29 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask FinishWhen i first heard about Sanford it was through my best friend, Sherry, who hired him several years ago, to make sense of her Rockledge townhouse landscape. She wanted a Japanese garden, a patio, and flowers blooming throughout the seasons all around the house dalmore 1973 30 year old. She told him, she wanted roses, fragrant ones, every size and color. She got all that and it is lovely, especially the japanese garden which evokes such a sense of peace and tranquility. Sanford’s spirit will always live in that garden.

The plan began with some SNAKE REPELLANT because Sanford hated snakes. Sherry has two cats and she was certain the cats must have taken care of the snakes as she had never seen one nor did she live in a particularly wooded area, but Sanford, being Sanford, ruled when it came to the outdoor garden. Next, he requested Epsom Salt, his secret for making all green things grow better! Who was she to argue with a man who could take a wilted plant or bush and in a week or two have it look like a centerpiece for House and Garden magazine!

He preferred to utilize all plants somewhere, somehow. Many was the time he showed up at Sherry’s house with an adopted plant or shrub that he had pulled up (with permission) from someone else’s yard! It worked both ways. Some of Sherry’s “cast-offs” found homes in other yards. He was well acquainted with Sherry’s neighbors as several hired him and of course, he was in on all the gossip which he shared. He had retired from the military many years before and had spent the last few years enjoying his grandchildren and earning extra money by gardening. His reputation was far-reaching, yet he was a simple man. He worked alone, didn’t even own a car and he had a talent for locating discarded items and refurbishing them. Bookcases to re-finish, lamps to rewire, a wheelbarrow in need of a paint job– they all got a new lease on life under Sanford’s observant eye and capable hands. In this he reminded me of the character, Sanford in the show, “Sanford and Sons. ” He would have been at home in “Sanford’s shop. ” Some days, he worked a full eight hours in the heat of summer, and Sherry, wanting Sanford to be comfortable, would buy him lunch, a beer on occasion, even a pack of cigarettes when he ran out. Yet, he never took a rest or came in the house just to pass the time. He stayed focused on the job. To Sherry and many others, he became not just a hired worker but a good friend.

He reminded me of my grandfather, who owned a cafe for many years and had such a green thumb that he was rewarded with a profile in the newspaper. He shared the fruit and produce in his garden with family and friends, including the taxi drivers who parked outside his cafe to pick up daily fares. When my grandfather retired early, he closed his cafe. Twenty years later when he passed away; the taxi drivers remembered him and came to my grandmother’s house and paid their respects. What they and my grandfather cherished was a sense of community, a value and passion that envelop entire neighborhoods. It is precious. Sanford, the people who knew him, my grandfather and the taxi drivers, all knew the secret of COMMUNITY. It is this sense of community that Sanford carried with him as he walked through the neighborhoods. This value he personified so well that makes him larger than life. I never met him, but I will greatly miss him and all the down-home stories I heard about him. I am not alone. Even Sherry’s boss at NASA commented he would miss Sanford too. That is just how much this gardener affected the lives of the people he touched! And Sanford being Sanford never knew how much influence he really had! The Guild was governed by a council of six: two ecclesiastics, two municipal representatives, and two wine-growers. These met before and after the vintage to fix the price of grapes and that of the new must; as far as it is possible to calculate such things, based on the relative cost of living then and now, these prices were more than double those of today. When the West Indies fleet was provisioned with wine, this was arranged by a quota system, rather than by free competition.

Worst of all, merchants were forbidden to accumulate large stocks; wine was therefore not matured long enough, and trade was lost because lack of stock caused delay in preparing the blends and drink coasters for shipment. The idea behind this extraordinary regulation was that such wine stores would divert profits from the hands of the growers into those of merchants, and that it would encourage speculation. The only large stores of old wine were in the possession of the Church and in a few private cellars.

These restrictions aimed at making the trade easy and profitable with a minimum of effort and competition, but in fact they had the opposite effect, and sherry shippers were unable to compete with wines grown elsewhere. Malaga, for instance, exported a rich, dessert wine not unlike sherry, and it became popular in Britain under the name of Mountain. This captured much of the available market for Spanish wines, and exports from Malaga were greater than those from either Cadiz or Sanlucar.

The restrictions of the Gremio were opposed by a number of merchants, notably by Juan Haurie. There was a lawsuit, and much acrimonious wrangling, not all of which was concerned with wine: the deputies were accused of spending too much on fireworks for the annual feast of San Gines, and on presents of chocolate and cocktails. But despite all the efforts of its opponents, the Guild continued until it was dissolved by Royal proclamation in 1834, after 101 years of disastrous existence.

By 1754, owing to the poor state of trade, there were only nine sherry shippers left in Jerez, and it is doubtful whether more than one of them was English. The solitary Englishman was John Brickdale, who was said to be a Freemason, in spite of which he was apparently on good terms with the local ecclesiastics. He was also a supporter of the church of St George at Sanlucar, though this does not necessarily mean he was a Catholic: perhaps he supported it simply because he was English.

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