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Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Pina Colada Party

When I think of Betty, my memories are long. I’ve always loved her. My folks were building our cottage in Friendship, Maine and Betty and her husband (affectionately known as The Sheriff, as that was indeed his post apart from being the love of her life) had a place down the road. Betty has a strong magic in her: I sensed it when I first met her when I was on the much more youthful side of things and begged her to read my cards, not the tarot, just regular playing cards, to tell me my future—and what the hell, it’s 30 years later, I might as well confess that we shared a Pina Colada or two and even sneaked a few cigarettes too. It was a looser kind of time in those days and what conversations we had those long ago summer evenings, laughing too, getting to know each other’s stories!

Fortunate as Baby and I were to spend a couple of weeks in Friendship this year, I thought, “We have to throw a Pina Colada party for Betty to celebrate the years!” On a particular Friday around 5:30-ish our neighbors (new and old) showed up along with several friends, my parents and other family members while Betty held court—and of course, a Pina Colada or two. We served teriyaki chicken, fresh vegetables, watermelon, a pineapple-ham concoction, and mushrooms stuffed with crab on our sunset table overlooking Muscongus Bay and had an absolute ball.

The man that helped build our cottage once replied to my father’s concerns about a few imperfections in its structure by saying, “Well, it’s just a camp.” It became a joke but how funny an observation, it seems now, “just a camp.” The little place built by my father on an acre of land on a road hardly seems mere to me, or any of us, I think: it’s been full of friendship and memories to fill a lifetime. The decades we’ve spent in Friendship have only confirmed what people with dear friends and places know: some things remain. Thank you, Betty.

Pina Colada
Pour about ½ cup light rum (or a little more!) and ½ cup coconut cream (such as Coco Lopez) into a blender with 1/2 cup chilled pineapple juice. Add 2 cups ice and press the button, combining all the ingredients. When thoroughly blended, pour into six appropriate glasses and garnish with wedges of lime after fairly imparting their juices. Throwing in a few maraschino cherries is perfect for the mix as well.

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