Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blast from the Past

Last night Lori and I wanted to go out to eat. We had a babysitter. All we needed was $6 for the valet, which meant a really trying ordeal. Curse you, Wells Fargo. And apparently a reservation. It was 6:30 and they'd happily seat us at 9:45. Curse you, Melting Pot.

So instead we went up to a really cool place called Stanley and Seaforts. Pulling up in the valet, I say "hey" to the guy and he says "hey!" and points at me. Then he says "Where do I know you from?" Doesn't look at all familiar to me. Well, maybe he looks like a young Don Cheadle. I talk about schools and none of those are it, so we depart for the restaurant not knowing each other. The restaurant has a 45 minute wait, but we could eat in the bar or go out on the patio if we want. The view from the patio is awesome. It's glassed in so it's not too bad and they turned on the heaters. It's on a little vista. You can't tell too well from the satellite, but it's sort of on a bluff between two very old and high bridges. Zoom out and you'll see that the view from the patio is of the entire waterfront.. the newly revitalized downtown, the water, the port. Really neat.

Partway through dinner I figure it out. There's only two places where I would have been in contact with a young black man now working as a valet in Tacoma... because even when I lived in Tacoma attending college, it was 90 blocks to the south. One would have been high school and another would have been a Little Caesar's. High School would have been an amazing coincidence. Little Caesar's, however, was only 4 blocks to the south and about 8 blocks to the west. So when he brought back my car, I asked him if that's where it had been and it was nice to have that mystery solved. We wished each other well and unless we eat there again (which I hope to, it was my second favorite meal ever after my birthday dinner with Lori and Rich and Christi last February at Twin Palms) I doubt I'll ever see the young man again.

But, it was a good experience. When we were working there, he was much younger, getting rides from his mom to and from work each day, though I might have given him a ride home once, I can't remember. He didn't live too far from PLU, actually. But there were some pretty bad influences in some of the older black men who worked at Little Caesars and this young guy acted like a a gangsta-wanna be. It was nice to know that he wasn't led into those bad influences.
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