The Buckner Mint Julep Ceremony

The Solicitation


March 22, 1937.

My dear Buckner:-

     We are very much like the man I read about whose family were teetotalers and would not have any liquor in the house. His uncle, that is, his mother's brother, was quite different and quite profane. The uncle said that wouldn't you know it for a damned perversity of inanimate things that mint should grow like a weed and spread everywhere in Mary's garden, when the only damn use she ever made of it was for tea and jellies, whereas he, an honest Christian gentleman, who could have used square yards of it for an honest drink known as mint julep could not make it grow in his garden at all. The similarity rests in the fact that our mint bed grows with leaps and bounds and we are going to make use of it at graduation in June.

     The fame of the mint juleps that you served the day The President was with us has travelled far and wide, so that even the echoes have made a resounding noise in the House of Connor. I tried to establish my own position in the matter by alleging that I made and served mint juleps to enthusiastic groups even before you entered West Point, but again, the "prophet was not without honor save in his own country," and my definite instructions were to get your recipe for mint juleps and, furthermore, to use your recipe and not try any of my own homely recipes. Knowing that the ability to manufacture a mint julep is no less precious and the pride in it no less great than the ability to make a good cocktail, I, of course, am sore as a pup at the lack of marital confidence, but peace is such a lovely thing that I shall be eternally grateful to you, or even for a longer period, if you will send me on the recipe that you prescribed for President Roosevelt.

     I warn you that if you hold out on me and leave out any important ingredient, I shall be accused by the dominant element in our family of having, through jealousy, used my own recipe, and in view of our long friendship, I am trusting you not to interfere with or upset the entente cordiale that still exists between the greater and the lesser isles of our archipelago, notwithstanding the fact that I lay this largely to a fatal weakness in my wife's otherwise stern character.

     If you will send me the recipe, it is just possible that I might let you help make the juleps, in which case I could not stop you from drinking one or two. Otherwise, I think that the entire brew is to be held sacred to the Class of 1897 which we are having at luncheon after the graduation exercises.

     With warm regards to you both and thanks in advance for the pure and unexpurgated recipe, believe me, as ever,

Faithfully yours,
Wm D. Connor

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