“Food Memory” of mine drawn on a Napkin by Melinda Bergman @ Feast on the Street

chocolate-in-my-hat-bergmanwebSo Saturday I attended the “Feast on the Street” with the Yazzie family. It was a neat – yes I said “neat” event in downtown Phoenix featuring a dining table half a mile long  for people to sit and eat together. Apparently inspired by London’s Feast on the Bridge, people were encouraged to either bring food or patronize the many food trucks and nearby restaurants which were ready with to-go meals. There were a lot of people swarming around and it was a great chance to people-watch and talk with friends whilst sitting at an absurdly long table, if that’s what you’re into.

Steve and Eileen Yazzie are very well know, socially successful folks in Phoenix on a number of planes, so a constant stream of friends and acquaintances popped in and out throughout the afternoon. It was awe-inspiring to watch them care for their two young children, three-year old Wyatt, and baby Joyce. The team-parenting while fielding an endless stream of howdy’s was like mechanized choreography, but I digress.

There were a lot of art people everywhere, especially successful painters. Makes sense, as the event was a collaboration between the London Feast people and local artist and fourth-generation farmer Matthew Moore.

One of the artist’s on hand, Melinda Bergman, wandered around asking people to share  “Food Memories” and drew impressions she gleaned from the conversation on napkins with colored markers. She used napkins because she was working with materials found at the event. (Some may know I am a fan of the napkin as a medium.)  The results were photographed and journaled and the memory teller was handed the finished product. I was able to see a number of them and they were all really great, but I failed to find a link to the online gallery that the images were supposed to be uploaded.  (If anyone finds it, please send the link in a comment.)

To coax a food memory from me, Melinda related a story told to her earlier about chocolate. As soon as she said chocolate I flashed on a memory I hadn’t thought about in years.

Here’s my food memory :

Growing up in Phoenix in the summer heat meant the kids spent a lot of time at the matinee movies. We were always trying to cut corners, so like all decent humans we were always sneaking something inside the theater. You know, a candy bar or a fruit roll up tucked away for clandestine munching covered by blessed, cool darkness.

One day running late going to Christown Mall for a movie, I rummaged through the kitchen cabinets searching for something pocket-worthy, but only found a package of Hersey’s Chocolate Cooking Chips. It was way too large to smuggle in a pocket. But then brilliance struck: I grabbed my straw cowboy hat (likely the same one pictured below w/ kick-ass Willie Nelson pin on the band) put the chocolate on top of my head and put the hat on. jbcowboyhatgettinggift

I’m sure I was very pleased with my cleverness. There was a long line and we waited (fairly sure I was with my sister and David Guzman, a childhood friend and neighbor) for a long time in the un-shaded July heat. David and Laura were in front of me, facing forward. It was uncomfortable, sweaty and gross and a lot of sweat dripped down my face.

I reached up to wipe the sweat away and my hand came away streaked dark brown and sticky. I gasped and David and Laura turned around and instantly started laughing hysterically. At this moment I understood what was dripping down my face was not sweat but melted chocolate. I took off my hat and removed the bag and realized to my horror that my entire head was soaked in sticky, melted chocolate. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my childhood, and I am person who sang and danced show tunes in malls to the accompaniment of a boom-box with my name spelled out in felt letters on my shirt.

This is how we learn.

The above drawing was what resulted in me sharing this story with Melinda, and the words on the napkin say it all, in very appropriate All caps: CHOCOLATE IN MY HAT IN THE HEAT.

bergman-backwebThanks Melinda. That was fun.


~ by 15wattLasVegas on April 15, 2013.

3 Responses to ““Food Memory” of mine drawn on a Napkin by Melinda Bergman @ Feast on the Street”

  1. This is such a great story. So Phoenix…

  2. This story will always make me laugh hysterically.

  3. Love your food memory… (…smiling again…)

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