To those linked here from Merrimack Valley Magazine, I offer a bittersweet welcome. I am terribly saddened by the news that brought you here–to my (now relaunched) personal blog. My “View” column and now-shuttered magazine has been many things for many years: a great friend, a diary of sorts and a source of pride but most of all, a way to stay connected with all of you, as I share
all most of the feelings and perspectives that this incredibly dynamic restaurant life creates! You have been so amazing and your loyalty so incredibly appreciated. Ego or otherwise, I get a kick out of each time someone who I do not recognize (I am the worst!!) sees me in public and shares how much they enjoy reading my column. That bi-monthly “industry love letter” began in the summer of 2009, thanks to my curious wife Kathy; she who non-stop amazes me with her ability to glean news and information while proving impossible to keep up with—a column for another day! Back then, Kathy read the very first issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine and was so impressed by both the concept and the quality— “This is what we need!” Soon thereafter, at her suggestion, I submitted a column for founder, owner, and then-editor-in-chief Glenn Prezzano’s review. That very first column was about my literary-restaurant hero, Anthony Bourdain—he who wrote “my book!” and became stoopid-famous. Glenn liked it enough, and twelve years and 73 columns later….I’m now feeling a great loss.
I am grateful to Glenn for the opportunity he gave me, to be able to share all I have and I am so proud to have been a small part of his great success. I am extremely sad for him–knowing first hand how much risk he took, how many sleepless nights he endured through the years, how many sacrifices he made to achieve what he did–only to finally make the painful decision in the face of daunting market conditions to let “his baby” go. I look forward to seeing what he “attacks” next–and truly hope he takes a big fat vacation first!
This here blog, splath.com, was for a very long time, my shorter, unedited, less thematic and surely less “scheduled” (without deadlines) writing outlet. I suspended SPlath.com in the Summer of 2020, torn in too many directions, as COVID threatened our livelihoods and forced me into a place that could best be described as “a bunker”— where a fairly single-minded mentality took hold; “We are at war.” (FYI, I tried monumentally to hide my aggression when I finally turned instead to Facebook, in an attempt to stay connected, from a positive and proactive perspective. Mostly. My angry, furrowed war-face is not actually a good look when hospitality is your groove!)
For the time being, it is here you can still find me—at least a column each month—until perhaps a new venue is discovered, or I finally write that book I’ve been threatening. I will try hard to keep it scheduled and dependable—one of the many great things that Glenn and the magazine provided for this distracted soul—a regimented, organized, deadline-driven format! He might tell you about how my name was joked about in the office…something I’m told was along the lines of “Plath-time.” I think it might be akin to Island-Time! It’s not a lie.
Thanks again for finding your way to SPlath.com and please continue to visit. Now, I’ll be needing a new editor. And perhaps a book coach.