A couple of weeks ago I was invited to have breakfast with some really good friends. My great high school buddy Richard Smith and his wife, Marsha, were on the first leg of their yearly return from Indiana to Texas. A breakfast at Lincoln Square Pancake House on Madison Avenue was planned to include them, former high school classmates Judy Tout-Snyder and Randi Bertram-West and myself.
Our waitress was Jenny, and she and I enjoyed some banter as I placed my order. (Example: Jenny: “Hash browns or home fries?” Fred: “Yes.”)
We had a wonderful visit and meal. Richard had the usual. He asked for an order of white toast, consumed half of one slice and asked for a carryout box for the remainder. Jenny took great care of us and seemed to find subtle ways to pick on me.
We arrived at 9 a.m. and but didn’t leave until after 10:30 a.m. Our good friend and restaurant manager, Pat “Mama,” was working the register. Her daughter, Niki, was working the room as usual and giving out hugs.
My next stop was The Southsider Voice, where I met Sherri Coner, a good friend of mine who writes a column for the paper. She has written blogs, novels and all kinds of other stuff for years. A little more than a year ago she moved to Florida. Then she found out that she had breast cancer. She has gone through several surgeries and is doing great.
She was back in Indiana to visit family and friends, and we were going to have lunch at Lincoln Square. Her good friend Kenny Norman was coming with us.
Niki was seating folks and did a quick double take as she noticed my quick return. She then smiled and showed us to the same table as earlier. I was aware of an exaggerated eye roll from Jenny as she arrived to take our orders. Round two of our banter was about to start.
I really enjoyed our lunch and liked listening to Sherri and Kenny telling stories and remembering events from their newspaper experiences. Sherri is working on plans to maybe return to Indiana. She misses her son and wants be closer to him and his family.
Jenny took great care of us ... well, she did keep that eye rolling as I tried to tell her things. We would probably have the same experience had Maggie, Elizabeth, Britney, Alina or Kim been our waitress.
I briefly considered taking my wife, Lyn, to dinner there, but I remembered that they close at 4 p.m.
Niki and her mom gave me the list of waitresses. I told them that I would try to get them all in the article, but I ran out of room before I listed Olivia, Danielle, Nichole and Cierra. Some of these gals have worked there for several years.
I had two great meals with some wonderful friends that day, and Jenny can take partial credit. Plus, I got two Niki hugs.
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.