Monday, June 6, 2011

Hamburgers - Pontoons and Adopted Kids

I like to believe that each and every one of us has a warehouse in our mind.

Some of you might have your lives events stored neatly away in fresh cardboard boxes, which of course are stacked on flimsy metal storage racks that you picked up at Home Depot.

Then there is those of you who just jumble your ideas and scatter them across the warehouse floor.

Whatever your system is, I really don't care just as long as you have a few good stories to tell me when we meet at a church pew or a bar stool.

Recently I had an event that jogged my memory, and this memory led me to a "memory box" that I had completely forgotten about.

This made me wonder how many other valuable treasures I had locked away inside my mind that I've unintentionally forgot.

The whole deal started when I was talking with my son.

Being that he was a 3 sport Letterman in high school, and a linebacker at college, sometimes he gets the idea that he is an expert on all things nutrition.

For a kid who works our at least 3 hours every single day, I marvel at how much processed food he consumes.

Hear me well, I love my son and have the highest respect for him. I'm just saying that I don't think he's touched a chicken bone in over a decade. Every thing has to be in a patty, or nugget form.

Last summer the 2 of us went to Seattle to watch Ichiro @ Safeco, and during our mini vacation we walked by some of the coolest restaurant's along the pier.

"Hey Tydus, do you want to get some sushi? Over there is a gumbo joint, and if you..."

The kid rolls his eyes in disgust at me while informing me....

"Dad, why wouldn't we just walk back a block? we just passed a Red Robin?"

Then he sang the chain restaurants theme song and delighted as we tackled the...get this, the Onion Ring Tower.

I was informed that there might be a level of street cred lost, well you know, two guys sitting across from each other sharing an Onion Ring Tower, but for whatever we lost in swag, we would be compensated for in flavor.

The other nights we dined Seattle, we spent our experiences in a quaint-charming shoe box called SLUGGERS.

LOL, but you know what. I'd rather eat at a pig trough with my family than the most exquisite raunt with most people.

So anyways,back to the present. Me and the kid are blasting across the 651 in the bread truck and I asked him if he wanted me to pull in at Wendy's so he could grab something.

Tydus looked as if he was either going to hit me, or maybe even hurl.

"Are you kidding dad? Wendy's is the worst fast food restaurant ever!"

So with the the argument commenced.

I pointed out Wendy's commitment to ingredients, the fact that their products were made fresher, and if there were such a thing.....they were healthier than the other burger chains.

The stare continued until I was advised.........

"Maybe, but their stuff tastes like turd."

Oh.....out of the mouth of babes huh?

But then my kid back tracked and asked me if I knew who the Wendy on the sign was.

I did, but I lied and said "No...who is she?"

He went on to tell me all about the restaurant being founded by some guy named Dave Thomas, and how he was adopted as a kid, so when he got older, he wanted to "Pay It Forward" and adopted a little red headed girl.

Her name was/is? Wendy and she's the one we see in their marketing campaign.

After this was established, Tydus pondered when Dave Thomas died, and he was curious as to the cause of death as well.

The topic, morbid as it was, it dragged me into my mental warehouse and knocked the lid off a memory box that made me smile.

I was at some annual bread show, and during the midday lull, I was sitting with a woman who was a top dog in the Wendy's marketing team.

We were both bored and killing time, and this was actually just months after Dave passed away, and I asked the woman how, or if it effected the way their chain was run.

The woman thought about it for a second and smiled while explaining to me that she was didn't think it changed much......

"What it did effect though was the way we are going to choose to live our lives. A lot of people wondered if Dave exploited the whole "adoption" thing to create an image.

Let me tell you....he was the real deal.

I come from corporate and had contact with him, well not a ton, but more than most.

Dave Thomas was a great guy though.

You know, he spent his own money to have a huge party at a large lake resort where management and their families got to enjoy themselves on his dollar.

We didn't know it at the time, but he knew he was terminal, and what he did was broke our party up into departments, and took those departments out individually on
a pontoon boat.

He told us stories of his life, but this is also where he announced to all of us that he was going to die soon."

I flinched and made some remark that - that might of been a party buzz saw, but the woman just kept smiling...

"No, not really. I didn't know Dave all that well, but after he thanked us and shook our hands, and he did this with every group he took out, in fact I'll bet he drove that pontoon for 8 or 9 hours, but he was happy.

I think for whatever reason death doesn't sound so bad when you're on a pontoon.

I wonder why?"

I can't tell you how much I dig that story!

I love the line "death doesn't sound so bad when you're on a pontoon" LOL.

And to think I might not have ever revisited that moment, if it were not for my kid rattling the cage a bit.

This year, the 2 of us are skipping Seattle and Safeco to head to Kansas City and catch a couple Royals games.

So before you send me suggestions on which steak houses we should hit.....beware, rumor has it my son has his sights set on IHOP!

Let's have good days huh?

1 comment:

  1. Kansas City is also site of IHOP -- International House of Prayer? They've been praying nonstop for years. Or try Arthur Bryant's barbecue, alleged to be the best in this solar system.

    Good piece!