Monday, March 9, 2009

Shannon Downey & Her French Husband Guillaume Come To Say " Hello " Before Going Off To Dinner At Either Palena Or Dino, I Can't Remember Which

Here are the pictures that I took of Shannon Downey and her French husband Guillaume when they stopped by the store to say " hello " before going off to dinner at either Dino or Palena. I can't remember now which. They do business with both restaurants as well as Sorriso - all in our Cleveland Park neighborhood. I like that : supporting those that support you. We try and buy as much as we can from Downey Imports at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ).

Here was a perfect moment of relaxation, brightness, fun and celebration. For me it was a bit my own celebration for a number of reasons. First : both Guillaume and Shannon thought enough of me to stop by. Second : here were two young people married just a few years stopping by to see me who is much older and has been happily married now twenty-five years or so. Third, I like both of these two quite a bit and enjoy their enthusiasm and " other " pursuits as well as of wine. Fourth: it was my time just for a few moments with them to enjoy and absorb. Fifth : it was a moment to open something nice and show my appreciation of them both as individuals as well as a really nice couple - and to open a nice bottle of white wine to celebrate our brief moment in time together. And I could go on but will now redirect my focus here.

Who were these two beaming back broad and big smiles at me? What could I tell from their happy, beaming, radiant expressions? What can you the viewer see or divine or surmise?

For me I come to this with more information than most of you. Perhaps some of you that know these two well will be alerted to these pictures by one of them and draw your own observations? That would be nice. This blog is all about sharing and drawing attention and light to things that I feel really do merit both.

I look at them both with their glasses of white wine and their expressions and I see a happy couple before me. I see youth and energy and focus and some real passion. There's excitement awaiting them and they look more than up for the experience(s) before them. I like all of this : I like that their canvas that they are filling ( both figuratively and metaphorically ) is only half full if that. I like their blush and their color of youth and stepping out and forward to fill more of these spaces. Of course I am imagining these things. They come to me now with thought and consideration. It's a nice exercise this one of mine because it fills me with hope and these thoughts indeed do please me.

Before me are standing an integral part, too of what makes Downey Selections work and relevant to many others including me. They both were drawn to the business by Shannon's father and mother and they have embraced these new challenges of working for their small family business with gusto, good cheer, purpose, direction and professionalism. They are both consummate professionals.

Guillaume is a photographer/ cinematographer/historian with a camera, and more. He's French and has already worked with Shannon on a documentary of the middle and high school that Shannon attended in North Arlington, Virginia. They have taken it among other places to WETA ( Public Television Channel 26 ) to see if they could get it aired. Has anything resulted from this effort and any other?

Shannon majored in French studies and language at William & Mary. She met Guillaume in France. Was it Paris where you both met Shannon? I can't remember where you said. I knew both Shannon and her brother, Brennan ( whom I just recently blogged about here ) while I was working with their father Michael at the Mayflower Wines & Spirits back in the mid-eighties. Wow, that sure does seem like a long time ago.

I remember back then that at least on one occasion Michael brought Shannon down to the Mayflower Wines & Spirits ( used to be located at the corner of M Streets and New Hampshire Avenues N.W. D.C. ) to speak some French with me. That has always made my knowing her even a bit more special.

Shannon, you radiate such intense joy in your smile : it's pretty much amazing, really it is.eep it up, it sure is a welcome treat.

Guillaume I got to know as at first he would deliver our orders to the store. I loved to talk with him in French and kid him about having it easy and not working very hard : being on vacation each time he came to Washington D.C. to make supposed deliveries?!? I was egging him on to see his reaction and he played along beautifully with me never really letting me rattle his cage. I liked that. To me that cemented my friendship with him and I always smile each and every time that our paths cross. This evening was no exception.

Shannon works in the office and manages it, the paperwork, typing and printing the orders, answering the phone, putting out fires quickly. She's always bright and pleasant on the phone ( has great phone matters ) and is helpful and attentive to everything. I call her sometimes just because I like to hear her voice. Sure, I could just call her brother Brennan, but sometimes I just want to hear Shannon's bright, warm voice. You probably already figured that one out Shannon. huh?! It also gives me a chance to hear another side and speak some French and inquire after Guillaume that sadly no longer delivers to us.

So, to all this, these memories and the new ones that a chance moment like this affords us I say thanks. It's good knowing you both. With Brennan you three represent the future of the wine business. We are all going to turn over some day our batons to you and you three will do a grand job : you already are.

Come and see me again and next time let's go to dinner at one of the three restaurants mentioned earlier : Sorriso, Palena or Dino. That would be nice, a treat and I'm sure we could tell each other some fun stories, too.

I can't remember what wine I offered you both on this night? Do either of you remember? I enjoyed it whatever it was. I know it was one that you did not sell me. I also know it was one that I thought you both would enjoy trying.

Say " hello " for me to your mother Peggy, to Bill and to all the others that work with you at Downey Selections. I know that we have a new order scheduled to come to us real soon. Brennan has been bringing me some amazing Italian and French ( now Uruguayan wines, too ) to taste recently. I loved the Ruche, for example that I just tried : the current vintage is so bright, fresh and forward : with so much appeal and charm! I'm almost out as I have been recently recommending it wholeheartedly to everyone.

Caio and cheers et a la prochaine mes amis. Venez vite me voir. C'a fait vraiment trop longue temps depuis notre dernier visite, n'est ce pas vrai?!? Je vous embrasse tres fort, une a la fois et apres ensemble, comme un sandwich tous nous trois - le bijoux de Shannon au milieu des deux hommes gentils, beaux et intelligents comme il faut dans la vie ... comme je raconte des histoires, excusez-moi ... comme je suis un peu mechant aussi !!!! A bientot, TONY

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