DUCK’s New Grill


So, in Burlington, we lived in a condo on the third floor. No grills allowed, at least not ones with charcoal or gas. Had an electric grill which sort of boiled stuff. No lines or burn marks. Now, back in a home, I got a grill.

Now, I am not one of those champion grillers. I like chicken and steak, veggies, corn. Don’t have dry rubs or special marinades, except for one made with Jack Daniels and maple syrup. I can turn out a meal for two, eliminating the need for a giant unit. Not really invested in the skill, but love to cook.

Have given away all my tools. Need a fork, spatula and tongs. Wire brush. Cutting board. Cover. All new stuff and an extra tank. Feel like I live at Home Depot.

Bigger question: will we cook. Down here, everyone goes out to dinner. Early bird specials. Off season reductions if you pay cash. Not so easy to find locally grown stuff or prime meat. But being home has its benefits, especially since we pay so much for Comcast and A/C. Best thing: no drinking and driving.

Butter or Beer

Sharon and I volunteer at the Burlington Emergency Food Shelf. If you have stuff which people can use, I will pick it up and distribute it. Call me. Someone will use it.

A lot of people I have photographed on the street come for breakfast and then, if eligible, pick up food and supplies. Today, Rich Fish came in. He has a place to live, though not one where he feels he has enough safety and structure. But he has a place to cook and a place to store food. The last time I shot his image, he was cooking franks down by the Coast Guard Station on a grill. I found him, delivered a print, which he lost when someone stole his backpack, or maybe he left it somewhere.

He couldn’t find butter in the cooler. He needed to cook noodles/pasta, which will stick together without it. Previously, I had given him a dollar which he had designated for a beer. Now he has a problem: he needs another dollar, some butter or he can settle for sticky noodles. He thanked me for the dollar and headed off with his groceries. No longer homeless, he can only come every two weeks and what he gets ain’t much. But, in this weather, he’s a lot better off than he was and not as good as he will be now that he is off the streets.

Earlier in the morning, I had given a dollor to a person who didn’t want it. The guy, whom I have seen on the street, said to give it to someone more worthy. I don’t know his name and he hasn’t let me take his photo. But he always says hello, sometimes calling me Dick, instead of Duck. I told him he could give it to someone worthy and refused to take it back.


As the morning shift wore on to its end, I saw the guy give the dollar to a woman who was picking up for herself and family. She accepted it, graciously, walked over to me and handed me the dollar. “You deserve this for helping us.”


Thanksgiving Dues


So, people, not many, have asked what I am doing for Thanksgiving. Does it matter? I will eat something that’s on my diet, nothing special. Gave up Turkey years ago. Used to work in the Courts enabling people to spend more time with their families. Then Sharon and I would go to Peter Luger for dinner. In VT, everything closes down. I’d go to EB Strong, a local steakhouse, but it isn’t open.


Dawn looked cold. Felt worse than it was today. If it were March, people would say its a heat spell. She didn’t manage her money well this month. Out of cash until December when she gets her check. What will she do?


Russell had a guy living with him who punched him out and then tried to have him kicked out of his place. He prevailed. Has a turkey and trimmings from the food shelf. People feared the shelf would run out of Turkeys. Someone yelled at Russell for being in line, because he didn’t look homeless or needy enough.


And, there’s Molly again. Close, but not just there. She’s got Ed’s dog to keep her warm, but the cold bricks on the street don’t care. She can do it. Just not sure when. Until then, we got to pay our dues and not eat more than we give.

Cheese Whizzed

So, I need to go on a diet. Just not comfortable with the weight. Better to do it before the Holidays. Got to cut out cheese, all kinds of cheese. I like the artisan cheeses, the low fat cheeses and the artificial cheeses. No more junk food. But, if you had to guess, would you believe the phony stuff goes back to the 1800’s. Yup. They have been Cheese Whizzing us for more than a century. Damn. Here, I was worrying about genetically modified foods.

Burlington Food Shelf

What would you do if you didn’t have food to eat or friends who would feed you? Where would you go? What would you eat? Where would you sit? Whom would you know?

I went there to find out. Arrived late, 10:00ish. Breakfast over. Lunch in the bins. Grab a tray and a plate. Point. Noodles and ham. Mac and cheese. Something else. Not much green. Hard boiled eggs from breakfast. Got reprimanded for taking a muffin without using the tongs. Won’t do that again.

Knew a few people from the street. Didn’t want to intrude or take pictures. One guy asked why I haven’t delivered him his print. Hadn’t seen him. I wish I had been carrying it.

Sat at a table that had a tray with two empty plates. A guy sat down next to me, facing the food service area. “Only two rules, here, it is not like a Seder. Don’t take food with your hands and don’t ask for seconds if you haven’t finished your firsts.” Jewish guy named Everett. Knew George Solomon. Wouldn’t let me take his picture. Likes movies, old moviesLives in his car, except when the temperature goes to zero. “”11 years in my car. Guess that means I ain’t that homeless.”


OZ Supports JUMP in Burlington

Hunger doesn’t know a season. People living on the edge need food all the time, every day. Don’t take it for granted that all the cupboards have been filled. Burlington has a lot of people who could use more food in their cabinets.

Nutrition comes after all the other expenses. What does a place to live cost? How do you get to the store? Car cost. Public transportation takes time and effort. Walk to the neighborhood store to shop and you pay a premium. How about fresh fruits and vegetables? Cannot buy frozen without a freezer. Fast food kills. Suppose you have a disability. Who carries the food or prepares it? Hmm. Given the choice of buying toilet paper, diapers or feminine hygiene products, which do you select with your last dollar? And, some are dealing with other human problems that interfere with clear thinking.

Very complicated, yes! Here’s an easy solution. Don’t give it much thought, unless you want to. Just fill a bag from the supplied list. Someone will deliver it to JUMP and a person who cannot make ends meet will get it. You will receive an easy mitzvah.

Good Shabbos.


Roast Pork instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving


Bone in pork roast. Just a few chopper guys that haven’t been separated. Chopped rosemary and smashed garlic, salt and pepper, all around, covered by McKenzies bacon on top. Sit in fridge for 2 hours.

Baste with Jack Daniels, Vermont Maple Syrup, and Pinot Noir (what you will be drinking with the meal).

Cook until the meat is done to your liking.

Serve with Sweet Potato, green vegetable, and salad.

This Turkey thing needs to be stopped.

Becky On Cherry

I saw her on a milk crate near Ben and Jerry’s. She looked young, cold, and sad. “Need some food,” I asked? “I need cat food,” she replied. I gasped, immediately thinking she would eat cat food as a tuna substitute. “Do you have enough money for food?” “Yeh, my boyfriend gets SSI and we do a little work, but its barely enough to cover rent and food. I don’t usually come out her to sit. I just need some money to feed my three cats.”

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