Mustard Museum in Wisconsin a real hoot...Off to my favourite place - Muskoka
Had a great time reading in USA Today about a guy who started a mustard museum in Wisconsin. Seems the man, Barry Levenson, was so upset about the Boston Red Sox losing the 1986 World Series that he wandered around aimlessly in a grocery store for quite some time after the final game.
He told himself he needed a hobby and that he should collect stuff. Just then he looked up and found himself staring at jars of mustard. Voila, a museum idea was born.
I like this story for several reasons. Number one, it's quirky. Number two, Levenson is a riot. He has an entertainment section at the mustard museum (it's in Middleton, Wisconsin, by the way) and he calls it "Mustard-piece Theatre." Just a guess, but I suspect his musical accompaniment might be "Mean Mr. Mustard" from the Beatles Abbey Road album? He also has an educational component called, wait for it, Poupon U. So there's that.
But I also love mustard. I mean, I REALLY love mustard. My buddy Jim Kirk used to kid me in high school that I had more mustard stains on my clothes than any person alive. I remember a garish blue velvety kind of jacket I had with a creme-coloured fur lining that always seemed to have mustard on it.
(I know that sounds like really bad fashion but it was the 1970s. I remember my high school history teacher, Mr. Taylor, once told me that he wouldn't listen to my argument about some particular event because, and I quote, "I don't listen to people in purple pants and cowboy boots." For the record, I distinctly recall they were burgundy bellbottoms, tres populaire at my high school in 1973. And, yes, I often wore cowboy boots with the pants. Occasionally with a flowered shirt. You had to be there.)
Anyways, I love the idea of the mustard museum. And it's perfect for Wisconsin, where they worship bratwursts. Levenson, who calls himself the museum curator and CMO (Chief Mustard Officer) apparently has 5,200 kinds of mustard on display, including some with cranberry and even root beer. Just think of the stains I could make on my shirt with those babies.
OFF TO MUSKOKA
Taking a day off to visit some friends on Miller Island in Lake Muskoka; just about my favourite place in the world. They're building a new cottage and I'm looking forward to seeing it and maybe lending a hand. But mostly just catch up with friends and sit out and gaze at the water and the sky and the clouds and the beautiful rocks and islands and trees.
It's so quiet and restful and they have a lovely view out into the main lake and of a tiny, perfect island called Tiffany Island. It's absolutely wonderful.
My buddy, Jim, was born in Wisconsin. I dare not take him any bratwurst because it wouldn't be as good as what he can get at home. But maybe I should stop and get some mustard, because I forgot to mention in the above note that Saturday is National Mustard Day in the U.S.
In an unrelated item, I see that Barbara De Lollis at USA Today and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are reporting that several hotels in Hot-lanta are on the verge of closing, including the Marriott Renaissance near the downtown business district, a 502-room behemoth where I stayed for some Atlanta Braves' postseason baseball games as I recall.
"The closures come at a time when Atlanta hotels are struggling to fill beds and keep rates from sinking," De Lollis wrote. "Travelers today, in fact, are able to snap up luxury hotel rooms in some top-tier hotels such as the InterContinental, Grand Hyatt and W hotels for less than $100 a night."
Now, that's remarkable.