HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE LEADING LADY!
The incomparable Ellen North!
We had a dog once. He was an adopted dog. He was a Jewish dog. His name was Samuel Hirsch.
When he came to live with us, we changed his name.
It became clear one hot summer night that a dog in the house might be a good idea. A thwarted home invasion (thwarted because mom and I screamed bloody murder at the top of our lungs until the would be culprit ran away into the night) clearly put getting a watchdog on the top of the “to do” list.
And who do you call when you want to get something done? Lori Hirsch, of course! Mrs. Hirsch was one of my mother’s long time friends and loyal customers. She would visit my mother’s dressmaking shop each season and place her order for dozens of ensembles. With a larger-than-life personality and a benevolent heart to match, just say the word and she would drop everything to help anyone.
And it just so happened that she had a litter of puppies ready for new homes.
With a face only a mother could love, into our home came our new watchdog. A Cock-A-Poo. Yes, that’s right. Half Cocker Spaniel and half Poodle, it’s fancy mutt breed name is Cock-A-Poo.
Sammy the Sam-a-la lived for two things. To be forever and always attached at the hip (well, more like the ankle) to mom. And, ironically, to escape out the door and run in a mad-dash-away fashion, snout to the ground and tail in the air, not looking where he was going and causing much angst (especially to the one guilty of not latching the door securely or holding it ajar a second too long).
Not long after the bolt, the rescue efforts would begin. Into the car we would go and drive all over the neighborhood looking for that prodigal son of a dog. Oftentimes we would return home finding the little stopper-outer sitting on the back door mat, with his head tilted in that heart melting position of cuteness, and his bubble comment declaring, “Where have you been, I’ve been waiting for you forever!”
He was a dog with the proverbial 9-Lives usually reserved for a cat. The manner in which he mad-dashed-away with reckless abandon surely should have gotten him into a pickle on at least that many occasions.
Most worrisome were the times he escaped in the middle of a raging snowstorm. On Long Island in the 70′s, the snow fell in a relentless way. If the Sam-a-la’s dash-away took place during one of these white-outs, all we could do was wait. As he trekked through the snow, it would attach to his doggie tummy fur and build upon itself until many solid, icy snowballs formed making it almost impossible for him to walk, let alone dash!
So relieved we were when that little abominable snow Sammy would drag himself down the driveway and bark his return, that we would forget that he had caused us such worry. Then the de-icing would begin. Mom had to literally crush the ice using warm washcloths while her darling dog son would sit on her foot.
So on and on it went year after year, until Sammy was of the age that mad-dashing was no longer becoming to a dog in his golden years. But when a dog has Wanderlust, just try to keep him in! His little dog heart gave out on his last mad-dash on a sunny Southern day in the early 80′s.
Twenty years hence, his beloved Mistress joined him. I can see him now. Sitting on mom’s foot.
In memory of Sammy the Sam-a-la, the Mad-Dashing Dog,
Recently, Starr Style and friends, enjoyed a thoroughly enjoyable Afternoon Tea at the welcoming and whimsical Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party, in Little Five Points, Atlanta.
When we arrived, we were greeted enthusiastically and offered a large table near the front of the establishment which was set adorably in a shabby chic style with mismatched china and table linens. I relish my afternoon teas at elegant hotels, but the tea enthusiast in me is just as happy in a funky little tea room. Dr. Bombays’s fits that description to a “tea!”
The Underwater Tea Party Menu
For our party of 5, we were served three big pots of Tea which we chose from their extensive tea list and they were all delicious.
The savories, breads and sweets were a rustic, all vegetarian selection served in the traditional way on tiered plates.
Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches
Pimiento Cheese Finger Sandwiches
Chocolate Chip Scones
Mini Chocolate & Vanilla Iced Cupcakes
Signature Mustache-Shaped Butter Cookies with Colorful Crystal Sugar Topping
After tea we explored “The Library,” a separate room lined with overflowing bookshelves and arranged with intimate groupings of small tables and chairs. Colorful, decorative paper umbrellas hang from the ceiling and diffused lighting sets the mood for quiet and reflective gatherings.
Every book on the shelf is for sale for the price of $1! All proceeds go to charity and book donations are always welcome to keep the shelves filled. We all had fun perusing and found a few treasures…
With our literary senses filled and our tummies too, we departed our Underwater Tea Party for a short stroll in the dusk along the little vintage stretch of McClendon where Dr. Bombay’s is located.
Tea time with loved ones = a cup runneth over with blessings,