A Lasting Memory

Grandson David could not get the Valparaiso Chorale out of his mind. We talked about that fantastic choir all the way home from the concert on Tuesday. The itinerary was on the brochure, and he knew the next performance was on Thursday in Charleston.

He said, “I would REALLY like to hear that choir again.” He repeated the statement several times, until I realized he had an intense longing to go to Charleston. John heard it, but like me, did not react to it. We talked about it while walking Thursday morning.

After breakfast on Thursday, John asked him if he wanted to go. Looking at the clock, he said, “That would mean leaving in three hours.”

David’s “YES!!!!” said it all.

I did my best to keep my face from showing disapproval. A four-hour drive for a two-hour concert? Nah! Not worth it! We had planned to go out for our main meal, so I had to quickly devise a menu and begin cooking. They ate and left.

Replaying the words in my head, I remembered the extreme excitement in David’s voice. When John outlined the trip, I knew John had caught David’s exuberance and challenge to do the impossible. They were dragon-slayers on a mission! I was glad I had kept my mouth shut and happy they went. Turning the focus from the past, I looked to the future. I know that David will NEVER forget the day his grandpa dropped everything to make their last-minute dream come true.

I was in bed long before they came home. The trip had taken 12 hours. As we walked the next morning, John told me the highlights of the adventure. They found the church in the old section of Charleston 20 minutes before the program began. There was even parking on the street nearby! The pastor was greeting people at the door. Knowing they were strangers, he asked how they knew about it. John explained that they heard the choir two days before and longed to hear it again. During the break in the middle of the program, the pastor announced that people had come from North Carolina to be there. The music itself was a little different because it was in a different building. John and David sat very close to the front this time and could hear individual singers. After it was over, they chatted with the tour director whom we had seen on Tuesday. When the man found out David goes to Concordia Bronxville, he said he knew people there. He mentioned two names and fished for the third. David supplied the last name of the one the man couldn’t recall. And yes, David did know them.

The photo for today is of David holding a large barbecue sandwich at Haywood Smokehouse. I didn’t think he could get his mouth around it, but he did so happily.

 

59 thoughts on “A Lasting Memory

  1. What a great post. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. I love reading stories like this. It gives me faith in humanity again. There is still hope in the world while there are people like John around, willing to drop everything to see the smile on his grandson’s face.
    Charleston is in SC, right ? I remember reading about Charleston in ” Gone with the Wind” long back.
    What an adventure for David and John, to be sure. And David will forever remember his adventurous grandpa and his enthusiasm to make David’s dream come true.
    Susie

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  2. David will treasure this day the rest of his life. John is a trooper for making that long trip and will soon be taking David back home again … he will have lots of time to talk to David about his favorite memories this week. David will have a slew of them, but I am sure that trip to Charleston with his grandfather will be on the top of the list. It’s hard to pick the other favorites … the waterfalls, the first choir visit … spending quality time with his grandparents … that just might be at the top of the list!

    My friend Evelyn just went “home” to Charleston last week. She grew up there and every time she returns “home” she longs to go back for good. She has been transplanted to Richmond, Virginia for many decades now, but her heart and her friends are in Charleston. She speaks of the culture and grace of this city and she lived in the old part of town.

    P.S. – I have to get some of that BBQ you buy and cook in a saucepan to put on a sandwich. Between this picture and my friend Evelyn who, as soon as she hits Charleston, she has to go to her favorite BBQ place and always describes her meal, I must put that on my agenda. Soon.

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      1. Sure – I will ask Evelyn this weekend when she returns from Pennsylvania. Evelyn is in grad school getting her degree in gerontology administration. She will graduate in 2019. She went back to school after all these years (she’s 61) … she graduated with a M.A. in social work in the late 70s and never worked in that field and has been a legal secretary, like me, for decades. I met her when our firm merged with her firm in 2000. She retired from legal secretary work last Fall to go to school full time. She has been on Spring break since March 1st and went “home” last Friday through Tuesday … her mom passed away in November 2016 and they are still wrapping up the estate and she was dealing with her mom’s furniture which is in storage. Her mom was in Bishop Gadsden retirement community and she had to move the furniture out of her residence … estate still not settled so she makes periodic trips there. I am trying to convince her to move back and try to get a job at BG since she will have her degree and her mom was in there for years, having moved after her husband died and she sold their house on Tradd Street, so Evelyn knows some of the administrators there now. Evelyn’s husband is a painter (residential/commercial) and could easily find a job there. Her/husband are in Pennsylvania this weekend visiting his sister. She is making the most of her time off from school.

