SKINNER AND DANIELS

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In my youth in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I was born, this was the place to go for bar-b-q.  It was where your grandparents took you for a special night out — grandparents who were just a generation removed from the farm, for whom the country cooking at Skinner and Daniels was an occasion for nostalgia.  The sign with the pig in fancy dress seemed magical to me as a child.

The place is gone, the grandparents are gone, the sign is gone, the 23 year-old youth in the baseball cap is gone — but not really . . .

[Photograph © 1973 Langdon Clay]

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A STANLEY KUBRICK PHOTOGRAPH FOR TODAY

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This is from the late 1940s.  For me in New York in the 1980s, wearing a tuxedo, smoking a cigarette and hanging out with an elegantly dressed woman in a bar wasn’t an everyday occurrence, or a weekly occurrence, or even a monthly occurrence, but it wasn’t so rare as to be automatically memorable.  It was just something that happened from time to time, in the normal course of life.

I can’t imagine that any guy born in the 1980s or later could really relate to that.  Our strain grows weaker.

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