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September 2019
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Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce, originally uploaded by elefanterosado.

I’ve been wanting a candid photo of this old-timer for the longest time, if only because he is the very epitome of the Old Vermonter. Old Vermonters (who are always men) dress in a certain antiquated, rustic style. And speak in a vernacular that is neither nasal Massachusetts, Rhode Island patois, nor slow Maine drawl. It’s measured, syllable by syllable. And it’s unmistakably Vermont.

I first encountered this stately gent over a a year ago whilst grabbing a quick bite at a pizza house before heading out to pick up my son at his babysitter’s house. The place was empty, except for the sound of my cogitative chewing, which is about when I caught the slightly audible rise ( I have bionic hearing) up at the cashier’s desk. I glanced forward and saw the back of him: the tall hunting boots, well worn Carhartts, lumberjack’s shirt and old fisherman’s hat, but what registered mainly was the tone of aggravated annoyance.

“I’m sorry sir, I’ll see what I can do…” the hapless gal at the desk stammered in fear.

“But she needs it!”

“I know sir.”

Silence. And then:

“She NEEDS her BAAAHBA-CUE Sauce!”

The gormless counter gal bobbed and wavered before scuttering backwards to lick her wounds and (presumably) make good on her egregious error.

The tall boots stamped in my direction with the rehearsed pattern of a metronome. And stopped a booth short.

“Well?” the crisp voice of the woman in front of me demanded.( All I could see was the back of her neatly bobbed white hair.)

“I told ’em. I told ’em you need it.”

And with a great ill-humored “har-UMP,” he sat down.

My husband (a Minnesotan who delights in these Northeast characters) was crushed to have missed this choice episode. I was therefore ordered to keep my eyes peeled for a second sighting. For months on end he eluded us, but then..just as we were leaving our favorite breakfast joint last Saturday…like an apparition, there he was. With the stained glass window behind him and light flowing awash upon him, his coffee cup, ketchup bottle, crossword puzzle, and oh good God, I do *so* hope…her baaah-be-cue sauce.

Saxtons River, Vermont.

Uploaded by elefanterosado on 13 Nov 08, 10.00PM EST.