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Dear Kay,

Sometimes I think you can read my mind. IT COULD BE TRUE, YOU KNOW. So when you Tweeted this video of Kaffe Fassett talking about his show at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, I thought, well, there you go again.

Kaffe has been on my mind ever since our return from California, seeing as how we made a stop at Nepenthe, the fabled restaurant in Big Sur run by the Fassett family. It’s where Kaffe grew up. It’s dreamy beyond description.
It had a hypnotic effect on us, as it apparently does to many who come there. Our last visit was in 1993, after Hubbo had finished the bar exam. Twenty years ago, we sat in that very room, late at night, fog swallowing the place. A lot happens in twenty years, doesn’t it?

Nepenthe celebrated its 60th anniversary a few years ago, and there’s a little movie all about it. Kaffe talks about his childhood growing up in this extraordinary place.

I’m going to pretend that the sun is sinking into the Pacific, an Ambrosia Burger and a cool bev in front of me, and take another trip to Nepenthe.

What does Nepenthe mean, anyway? At the 12:02 minute mark, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and some cool cats discuss the meaning of the word, sitting right there in the restaurant in a scene from their 1965 movie, The Sandpiper.


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  • Please Ann, say that 2003 was not 20 years ago!
    I would love to go there… Did you knit??

  • Ay yi yi, Mary! It was 1993 . . . it sounds like the Civil War . . . [off to edit!]

  • Ancient history… I just watched that whole movie, and now I want to go even more, and want to (as always) have a cup of tea with Kaffe…

  • In the late 80s my husband and I drove up the coast and stopped where we wish, not knowing a thing about our route. We ate at Napenthe without understanding or knowing it’s history and I was stunned to see Kaffe Fassett’s yarn and designs everywhere. The whole trip was serendipitously wonderful.

  • I would love to see a needlepoint resurgence (a la Kaffe Fassett or Candace Bahouth), but apparently we can’t get the needlepoint yarn in the U.S. anymore. We used to have mills here that produced it, but I was told that they closed. So if you want it, you have to order from England or France, supposedly. Alas.

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