Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Autumn Gold Festival in Coker Creek, The Buzz Fest in Madisonville, they're all, not only opportunities to sell Jack's book, they're also great people-watching venues. I don't know about most folks, but the thing I like most about being in crowds is learning what makes other people tick. I don't always like what I find deep down in their souls, but I want to know what they value before I invite them into my home or my heart. A devil you know is easier to run from than a devil hiding behind a smile.
Did you ever notice that you can tell a lot more about people by observing how they treat others than you can by sitting across a table one-on-one with them? Crowds give so much camouflage for eaves-dropping and observation. I just love that!
When Richard and I met, I refused to allow the friend that introduced us to give him my address or phone number. Our early courtship was conducted as "parlor dates" where I could observe him in action with a vast array of people: his colleagues, my family and my friends. That's the way I insisted that my daughter date her future husband, and that's the way I had Richard court me. When he passed muster on all those tests, I invited his family and friends in to critique me.
Richard's family and friends are still not sure what to make of me, and Richard and I have been together for twenty years. I think they don't like as much hot sauce as Richard does, but then again, they never lived in Louisiana. My family and friends love Richard, not only for his sumptuous salads, but also for his enjoyment of all the life they bring into our otherwise too-tame world.
We have one of my favorite nieces visiting now, and next week we'll enjoy her along with one of my dearest high school buddies. A man has to be mighty sure of himself to actually enjoy hosting a hen party. My daughter used to call Richard our elf when she'd come down with her two little girls for a month on the lake every summer. The lake house is gone and the girls are almost grown, but Richard continues making memories for all who come through our door.
Long live Maison Richard...wherever his home may be!