for the first time and bringing a gift. Priced under $15 a bottle, this wine has become one of our favorites. Of course, there are several that fill the bill as “favorites”, but that’s the beauty of wine–there are so many to choose and so many to try, and hopefully, this wine will whet your appetite for more!
And so, as we stop to recognize, thank and remember all of those ‘First Responders’ who came upon a horrific scene 11 years ago, and as we also stop to recognize, thank and remember the first responders who have and continue to keep us safe in our own communities each and every day, let us all raise a glass of Hook & Ladder’s The Tillerman (or whatever your pleasure) in their honor because. . .We Will Never Forget!
Until tomorrow, please enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.