Author Archives: Jeffrey Carter

About Jeffrey Carter

University administrator, voice teacher, choral director, professor, singer, professional theatre music director, brother, son, uncle, Anglican, Scotch drinker, chef of moderate talent, NPR fanatic, gin aficionado, proponent of the music of Herbert Howells and Elgar and Vaughan Williams, pianist, composer, theatre geek, dog love & cat hater, author & blogger, world traveler, church organist, Anglophile.

#Reminscences: Dairy Queen

I was talking with colleagues the other night about night-time rituals as a youngster.

We were sweltering in the heat at Carondelet Park, and we were watching the children (two aged 6 years, one 4 years) run and play and overheat and not worry about it.

Then came the stories of our own childhoods.

Hannibal, Missouri.  I was 7 or 8 years old.  After supper, we’d go back outside to play; our house had no air-conditioning, so outdoors was at least as cool as indoors.  Sometime around dusk the mosquito control truck, belching fog to kill the varmints, would be spotted down College Avenue, heading our direction.  We pack up and go indoors quickly.

I would take a bath in the upstairs bathroom.  My sisters shared a bath in the downstairs bathroom.  We’d crawl into pajamas.  And then we’d bundle into the car for a trip to Dairy Queen, almost every night.

Imagine — freshly bathed children, in pajamas, just waiting to get sticky Dairy Queen goodness all over us.

My order was a Mr. Misty, cherry flavored.  Brain cramps would ensue.  Karen would order a Dilly Bar.  And youngest sister Beth, not yet fluent in English, would order “a ‘poon with a dish.”  (Translation: a dish of ice cream with a spoon.) And we’d sit there at Dairy Queen and have our treats, or sometimes drive up the main road to the riverfront and watch the Mississippi go by.

We followed the same tradition in Lee’s Summit, as I recall.  Living in a subdivision with constant construction made for ample opportunities for me to get dirty.  And of course a ten-year-old on a bike can always get sweaty too, especially in summer-in-Missouri heat.  The Lee’s Summit house only had one bathtub, though, so I have no idea how we all got cleaned up and ready to hop in the car, clad in pajamas, for the trip across Langsford Road and then 3rd Street to the Dairy Queen on Douglas.

I’ve not had a Mr. Misty in years.  I think I shall have one this week.


For reference, this is what my sisters and I looked like in 1970, at Eastertide in Adrian, Missouri:

Potato salad

For last evening’s welcome gathering for our new Dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, I made a potato salad.

The recipe comes thanks to Todd Neff; he served this salad at a luncheon a couple of years ago, and I’ve made it ever since when cooking for a crowd or for a table-full of people.

Lemon zest and juice, olive oil, onions, fresh parsley and chives, chopped capers — all combine with new potatoes for yummy goodness!

John Keble

As part of my weekly discipline related to Morning and Evening Prayer, I have recently resumed reading poems from The Christian Year by the Rev. Dr. John Keble (1792-1866).

Over several decades, Keble wrote a poem for each Sunday of the church year, for all of the red-letter feasts, and for many of the major and minor feast days such as feasts of the apostles and certain days during holy seasons.

The poems are Victorian in splendor, dense in imagery, Wordsworthian in its structure, and wholly satisfying after several reads.

And I’ve decided that I’m going to share some of them from time to time.

Here is the poem for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity (which this year will be in late September, but I’m reading it anyhow):

A ‘me’ night

After an intense and productive week at work, even before contracts begin Monday, I took a ME night on Friday.

My night started with a nap.

And then included a homemade black-ben quesadilla, a lot of time in my chair, a bit of gin, the latest episode of Grantchester, a documentary, and then the soap-opera pleasure of Below Deck: Mediterranean.

I was happy.

Today will be filled with Saturday tasks. But first, eggs & bacon, then Morning Prayer.