A Glass of
by Eric Miller
townhouses on a well groomed, tree lined street
each sold on the same day. The three new
neighbors were retirees from different sections
of the country who had relocated to be near their
children and grandchildren. With confluent timing
and so much in common, they were destined to
become close friends.
Petillance Rhydell had left a vineyard behind,
over which they had toiled for ten years, turning
out inferior wine. Rhys compensated for this
through marketing. He replaced his corks with
baby style nipple tops and renamed his wine
"Suck and Savor." He and Petillance
hoped to retire to a high-rise in Gramercy Park
in New York City, but his marketing concept
failed. Financial reality brought them to this
suburban street in Pennsylvania which ironically
was named Gramercy Lane. Their townhouse backed
onto a steep, unmaintained hill, the crest of
which was bordered by a split rail fence. Rhys
planted a grapevine adjacent to each vertical
post of the fence, ultimately trellising the
horizontal growth along its length.
vineyard, looking no more grand than a lonely
flower in a single pot, became the symbolic
connection of Gramercy Lane, where any glass of
wine was referred to as "a glass of Gramercy."
Quinella Pullman were thrilled with the high
style and active depth of their new life. But
while it brought them much joy, it also gave them
a feeling of guilt. Raines, who was used to
mowing his own lawn, was surprised to see a
landscaping contractor arrive daily with Los
Mexicanos to take care of all things outdoor
around the complex. He felt sorry for the workers,
so much more disadvantaged than he and Quinella,
and he was worried that they were being exploited.
He sought advice from his therapist, Dr. Noel
Moore Gilt, a non-participating provider in his
health plan, who advised him to hum the uplifting
score from the musical "Les Miserables."
Instead, Raines learned how to roll his r's in
words like Torremolinos. He began standing on his
front porch handing out placards, giving fiery
speeches in broken Spanish, and organizing the
workers for whom he began to negotiate with
bosses whom were none to pleased.
studied Spanish guitar, learned to make tapas, to
dance Flamenco, and to make sure that "a
glass of Gramercy" was frequently a Rioja, a
Rueda, or a Ribera del Duero wine.
Luc and Sylvie
Grenier, introduced their new neighbors to "un
digestif" called Armagnac. Although the
women found it too strong for their taste, the
men loved it. In fact, Luc commented to them,
after the first time he served it, that they
drank a full bottle in one evening, when
typically a bottle would last for months, or even
years, in France.
his new friends explained, "here, it is more
than an after dinner drink. It is also a
delightful choice of bottle from which to fill 'a
glass of Gramercy'."