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      2. I think so too … she worked for a while. School started in mid-August, and she worked through late October, but it got too much. She had to drop one class, but kept two and, when she tells me what is required for school these days, all I can say is school is very different now. She goes three evenings a week, but more time is spent online viewing lectures, doing online quizzes, midterms and finals and she has to make PowerPoint presentations and get together with her classmates (and no professor is present) and they critique each other. They take group tests and it is really different. 90% of class is online it seems. I have to hand it to her; not sure I could do that. I have uploaded pictures and was working on my post for later, but taking a break to eat something and then go pick what pictures to use. We had a beautiful, sunny, but cold, day – hope you got in a walk as well. I’ve not read any of Reader and will do so later (hopefully it is not too late). Safe travels to David and John.

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      3. I couldn’t believe how dark it got at the end of my walk – I would have sworn it would have snowed before I made it home. I was in the Park one day last Summer, and it was a beautiful day like today, and walking home, the sky suddenly turned purple. We had no storm, or even rain, in the forecast for days. A block from my house, the sky opened up and I got soaking wet. I carry an umbrella, and sometimes even a raincoat, that is light as a feather and can carry it in a pouch, if it really looks like it will pour. I could not believe how it blew up that day. When I worked in Detroit, I took the bus for decades. Many times it would be pouring downtown and clear as a bell when I got home, just 12 miles away.

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      4. Okay Anne – I have the best barbeque places to go, straight from the horse’s mouth, er, Evelyn who grew up in Charleston. First, I told her how John and David went to see the chorale group – I looked up the Valparaiso chorale group’s tour schedule so I could give her the name of the church – I thought, who know, it might have been a church she used to attend. Didn’t think so as she attended the family church and I had Googled her mom’s obituary notice and it was not the same church. Anyway, so I gave her the back story, along with the request, because she drives all over the place and finds it funny that I am not a big fan of driving and that I have so little miles on my car … even in good weather.

        So, this is the entire message that I got re: the BBQ sauce:

        * * * * * *
        I love a good back story.

        The driving is a lot but some people really like that. Chuck and Ed go all over the northeast going to sporting events, mostly lacrosse, and it’s nothing for them to drive to New England or New York … for something. So, if you don’t mind driving and have the time, it can be fun.

        My fav BBQ place in Charleston is Melvin’s and their sauce is mustard based. NC BBQ is a vinegar base and we don’t like it. It’s very thin and it’s vinegary. People who love it, love it, but not me. Melvin’s has a place on James island, at Mount Pleasant and Savannah Highway that I know of. There’s also Sticky Fingers, which I’ve never been to, but had the sauce from the store. There was a lawsuit years ago when one of the Melvin’s employees went to work for Sticky Fingers and took the sauce with him. A big to-do over that.

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      5. I looked at Melvin’s menu and am pretty sure I would like it. They didn’t mention the meat being smoked, but they have four sauces. I grew up in west Tennessee where all the sauces were red. A few years ago it was a shock to me to discover that NC and SC had other favorites. Melvin’s has Original Golden Secret (must be mustard-based), Southern Hickory, Southern Red, and Golden Spicy. I would take a dab of each on my plate and taste them one by one before putting any on the meat. Please thank Evelyn for writing about Melvin’s.

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      6. I just cut-and-pasted your message to thank Evelyn into an e-mail to her. Perhaps she’ll give some insight on the meat being smoked or not. She has not come up for air all day … she has school Monday nights at 6:00 but the class was cancelled as they have midterms this week, so they use that time tonight as “review and prep” … this whole online way of attending school just blows my mind. She actually spends more time away from school than attending school. I just got a new follower, a blogger whose blog is called “buildingtheloveshack” … interesting blog written by a Canadian nurse. She is a nurse specializing in geriatrics and dementia and attending school for a degree in psychology – sent that link to Evelyn as well. She originally began graduate school in the field of gerontology and not sure what type of job she would eventually get. She is leaning toward administrative field due to long-term administrative work, but also thinking of pharmacology. She believes her mom was put on many types of medicine, and there might have been a reaction amongst the meds … it caused her mom to have a brain aneurysm. She was healthy (thin, but mind okay, spirits okay at age 92) and had a stroke from a brain aneurysm. She was in a coma and finally taken off life support after about three weeks. She has always believed the meds might have contributed to her death. She is not pursuing that feeling with a doctor or lawsuit or anything, just a gut feeling.

