If you have been out of the loop for the last couple of days, the Last Amercian Baker was no longer allowed to be posted on Facebook.Somebody protested a piece I wrote, a piece that mixed the topics of sexuality with religion.
For 36 hours the blog was unplugged, and people from 39 countries had to sit waiting, wondering, because one lone soul took offense to my p.o.v.
At the begining of the piece I warned that the content was adult, but not pornographic. I was simply dealing with "Mentality" not "Physicality".
But none the less, the waters stirred.
"I AM SORRY"! I really am. I don't think I did anything wrong, but somebody who sat in front of a monitor took the time to report what they thought was something in poor taste and tried to douse my flame.
The person never contacted me, so I don't know their identity, but if whoever filed the complaint, if you are reading this....I really hope you will accept my apology.
In fact, this next post is dedicated to you.
I tried to think of the things that I said that might have upset you, and am going to try to replace those words with ones that might make you smile, or who knows....maybe even inspire you.
Years ago when I was running the 3rd shift at SuperMoms, my 1st wife told me that my career choice was detrimental to our marrige. I reminded her that when we met that I was pretty much a free wheeling slacker, and it was her that wanted me to make something of myself.
I thought I had.
She responded by informing me that her hope was that I would obtain a career instead of a job, but not a career that consumed my entire life.
I had resentment in my heart when she explained her feelings, I pictured myself as Captain Kirk sitting at the helm of the Starship Enterprise. I'd be adjusting my phaser and copping a look at Lieutenant Uhura. I'd have my ships laser beams pointed at a Gorgon planet and then some domesticated sidekick enters stage left and pulls the Captain away.
Not only does that make for bad ratings, but you know Kirk would be peaved at whoever replaced him in a position that seemed so natural for him to occupy.
I was compliant though. I gave notice, and left a career to pursue a job working as a cafe bake on Selby Avenue at Francesca's.
Typically I only worked 32-36 hours a week, and I'll bet my checks were 1/2 of what they were at SuperMoms, but I did get to see my wife more often.
The cafe was in a weird neighborhood. we were close to an intersection that serves as Saint Pauls unofficial boundry marker. One block to the North was housing for crack dealers. This was in the early 80's and rocks were plentiful. Entire neighborhoods were set on their ear.The crime was rempid.
Just a couple blocks to the South is Summit Avenue. This thoroughfare plays host to some of the most prestigous mansions in my state.
If you headed East, about a block or so and crossed the street, you'd be in the back yard of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. It sits on a hill which is actually built more like a small mountain and it looks over the downtown areas of our Capitol City, and the Mississippi River as well.
While working at Francesca's, I never took breaks, that is until the sun came up. Then I would sit outside on the curb and smoke 2 cigs while watching the Cathedral eclipse that blinding sun from the East.
Every second I partook of this daily ritual, I felt honored to be there.
More than once an early riser would be passing by while I was witnessing this miracle and they'd ask if they could join me. I always said "Yes" and I have to say, the rest of the day had a tough act to follow.
I think I worked at Francesca's just under a year, and then my wife announced her displeasure with the balance of our checking account, so she allowed me to go back to SuperMoms.
Several years passed and I found myself with a different woman and a new job. at this point I was on West 7th street.
I'll bet 7 years went by and the Mexican restaurant kaddy corner from us had to close shop. The rumor was that the old man turned it over to his 2 sons and within 6 months they used this long tenured concept as a springboard for cocaine consumption.
It turns out that Francesca ends up buying or leasing the joint. When she moved in she looked fab. She had dropped some weight and just generally looked healthier.
Although this concept was a cafe, it was utilized much heavier as a catering facility. In my opinion.....Francesca was the best the Twin Cities has ever seen in my lifetime.
About once a week, I would leave for work a hour early so I could stop in and pay a visit with her. By this point in my life I was constantly under the supervision of men, and I really missed that matriarchal vibe that she threw down.
One morning when I went in, I almost considered taking off because she seemed more busy than usual, but she told me that her immediate project would go by must quicker if I pitched in.
I don't remember what exactly we were doing, but I do remember we were on the line chopping veggies or something and some how we began discussing church, and growing up Catholic.
I presented Francesca with the idea that I would love to help Nuns bake in a monestary at some point in my career.
Francesa is Italian, and she began telling me stories about Italian Nuns making ciabatta's and foccacia's, and then she paused and reflected thoughtfully for a moment and went on to tell me the one bit of advice that has sustained me in every moment of peril that I have faced ever since.
"Danny,no matter how bad things get in your life, or the rest of the world, you never have to worry. In every city across the world, Nuns sit silently in rooms and pray for us. We cannot fail, its simply impossible. As long as there are Nuns, we'll stay afloat."
Have you ever heard anything so wonderful?