Couldn't help thinking about the "no seating during the last hour" airline law. Can't have anything on your lap either. "This is your pilot. We are approaching the one hour before landing time. 15 minutes to go...if anybody has to. The flight attendants will be coming around for the last time. Drinks are $5, Depends are $15. Please store your infants in the overhead compartment until we get to the gate. Thank you for flying TurnBlue." Needless to say some guy will scratch his balls and get beaten up.
Just got a book by comedy writer Irving Brecher as told to Hank Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld and Brecher's wife, Norma, were on my radio show. Reading the book I found that Irving was friends with my cousin, Sid Tomack many years ago and cast him in both a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis movie and Sail A Crocked Ship. Tomack was also a character in The Life Of Riley.
New York City was running a train of cars from as old as the 1930's. You could take it from Queens at Queens Plaza to 2nd Avenue in Manhattan on the V line. They ran this on Sunday's in December. Wicker seats with the same "smell" from years old. Ceiling fans. They went from the wicker seats to these red ones so that the broken wicker would stop going up your ass! The cars with the wicker ran through at least the 50's as I remember going from the Bronx to Brooklyn to get to Coney Island. So, here are some photos and video
Back in 1981 there was a show called Fridays, similar to the SNL tv program, but, of course, on Friday evening. Michael Richards was one of the cast members. I probably saw most of the shows but remembered one sketch in particular called Hunting For Muppets. I just found this on youtube and would like to share the humor. Yes, it's sick!
P.R. Company for Kenny Rogers sends me an email regarding Rogers' latest CDs. Get them and play some of the songs on my internet radio show. In the meantime, he's booked in the NYC area and I request a pair of tickets. That was weeks ago and the tour date is for the 23rd. I keep asking as to whether I'm getting the tix and they keep saying that they'll find out from management but won't know until... I go ahead and put the info into the newspaper and since the show is next week and the second person had to change plans in order to go, I ask again. I just got an email from them saying that I won't be getting the tix (limited amount) then saying "Happy Holiday!" I emailed back saying that the info got printed and they are giving me coal. I wonder who gets priority for the tix.
Nancy and Barb continue. "We had one more night to stay in Murphys, CA and we stayed at the newest and finest accommodations, Murphys Suites on Highway 4. For those who want to be centrally located to attractions, but not a big fan into Historic stays or need to stay away from the hustle of a small town this is a place to be. The rooms have the typical necessities along with the Suites exercise room and outdoor pool. Currently, the breakfast consists of a muffin and orange juice that is delivered to you in the morning, but they are working on opening a room for breakfast. The lack of a sufficient breakfast was made up with the complimentary Oreo cookies and coffee bar.
I found my early Sunday morning walk to be a grand adventure. Behind the pool there is a dirt path that takes you to Jones Street. You will pass the Murphys Grammar School, the second oldest building in California used continuously for school purposes. Continue down the hill and you have an easy 1.5 mile walk to Ironstone Vineyard or take a right and you will start your wine tasting adventure at Tanners and then walk down the street towards Twisted Oak and Zucca's. To see Murphys oldest wooden home built back in 1853 just continue down Jones Street which will eventually run into Historic Main St.
Other nearby attractions and activities that may lead you to stay here are: Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, Big Trees State Park, New Melones Lake, Moaning and Mercer Caverns, Bear Valley Ski Resort, and possibly the Ironstone Summer Concert Series. Some musicians that have stayed here during the Ironstone Summer Concert Series were the Doobie Brothers, B.B. King, and Willie Nelson.
Barb and I enjoyed getting to know the two behind the front desk. They both were personable and answered all of our questions. During the night we had Buddy and in the morning we met General Manager Michael McPoland. Michael told us a funny early morning story of the Oreo cookie jar having legs. Upon further investigation and reviewing the recorded videos of the front desk, a small pair of hands walked off with the Jar!
To book a night at Murphys Suites visit MurphysSuites.com "
Nancy and Barbs exploits continue as Nancy reports. "After our day of visiting different tasting rooms in Murphys, CA we took a drive to Angels Camp for dinner at the "World Mercantile & Gallery of Arts". We were to meet Nikki or Libby, but our full day at Murphys led us to be a bit late. Around 8pm we came strolling in and met Paul Herek at the counter and asked him why Calaveras Visitors Bureau had selected this place for dinner. He then replied, 'for many reasons...' and I didn't get the complete answer until we left about two hours later!
