This is a big weekend in the Casey house, thanks to a confluence of amazing recent events in Roanoke, Hollywood and Blacksburg. I hope you’ll permit me to brag just a bit.
First, on Friday morning the gifted chemists at Big Lick Brewing Co. on Salem Avenue resumed canning their hottest-selling beer, the delicious and tantalizing Casey’s Kolsch.
Known colloquially as “Dan in a Can,” production went on a lengthy hiatus last year. One reason was the COVID-19 pandemic. Another was the attempted Jan. 6 overthrow of our federal government. I heard the brewers boycotted production until Donald Trump was out of the White House.
I can’t confirm those rumors, but it makes sense because there’s no such thing as coincidence, eh?
In 16-oz cans, Casey’s Kolsch sells for $84 per case. That might sound pricey, but this is no ordinary beer. Astute imbibers have discovered it instantly increases their sex appeal, which attracts crowds of potential paramours. So $3.50 per can is actually quite a bargain when you consider all the side benefits.
The word is, Casey’s Kolsch is flying off the shelves, so you might want to grab some soon.
Friday night served up another milestone, at movie theaters in and around Roanoke. That was the nationwide opening of a major Hollywood release, “A Quiet Place Part II.” It’s the sequel to actor-director John Krasinski’s 2018 sci-fi horror “A Quiet Place, which was a surprise hit.
The movie’s about an Earth invasion by blind but deadly alien creatures who hunt humans using supersensitive hearing.
You may know Krasinski from his starring role in “The Office,” a hit NBC television sitcom. Though he also starred in “A Quiet Place,” his character gets killed by the end. Krasinski’s real-life wife, actress Emily Blunt, stars in both films.
Made on a budget of $17 million, “A Quiet Place” grossed more than $340 million worldwide. Originally, “A Quiet Place Part II” was slated to debut March 17, 2020. But the filmmakers kept it on ice for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sequel features a 1988 Volvo 240 station wagon known all over the Roanoke Valley. It’s the car in which my son Zach, now 22, learned to drive. I chronicled those adventures in a series of columns.
Zach bought the pale yellow Volvo wagon in 2014 for $650 from a customer of Boxy Swedish Car Repair on Salem Avenue. Then he paid the garage another $400 or $500 to get the wagon on the road. After Zach grew disenchanted with it in 2018, I bought it for $1,800.
The next year, I washed and waxed the car, vacuumed it and christened her “Gunilla.” Then I advertised her on Craigslist for $3,000. A company in New Jersey that supplies cars to filmmakers bought her for $2,500, but declined to divulge the name of the movie. I figured that out later.
The purchaser repainted Gunilla maroon before filming began, and she stars in at least one of the sequel’s heart-stopping scenes. That’s also in the sequel’s trailer, which emerged on YouTube in January 2020. I urge you to give that a look. For sure, it’ll whet your excitement for the film.
The other event’s even more momentous than those two. It occurred in Blacksburg May 20, when I and a pal, Gary Hunt, took out the town’s most famous artist for lunch.
Sally Mook, 85, won the meal in a pandemic-limerick contest Hunt inspired me to launch last winter. Readers submitted more than 100 limericks, which Hunt later collected into a book he self-published and sold, “Laughing in the Face of the Pandemic: Limericks in the COVID age.”
The proceeds raised $1,100 for Kids Soar, a children’s literacy program operated from Trinity United Methodist Church in Old Southwest.
Mook’s deaf but has a cochlear implant. Her winning limerick reflected on the difficulty hearing-impaired people have communicating with others who wear pandemic masks. Here it is:
“Mask wearing is truly dismaying/ My hearing impairment is staying/ I’m missing folks’ quips/ I can’t read their lips-/ I need to ‘see’ what they’re saying.”
During lunch, Mook divulged to Hunt and me that she and her late husband, Dean Mook, owned a book full of limericks that were so naughty, the couple had to hide it as they raised four children. I like to think she consulted that for a bit of contest inspiration.
Mook also drew the cover art of Hunt’s next book, “Music as a weapon — fighting the virus with my guitar!” It’s a collection of limericks about how the pandemic has impacted performing musicians. He said the proceeds from that will help support local music. If you have a limerick for that one, send it to Gary Hunt at email@example.com
After a delightful lunch at Avellinos, Mook presented me with one of her latest paintings, of the 1,000 or so she’s produced in the past 30-some years.
She titled the artwork, “Who took the Dan Casey column?”
It depicts a wide-eyed mutt wearing a tag displaying the name “KC.” He sports a mouthful of chewed-up newspaper, above tatters of this column, which litter the floor below. One of the fragments shows my image.
Sally, thank you so much! I can’t imagine a greater honor. Has any other American columnist ever been celebrated in a work by so distinguished a painter? George Will, eat your heart out.
So my car’s in a Hollywood movie that debuts on the same day local brewers resumed canning my namesake beer, which is a reputed aphrodisiac that’s safe to consume now that Trump’s no longer president.
Meanwhile, “Who took the Dan Casey column?” hangs above the desk in my home office.
Such lucky streaks don’t come along too often. You bet I’m picking up some lottery tickets.