Another One Bit the Dust

Our local International House Of Pancakes is closed. It was no surprise, that a business poorly managed, with dismal customer service went out of business.

Victim of modern times and tastes? Hardly–more a cautionary tale of how not to run a business.

Five years ago, the place was tip-top. It was sad to be disappointed over-and-over with poor service.

On my last visit, customers waited to be seated; tables weren’t cleared; trash cluttered the floors. A member of the wait staff grumbled about making change for a twenty at the front check out.  Wasn’t that why he was there?

When they were opened twenty-four hours, shift workers, could grab a cup of coffee at two in the morning. One morning, at four AM, they were out of regular coffee. There was plenty of decaf. I didn’t want decaf.  Decaf wasn’t going to keep me awake at that early hour.  The manager claimed to have failed to reorder.

Other than “Business Closed” signs, the bad memories came back. Especially, the certificate for a free breakfast, offered after my poor customer service complaint to their 800#.  I used it in my local restaurant.  They charged me double price.

Restaurants come and go.  This restaurant previously housed an Outback steakhouse franchise.  We could use another decent breakfast restaurant–especially one with a buffet.

It Was Over At Hello

What about posts that didn’t go anywhere?  Do they deserve special recognition?

It was over at hello.  In hindsight there’s no point in shameless self-pity.  A top-ten list  of my very worst posts?

First posts are obvious choices because blogging was a learning process.  There would be ten, just in the first month–July 2012.

Statistics–number of likes, views were baffling.  I didn’t follow any blogs and had no followers.

Those not involved need not have wondered why.  Posts about family, work experiences, school days, never took off–were doomed from the start.  …Limited appeal?

Too much or too little syndrome–too much bad content, too little good content.  A top ten worst post list would not be a good idea.  It would do nothing to inspire confidence and that would be a very bad thing.

BOUNCING BACK, “DUKE” THE DOG, CRACKED WINDSHIELDS

bushs-best-bushs-baked-beans-featuring-jay-bush-large-5

Last week I escaped from the internet for a few days.  It was a time for reflection, renewing friendships, visiting tourist traps and historic sites.  The cracked windshield from a rock on the return trip was insignificant.

There had to have been more shade trees in the front yard of the big, white, two-story apartment house on Chamberlain Ave. forty-eight years ago.  My stay in the downstairs apartment was brief.  I was selling door-to-door in East Ridge–a suburb of Chattanooga, TN.  A venture that ended unsuccessfully with a vow to find a better way to make a living.

Downtown changed for the better.  Modern, sophisticated, not trashy.  However, exploration was limited  by pouring rain.

Sales quotas, long working hours, put the kibosh on exploring local historical sites.  Lookout Mountain was on the agenda this time.  Moccasin Bend, Ruby Falls, Rock City, Chickamauga–names heard for years–never explored.

These sixty-seven year old eyes viewed old haunts from a different perspective.  The main difference, I find each day of life precious.  I’m no longer a risk taker.

How tough it must have been for Union soldiers to scramble up Lookout Mountain in summer heat under gunfire.  There were other tales–of sacrifices, successes and failures.

Some issues, from the long-ago War Between the States, still divide us.  Monuments from different state militias lie scattered over the verdant, rolling hills of Chickamauga battlefield.  I couldn’t help but feel that this was a sacred place.  I’ve never been privileged to visit Gettysburg–but imagined the reverence to be the same.

From there, to Ober Gatlinburg for Oktoberfest fun.  Bavarian dancers clad in lederhosengemütlichkeit, oom-pah-pah bands and polkas.

Did you know the Bush’s baked bean legacy started in a humble general store near Dandridge, TN?  The visitor’s center restaurant smelled like a restaurant should, leading to a satisfying piece of apple pie topped with ice cream and coffee.  I didn’t, however, have my picture taken with “Duke,” the Irish setter of Bush’s baked bean commercial fame.  That dog’s a marketing genius.  Free samples of a new product–Asian spiced baked beans were tasty–with hints of ginger and soy.

NOTHING REFLECTED, NOTHING SEEN

winter sky

Divas, real he-men
Parted curtains
Groped the darkness
Nothingness, reflected
In their, hollowed eyes
Waited in lines
For quick fixes
Reasons for being
Easy money
Eased, real
And imagined
Pains of failure

Cobwebs, brushed
Aside, along
With, dreams
Without meaning
Riddled, with lies
Echoes in drainpipes
Hidden amongst clutter
Of hideous ideologies
Sinister mysteries
Homogenized prizes
As time passed, beneath
Marbleized skies

Desoto

desotoThe former two-tone
Red and white, fifty-five
Desoto Fireflite, Detroit
Beauty queen, showed
Rusty, primered age spots
With only hints of red
Waited for reunion
That never came

Garish chrome plated
Toothy grill, rendered
Toothless, shaded under
The same tree, every
Day, since the dream
Of a retired steelworker
Formerly from Pittsburg

Sold, for a mechanic’s lien
Of five-hundred dollars
And trailer-parked into
Obscurity, somewhere
Along the vast barren
Stretches, of Route 66
In the American West

Grip loosened, whiskey
Glass, fell to the floor
With a clunk, nobody heard
Limp right arm, slumped
Over the cigarette burn
Tattooed, recliner cushion
Mini-tsunami of Kentucky’s
Finest, spread around
Shards of broken glass

SONGS FROM INSIDE MY HEAD

Annoying little ditties

Commercials, jingles

Hymns from yesteryear

Twangy country

Bach to Rock

Nursery rhymes

Innocent, carefree days

Mournful, pitiful

Jubilant, cheerful

Feelings left behind

You and me

Now and then

Relationships

Friendships

Affairs of the heart

Years to build

Easily torn apart

Ones that got away

Nothing but memories

What might have been

Arias, Rhapsodies

Symphonies of life