By Marilyn Baron
Last month, my sister and I were guests on a radio show in Jacksonville talking about our new musical Memory Lane. I wanted to treat my sister to a nice lunch since she had driven me around the city and I stayed with her for several days before we went to my condo in Palm Coast.
When we arrived at the condo, she was starving and I needed groceries. So we went to European Village and looked around. It was Monday. Nothing was open. Then we went to an Italian restaurant I like and they were closed—For Good.
Meanwhile, my sister was too hungry to shop. So we walked into Publix and headed for their sub department. We were in line behind a woman and her four young boys. One of the boys was gnawing on a toy, which he proceeded to drop on the floor. Then he started gnawing on the metal bars of the shopping cart. After that, he started gnawing on his mother’s hand.
“He must be teething,” I commented.
“No, he’s a biter,” she answered.
I was afraid my sister was going to turn into a biter if we didn’t eat soon.
After waiting for the woman to order subs for five, we were finally waited on. My sister got a combo meal—a fried chicken strip sub and I got fried chicken. We looked around for a place to sit. The only place was a small white Formica table near the Redbox station, where you return video tapes. We sat down and apparently chased away a man with a cane although he said we weren’t the reason we left. Maybe he saw the gleam in my sister’s eye when she looked at her sub.
We must have looked pretty pathetic sitting there at a little table eating our lunch at the Publix. A few concerned employees came over and asked if we were all right.
Then an 82-year-old man from Boston sat down. We made conversation.
“Are you from Boston?” my sister asked.
“How did you know?”
“I’m psychic,” replied my sister. “No, really your Patriots T-shirt gave you away. And your accent.”
Then another elderly woman sat down with us. We were starting a trend. Dining at Chez Publix. Whatever, it was one of the best meals we’ve ever eaten and we laughed all the way through it. We even took a selfie.
Then, hunger abated, we could shop for groceries for the condo.
Not exactly a fancy restaurant, but it will probably be one of the best memories my sister and I will have. If you want to hear the podcast of our radio interview, go to www.marilynbaron.com.