I enjoyed two reunions in September: the Edgewood all-school gathering and the one for my Class of 1960 at Southport High. My therapy dog, Stuart, attended the Southport reunion picnic so he could visit with the folks he has met over the years.
My good friend Richard Smith and his wife, Marsha, who were at their summer home in northern Indiana, came down for the reunion. A few weeks ago I was showing a picture of Marsha with the Southport Cardinal, who “flew” in for our picnic.
A week or so later, Marsha and Richard were back in town for a couple of days, visiting family and friends while on their way home to Austin, Texas. We usually get together for breakfast – often at the Lincoln Square Pancake House – when they are passing through.
Richard and I have messed with each other for many years. He was the person who tricked me into meeting him at my family’s old house (now The Longacre Tavern) on the evening that my friends and classmates held a roast in my honor there. Richard told several “Fred stories,” claiming that he was getting even for a couple of “Smith” stories shared in this column.
On the morning of our breakfast, Lyn was running a little late so I decided to get to Lincoln Square a few minutes early in case there was a wait for a table. While sipping my coffee I thought about the breakfast that we had there in other years. That got me thinking about some of Richard’s goofy eating habits.
He often ordered just one slice of toast. A couple of times I saw the “Why me?” look coming from our server.
When my server stopped to check on my need for coffee several weeks ago, I told her about Richard. I asked her if she could fix a slice of burned toast and serve it to him on her first trip to the table after he arrived.
She loved the idea and was laughing as she headed back to the kitchen. After Richard and Marsha and Lyn were seated, our waitress came to our table served him a burnt slice of toast.
He looked a bit shocked for a few seconds before seeing my “gotcha” smile. I glanced around and noticed that several tables and the staff enjoyed the antic.
I am now frequently looking over my shoulder because I know he’s going to get me.
A week or so after the reunions, Stuart was scheduled as the main speaker for the Perry Township/Southport Historical Society meeting. But he got a little nervous at the last minute and asked me to fill in for him. I showed some slides and talked about his work as a therapy dog.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.