Full of the Nervous Hilarity of the Doomed…

it is the day after the Metallica concert here, and one can witness a profusion of Metallica shirts on the streets. they are not, thankfully and however, all -new- (neither newly bought, nor for recent albums). to what to attribute this? are metalheads just still flush with the thrill of the experience, sold out and washed up and greying as Metallica has become, and thus could not do otherwise than wear it, glowing, on their sleeves? perhaps it represents the lingering ranks of the metal militia who have flocked from the out of town, and have yet to return to wherever it was from whence they came? i suppose it’s probably both. no real mystery there.

what is a mystery, however, is why it is so hard to find a copy of any book by Lucius Beebe that is not about eff-damn trains. after a more involved search than i think should be necessary, i’ve confirmed the existence (if not the availability) of several books of his collected columns, essays, etc, but little information as to what precisely they contain. more surprising still is that there does not exist already a collection of his early writings for Gourmet. which seems like some manner of cosmic oversight in today’s frenzy of food-culture publishing, where every horse and their boy has a kitchen memoir or food-blog book deal to flog. The Provocative Pen of Lucius Beebe covers his later San Francisco Chronicle years, but it is, predictably, his epicurean output that i am most interested in.

this being Lucius Morris Beebe – journalist, wit, gourmand, train historian, and all around snappy dresser. the latter aspect being better represented in through a casual investigation – as he pops up a couple of times on men’s fashion blogs, being considered something of a latter-day dandy, i guess.

a sufficiently enjoyable three-part biography of the man may be found at www.dandyism.net,


on aging: "High blood pressure, cheeriness at breakfast, a mellowing political philosophy, and an inability to drink more than half a bottle of proof spirits at cocktail time without falling over the fire irons all suggest dark wings hovering overhead and the impending midnight croak of the raven."


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