World Mercantile & Gallery of Arts was established in May of 2008. They are part of Buttercup Farms, a charitable 501 (c)(3) non-profit that is run solely with volunteers. The donations gathered help support people locally, across America, and around the world. Young adults come here from all over to learn restaurant and social skills. At the same time they can practice their artistic ability. Paul told us of one young man from Chicago who volunteered in the restaurant during the day and at night played the piano after closing until 2am!
There are many different roles one can take hold here at the World Mercantile. Besides a volunteer, Paul owns his own business 'Herek Design Studios' and there are many creative influences of his in the gallery. He is currently working on a time machine phone booth for guests.
The World Mercantile has ample room for everyone as there is a first floor and a loft. Do not think this is your typical restaurant because it is truly the farthest thing from what you would expect from a dining room. The first floor features handcrafted items, a children's section, lounging furniture to appreciate the different types of musical instruments played here, the ice cream parlor, and the place to order your food.
Barb ordered the turkey avocado bacon sandwich and I had the cranberry almond chicken salad sandwich. My dinner was incredibly delicious with the plump green grapes on the side. Paul surprised us a bit later with their real fruit freezes. I tried all the flavors: lemon, orange, strawberry, pineapple, and mango. They also have root beer floats, milkshakes, twelve flavors of ice cream with four rotating flavors that change often. I was able to try the speckled frog and golden nugget ice cream and they both received my thumbs up. For those who like to hold a cup they have a large selection of Espresso drinks, coffee, tea, and specialty drinks like Italian creme soda.
While we were dining upstairs we were surrounded by unique musical instruments, kitchenware, quilts, and picture frames. I noticed in glass cases there were dolls handmade by girls from Senegal, West Africa. I learned after asking Paul the 10,000 girls program has achieved international recognition for allowing girls in West Africa area to focus on their education and open doors for successful careers. (10000Girls.org)
Besides being surrounded by material items the sounds of singing voices, guitar, and even a piano could be heard. We were lucky to be there on their regular Saturday Open Mic night. With her volunteer hours completed for the night, Lauren Robinson was enjoying her chance to sing some of the songs she has written. On Friday nights the World Mercantile has Karaoke for all ages.
With all their available space they can host parties at reasonable costs along with options to choose from for a personal touch: Frog Portraits, Face Painting, Magic Shows, and even karaoke or a movie.
If Barb and I lived any closer we would be here at least once a week. The atmosphere is inviting with its warm, loving, and close-nit 'family'. For those with creative abilities Paul stated, 'if you have an idea, and your enthused about it, you will be supported here.' We left that night leaving a twenty dollar donation, a really good feeling, and my answer to the reason why we should have dinner at the World Mercantile & Gallery of Arts."
I am a huge fan of Monk and have watched reruns if necessary. I have never been so upset about a show going off the air. It was one program to look forward to regarding humor. Randy Newman wrote the second opening song called, "It's A Jungle Out There".
For the series finale, he wrote a song called When I'm Gone.
Here are the lyrics.
The time for us to say goodbye is near The day I hope would never come is here Though many hearts are broken We must somehow carry on Cause I think you gonna miss me When I'm Gone
I Thought my life was over when me met So little too remember so much too forget Though it was you who saw me through The Darkness till the Dawn Did I think you gonna miss me When I'm Gone
I'm a modest man and it hurts me To say these things to you But after all we been threw it's the least that I can do So instead of just goodbye I'll say so long As for the light by which u see me leave it on I'm a better man than I was before Knowing you has made me strong
Did I think you gonna miss me When I'm Gone I'm a better man than I was before Knowing you has made me strong
And I sure am gonna miss you When I'm Gone Yes, I sure am gonna miss you When I'm Gone
We've not ended with Nancy and Barb as they continue with Murphys Historic Hotel. "We left Ironstone’s winery and our next drive was just a couple of miles away to downtown Murphys at the Murphys Historic Hotel. On our way there I noticed the park where we did the Grape Stomping with Merle earlier in the month of October. Murphys is one of those towns you can walk for five minutes and walk the entire length of it (At least at our pace). There are gems to be found in these types of towns. I love Registered Historic Landmarks and there are several in the town. Murphys Historic Hotel is number 267.
