(Four Corners )
of Four Corners and the background of why Dan wrote this book.
The Photographer - (Tucumcari, N.M.)
Dan goes to Tucumcari,
New Mexico, to visit the photographer who took Ian Frazier's
picture for the the book Great Plains
Outlaw and a Politician - (Las Vegas, N.M.)
to the Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider Museum to visit the
"smartest lady in the world."
Blues Brothers - (Las Vegas, Nevada )
Who would have guessed
that riding an airplane-dressed as Shumu the whale-, would take
him to the mysterious rhealm of multi-millionaire Howard Hughes.
Adventures With Mark Twain - (Reno. Nevada )
Read some weird
stories of a bunch of "wild consultants" who spend a week in Nevada exploring!
Poet - (San Francisco, CA. )
This story describes
his first visit to San Francisco to celebrate a wedding anniversary. He
discovers the "ghost" of Jack Kerouac and hits several other literary
high spots while here.
Distant Listener - (Cape Cod, MA. )
Visiting Cape Cod,he
discovers Henry Beston and Gugliemo Marconi. This leads to a history lesson
on the beginning of radio listening and a unique baker (Ollie Ross) known
to have picked up every radio station in the world. Was Ollie Ross for
of the Essex Coast - ((Jekyll Island, Georgia )
Jekyll Island is
a special place for Dan. Study the billionaires who inhabited this island
every winter. Listen to their stories of richness and pettiness.
Writer and A Preacher - (Savannah, Georgia )
Did you know that
the sign indicating where Flannery O'Connor was born is really a lie?
And did you know John Wesley once fell in love here and caused a major
disturbance because of this love affair. If you have read The Midnight
in the Garden of Good and Evil, you need to read The Writer and
the Preacher to capture even more weird tales of Savannah.
- The Best Restaurant in the World (Grand Rivers, KY.)
This is Dan's favorite
eating place in all the world. Read this story and discover how a pot-bellied
pig named Calvin Swine became the symbol of great American cooking.
all time favorite restaurant is Patti's, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
Grand Rivers is a small town with a population of 438 located in the
western part of the state of Kentucky. Two rivers, the Cumberland and
the Tennessee, converge at Grand Rivers.
opened as Hamburger Patti's Ice Cream Parlor in 1977. It's specialty
is two-inch-thick charbroiled pork chops, peppered with special seasoning
and grilled over an open flame. Besides being tender and moist, they
are the "best and thickest pork chops you will find anywhere," I say.
To top off the meal, add flower pot bread with whipped strawberry butter
and mile high meringue pies.
Tullar's, "recipe developer" par excellent, other specialties include:
Mississippi Mud Pie - a double layer of frozen fudge and coffee ice
cream on a chocolate cookie crumb crust; Bill's Boatsinker Pie - a rich,
dark double fudge pie plus coffee ice cream piled high with whipped
cream, drizzled chocolate syrup and topped with a cherry; and Sawdust
Pie - coconut, graham cracker crumbs and pecans in an egg batter and
baked in a flaky pie shell. The recipe for Sawdust pie was first published
in Bon Appetit in May 1983.
1880 Restaurant is filled with antiques; including a wooden Indian named
Joe who sits in the family bathroom at the rear of the restaurant. Unsuspecting
guests are often taken unawares by Joe's presence in the bathtub, causing
from time to time consternation, then laughter.
the years, it has become a common for us to encourage those we take
with us to visit the john, then see the expression on their face as
they return to the table.
Bill Tullar, the elder statesman of the family, entertains
guests: telling stories, doing magic tricks, and introducing his friends
- Yama Llama and Utterly Cow - to all the little kids who visit the
my interest in his establishment, Bill took me outside and introduced
Calvin Swine - a pot-bellied designer pig that had been added
to his establishment. Calvin, as pigs go, was rather handsome. Weighing
only 40 pounds, Calvin entertained by drinking a RC Cola, then sitting
on his hind legs for some cashews. Bill explained his diet to me. "His
training began with jelly beans, then he began eating tomato slices,
but we became fearful he would become a diabetic, so we switched to
Patti's homemade potato chips. But we gave up on that too when the vet
said it had too much fat."
to Bill, pigs are the third most intelligent animals, only superseded
by primates and dolphins. "He is housebroken, sleeps inside by my bed,
and loves to ride around the neighborhood in my model A Ford convertible,"
Over Calvin's "pig house" is a note that states,
"I Think Your Dog Looks Funny Too."
