Winter Walks are the best. Nothing like the chilly wind beating against your face to make you feel alive on this pale blue dot we call home. Speaking of which, recently I came upon this message that was cast into the cosmos in 1977. Read it slowly.
Moving on, closer to home, J.R. Moehringer’s memoir has been made into a movie “The Tender Bar” and what could have been a coming of age cliche is instead a sparingly dark yet beautiful film.
Here’s my favorite bit from the movie:
BEN AFFLECK: (As Charlie) OK. Two rules – I’m never going to let you win, ever. You beat me, you know you beat me fair and square. But I never let you win. And I’m going to always tell you the truth. I saw you in the yard playing sports. You’re not very good and probably not going to get a whole lot better, so might be wise for you, in order to avoid tears and disappointment and, above all, delusion, find some other activities that you like, you know? Like, what do you like to do the most?
DANIEL RANIERI: (As J.R.) I like to read.
AFFLECK: (As Charlie) I also like to read. I’m good at sports, too.
The movie is centered around a bar called the Dickens and here’s what the author had to say about it in an interview with NPR –
Mr. MOEHRINGER: We went there for everything we needed. We went there when thirsty, of course, and when hungry and when dead tired. We went there when happy, to celebrate and when sad to sulk. We went there after weddings and funerals for something to settle our nerves and always for a shot of courage just before. We went there when we didn’t know what we needed, hoping someone might tell us. We went there when looking for love or sex or trouble or for someone who had gone missing because sooner or later everyone turned up there. Most of all we went there when we needed to be found.
Moehringer’s childhood could have easily veered towards a bleak and dreadful existence but instead, it is brought to life with a touch of hilarity and a mix of touching moments that stop short of being unbearably sappy. It’s a fine balance and one that’s done well.