Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nothing Like A River

When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come. – Leonardo DaVinci 

I have always preferred a river to the ocean.  Although the ocean has the glories of moonlight on a vast surface and of the sound of waves at night, rivers are just more...soothing to me. And more interesting. There is always something happening on a river that you can watch.  There is always something happening IN an ocean that you can never see.  And rivers are more safe where I live.  No river ever spawned a hurricane.

But the thing I like most about rivers is how therapeutic they are.  When you release your troubled thoughts to the ocean the tide brings them right back a few  hours later.  When you release your troubles to a river, they are gone forever.  I could sit and watch a river endlessly.  

All rivers, great and small, hidden or historic, know each other and share a common heritage.  They are all of the same tribe, so to speak. I've pulled a big canoe over shallows in the Wisconsin river as a boy, fished Hem's "Big Two Hearted River" and caught a trout, scattered my father's ashes in the Baptism River, had drinks on decks overlooking Bayou Teche in Lafayette and the New River in Ft. Lauderdale, had a love affair with the Seine from the Pont des Arts.  During each experience I felt my life clock winding back a few ticks.  Sometimes a lot more than a few ticks.  

Like yesterday when I spent an hour or two with a new friend, the St. Marks River.  Tucked away in the heart of North Florida, it was the first time I had been to her shores.  It is just the sort of adventure for your Epic these days when time has been brutally compressed and herds of significant problems and issues roam the landscape unabated. But an Epic adventure does not require immense effort or expense.  An Epic adventure requires merely the desire to grab a shiny pebble out of the stream of the day.

The St. Marks is not hard to find. If you look out your car window and see the Florida capitol building in Tallahassee, just keep driving south.  About thirty minutes.  Until the road ends at the front door of a great bar and grill.  The river is right there.

You can sit on free benches without beer but this IS an Epic journey after all.  Order some of the outstanding seafood on the menu.  Let that herd of issues run right past you into the river.  Trust me, the river will take it from there.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Epic Photo Shoot

I feel so badly that I was overwhelmed and missed Her 72d birthday on October 22.  But here are Catherine D and Kate M.  The return Epic will recall that I have been a devotee of Catherine D for many, many years.  She is the prototype of a Woman of A Certain Age.  Kate M I can honestly take or leave, certainly not in Catherine D's league, but the photo shoot is certainly worthy of mention in these annals.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

One Epic Evening

"I forget the name of the place, I forget the name of the girl; but the wine was Chambertin"
       --Hilaire Belloc

An outstanding bottle of Burgundy.  My first Chambertin, consumed among great pals during a dinner recently in my honor.  I remember the place too.  And the menu. Lobster, New York Strips done Pittsburgh style, a little creamed spinach, a little bit of potatoes, strong coffee with little fried doughnuts crusted with raw sugar and cinnamon.

And, later, after a lot of laughter and great conversation, the most outstanding Cognac I have ever tasted...

Remy Martin Louis XIII.  The menu said "The youngest eau-de-vie in this legendary blend is 50 years old.  100% Grande Champagne.  Hallmark bouquet of truffles, roasted chestnuts and prunes." Exactly right and exactly perfect.  This elixir is so expensive that I may not have it again for a long time, but it was so wonderful that if I never have it again, I am pretty good with that.

Thanks to the great folks at The Palm, my fine friends who were in either in attendance or who sent best wishes although they could not be there in person.  It was a night I will never forget as long as I live.  An Epic evening, INDEED!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Herself. RIP,

I loved her a long time ago. Now, at 95, she is gone. For all of us who loved her, and who loved and married red headed Irish women afterwards....she is the prototype. The Icon.  Maureen O'Hara. Bless you darling.


Thursday, October 15, 2015


He hadn't meant to stay out so late. But in that part of town that is what you did.  All quiet little bars and cafes, it was made for that purpose. And he had nothing else to do.

After what happened a year ago, he had planned to move away.  To a place without romantic places. There were plenty of them around. His only goal the finding of a small room with one good window to look out of.  Where he could sit for the remaining time.

A season and a short street foiled his plan.  Before he could decide on the quintessentially unromantic town, autumnal chill slipped into the night air.  The leaves began their blazing turn. He realized he would never leave. So he stayed.  And he walked down that street again.

The drizzle didn't help.  He sat in an old bar drinking Calvados for quite a while listening to Kind of Blue playing in the background.  Then Lush Life came on and he had to go.  Stepping out into the cold misty rain even the brandy and his ancient Burberry trench coat could not completely push the chill away.  He lit a cigarette with a scarred gold lighter.  The initials, "ML" barely visible after all the years.

A young couple walked slowly by.  Leaning into each other to stay under their umbrella. Heads close, lost in an assumed future. A quiet giggle drifted toward him.  He watched them until they turned the corner. The street remained, lamplight twinkling in the rain like liquid holiday lights.

The image of the couple in his mind, he smiled and turned toward home. It would soon be Christmas. He needed to go buy a turkey.  A bottle or two of Margaux. And a few presents.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Epic Recharging: One Outstanding Song

Today seemed like a pretty ordinary day.  Some work out of town.  Some success. Some failure.  The usual.  When I got back to the house, my son the Future Rock Star asked if he could come along on a trip to the grocery store.  On the way he plugged his phone into my car's audio system.  And he started playing Frank's version of Blue Moon.

"Say Dad, do you think we can cover this?"

A sideways glance from your Epic.


So we did.  We sang it all the way through.  We sounded great.  I don't know what is happening.  I think my life is now perfect.  And complete.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fuzzy Photos From Great Bars

Abe & Louies, Boca Raton, Florida.  A fine steak joint and an even better bar.