The first wine Blake ever served me was a Chateauneuf du Pape. Photo by Kelly S. Kurt
We met after work over a cocktail for the sole purpose, it was revealed, of plotting some strategy for his entrée into the slippery world of the singles ads. And with that I clumsily withdrew from his life. A new set of friends was taking up more of my time and I let them, until Blake and I made do with an occasional phone call—with a promise, of course, to meet and do something, usually over a cocktail, less seldom a meal—and then nothing. I’d moved on, taken his lessons, his laughs, his lush brotherhood, and shelved them as I did my Library of America volumes of Lincoln, Sherman and Adams I collected and planned to retrieve when, one day, an opportunity for relaxed reflection arose.