Steps Back Into Time

It’s been back and forth across the country during the past two weeks … visits steeped in history and comforted by single malts.

I was in Central New York to attend the 50th reunion of our high school graduating class. As might be expected, no one had changed a bit, our eyesight was just as keen as ever to read the tiny type on those name cards, and our personal histories put Lake Wobegon to shame. I had a chance to visit the first place I ever encountered single malt whisky – Scotch ‘n Sirloin, and had several commemorative drinks. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, is now a state park, running hundreds of miles across New York. Near my mom’s home, the canal still evoked a sense of history in the Westward expansion of our country. It was a real treat to see it again.

Flagstaff’s Arizona Highland Celtic Festival does a great job of educating people about spirits of the Celtic regions. We were kept busy presenting seven whisky seminars over three days, including one at the historic Weatherford Hotel. Surrounded by old-west memorabilia (Zane Grey was a frequent guest, and wrote Riders of the Purple Sage here), 25 guests enjoyed exquisite single malts, shared banter about the festival, and relaxed in the hotel’s 1900s-era mezzanine. The claw-foot bathtub in my room added to the ambiance of the hotel’s role in Arizona history.

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