Tuesday, July 15, 2008
For more than a half century, Tom and Blanche Maney were two of my husband's closest friends in our community in Wisconsin. So when I married him, his friends became mine, and no friends were more cherished than Blanche and Tom.
I first met their son, Pat Maney, and his wife Elaine, when they were living in New Orleans where he was at the time a professor in the history department at Tulane University. Tom and Blanche wintered in New Orleans, and we'd drive through from Wisconsin on our roundabout route to Florida. My husband, and the Maneys, were pleasantly surprised on our first visit there together that I already knew the Crescent City well, and could find my way easily from the French Quarter and Canal Street to the Garden District, following my nose to Commander's Palace and even a terrific local florist.
Given the surroundings, we shared some remarkable meals with Pat and Elaine, including one where I remember he dined on veal sweetbreads (something out of the range of my own generally wide palate), corn-fried oysters at Commander's Palace, and a particularly memorable dining experience at the Grill Room of the Windsor Court, prepared by Chef Kevin Graham, which we finished with one of the most splendid desserts ever--a chocolate box filled with seemingly endless tiny scoops of brightly colored fruit sorbets, which we passed around our large round table in turn until it was completely devoured.
So my thoughts of Pat are frequently turned from history, which is his area of particular expertise, to dining. He is one of the few people I know personally who loves whole garlic.
Pat and Elaine moved on from New Orleans before Katrina's wrath, relocating in Columbia, South Carolina, where he took a position as professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of South Carolina, a position he had attained at Tulane prior to his departure. He held the chairmanship of the History Department in South Carolina until the summer of 2007.
He has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College, and is a Professor of History at Boston College.
Patrick J. Maney.
Dr. Patrick J. Maney is respected not only as an educator but also as a scholar and author, particularly for his books on Bob La Follette ("Young Bob" La Follette: A Biography of Robert M. La Follette, Jr. 1895-1953) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The Roosevelt Presence: The Life and Legacy of FDR). He is currently researching a book on the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton.