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Friday, January 31, 2014

Brunch with Uncle P

Dear Mom,

Whew, it's been a long week! Sorry for the radio silence. Hilary said she was starting to worry about me! I had a crazy week at work, and last weekend just sort of flew by. So, let's start with last Saturday. "Uncle P" was in town for the Winter Antiques Show. As you know, Leigh Ann and I started calling Miss Lillian's sons Pat and Gerry "Uncle P" and "Uncle G" around the time y'all started eating Christmas lunch with them, when LA and I would go to Dad's or Mimi's or Aunt Judith's.

I decided Fred's at Barney's would be the perfect spot for us to meet for brunch. Neil & Nate took me there on my first Sunday in the city, and they've had some great celebrity sightings at Fred's. I like that it's in midtown and near all the touristy stuff but doesn't feel like a touristy place.

We were both tempted by the entire menu but finally went with pasta. His "spagillies" were in honor of your many trips to Mom & Dad's over the years. I had tortelloni stuffed with veal and a cream sauce with peas. It was heavenly! We also split a salad with squash and ricotta salata or some other cheese, but it needed more dressing. We skipped dessert but did have both champagne and wine.

So much fun, and he treated me, which was too sweet!

We talked a lot about your service, and I had forgotten it was held on his parents' anniversary...and they married at Centenary, so that seemed special. We also talked about the fact that I was with him the night his mother passed away, as it happened when he was in New York with Tulio.

I wish you were here so we could talk about all of the special connections Pat and I discussed, as some of them seem like TMI to share with others. Let's just say we go "way back,"and I know you were proud that the friendship had continued to the new generation.

Here are a few shots from Pat and Tulio's NYC trip in the summer of 2012...

I had them over to the apartment (Kurt must have been out somewhere) and put out a proper Southern hors d'oeuvres spread. We set up the camera on Kurt's desk to get a group shot.
Saturday morning, we met for brunch in the theater district (little did I know I'd be moving to that neighborhood!) at 44 and X. Then we hit the Yotel for drinks on their gorgeous outdoor terrace...which we all loved...and that's when I discovered the crazy "disco brunch" (or "drunch" as Adam calls it). (Hmmm....maybe I should see if I can get the girls to go back there!) 

All right, while I'm in flashback mode, I'm going to carry on with the theme and explain more to our gentle readers about who Tulio is...starting with when he first entered the Snipes family as a teenager. 
In the 70s, when you were teaching at Shanks and Uncle Bob was a student, four Brazilians came to Quincy on a study program. Tulio told me you were the coordinator. They stayed for several months, and Tulio became very close with Grandmama and Paw Paw. They always called him their Brazilian son, and he did a wonderful job of staying in touch over the years.
The Weavers and two other families also hosted students, but for some reason I think Pat was the only one from Quincy who went down to Brazil. He had such a great time, he called Miss Lillian and said he didn't want to come home! He did extend his stay...maybe for another month? 

Anyway, 20 years later, Tulio came back to visit when he and his friend Fred were touring the U.S. I'm pretty sure it was the early 90s and Paw Paw was still alive. They had SUCH a great time that they came back three or four years later! Fred even worked the crossword puzzle with Grandmama. Such sweeties. She had a ball with them! You loved telling people that someone would come from Brazil to visit New York...Miami...Orlando...and Quincy. (Kinda like those London...Paris...Rome...Quincy shirts they used to sell at Etc., which were made for lots of other cities, but you always said the only one better than Quincy would be Two Egg.)

Here are "the boys" sporting the Coca-Cola t-shirts someone must have given them as a memento of Quincy's history. 
(BTW -- I cannot believe Leigh Ann and I never made you do anything about that ghetto paneling in the den. We should have pulled a rogue operation on it when you were out of town, like we did with your bed and the bedroom paint! Or the time Mr. Tony came and "surprise" fixed your driveway for us at Christmas.) 

So, of course it was funny that we had these Brazilian connections when I started going to Brazil to volunteer with the Methodist church. Here I am in 1999 translating for the bishop when he came to visit during our very first trip to Muriae...
In 2002, when I stayed in Rio for three months, I took a trip to Belo Horizonte to see Tulio, who was building a new house at the time.

(Yes, I am rocking that Canadian tuxedo! Brazilians seemed to have different rules that season...I think denim shoes were a big trend. When in Rome...)

This is Tulio's niece Marianne.
 And we met up with Fred! That was fun. I'm sure Grandmama loved this picture when she saw it.
Okay...I think that winds up the trip down memory lane. But you can tell Pat and I had lots to reminisce about, and he enjoys a lot of the same stuff we do. He and I had a wonderful time strolling through the Winter Antique Show. I'd never been but knew it was a big event for Kurt's catering company, as they keep a cafe staffed so patrons can wet their whistles while contemplating that $50,000 set of English silver or that new $175,000 pair of antique pearl earrings. 

We were kind of fascinated by the fact you can collect anything, if you have the money...

Some of the prices were insane! But it was lots of fun to look around, and we had fun chatting with some of the friendlier vendors, one of whom was a veteran of Antiques Road Show and gave us some behind the scenes tidbits. 

On our way out, we checked out the gorgeous reception rooms on the way out, including the Veterans Room with its Tiffany windows and fireplaces. Looks like the Armory offers tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Maybe I can get Neil to meet me one day and say I have a doctor's appointment! ;) That seems like one of the "off the beaten path" places you would have loved exploring. 

Love you and miss you, Mom. 



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