Well hello there, Charles!
Dispatching some new info and a couple quick thoughts on things relevant and thing decidedly not so relevant…
We here at the Mongoose Den are glad you made it out of Thanksgiving alive and well, and we’re anxiously awaiting your imminent return to us. We want to hear all about your Thanksgiving as well as your plans for Christmas and Kwanzaa. We’ve a few new things to show you when you stop by at the Den. First off, our Draught Wall continues to beef up, and we are scouring the scene seeking out all those frothy brews we expect will please you most. Look out for a few special and rare seasonal beers both on Draught and on Cask coming very soon. Secondly, as the weather around here cools down and our tremendous city of Houston settles its bones into an almost slumbering pace, we have concocted a few new blood-warming cocktails to get you through the winter – think about the best Irish Coffee you’ve ever tasted and a scalding and toothsome Hot Bourbon Toddy. Also, we’ve been aging batched cocktails over the last six months or so (in point of fact, since before we even opened our doors to you and all the other Charleses.) Now the dust has settled over the rafters a bit, and we think these oddly delicious studies in what patience and time can accomplish are finally ready to be unleashed upon the masses. A few new food items have appeared on our menu that we find rather more appropriate to the season, as well. A particularly great one is spinach sautéed in olive salad, lemon and garlic on a toasted sourdough baguette with melted provolone. You must try this.
Lastly, keep your eyeholes peeled for the emergence of the “Charles Club”, a drinking and literature club that will surely prove legendary.
And last, lastly: We recently came across a relatively new book (2011) entitled Hello Goodbye Hello by one Craig Brown. It is a remarkable read in many ways; however, of particular interest is a section in which Mr. Brown describes a journey taken by one of the world’s most creative and elegant talents, Rudyard Kipling. Kipling had traveled much of the world by the time he was just 23 years old. He had witnessed a gunfight in Chinatown, met real Cowboys in Montana and landed a 12-pound Salmon in Oregon. He had also fallen in love with she who would be his first wife. But none of this impressed Kipling so much as an encounter with a man who at the time was Kipling’s idol, Mark Twain, a man who was (is) the purest embodiment of all that is America. The two men met at Twain’s stately home near Elmira, N.Y. and talked for only about two hours. They discussed many things, including the possibility of Twain writing a final ending to his infamous rascal, Tom Sawyer. The curious thing here, what impressed us so, is that Kipling considered this moment the most intensely satisfying and amazing moment of his entire life. Seventeen years after this encounter, Kipling would go on to become world famous and, amazingly, Twain would become so enraptured with Kipling’s work and his creative oeuvre that he made it a point to read Kipling’s Kim at least once every year. Twain said of Kipling, “He is a stranger to me but is a most remarkable man-and I am the other one. Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest.”
Here’s to Rudy, and here’s to Mark, but mostly here’s to you, Charles – let’s pick up where Twain and Kipling left off, for surely there is much more knowledge to be known.