Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Belated Greetings...

Malbec-Bonarda
Martins Andino 2007
(Image from Food Story)

I didn't post yesterday since I was away from computer, but I had intended to post birthday greetings to John Milton on the occasion of his 400th 'anniversaire' . . . as I had earlier told the Milton List scholars:
In case anyone wants to join me, I'll be lifting a glass of Argentine Malbec-Bonarda to Milton this coming Tuesday evening around 6:00 p.m. at my apartment in Seoul, South Korea.

That's Seoul Time, so if you're joining me from a distance, be sure to adjust your celebration accordingly.

Jeffery Hodges

"Better to rain in hell than hail in heaven."
- Juhn Miltun
Cynthia A. Gilliatt, a Milton expert at James Madison University, seemed willing:
"Hail, yes!"
Her response triggered a long-forgotten memory:
Thank you, Cynthia. On my Tuesday and your Monday, let us join in a traditional wassail for Milton . . . or Miltun . . . and for each other.

As an aside, your message has recalled to me my first encounter with classical studies. I was perhaps 9 or 10 and had just discovered that the iron frame of my bed could serve as an antenna for radio waves. I had a radio that needed only to be attached to the iron bedstead with an alligator clip, and without benefit of battery, I could listen endlessly to stations all over the South . . . and to WLS, Chicago.

One of the Southern stations had a comedian presenting a skit from ancient Rome:

Caesar greeting Brutus: "Hail, Brutus."

Brutus responding: "Hail, yes!"

Thus did your response bring back old memories of me lying on my bed above a dirt floor in my grandma's Arkansas Ozark basement...

Thanks for the memory.
Which reminded Cynthia of similar memories:
Cool. I used to listen to far-off am stations at night and deeply yearned to own a short-wave radio, so that I could listen all over the world. I now can, with a radio I got from LLBean -- mostly those furriners speak in languages I can't even identify!
Even a polyglot Milton would be lost in such a thicket of languages. I don't know if Cynthia lifted a glass with me. Probably not, for I was a bit late. My family and I didn't return to Seoul until past 10:00 in the evening, so I missed that 6 o'clock appointment.

But I didn't forget Milton. After putting the children to bed, I carefully poured a tiny amount of that Argentine Malbec-Bonarda into two glasses and drank with Sun-Ae to a death and a birth -- her father's and John Milton's, respectively.

Thanks to all who posted condolences, and since the date is still December 9th in the States and other places on the 'yesterday' side of the International Date Line, then some of you readers who catch this message in time can also still raise a glass to Milton.

And perhaps to my father-in-law, Mr. Hwang Yong Taek, as well.

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9 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An "Argentine wine" for Johnny?"

My.

On another note, did you advise Cynthia that alligatoring a clip onto a bedframe differs greatly from changing light bulbs in one's bedroom?

I simply mention that in the offchance Cynthia is not familiar with a somewhat contemporaneous, "shocking experience."

Too bad that was in pre-Youtube days.

JK

(This is a public service announcement from JKU.)

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I doubt that any scholars on You Tube know of my other shocking antics...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'd advise them.

As to the other? Well she celebrates the bithday in the Falklands.

JK

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, unless you caught something on camera . . . I'm just going to play dumb.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be the messenger of bad news, but Malbec-Bonarda is rather terrible. I experienced it the hard way by buying a bottle. Sure it is only 3,500 won at E-Mart, but for Milton’s Birthday isn’t a 5,000 won French bottle a better option?

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, you're doubtless right, but my wife brought home all these bottles of Malbec-Bonarda, so drink it I must . . . and I don't find it quite so terrible (though every bottle is a learning experience).

Actually, to truly celebrate Milton's' birthday, one probably ought to drink a port wine.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Christopher said...

How did John Milton's friends refer to him.

John? Milt?

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good question, Christopher. I don't actually know -- though surely not "Milt."

Perhaps "Mr. John Milton, Englishman."

I suppose that I could ask at the Milton List.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, I've now had three bottles of the Malbec-Bonarda. One was good, one was average, and the most recent one has tasted slightly sour. The inconsistency suggests some problems during shipping -- especially with that sour one.

Jeffery Hodges

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