LFG dances on Sundays at 230pm. Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase…for an hour. I drop her off and amble around the neighborhood till time to fetch her…an easy hour to burn…there’s a Barnes and Noble three minutes away and you know that I can burn a day in a bookstore. But several Sundays ago saw the weather moderate and the sun shining.
In lieu of the bookstore I walked over to the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market. It’s been around since 1932 and inside the market they sell all kinds of edible goodies that remind me of the canning/baking prowess of my grandmother, my mama and my six aunts.
The vendors outside sell stuff that generally didn't interest me but I gandered about for a moment. I sensed that the original intent of the cooperative has devolved to a point where the tchotchke sellers trump the now attenuated presence of agricultural consumables purveyors.
I hope they’ll be there forever though. The utilitarian wood framed building seems to me a stalwart carbuncle whose recalcitrance amidst soulless, sterile concretions offers a reminder. A reminder of a time when “that far up” Wisconsin Avenue was “the country” … A time that probably saw fewer assholes laying on their horns as they navigated up and down the endless vista of not yet existent office buildings.
An oasis of wood framed simpleness. But then I had another breakthrough. I met…Barbecue Man. It’s 245 in the afternoon. It ain’t lunch time and it ain’t dinner time. But I don’t care. I’ll not even try to concoct words to relay the significance to me of this little oasis within the oasis. Bottom line is this…people from South Philly are passionate about their cheesesteaks and rightfully so. They know the best ones, they know how to order them and they revel in the lore and back-story. Buffalo Wings in Buffalo. Grilled Polish Sausage in Chicago, Chili Dog from the Varsity. You know the deal and the list goes on. Same can be said about street food in other necks of the woods and countries. And for me, a boy from South Carolina who’s seen a fair amount of the world, there’s barbecue.
National barbecue comparisons are a waste of time. It’s all good and everyone has their version. Vinegar and pepper or mustard based…how much sugar? Red and black pepper? Ratios? Wet or dry? Who gives a damn…let’s eat. I got a pulled pork sandwich and the only cold, canned drink my man had left…A Cherry Dr. Pepper. Five minutes of nirvana. A taste buddian dichotomy given that Wisconsin Ave is more likely to yield options for brisket than delightfully slapdash porcine proposals. It reminds me of what Michael Collier said about William Maxwell... “I was to learn that what one should live for more than anything else are small moments of overwhelming astonishment.” My samich moment was astonishing. In an eleven napkin kind of a way.
Onward. Hankerin’ for another one.
ADG, the second.