Monday, February 4, 2008

George's Childhood Memories (Chapter 1)

When I got to Chinatown, around noon, I realized how hungry I got, so I decided to head to a great lunch place called Ford’s. My wife and I would stop there for lunch every weekend, and we knew the lady that worked there, Beth.

As I walked up to Ford’s I noticed all the intricate brick work. Both the building to my right that contained Ford’s, and the sidewalk below my feet were both made of bricks. They blended so well together. The vertical plane of the building was the only clue that differentiated the two, as if the sidewalk was a direct reflection of the building. It reminded me of the market district in downtown Boston where I grew up. I really enjoy the warm color of bricks, and the patterns they create.

I reached Ford’s and opened the door. Beth was there taking an order for someone.

“Hey, George, I’ll be right with you”, she said as she acknowledged my presence.

I know hamburgers and hotdogs weren’t very healthy, but I was thinking of something much more specific- a philly cheese steak sandwich. I had heard from a friend about how Ford’s had the best philly cheese steak in Portland. We’ll see.

“The usual today?” She asked while I was looking up at the menu board.

“No, actually I was thinking of a Philly Cheese Steak, and a Diet Coke. A buddy told me that you guys have the best cheese steak”, I responded.

“Well, I don’t know about that, but we do get a lot of people that come in specifically for our cheese steak”. She finished writing my order and then looked up at me with a smirk. “Diet Coke, huh? You know, that’s not gonna really help out with your diet if you’re eating a cheese steak”, she said with a smile.

“Yeah, I know. I’m actually satisfying my chemical dependency of saccharin, to be honest” I chuckled. She laughed, and told me the total and I paid her.

As I bit into the sandwich, I was immediately brought back to the philly cheese steak that I ate as a child in Boston. It’s amazing how something as simple as a sandwich can possess such powerful nostalgia. The sandwich was pretty good, so I guess my friend knew what he was talking about.

“The sandwich was great. I’ll have to come down with Sue next weekend and have her try it”, I said to her.

“Hey, only if your strict diet allows it”, she said with a smirk. “Where is your wife, anyway?”

“At work, so I’m down here to run some errands and meet up with a buddy. Well, I’ll see you again soon, Beth.”

“Take care, George. Tell Sue I said Hi.” she said.

“Will do” I responded.

I smiled back at her and went on my way.

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