Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some Peanut Butter Served with a Prickly Riesling

As you may have sensed from some of my more political posts of the past, I lean rather left of the central line of American politics. The irony of this leftward leaning is that I seem to have a knack for attracting some rather right leaning friends and lovers. I suspect this may either be the influence of my father, a stalwart Republican or my absolute thrill in participating in a rousing intellectual discussion that resembles a debate operating under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

A few years ago, not long after I had met W, he introduced me to the non-political writings of William F. Buckley, the opinionated and erudite founder of the National Review. Mr. Buckley, a man who knew how to turn a phase or two, wrote what I consider some of the best writing about sailing and living your life to its fullest with a take no prisoners style. And this surprised me to no end. I was stunned when I read "Airborne" for the first time. How could a man who founded a magazine that caused my liberal heart to seize and my blood boil write such beautiful poetry about water, waves and the sound of the wind singing in the sails?

William F. Buckley died today at the age of 82. He was found this morning in the next town over from me here in Connecticut by his cook and here is where we get to the food part of this post.

Mr. Buckley, loved many things in this world; far more I suspect than he hated. But, one of his great loves was peanut butter. When he married his wife, Patrica, he declared that would have "peanut butter every day of the rest of my life for breakfast". He wrote poems to peanut butter and once declared that if he could only eat three foods the rest of his life they would be caviar, bread and peanut butter. In a great essay published several years ago, Mr. Buckley goes to great length to describe the comedy of errors that often arise from his need to have peanut butter for breakfast while traveling to foreign countries.

Last night, after the Democratic Debate finished, I crawled into bed with LB to begin reading a book I had recently acquired, "Cruising Speed: A Documentary", in which Buckley describes a week long sailing trip including all the food he consumed during that trip. Little did I know that less than ten miles away, the man who in the book called my favourite wine "prickly" and lobster a "mellifluous, redolent creature endowed with looks and claws that could scare mortals and gods alike" was breathing his last breaths on this earth.

Today, while reading a few other online memories of William F. Buckley, I opened my desk drawer, pulled out a "Jif to Go", spread it on a few water crackers and read about a man with whose politics I may not have agreed with but whom I admired for his ability to write the most lovely of words.

All that was missing was a glass of that prickly Riesling to wash them down with...