When I signed up for Sommelier classes a few years ago, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had some vague ideas about some professorial type lecturing us as we took copious notes about wine. Looking around at my classmates, I guessed that we all had similar vague notions. Then Darryl Beeson walked in and those vague notions were dismissed very quickly.
Our instructor was a larger than life Santa Claus-looking guy with a bit more edge to him than the jolly old chimney slider. As we were about to find out, those Monday night classes would be the highlight of all of our weeks, and Darryl was a big reason for that. He taught us the curriculum, there was absolutely no doubt about that, but he gave us so much more. Almost every new line of notes led him to a story, anecdote, hilarious comment, or even an excruciatingly bad joke that would derail the lesson for 5 minutes or so.
Mondays were what I looked forward to every week. Darryl’s enthusiasm and warm personality were infectious, and we became more than a class, we became friends. Some of us haven’t kept in touch since classes ended, and some of us have become very good friends and stay in touch all of the time.
Today one of those good friends, Iris, sent me this link informing me that our instructor, the man that taught me more than anyone else about a subject I love, had died. I can’t say that I knew Darryl Beeson well, but there is a tear in my eye as I finish this. There is also a smile on my face as I imagine angels trying to hide behind St. Peter as a jovial Texan splashes wine everywhere as he shares his knowledge, passion and love one glass at a time.
Thank you, Darryl.