The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Category: Uncategorized

Say Hello in There: What the Wisdom of John Prine Teaches Us About the COVID-19 Crisis

prine

For the past three weeks, I have listened to the same song each night before bed.

In retrospect, it may have been prompted by a conversation with my children. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, I sat them down to talk about it. There’s no playbook for how to parent children during a novel virus outbreak, and the first thing I could think of was their mental health. I urged that, no matter what happens, they should always feel free to speak about how they are feeling. These unusual times – and the disconnection they require – will impact all of us, young and old. Suppressing emotions can only compound the harm. In the next breath, I asked that they think of others: remain mindful of how the crisis is impacting those less fortunate than us. As I remind them often, we are blessed. This crisis is no different. No matter how inconvenient social distancing may feel, others will suffer far greater consequences from COVID-19.

My daughter, 12, said: “Like the elderly.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“They will be scared,” she said. “And lonely.”

She is right.

We stand on the shoulders of the wisdom and work of the generations before us. For that, they deserve not just gratitude. But, our love. Our time.

One of the great gifts of John Prine is his compassion to grasp this, even at an early age. He was still in his early 20s when he wrote Hello in There, which warns of how loneliness can grow with age. Few songs offer more timely advice:

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare
As if you didn’t care,
Say, “Hello in there
Hello”

While walking the dog walk this weekend, I encountered friends and neighbors gathering around the house of a widow, singing her Happy Birthday, as she threw air hugs to the crowd. In an empty house, a rare moment of connection on her 88th birthday.

Reach out. Engage your neighbors. Call your parents. Volunteer.

Say Hello in There.

birthday

Watch Charlottesville Chef Ian Redshaw on the Food Network on Beat Bobby Flay

ian

If quarantining has you turning to the TV screen, you can watch one of Charlottesville’s top chefs on the Food Network, in a new episode of Beat Bobby Flay. Formerly of Prime 109 and Lampo, Ian Redshaw last year was a James Beard semifinalist for national Rising Star Chef the Year, and is now featured in Episode 7 of Season 24 of Beat Bobby Flay: All Dried Out Over You. Watch it On Demand on your TV or stream it here.

Feed Cville: Keevil & Keevil Launches Kitchen to Feed Hundreds of Daily Meals to Those in Need

keevil kitchen

Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen is temporarily suspending commercial operations to devote all resources to feed those in need.

The Belmont shop run by Jennifer Keevil and her husband Harrison had already been leaving out twenty free lunches each day for those in need. Now, as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the Charlottesville economy, the shop will shift to an exclusive focus on feeding those in need, much like Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen rushes to feed victims of natural disasters.

By April 13th, the Kitchen aims to provide 500 free meals per day, and is working now to identify recipients and develop distribution. In the meantime, the kitchen will begin this Monday, March 30, with production of 150 meals daily — breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

“At the end of the day this is what we are supposed to do,” said Jennifer. “Take care of our neighbors in their time of need.” Harrison agrees, and sees the Kitchen as a win-win – a way not only to feed those in need but also to support local farmers, whose business are suffering during the COVID-19 crisis. The Kitchen will purchase and use as many local ingredients as possible.

“As a child, I was regaled with stories of my Great Grandfather, Sir Ambrose Keevil, who helped on the home front during and after WWII by getting food to people who needed it,” said Harrison. “I thought about that burning desire to do something good for others that he must of felt.” That inspired Keevil to take action now. “I love my community,” Keevil said, “and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that those who need something good to eat will have access to it.” 

How to Help

Keevil & Keevil is creating a charitable fund to support the Kitchen. Until the fund is established, the Kitchen is accepting donations through Venmo @keevil-kitchen. Donors should use #FeedCville in the subject line.

How to Get Help

If you know of a group or individuals that could benefit from these meals, email keevilkitchen@gmail.com.