Just some thoughts:
RUTH’S CRISP PRICES
Today passing a Wendy’s brought this memory.
Today I’d pay Ruth’s Chris Steak House prices for a bowl of chili at Wendy’s. Yes, yes I would.
I like chili. I like Wendy’s chili. There is something about chili and a boy growing up in Indiana. You see before most every basketball game during my high school days I would have a bowl of chili just before leaving for the game. My grandmother would often fix it. Chili is so associated with basketball in Indiana. In the 1950s’ the hey day of especially small school basketball in the state, what was called chili suppers were popular. Before and after a game the school’s band would be sponsoring a chili supper. Home made chili and pie in the school’s cafeteria.
I bet today I could get my old friend Tom Meeks to come out of retirement. He’d find his stripped shirt, whistle and come whistle a basketball game if I could promise him a big bowl of chili, some homemade apple pie,with a scoop of ice cream on top. Even if he was officiating the game at White’s Institute. (Be careful there’s blood on the floor there from his missed calls) I guarantee you he’d do it. Chili suppers before and after games, they were social gatherings in a community.
(Left to right looking at picture–Daughter Jill–Wife Barbara–daughter Jennifer and mother-in-law Margaret)–sorry you may have to scroll across to get all the picture)
What’s the thing with chili and my mother-in-law? You see every Sunday morning my wife and I would pick her up for church. She would be standing in the lobby of her retirement place. Dressed to fit the occasion and never late. You did not wait on Gumbie. (Her name given by one of our kids.) After church we would go out to eat.
“Gumbie where do you want to go eat?” Often she would say, “Oh, let’s just go to Wendy’s it’s close to my place.” And often we would go, she did like their french fries. She and my wife would always finish off their fine dining by getting themselves a chocolate frosty. What is it with women and chocolate? She was a jewel. No mother-in-law jokes for me. All the time I knew her she had my back. She passed away six years ago at the age of ninety-four. This morning early as I made my way to my coffee place I passed a Wendy’s–thus the creation of these remembrances.
But I’d only pay those Ruth’s Chris prices for a bowl of chili at Wendy’s under one condition. That condition, that some way I could take my mother-in-law. If fact not only would I pay those prices I’d leave them one of the biggest tips they ever saw. But only, only, if she were with me.
May 23, 2020