We had dinner guests over tonight. My wife was a bit nervous because the father of the family was the best Chinese chef in the County. I told her it wouldn’t matter, good cooking was universal. I was right- they loved her southern barbecued chicken.
Marfar has tutored their little boy for a couple of years now. At first he had a time with the language barrier, but now he’s at the top of the class. I’ve taught him a little golf- he says he is gonna be the Chinese Tiger Woods- and of course I’ve shown him some bluegrass. He adopted the American name of Earl. The kid has good taste. He is enthralled with Scruggs style banjo.
After supper he and I watched some Old Lester and Earl tapes that have been re-mastered onto DVD. His Dad fixed the dessert- mango and Thailand sticky rice with coconut milk poured over the top- good stuff I tell ya.
We played a bit of music and traded some stories about our respective homelands. I played a few bars of Chinese Breakdown on the mandolin. I have no idea if the tune came from China or not but they dug it. No one will ever convince me music ain’t the universal language. We sent ’em home with some chicken, Marfar’s best friendship bread and a few bottles of Arnold Palmer Half and Half, and they gave us the sticky rice and mango.
If a decade or two from now you run into a Chinese young man named Earl ask him if he knows Marfar and Tommy Bibey, and tell him his Dad’s sticky rice is the best. He’ll smile real big and you will be instant friends.
And if you run into him on the golf course I wouldn’t bet against him. In both music and golf, the ones who start out young are tough.
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