Thanking The Shop Tart for a lovely time

It was great getting to meet The Shop Tart last night. On the way into town this morning I was thinking that I needed to write her a note, that being the civil thing, but then I thought, I’m a blogger, she’s a blogger — why wait?


Dear Ms. Tart,

Thanks ever so much for a lovely time. Loved the beer (Yuengling, my favorite), loved the eats that you went to so much trouble to provide, researching my allergies, etc. (grilled asparagus with chipotle dip, some tangy things wrapped in grape leaves, assorted olives, two kinds of chips of the kettle-cooked sort).

I enjoyed meeting you and your husband, who is a most tolerant gentleman, and your children, who were exceptionally presentable and well-behaved.

I intend to do myself the great honor of waiting upon you again at your earliest possible convenience.

I am, yr most hmbl & obednt, etc.,

Brad Warthen

OK, so it doesn’t exactly rise to the Jane Austen/Patrick O’Brian level of civility for which I was aiming, but I’m just a tad worse for wear from the beer this morning. It didn’t feel like too much last night, nor this morning when I got up, but now at mid-morning I’m dragging a bit.

Interesting coincidence: The Tart’s house is almost directly across the street from a house I lived in just before and after my fourth birthday. Leaving last night, I pointed to a stretch of sidewalk that provided one of my more puzzling childhood memories.

I was running down the sidewalk, all out, and was so impressed with my own velocity that I thought, “I’m running faster than I can run!

Then I stopped. And sat down on the grass next to the sidewalk. And I thought about that. Picture a little, fully clothed version of Rodin’s Thinker. I turned it over and over. I eventually concluded that yes, as I had initially suspected, that was impossible. Perhaps I was running faster than I could have the day before, since I was growing and developing. But I couldn’t possibly be running faster than I could at the present time. And yet that way of putting it was so much more satisfying than with qualifying modifiers.

I think I was on the way to discovering hyperbole, but lost interest and moved on.

This experience, however, was characteristic of the rest of my youth. I would often be held back from remarkable athletic achievement by stopping to think. (Throw to second and get the lead runner, or get more of a sure out by throwing to first, which is closer? I can see the merits of each course of action… and the runners are all safe before I’m done. Story of my life.)

2 thoughts on “Thanking The Shop Tart for a lovely time

  1. Anne

    This is one of the most charming thank you notes I have received. Thank you!

    The story about your childhood thoughts fascinates me. I remember very clearly the moment I realized the guy on the dime was NOT my dad, as I had previously assumed. No one ever told me that was my dad, but they kind of looked alike. (Actually, my dad looks nothing like FDR, but the head on the dime resembles the shape of my dad’s head in a caricature of him that hung on the wall in my grandparents’ house in Winnsboro, so there you have it.) When I realized it wasn’t him – in fact couldn’t possibly be him – I was probably at some stage of development or another when a child begins to realize the enormity of the world and his or her place in it. Deep thoughts.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    You’re older than you ever were and now you’re even older, and now you’re even older….

    They Might Be Giants got nuttin’ on you!

    Yes, Madame la Tart’s hospitality was ever so generous–so much so that one did indeed suffer regrets for one’s overindulgence.

    and her house is wicked cool! Taste will out.

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