        My mom and I used to go for ribs at a place about 10-12 miles from our house called “The Boneyard” … they had a rack of ribs which they laid over these wonderful crispy potatoes, thick-chopped slaw on the side, and a couple of green onions on top. And, a side dish of BBQ sauce. We went on holidays because they were open 365 days a year.

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      7. You’re welcome – I’ll see if she expounds on “smoked” meat or not.

        The Boneyard was our go-to place, usually for holidays as we had no family here – sometimes if we had to be in the area we would go there. We went to the original Bone Yard on the borderline of Detroit … not in a good area and only went for lunch.
        There are two more of them now. Another owner took over the one where we and changed the meat. I can remember that all of a sudden the meat was fatty and greasy … my mom said it was a different cut of meat, and I’m trying to remember what they said.
        We had the same waitress for years. We liked her – a struggling college student and worked hard and was always there when we were there. My mom asked if they changed the meat – she confided it had either gone to a cheaper cut of meat – maybe short ribs … I can’t recall now. We weren’t picky eaters, but they weren’t as good and the waitress said they’d lost many customers already.

        We ended up going to Applebee’s for their riblets which are very good – we ended up having them when we felt like BBQ. I don’t go out as a general rule as it’s just me so I just eat at home.

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      8. I think I’d just feel awkward doing it – I’ve actually not gone anywhere to eat, even fast food, since my mom died. Any of my friends, with the exception of Sandy and Ann Marie, (my nun friends who are married and that I mentioned the other day), all live out of state. My boss asks me occasionally if I want to go out and get a burger when his wife is out of town. She travels a lot to see her brother in California, or with college friends – they get together once or twice a year, always in foreign locales or exotic tropical places. She has a family cabin and often goes there in the Summer a week or so at a time. Robb usually goes for long holiday weekends. The cabin is in northern Canada. Robb says he likes being alone … they each have their own interests. I’ve actually not seen Robb since the Fall of 2012. That’s okay, we talk nearly every day, and e-mail all day.

        Does John build model trains and goes to a model train convention?

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      9. That’s amazing that you haven’t seen Robb for years!

        John had model trains as a child and had a layout in our basement for a while. Now he is involved with trains you can ride on. He is still an associate member of the club on Long Island, but he hasn’t been there for a couple of years. Now his focus is a club in Tennessee. Every few weeks he goes there from Thursday to Saturday. I’m content not to go.

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      10. That sounds interesting, to go from a childhood hobby to an adult hobby. I have more lists and some long document to do and this morning when I checked in at work I had to print out some past bills because a client said they never got them (all five of them – and not a change of address). I did hear back from Evelyn re: the BBQ and she says in reply to your comment:
        * * * * *
        She’ll like it. They have the sauce already on it but not too saucy. I like the meat taste and don’t want it dripping like you get when you get BBQ at a non-BBQ place like Applebee’s. I got BBQ there once and had to scrape off the sauce.
        * * * * *
        In the meantime, I heard a noise in the bathroom yesterday after I came back from walking – I thought what the handyman did last Spring with the wire covering over the blind area where the sparrows built nests last year would work permanently. Evidently not, as this morning I was in the bathroom and heard a scratching-like noise and tweeting. I looked when I returned from walking and there are bits of dried grass in there so they have squeezed their bodies to get under the wire he put up and he nailed the wire onto the area around the blind. I am furious at them and going to have to wedge something in between the blind and the wire that Jim put up to stop them in their tracks.

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      11. I remember sending out bills when clients claimed to have not gotten them. It didn’t happen often, maybe because they figured accountants would notice if they didn’t pay.

        I know what Evelyn means about ordering BBQ at an inappropriate place. I ordered it ONCE at Cracker Barrel.

        Do you need Alfred Hitchcock to make a movie of your bird warfare?

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      12. I didn’t confess to her that I liked Applebee’s riblet basket. But I don’t like a lot of sauce on mine either and Applebee’s you didn’t have to use your fingers, as a knife and fork would do fine.

