Sky Full of Bacon

In Memoriam, Fish

Several years ago my son Myles was given a small goldfish tank by our then-nanny. To say we were poor caretakers of goldfish would be putting it kindly. One time the nanny killed the two fish we had and hurriedly bought two new ones, and Myles came to me declaring “Lora cleaned the tank and the fish changed colors!” We went through numerous fish and soon stopped bothering to name them.

In mid-2005 I helped my friend Melissa Graham (now of The Local Beet and other fame) start an organization for educating kids about food, called Purple Asparagus. One of its first events was arranged by the chef John Bubala at his restaurant Timo (where Piccolo Sogno is now), with its spectacular back patio. John went all out— it really was the best Purple Asparagus event ever— and he had all kinds of activities for the kids including apple bobbing:

And goldfish races (I think that’s John’s son at left, I’m sure it’s Myles at right):

Blowing a fish down a Home Depot gutter with a straw would not seem to be a recipe for long life, but we came home with that fish— and amazingly, despite the rough beginning, the tiny and infrequently cleaned tank, and the fact that he never managed to gain any name more personal than “Fish,” Fish proved to be by far the hardiest and longest-lasting of our goldfish, by a factor of about 50, living nearly four more years until he was found floating head down tonight.  We paid him little attention in life, though Liam at least insisted in including him in any inventory of our family:

“So these are my favorite people in the family, from most to worst.  Buster [our dog], Mom and Dad are tied, Fish, and Myles is worst!”

I look at the pictures from that event and so much has changed— my kids are twice are big and don’t need a special event to eat interesting food out, friends of back then are, well, not so much, Timo is gone and John’s teaching at Kendall College— but Fish lasted through it all till now.  Requiescat in pace, Fish.  I’m glad my wife didn’t drink you by mistake before we got you home.

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