Wine and “Chicken-Skin” Boots

by klparry

Hello Friends!

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my reading choices extend to the classics. Today I want to share with you a passage from a memoirs that I found surprising and amusing, and which has nothing to do with writing.

Written in the mid 1800’s by Richard Henry Dana Jr. the book is titled Two Years Before the Mast – A Personal Narrative of Life At Sea.

This story takes place before California has become part of the United States.

“The Californians are an idle, thriftless people, and can make nothing for themselves. The country abounds in grapes, yet they buy bad wine made in Boston and brought round by us, at an immense price, and retail it amoung themselves at a real (12 1/2 cents) by the small wine-glass. Their hides too, which they value at two dollars in money, they give for something which costs seventy-five cents in Boston; and buy shoes (like as not, made of their own hides, which have been carried twice round Cape Horn) at three and four dollars, and “chicken-skin” boots at fifteen dollars apiece.”

I find this amusing seeing that our economy has not changed much in the sense that we are still paying good money for bad imported wine when we make some of the best wines here in California.

The part about “chicken-skin” boots was just funny.

Until tomorrow, Write On!

~ K.L. Parry