We met the owner, Dorrian Fault, who is the 7th owner of this Historic Hotel at its 154th year. He provided us with an in-depth tour after we placed our belongings in our room #15. Each door is creamy white with a number and named after someone who has stayed here in the past. Some notables to mention have been President Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, Black Bart, J.P. Morgan, and even Lipton. Everything from the door knob, to the floor, bed frames, and chairs are antiques. If necessities are a must, like a coffee maker and your own bathroom, and you want to miss out on staying in one of these rooms you can ask for a modern room.
Dorrian provided us with some factual information about the hotel and the surrounding area. The Hotel was built in 1856 to serve the world travelers whose journey was leading them to what is now known as Calaveras Big Trees State Park. We learned that the accommodations at this establishment unsurpassed any other hotel in the area at the time of the horse carriage era. At that time the Sequoia Trees were considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. This hotel is one of the oldest continually operating hotels in California.
Those green iron shutters you see at each window or door entry are not storm shutters, but to keep fire out. The town of Murphys had three major fires in the late 1800s. Roughly $20 million in gold was mined in this town and just alone in the back of the property you can still take a walk down the grassy trail to view the damaging effects hydraulic mining took effect on the land for about $5 million.
Murphys Historic Hotel is a must stay as it is in close proximity to the wine tasting rooms and anything else you want to do in Murphys. The hotel also has a restaurant and an outdoor dining area. If you really want to go back in time check out the old original bar picture while standing in the bar room and having an old miners drink!"
Continuing on the wine trail, Nancy and Barb visit Tanner Tasting Room. "Our last stop on the wine tasting route led us to Tanner. Tanners wine tasting room opened in 2008, but they started growing their vineyard in 1998 on 30,000 acres of land with nine varieties of grapes. When they opened in 2008 they released their 2006 wines.
Barb & I met Judy who said at the Calaveras County Fair they won gold on their 2006 Syrah, and Silver on their 2006 Petite Sirah, and 2006 Melange de Mere.
The Tanner's name may be new to wines but the Tanner family is well established in this area. On Judy's father side of the family they had owned and operated the Tanner Ranch for many years. In a few black and white photos we see a woman on a tractor and we inquired about her role here at the winery. Their flagship wine, Melange de Mere has been dedicated to her mom.
You can also join the wine club. Three times a year they ship three bottles. On the last shipment they included a preview of what would soon be announced. It doesn't happen all the time, but you can be the first to know of such events."
Nancy continues with their wine explorations. "Our next stop on the wine tasting route led us to Esther's cousin! You know Merle's sidekick the rubber chicken who has gone on several trips and eats shrimp! As we walked into the tasting room we looked into a glass case housing Esther's family member who quite honestly resembles a chicken nugget. Let us not tell Ester about her cousin as he/she looks like a museum artifact. The chicken nugget family member will be very jealous of Esther's travels to far off places while she is in a glass box. If you remember, Merle and her crew (Barb and I) did the complete tour at Twisted Oak in Vallecito, CA."
Nancy and Barb are back from the Gold Country and continue to report their wine tour. "Park your car, stay overnight in Murphys, and taste some wines the next day! That's what we did!
Under the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance (calaveraswines.org) there are just over 20 wine tasting rooms here. Murphys alone has about 16 all within walking distance. Barb & I visited three of them: Zucca Mountain Vineyard, Twisted Oak, and Tanner Vineyards.
Right across the street from Murphys Historic Inn is Zucca's with a total of three floors. On the top floor is where we met Hannelore. She gave us a few samplings of the wine and mentioned the owners, Carol & Gary were with the wine club in Tuscany. There are 450 members and 20 of them were experiencing a winery in Italy.
We traveled downstairs and in the basement of this 150 year old historic building with a protruding soapstone in the corner where we met Len. He provided more tastes for us (No, we're not drunk)and gave us more of an in depth lesson about wine.
We learned that for a wine to be labeled with a grape name it must consist of at least 75% of a specific grape. For example, Zucca's 2006 Sangiovese and 2006 Barbera are two varieties measuring up to the 75%. Anything less than 75% cannot be labeled with the grape name, it becomes a blend and a name can be created. To surprise their guests they have a 2006 blend called Sorprendere (meaning surprise in Italian) consisting of three grapes: 40%, 40%, and 20%.
Zucca's is a smaller winery producing about 1,500 cases. They specialize in Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Syrah Port. All of their grapes are from the Calaveras county grape growers except for Barbera grapes and this variety comes from Amador county. Just recently at the CA State Fair they walked away with two Silver medals. In the basement is where you will view all the awards.
You can view their website and order wine at Zuccawines.com