        I never had anything at Cracker Barrel but their chicken fried steak and country gravy with those mashed potatoes with the skins on – that meal was to die for … it would be my last meal if I had to make that decision.

        You are funny as to those birds – you are funny anyway, but I had to shoot you a message because YOU understand. People not dealing with birds, like I did every year with those robins, which story I shared with you, do not really sympathize. I am weighing what to do in my mind which is 3/4s on the lists and 1/4 on the birds, and I went to bed at shortly after 8:00 p.m. and slept longer than usual this morning and I nodded off when the heat was on. 🙂 I am going to look and see if I saved the picture from last year – I may still have the e-mail I sent to Jim when I gave him his Spring chore list and when you find my e-mail address in your contact me, if you shoot me an e-mail I will send you the picture. If I deleted it, I will take a picture this week – by the time I figure out what to do, it will have stretched the wire mesh. I would have thought he would have put a strong mesh over it – they just shimmied up and stretched it out. I have no words. If they had not made peeps and tweets, I would not have known, but when I walked along the cross street on the way home from my walk, there they were, lined up, like an assembly line … I couldn’t see if they had dried grass, etc. in their mouths from three houses away … I see a post coming eventually re: “Bird Warfare – Part II”.

        I am returning to my lists and hopefully don’t continue nodding off. I might end up with the QUERTY keyboard engrained in my forehead, along with the chicken pox scar, that my mom said “don’t pick that scab” … I didn’t, it fell off.

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      13. Birds can make us go around the bend!!

        I haven’t found your email yet. Must look after I cook dinner.

        I laughed at what might happen if you continued nodding off. Love your sense of humor!

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I am smiling because your sense of humor makes me smiling as well. I usually shut down my computer after four hours to cool the laptop off – it gets warm, and it gives me a little break – perhaps I will revitalize myself. by walking around the house a few times.

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      15. I took a quick look at the contact page. It should have sent me an email, but I didn’t see it. Would you mind terribly trying again? I’ll watch for it carefully. Thank you.

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    1. I deleted your comment with your email address after copying the address. My favorite happiness engineer advised me to remove a post in which I had mine. She said it was safer. Since you said yours wasn’t working I’ll think of a go-around to let you see the Pioneer Girls photos I wanted to share with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is now working again for when you get time to send them. It was not working late this afternoon which is not unusual. I got an e-mail from Comcast about a month ago saying “I know you have been having troubles with your e-mail and it is frustrating, but we are working on the web-based e-mail platform to bring you a superior product” … hmm, not sure when that will be though. Thanks for deleting my comment, or you could have just wiped out the e-mail address. The happiness engineers are always nice. I use the search feature a lot and one day it was not there. I worry, I’ll use the same title for a post that I’ve used before so I like to check, or if I’m looking for an old post to link to a new one. I thought it was something wrong with WordPress, so I waited a week and wrote … they eliminated it as few people used it, so I got a video tutorial on how to put it as a widget. That worked, and now anyone can search on my site – hmmm. Well, better than not having it at all I guess, so I have no complaints. If you send an e-mail and my Comcast is not working, it should not bounce back, just be delayed. I have an alternative e-mail address just for when Comcast doesn’t work. I will e-mail that when I get your e-mail.

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      1. Lol well then just let him be energetic and do all the running around. You must be saving yourself for the important things😀

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  3. Of course there was the time just a couple months ago when Pete and I drove all the way to Clinton, TN for some chicken and dumplings. Of course we had intended to go on to North Carolina and didn’t realize we were just going to turn around and go back home. LOL. Maybe we’ll actually get to see you all next time we head that way.

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  4. I’m sure David knows what a special event this was and that it was a one off. Though I’m sure his enthusiasm must keep the both of you young. Do the chorale do a varied menu or is it just religious songs?
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  5. John is a true Road Dog, doing the flip around on I-26. Great memories for David to pass down in years come later. “I remember when.” It’s the legacy we leave and you two do a fine job. Just gaze in the mirror every once in awhile when Nathaniel isn’t there and tell your selves, “Good Job.”

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  6. I am so glad that John went! I have a feeling your grandson will be sharing this story for years. And what an example of love in action Anne! You have two very special men there…..but those two men also have a very special woman!

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