Bill gave me further information on these minature pigs. He gave me
information about The Home for Designer Pigs located in Ellenwood, Georgia.
This was especially interesting to me since, after my birth, I was taken
to the Old School House in Ellenwood, Georgia, and I lived there for
the first five years of my life. I felt an immediate kinship with Calvin
and the other friendly designer pigs who were born in Georgia.
to the information Bill gave me, when a piglet is born, the adoptive
family is called and congratulated. Along with the new piglet come its
birth certificate and instructions on caring for it. (Calvin has Birth
Certificate number 106.) The pig's personality is chosen to fit the
family. A note that comes with the pig reads, "Designer pigs love
water beds, baby pools in the summertime, eating, and being the center
of your existence. They live for 25-30 years."
The 30 years
raised a question in my mind. I once worked with a man who bought a
baby alligator. The alligator would hibernate each year in the bathtub
in the basement of his mother's house. We were sitting at our desks
one day and the phone rang. With a sense of urgency, he leaped from
his desk and said, "I've got to drive 200 miles to Knoxville immediately.
Ralph has woke up. I've got to get him and take him to his cage." This
was when Ralph was 27 years old. I wondered, how would it be to live
with a pig for thirty years.
item Bill gave me was a copy of The Swine Times. Many designer
pig owners subscribe to The Swine Times, a bimonthly publication that
gives helpful hints for designer pig owners. Under a section titled,
"TOASTY TIPS FOR THE CHILLED-OUT PIG," were these helpful suggestions:
to provide your pig with plenty of rugs and blankets to burrow in
during the fall and winter months. If you're confining your pig
to an area without a concrete floor, not only is bedding material
important, but a heat lamp is a must.
going outside from heated homes may need a sweater during the next
few months. Don't risk a winter cold!
C helps to ward off winter sniffles and colds, so check with your
vet for proper dosages and start building up your pig's resistance
your pig becomes overweight, a strict diet of a 1/4 cup of Purina
High Octane in the morning and 1/4 cup of raw fruits or vegetables
in the evening will soon have your pig slim and trim again.
a further note of importance in The Swine Times. "A fly swatter is a
useful training instrument for building a bond of respect between the
owner and the pig."
I also read
the advertisements in the magazine and discovered that for those fortunate
enough to have a designer pig, personalized bandanas, turtleneck sweaters,
spandex jumpsuits, miniskirts, and overalls are available. For the California
look, visors and sunglasses are available. Some piglets even have their
the finest meal in America, I went home "fat as a pig."
summer of 1995 I returned to Patti's. In the fall of 1994 I had written
an article in The Nashville Tennessean about Patti's. I had written
at that time, "This is a true find. I've been all over the country eating,
and if I had to choose one best restaurant, it'd be Patti's."
soon surfaced that my statement had been placed on the back of Patti's
menu. I returned, not only to see if it was true, but to get a copy
of my own. Sure enough, there it was. When I described who I was, "the
guy whose name is on the menu," I said, I became a minor celebrity.
article came out, I sent all of my friends a copy to let them know I
amounted to something," said Bill Tullar. Then he presented me with
an official Patti's menu.
I had the
Reverend Wayne Burns with me on this trip. "He is a famous preacher
in Alabama," I told Tuller. "I wanted to bring him and show him the
menu, so that when I die , and he preaches my funeral, he can say,"
Dan K. Phillips was the only man I knew who had his name on the back
of a menu." Such fame astounds me. Who could ask for anything more?
Dan Kenneth Phillips
Dan Kenneth Phillips