Happy Birthday, Mr. Beard

Beard at his desk If alive today, Jim Beard would be celebrating his 106th birthday. We’re more than happy to carry on the celebration, and the excitement of the annual Beard Awards makes for a pretty great birthday party. As a child Beard would always celebrate his special day with an enormous picnic at the Oaks, a Portland amusement park. There were tongue and ham sandwiches, salads, and relishes, and a giant coconut cake. In Beard’s memoir he proclaimed these outings “the most successful birthday party of the whole year, because of the good food and the excitement of the park.” Our friends at Culinate.com have written a lovely piece in honor of Beard’s birthday filled with remembrances from a number of Portlanders. Happy Birthday, Mr. Beard Portlanders celebrate James Beard By Kim Carlson May 5, 2009 Raindrops may well have pounded on the windows as they’re doing today in Portland, Oregon, where — on May 5, 1903 — a 42-year-old woman named Mary Beard gave birth to her only child, a boy she named James. According to Robert Clark, James Beard’s biographer, Mary’s was an unusually robust baby, weighing, “by various accounts,” 13 or 14 pounds. Of course James Beard later would grow beyond his wide, six-foot-plus frame to become larger than life, especially among the fooderati. Read the rest of the article here >>>

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