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Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Leonard Jackson


Cooking Magic

Have you ever thought about the amazing number of entertainment choices we can access on our television sets with a simple click of a button at any time on any day – 24/7 as they say? Human behavior is showcased on every level under every conceivable circumstance.

We can watch people pawn their goods; lose weight; sell jewelry and most anything else; sue one another; pick a bride or a husband; buy and sell real estate; redecorate houses and apartments; fish and hunt and do whatever it is that the Kardashians do, not to mention the regular programming of news, weather and sports.

But my favorite new phenomenon by far is The Food Network We have continual shows running all day and all night featuring the newest celebrities with their own thirty minute show; we have some competitive shows where the contestants prepare exotic entries in a selected time frame creating frantic activity and extraordinary dexterity; we have elimination contests where contestants vie for cash prizes and the winner is the last one standing after some grueling judging by famous people whom most of us have never heard of.

And what are these acts of stamina, dexterity and extraordinary presentations that we are we treated to? COOKING!!!! That’s it. They cook. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not here to demean the good folks on these shows. Nor am I in any way trying to belittle the culinary skills they perform. They are obviously popular. Their numbers are incredible. And there is nothing I respect more than the success someone enjoys by creative ingenuity and marketing.

Also, one only has to see me in person to be immediately aware of my fondness for the art of cooking. I don’t have any skills personally, but I greatly admire the talents of others in this regard and enthusiastically participate in the fruits of their labor on literally a daily basis.

What I feel is worthy of note is the fact that these shows are not some special program on a larger network. No, they are the larger network. They have the major audiences. They have the superstars that everyone knows and loves. It is truly remarkable and refreshing, actually.

About twelve years ago I was in New Orleans and a friend recommended the hottest restaurant in town – NOLA. It was described as the smaller of the two restaurants operated in New Orleans by Emeril Lagasse. I wasn’t familiar with the name, but soon felt like I might be the last living soul that was not aware of the man and his New Orleans legacy. What really got my attention, however, was meeting a couple at the adjoining table at NOLA who had come down from Chicago with the sole objective of eating at the restaurants and meeting the man whom they were so fond of on his “Television Show”.

Now that got my attention. I readily admit to my lack of chic-ness or being into the latest happenings, but a television show featuring a restaurant chef? How could that be? Two nights later we had dinner at Emeril’s, the other restaurant, and to everyone’s excitement the “Man Emeril” was entertaining guests at the next table. Here was celebrity as large as any rock star or sports hero I had ever been around. And the especially good news – it was all G rated as best I could tell.

My point in all this is that television has such a commanding presence in our lives today that it can create not only a billion dollar industry, but produce hundreds of celebrities earning millions of dollars and what is it all about? What is this new miracle we have discovered and are infatuated with? COOKING!!!!
Is this a great time to be alive or what?

About the Author

As I prepare my “reentry” into the e-world of blogging, I am advised that I should provide my prospective audience with a brief biographical résumé covering my life’s work and future aspirations so that I, and my work, can be properly categorized and thus judged in the proper venue. Since I will be joining a new group in just a few short months, it came to my attention that for a quick summary I can cover my life span in 20 year segments that pretty well sum up the route that I took to get to where I am today. In December, the Lord willing, I will become a member of that esteemed group known as Octogenarians. . Now that may be a disturbing, even scary, pigeonhole for some folks to find themselves assigned to, but I’m beginning to realize some real benefits from being maturity advantaged. The first 20 years I grew up, was educated and began my married life and my career. Second period was about 20 years in the cotton business in Memphis, TN. Trading this commodity in the world’s largest inland cotton market. Third period was spent in the municipal bond industry in Memphis, Houston TX Chicago and finally to my present home in Kansas City, MO. The fourth 20 years I served as a registered investment adviser to a number of individual clients which I continue to do in a semi-retired capacity. In addition to all this, over all these years, I have been blessed with a loving wife of sixty years, four children, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and a menagerie of grand horses, dogs, cats and a donkey. Providentially, none of these, except of course my patient wife, are still living in the family home. And now the fifth period will be consumed in my new career. For the first time in all the years I have an opportunity to share my opinions with the world. I can truly express my thoughts without regard to any extenuating conditions. I can just say how I feel about any subject. How liberating. Let the blogging begin!!!! By the way – what I do in the next period remains to be seen and depends on how well I do in the fifth period.

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