Peppers Tale

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Spring 2019

Paul Barthel

"I cheated and had to go to the end of the book to find out what happened.  Excellent Read!" ~ Beta Read


"Very similar to Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential.  Great kitchen anecdotes, oh, and the dog!"  "Amazing." ~ Good Reads

Never Left Behind

About This Book


A compelling memoir that submerges the reader among the bowels of behind the scene derelict kitchens combined with the vivid account of a man who refused to let his dog go.   Separated for three years, would mount a campaign struggling for his return.  From grass root efforts Illinois would become one of the first States passing a bill recognizing pets in divorce or separation.

About the Author


Paul Barthel, a chef having worked over thirty years behind the scenes in various kitchens.  Restaurant entrepreneur and owner.  Animal advocate who helped establish Illinois law recognizing animals in divorce.  


Currently pursuing Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio further establish identical law in addition to puppy mill legislation, and furthered anti-cruelty measures.

     In the spring while not on any trail, hidden hundreds of yards from view, few people knew the rolling hills of bluebells.  The first time catching my breath happening upon them. Acres upon acres of undisturbed bluish-purple English bluebells purposefully hidden from view, not to be disturbed, their brief elusive moment when in full bloom.  Pepper, always leading and slightly shorter than the perennials, would be lost had it not been for the shaking flower bulbs consuming him as we carefully navigated through the masterpiece.  Breathtaking and amusing, both at the same time.




     "Oblivious at the time, had no idea what had happened, nor had I noticed the bullet hole having entered his body penetrating his back and into his spine.  His red hair masking the blood around the entry.  Faintly, I recall mom coming out of the house suggesting that he had been shot, probably a farmer’s bullet from a .22 long.  Any larger caliber would certainly have killed him."     



     

     We would come upon dried up streams, only a puddle left with dozens of fish squirming and fighting to survive in little pools of water.  As if he understood, Pepper, crouched over scratching the dirt watching intently while I scooped as many as possible into an old milk jug bringing them to a larger stream in effort they survive.  Regularly, we would stumble across carcasses of various animals that had died for unfortunate reasons, be it age, the elements, or injury.  On other occasions witness herds of mule deer grazing off the forest bed, their bodies half consumed by hazy mistiness from fog over the lush green forest bed, the scene photogenic.  On Sunny days, penetrating the highest of trees, streams of brilliant rainbow light beams filled with pigments and particles of dust dancing in the brilliance from 100 feet up.  Trees, undoubtedly a century old as round and broad as a car at the trunk with curvatures and deep wood crevices inches deep.  I would find myself mesmerized by these most mundane observations it seemed, had I not understood the verity of where my life was at the time.