Friday, August 14, 2009
Rootless Cosmopolitan Pig Roast
After 35 years living in San Francisco, it's still a treat stumbling into brand new neighborhoods. Last Saturday, it was an area called Miraloma in a hillside valley between Twin Peaks and Glen Park.
The occasion was an annual pig roast hosted by John Burke (above) and his wife Peggy for a large galaxy of their friends, all of whom turned out to be interesting people.
Before this afternoon, I'd never met John, but felt like I knew him since he's been one of the smartest, sanest commenters on this blog for years under the nom de plume "rootlesscosmo." When he confessed that he had also been a fan of "FotoTales," my public access show from five years ago, I just about kissed him.
His old friend Harry Noller, a professor at UC Santa Cruz, was helping John with the Turning of the Pig inside of La Caja China Roasting Box...
...which our host maintains is the crucial element.
I asked Harry how he'd met John, and he said the two were at UC Berkeley in the late 1950s when they were both teenage jazz musicians. John had put up a card on a campus bulletin board offering the services of "an incredibly hip New York pianist," and they ended up playing together for a number of years.
John maintains that the "incredibly hip" part of the story is apocryphal. "I mean, it went without saying that I was incredibly hip if I was a young New York pianist."
A couple of hours into the lovely party, everyone started getting tipsy and hungry...
...and they gathered around La Caja China in anticipation of their pork.
They were not disappointed.