I have always found that tough times and situations bring out the best in mankind. When September 11th occurred, God Bless America resonated throughout Congress with hands held. In World War 2, the Americans, many of who perished overseas including my grandfather, stepped it up more than a few notches with some giving the ultimate sacrifice. And when a gal named Diem Brown goes to battle cancer for a third time, she starts a non-profit called MedGift . In as much as I like to ponder why the best comes out only during the toughest of times, I quickly become sidetracked by the good being had as a result. I relish in people acting as one. What brought this to a head to stimulate me to start writing again after a year or so absence are a few things.
First, I too am saddened by the recent loss of Robin Williams, yet see the outpouring of his soul to help others, while suffering on his own. Amazing man. Loving man. Someone I wish I had the gumption to imitate. You know it, the ‘I don’t give a crap what others think, I am going to be me’ thing. But in the end, we all do care deeply, but it takes an event or maybe even a catastrophe to bring out the good. After all, is not really all about people helping those less fortunate? But truly with his comedic front, one could not fully appreciate the brilliant work he was doing on the back end in helping others. Those less fortunate, those sick or dying, those not able to fulfill their life’s dreams. It is in the spirit of making our time here count for things far greater than ourselves, that these selfless acts make a difference. I think the proper phrasing here is ‘personal sacrifice for a cause greater than ourselves’. Being a bit introspective here, but looking inside for answers inside oneself is just as important – if not more important, than to looking outside for them.
I find the greatest of folks are never fully appreciated until they are gone, like Ronald Reagan a perfect example. I hear references to this great at least weekly. That’s the testament of greatness. In wine, names like Andre Tschelistcheff resonate loud and clear as without a leader in Napa like him and so many others, would Napa be the sacred wine powerhouse it is today? I think not.
I now turn to Napa and the community of folks I have learned to love. From wineries like Ceja, B.R. Cohn, Merryvale, St Supery, Silver Oak and Beaulieu Vineyards. But within that community, I must include a very special man: Lewis Perdue, an entrepreneur, writer, and a real giver. Once the quake hit, Lewis was the first to set up a forum. This forum had two areas, namely ‘Help Needed’ and those ‘Help Offered’. So when I see this come out like anyone else, naturally I click on the link . I mosey over to the ‘Help Needed’ and I just cannot believe my eyes as I notice there are NO ENTRIES! I am thinking this is some sort of mistake, so in an attempt to sanitize whether or not this forum is working I click on ‘Help Offered’.
Once again, I cannot believe my eyes but it is a different kind of disbelief. There are so many folks willing to help. I saw at least 24 folks willing to help from cleaning up glass and bottles, folks offering barrels, structural engineers, those willing to loan equipment to their neighbor and it goes on and on. Make no mistake, this is called an outpouring of love. A community of caring folks. So next time, when folks ask you what makes Napa so special, tell them it’s not just the wine, it’s the people and how they act as one when the chips are down.
And we’re not talking oak chips here!