Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Joe Cardoza and Manhattans

I learned about Manhattans from my dad's friend, Joe Cardoza, who learned about them from an architect in North Easton, Massachusetts, named Everett W. ("Evie") Erickson.

When I was a teenager at the Easton Rod & Gun Club's hunting camp in Dummer, New Hampshire, Joe Cardoza told me and my father about how he and Evie Erickson went to a hotel bar in Groveton, New Hampshire in the 1960s and Evie ordered a round of Manhattans. Joe said, "I said to Evie, 'What the fuck's a Manhattan?' I never heard of a fuckin' Manhattan before." Apparently, according to Joe, they got so drunk on Manhattans that they were asked to leave the hotel in Groveton. This is funny to me because today, Groveton, New Hampshire is barely even a town because of the demise of the lumber and paper industry in northern New Hampshire. But in the 1960s, Groveton was still a vibrant town, even if it was polluting every breath of life out of the Upper Ammonoosuc River, which flows alongside it.

Everett Erickson, along with Louie Freitas, convinced me when I was five to eat a raw quahog on the half shell at Aucoot Cove.

It tasted like a gob of cold, salty spit mucous.

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