Curiosity niggles. Has another person in the world, at any time, teamed George Washington with an eggplant? Is there–has there ever been–any other writer whose mind makes the leap from our beloved first president to a well-aged eggplant?
Any of my dear readers who has the time, the temperament, and the inclination to do such research, would be held in high esteem by the writer of this piece, and the comment section on this page would welcome such information. Actually comments of any breed concerning this post are welcome, and just might prove entertaining.
I read a bit about President Washington this morning in honor of his birthday, which I believe is the 22nd. At the Washington Library site at Mount Vernon I came across this account of his reminding his men of his sacrifice, and of his aging.
“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.”
While trying to calm anxious Continental Army officers frustrated with Congress near the end of the American War of Independence, Washington reveled (revealed) to the assembled officers, for the first time, that he had begun wearing glasses. His gesture was a chance to remind them of just how long he had served, without pay, during the war.
Statement before delivering response to the first Newburgh Address | Saturday, March 15, 1783
It is said these men had never seen him use glasses before, and that somehow his appearing vulnerable and in a needy state helped quell the severe unrest among these officers.
I’m not sure how I came to keep this eggplant in my kitchen, but it may have gone something like this: I probably bought him at a 99 cent store, with the faint thought of concocting a tasty eggplant parmesan cheese dish, which I have never made, but which Jerry is very fond of. I think I’ve had the fella for months–maybe since Christmas–not sure. Anyway, the faint consideration of the eggplant parmesan cheese dish flickered out along the way somewhere, and I began to notice what a lovely specimen lived here in one of my kitchen baskets. He began to wrinkle in the finest way, and I began showing him to visitors.
I’m fairly in touch with aging, seeing that Jerry will be 87 next month, and that last July I had the startling experience of attending an 80th birthday party, which, unbelievably, turned out to be my own! Not just that, but as was true with President Washington, both Jerry and I have for some time sported spectacles. I’m one-up on him, though, in the hearing category, as I now sport an aid in each ear. But he has those canes he maneuvers around with, so I guess we’re even.
He’s wrinkled, is my eggplant, and as you can see, he is scarred. He’s beautiful, too, and although he did not live out the purpose for which he was created, he is ending his life by doing what he can. He brings me pleasure. His formation, his color, his intricately designed stem are works of art.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.George Bernard Shaw
With sincere apologies to the late President George Washington.