DOWNHOME TIMES WITH A CELEBRITY
After flying cross-continent from Ottawa to Seattle, the venerable Mr. Edward Lee, with his entourage, arrives in Carthage for his East Meets West Exhibition and Opening at artCentral.
Knowing these urbanites are accustomed to big city upscale culinary choices, we decide to treat them to “downhome times” sampling the ambiance at some of our local favorites.
Next evening, a drive to Lamar brings us to our eating adventure at Cap’s Cabin fish shack where the nautical décor is enhanced with art featuring pigs, steers and chickens suggesting menu items in addition to the fish offerings we favor. This intimate local venue is tiny and fills up fast. Perhaps as the Cabin’s first ever reservation, we are wise to request a table for five at six. We delight in bread-bowled tomato bisque followed by brimming baskets of lightly battered and fried flounder, clam strips and onion rings passed around with sides of tasty slaw, okra, garlic-parmesan fries and hushpuppies. We complete the evening just a few blocks away on the porch of a home called “Paradise”, rocking, visiting and indulging in dark chocolate laced with chips of espresso beans.
Friday night’s Opening Reception is definitely the height of our community culinary samplings. Over autumnal-toned gossamer cloths trimmed in velvet, the table is lavished with magnolia leaves and lotus blossoms assembled by artCentral’s Prepitor, David Matthews. Judy Goff’s delightful salmon paté in wonton wrappers accompanies David’s East-West catered creations of cream cheese and peanut butter filled sweet peppers, Asian taquitos and water chestnut rumaki. For a sweet finish, Lora Waring’s too-good-to-be-true cookies pair perfectly with David’s pecan bedecked pull-apart monkey bread.
The final evening of Mr. Lee’s Carthage stay is special, for together we celebrate his ninety-seventh birthday beginning with oven-baked pies at Cave Gang Pizza & Pub on Garrison followed by an outing to Red Oak II for Saturday night downhome gospel picking and singing. The tiny church is filled with flickering shadows and the glowing golden light of kerosene lanterns lit to dispel the darkness of a random power outage.
Accompanied by a plethora of instruments, celebratory voices sing “Happy Birthday” as celebrity guest Mr. Lee stands holding a large piece of potluck chocolate cake topped with lighted candles, shaped as 9 and 7, illuminating his face radiant with joy for yet another year and the pleasure of having his beloved art on the walls of Hyde House.
Mr. Lee’s “East Meets West” exhibition continues at artCentral through October 23rd.