Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Joe Around the World day 7

L.A. Parker and Stephanie Hendricks during "Live with L.A."
(Joey Kulkin photo)

BENNINGTON -- Something funny happened as I began to write about today's brew: Kenya AA. What happened is I heard the coffeemaker gurgle to tell me it was finished brewing ...

... only problem is I brewed water because I forgot to pour the grounds into the filter.

I was about to tear open the packet then heard my cell phone blurgle to tell me someone had just texted or sent a Facebook message. Just like that my attention diverted to the phone and I must've put the packet of Kenya AA down on the ledge and walked over to the phone to see what's up. In a few minutes the coffee would be ready.

Or so I thought.

Sat down in the director's chair and surfed the web. Then the front door popped shut even though I jammed the door stop in there something fierce. Apparently not fierce enough. Jammed it in there something even more fierce then came back around the counter and sat down to surf once again. 

I came to and saw that someone from Leominster, Massachusetts, had read a blog entry from my days as a Trentonian boss.

This particular entry coincided with my Trentonian TV Production Notes from episode 8 of "Live with L.A." which was the show I produced for Trentonian columnist L.A. Parker.

That was a great episode, and it was probably the first time L.A. and I moved in concert on Trentonian TV; hell, one of the few times L.A. and I moved in concert on anything that didn't involve talking about college and pro football.

L.A.'ll be the first one to tell you -- and I'll be the first one to back it up -- that he and I butted heads often in the newsroom. Serious, serious head-butting. Two angry, passionate rams standing their ground, heads titled down, horns out, ready to war-butt.

Most people in the Trentonian newsroom who witnessed the devastating back-and-forthism would probably say they're surprised L.A. and I didn't come to blows because there were times he was ready to throw down.

But hey, that's life in the newsroom some days. Nothing in life compares to the heat of battle between newspaper colleagues. Another reason why Sorkin has no fucking clue what he's talking about in his "Newsroom" TV show.

The truth is that passion drives L.A. and me; it drives any true newspaper soul.

At the end of the day, however, L.A. and I realized we had acted like idiots during our puffy-chesty moments, and by the next morning we were talking again, usually trying to figure out if this team was going to cover or those teams would go over. Football was at the heart of our best conversations.

The pot is filled with black liquid this time; Kenya AA finished brewing 10 minutes ago.

I poured a cup then looked up and realized that a lovely grandmother -- the first customer today at Fiddlehead at Four Corners -- had walked up to the counter with a John DeAmicis lithograph. I told her I just brewed a pot of coffee and asked if she wanted to take a whiff as the aroma-fueled heat wafted from the Peace, Love & Happiness mug.

Her eyes bulged like a little girl opening presents on Christmas morning.

"It smells sooooo good!" the silver fox said.

She gave the coffee a thumb's up.

The description of Kenya AA reads "This highly prized coffee starts with a jolt of sharp acidity and prowerful aroma, with fruit notes then enveloping the sense -- a classic, grand coffee!"

The flavor of Kenya AA does hit your tongue right away then it melts. I'm not so sure about fruit notes. I wouldn't know a coffee fruit note if it bit me in the ass. But Kenya AA is a good flavor. Of the 7 brews I've had it ranks second behind the French Roast. 3.5 perks out of 5.


The silver fox's name is Carlotta. She's from Rhode Island.

I thought about Block Island, the summer paradise off the coast of Rhode Island, because a special person told me long ago how she and her family would vacation on Block Island.

"You have to drive to Galilee to get a boat to go to Block Island," Carlotta said. "But it's very rough water" -- across Long Island Sound -- "and you have to take a Dramamine so you don't get queasy."

For 17 years I've wanted to check out Block Island.

"The property there is mucho bucks," Carlotta said, "mostly because they don't have anything. During the summer it's packed. But it's really nice in the spring and the fall."

This Kenya AA gets better with every slurp and slurgle.

As for "Live with L.A." ... click on the link above and watch the hour-long episode. That was a great show. Stephanie was a cutie pie (she never made it to the Olympics, sadly) and everyone else brought great energy ... and this was L.A. at his absolute best ...

... even though he hated that I wrote Larry in the Production Notes.

Come on now, L.A., you were born Larry Parker. Don't run away from your name.