Fork and Vine Restaurant and Wine Bar

Today we enjoyed a most lovely lunch at the Brixwood Fork and Vine Restaurant and Wine Bar. It has replaced the former Russel Hill Winery which has been closed for some time. The ambiance of the establishment is delightful and the food and wine was to ‘die for!’ Jonathon had told us of the wonders of the Bleu-Cheese and Bacon Burger…but the experience is more than words can speak… The Feather Hills Cabernet was so good…we purchased a bottle for home. Aaron had a wonderful Salmon Wrap…and the fries were scrumptious. We sat outside but with a roof over our heads with a nice ceiling fan turning…it was cool and complete.

Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale is preparing for the beginning of Fall Semester classes on Monday. Jonathon said that the Sunny Side Cafe was full of people this morning…for breakfast. Our little city has added significant population…this weekend…in preparation for higher learning. The official enrollment numbers will not be taken until the 10th day of classes…but we hear good things. However enrollment is just a shadow of its former self…in the 1990s. The Carbondale Campus had just under 25,000 in its heyday. In those days there were 5 multiplex theatres in town as well as a thriving mall with several anchor stores and restaurants. R. Buckminster Fuller lived in Carbondale and taught at the University. Fuller’s home in Carbondale was a geodesic dome…and it is still standing.

Organizations that I have been affiliated with for over 50 years…are usually…top heavy. They have many administrators and managers and leaders…but few followers in comparison to the magnitude of the leadership team. So much of the decision making of governments and universities and churches…is comensurate on what the leaders think is good…for them. The opinions of we little people…are often not considered. For more times than I can count…I have witnessed decisions made regarding what is good for the rank and file or the student…or the congregant out of protection of place and position and continuation of appointment…and the decisions are driven by our own narrow set of values and the opportunity to impose those values on those who we are supposed be protecting. Protection of position rather than leading with a servants’ heart…has become increasingly rare…

Faces are important. This is why, on some occasions, we enjoy wearing a misleading face…or a mask. When we make mistakes…we look for our ‘Smiling and Everything is All Right Mask’ to hide behind and fool our friends and neighbors and colleagues into believing that we have not made a bad decision…but rather a good one… In Florida…we proclaim freedom…to mask our inadequacies and ineffectiveness and ignorance… We stayed much too long in our 20 year war in Afghanistan…and now we are leaving devastation in our absence…and mask wearing in the wake of our bad decisions…

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