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from Lucile by Owen Meredith (1860)

We may live without poetry, music & art;
We may live without conscience and live without heart;
We may live without friends, we may live without books;
But civilized men cannot live without cooks;
He may live without books - what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope - what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love - what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?

In 1920, my father was in partnership of the Oriental Restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. It was an American-Chinese restaurant offering Egg Foo Young, Chow Mein, and Chop Suey as Chinese cusiune plus an exquisite American menu practically lifted from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The above poem prefaced the menu.