When I was fifteen I walked into my local small-town bookstore and asked for a love story. The young woman behind the counter said she had just the book and proceeded to walk me over to the fiction section under “S.” She reached up to draw out a title, and then laid it in my hand. I looked down. The words Franny and Zooey peered up at me. I imagined that this book was about a young man and woman, artists, set in the 1950’s, stuck in a young love, one that can only have a bitter ending. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead I found that Franny and Zooey was a story about a brother and sister who shared a neurotically tortured upbringing filled with humor – one that can only come from a family raised by devoted NYC writers and artists. This sibling pair was lost. With Zooey’s puerile humor, and Franny’s naïveté they guided each other out. It wasn’t a book about the kind of love my teenage mind was hoping to acquire, but it was, in fact, a profound book about love that remains my favorite novel till this day.
I went on to fall for Salinger’s words and his remaining three books, including the novel of fictional essays titled Nine Stories. This composite of short stories brings me to my most recent pictorial escapade. The other week at Kenmore Square’s Hawthorne, an event titled “Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger,” was held. The event was created by Ted Munat to raise money for Autism and for the Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Ted Munat ‘s Le Mixeur started in 2009, a homestyle event of just mixing cocktails for friends that then spun into commercial venues featuring bartenders and sponsors. Three years later he decided to go nationwide. His son Sharky, being diagnosed with autism, was cut off from insurance for speech therapy. other families “held auctions, yard sales, bake sales, and whatever else they could muster,” to finance their children’s healthcare. Ted decided to make Le Mixeur his “yard sale.” This past march his first event raised 2000 and since then he’s connected with people in similar circumstances while holding events in NYC, Portland, and Boston.
“Picturing some rainy Seattle Sunday afternoon drinking cocktails and reading stories,” Ted added the Salinger theme to his event. A local Boston bartender was assigned to each one of the nine stores and their drink was specifically designed to be a sensory illustration of the characters and prose. Each cocktail dweller who made the night got to engage in each drinks interpretation. Le Mixeur Sharky is one of importance and empathy. I’m glad I was able to document the night and share this inspired event. Enjoy the photos, details of the drinks alongside their inspiration, and mementos from the originator of the charity as he shared what led him to create it.
“Some of my best friends are children. In fact, all my best friends are children. It’s almost unbearable for me to realize that my book will be kept on a shelf out of their reach.” – J.D. Salinger
“I started thinking about this goddamn poem I sent her when we first started goin’ around together. “Rose my color is and white, Pretty mouth and green my eyes.” Christ, it’s embarrassing – it used to remind me of her. She doesn’t have green eyes – she has like goddamn seashells, for Chrissake – but it reminded me anyway… I don’t know. What’s the usea talking? I’m losing my mind,” Salinger, Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes
John Gertson of Drink
“The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.” – Salinger, De Daumier Smith’s Blue Period
Sean Frederick of Citizen
“Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They’re always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions,” Salinger, Teddy
“She wrote to him fairly regularly, from a paradise of triple exclamation points and inaccurate observations,” Salinger, For Esme with Love and Squalor
“Her joke of a name aside, her general unprettiness aside, she was, in terms of permanently memorable, immoderately perceptive, small-area faces, a stunning and final girl,” Salinger, Down at The Dinghy
“If she was half as good-looking as she thinks she is, she’d be goddam lucky,” Salinger, Just before the War with the Eskimos
“Listen, if you’re not gonna be a nun or something, you might as well laugh,” Salinger, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut
“I regarded my self not only as the Laughing Man’s direct descendant but as his only legitimate living one,” Salinger, The Laughing ManPatrick Maguire of JM Curley
Rob Kramer of Chez Henri
And the raffle begins…some very lovely prizes were given by local eateries and bars
Kitti Amann of LUPEC
“Did you see more glass?” Salinger, A perfect Day for Bananafish
She won three raffle prizes that night….lucky gal
“Salinger’s stories in this collection mostly center on children, with the children holding wisdom and the adults holding pain and misguided approaches to life. I feel this has great relevance to Sharky…labeled as someone in need of guidance from us, the adults. But the truth is that Sharky knows exactly what life is all about, and we adults have much to learn from him.” – Ted
A Perfect Day for Bananafish – Sabrina Kershaw – The Citizen
Down at the Dinghy – Rob Kraemer – Chez Henri
For Esme – Scott Holiday – Rendezvous
De Daumier Smith’s Blue Period – Ted Gallagher – Craigie on Main
The Laughing Man - Ted Kilpatrick – No. 9 Park
Just Before the War with the Eskimos - John Mayer – Local 149
Teddy – John Gertsen – Drink
Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut - Tyler Wang – No. 9 Park
Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes – Sean Frederick – The Citizen
Ted is currently putting a book together called Still Life With Shark. Please check out the links below for Still Life, Le Mixeur, and for the Massachusetts Advocates for Children.