"Those who could tell me what it is to die,Death, the great arbiter,Sometime tomorrow midnight,I may know"
-- Gabriel Dauntsey, via P.D. James & Michael Chaplin
The commonality among all living things is life. This is an obvious, simple thought, an observation so unremarkable that it barely registers. Nevertheless, it fascinates me from time to time. Just as much as we look for things that unite us, we also look for things that differentiate us from one another. Death is one such ultimate divide.
I strive to find common ground with others, even (and sometimes especially) if we don't see eye-to-eye on many things. While serving in elected office a few years ago, there were some colleagues with whom I rarely agreed, politically. With one of them, we ended up forging a bond through our love of film. With another, his history of having worked in construction with my father and uncles was something we could share. These things were necessary for us to relate on a human l…
Living in the same community where you grew up comes with its own set of idiosyncrasies. An example of this is feeling pangs of sadness for the closing of a restaurant whose food, decor and service you weren't particularly fond of. Such is the effect that memory and place can have on us.
I remember going to Taffie's as a kid, sometime during the early-mid 1980s, mostly with my dad. Lewis seemed to know a lot of the clientele there, mostly blue collar types, and we'd often plunk down on some stools at the bar in the smoking section and he'd chat with them.
It was unusual to go on solo outings with my dad, so these trips to Taffie's are rather pronounced in memory. I can remember us going there one morning and learning that the Red Wheel restaurant had burned down. Other times, we'd see friendly Mr. Roberts there, father of a classmate of mine, and seemingly good acquaintance of my dad.