Welcome to Chicken Whistle.
As a young professional, I found my way into a large group of single 30 somethings that at the time spent many days getting together for dinners, volleyball outings in the park, excursions and events in and around the city of Houston. We also happened to have met because of a particularly well known church, so we were a faith filled group of younglings who didn’t go carousing, as my mother would have said, but we had a pretty cool packed social calendar and saved seats for service. Late night eats or the all night Starbucks patio for coffees were some of my favorite times that typically ended with me rolling into the driveway at home having gone through an entire day and night out. How did I not sleep?! Oh wait, I wasn’t teaching in a public school classroom, I was back in school as a student myself, getting my first Master’s Degree and my schedule allowed for all those shenanigans. I call it my Character Quest now, and that period in my life was one of exploration and insight that I treasure immensely as I learned so much about people, cultures, the character of a person, loving folks for who they are, education outside the public school setting, and how leadership is a service to others.
One night, joking around with one of my friends, John K, we came up with a hilarious comedic idea of a restaurant venture called Chicken Whistle. I should probably point out that one of the things that made the joke so gosh darn funny was the sheer fact that I have a very thick country accent and a very distinct way of saying the word whistle. Now, at the Chicken Whistle, we would only serve pie. That’s it. That’s the funny. The restaurant serves pie. John K is still a huge foodie of a dude, and the dichotomy of the menu and the diner branding not matching was an entire diatribe on cognitive dissonance at its finest. And y’all, I LOVED this joke. It still has life in it today. It has stuck with me for years. Rolling around in the back of my mind as friends cleaved off to start new lives and families, including me, who came back to my home in New Mexico.
Well, the other day, I was sitting down with my husband Elijah trying to sort out pieces and parts of a new educational adventure and an image popped into my head that was part Wayne Thiebaud, part Edward Hopper, part Norman Rockwell, part Jacob Lawrence, and just part home. It was good ol’ Chicken Whistle. Where, we serve pie. I took a beat and wandered through my memories, cue the Elvis song up on the jukebox….What made sitting in a diner with my friends back then so great?! Yes, it was the pie, my mouth has never been shy to a fork. Yes, it was the coffee, to this day I still drink café au lait like they served in one of my favorite Houston haunts. But most of all, it was the conversations. There were a couple of teachers in the mix, a paralegal, an engineer from NASA, an IT security specialist, the occasional preacher or missionary, a contractor, oil industry workers, a couple of graphic designers, an interior designer, a real estate agent, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, and life insurance agents. I had access to deep conversations with professionals who traveled, learned languages, helped facilitate space science, experienced exotic foods, loved the ballet and the art museum, fashion, music, it was all on the table. We were cultured. And carried different backgrounds, cultures, races, genders, and relationship statuses into the perspectives added to the commentary. It was the whole world and I got to be all me right in the middle of it. We read books, watched movies, and discussed everything in between the sun and the moon.
It was odd at the time for these memories to wash over me, and then that’s when my husband and I went to dinner with an education friend of ours. I had been wishing and washing about an idea for starting a blog and during dinner, our lovely friend looked me in the face and told me that he needed me to write that blog. And I realized just how important it is for everyone to get a little slice of pie, sweet and tasty along with a comfy cup of coffee, and sit down a spell and talk about all the stuff. Like the deep stuff. So, welcome to my new blog about art and education, Chicken Whistle. ~T.