Happy Birthday Mrs. McEvoy

img_0660 I have had the great privilege and true honor of working for and with the iconoclastic Mrs. Nan McEvoy for the past 12 years, so it was with pleasure and delight that I, with the rest of the Ranch staff, celebrated Mrs. McEvoy's 90th birthday. It is difficult to sum up what Nan has meant to me over these last dozen years. She has given me a home and a place to pursue my craft without the restraints of arbitrary rules and I have flourished like never before as a professional chef. Nan has the ability to see the talent in even the prickliest of personalities and the patience to let those people work with only the gentlest of management and I hope that patience has paid off in my case. Nan you have my love and respect.
N A N Cake N A N Cake
Gerald Gass, another man of infinite patience, and I put together a birthday party in the Chinese Pavilion at the Ranch. We had some of Nan's favorite foods as well as lots of fresh vegetables grown here at the Ranch and a beautiful flower arrangement created by Mandy Rovolis, one of Margaret's talented garden staff. We finished with cakes from local bakery Della Fratoria for the entire staff and a champagne toast that included the unfortunate singing of Happy Birthday. We make agriculture and body care products people we are not a glee club.
Nan with her Cake Nan with her Cake
Nan looked beautiful and happy on her special day and I think that had a lot to do with all of the people that came together to help celebrate her special day. Nion, her son and her two grandsons, Nion and Griffin, as well as the boy's mother Ira. There was Maurizio Castelli her long time friend and consultant from Montisi, Italy and Shari, Margaret, Samantha, and Jeff from the Ranch along with many other friends and staff from San Francisco and Petaluma. My cats were invited but they didn't find the company to their liking since many of Nan's favorite dogs were there. Nan's own, Robbie, Shari's Rosie, Nion Jr.'s Sassy, Ira's (greatest dog of all time nominee) George, and Samantha brought Baily. One of the dogs had the pleasure of being the first to sample the birthday cake. Okay, I turn my head for one minute...
Nion toasting his mother Nion toasting his mother
Nion, had the difficult task of summing up Nan's 90 years in one birthday toast. From Nan's scoop of the United Nations charter and her ground breaking work in Washington D.C. to her stubborn and influential work as a pioneer in the nascent Olive Oil industry in Marin County, Nan has lived a rewarding and humane life with gentleness and caring for everyone she meets and with sympathy and generosity to the less fortunate here in the U.S. and around the world. Nan has honored her responsibility to the world in her own way, in her own style and the world is a better place for her being here.
Blowing out the candles Blowing out the candles
May I and everyone you know celebrate many more birthdays with you Nan McEvoy. You stand in the pantheon of great women of California. Best wishes for your 90th year Nan. Love, Mark