By Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)
A friend and I were enjoying a now rare lunch occasion at Flying J / Denny’s-Limited-Menu-Wear-a-Mask along the interstate. The food was fine, as always, but the place was corona-time dreary, with tables spaced far apart, half the booths marked off with yellow plastic CAUTION tape, old acquaintances among the staff now missing, few patrons, and sadly quiet, but then, much of life is dreary just now.
As we were finishing our meal and our catching-up, the restaurant manager walked by slowly with an elegant, elderly lady on his arm.
“This is my son,” the elegant lady said to us. “Don’t you think he is handsome?”
We agreed that he was, and he smiled proudly, patted his companion on the arm, and said, “Mi Corazon.”
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“My heart,” he replied.
And she said to him, “My heart too.”
Gentle readers, you may now say, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”
The elegant lady told us that she and her husband had come to this restaurant often, and now that he had died she would have to go live with her sister in Mississippi. In the meantime, she visited the restaurant as often as she could to take a meal and visit with all the staff, whom she happily claimed as her children.
As her favorite child, the manager was granted the honor of escorting the elegant lady to her car after her meal.
The elegant lady looked at my friend and said, “You would make a great son.”
She did not say anything about me.
And then she gently chided my friend with, “You need to finish your lunch.” With children of the Depression and the Second World War, finishing your meal is not only a patriotic duty but a religious one.
Gentle readers, when was the last time your mom told you to finish you lunch?
We wished the elegant lady every happiness, and with great dignity and pride the restaurant manager carefully walked her to her car, with everyone on staff telling her “Good-bye” and “See you tomorrow.”
I just thought you would want to know.
Yes, much of life is dreary just now, but there are those elegant souls – and their adopted favorite sons – who have a gift for un-drearying things and reminding us how good life is, how good people are.