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Friday, December 30, 2011

Thanks for the memories

As Scott Henry reported a few days ago, another landmark is saying bye-bye. Pearson's Wine, a 40-year-old Buckhead store, closes Saturday night, New Year's Eve. You still have time to stop by for some considerably reduced prices.

The store was part of one of my more pathetic foodie moments long ago. I'd finished undergrad and was about to move to Elberton to begin five years of working for rural weekly newspapers. I was poor, as usual, and married. I'm talking so poor that we rolled the car battery in a ("borrowed") grocery store cart to a service station for recharging every few days.

One day, feeling extra-sorry for myself, I drove to Pearson's and bought a relatively expensive bottle of wine — probably the first of good quality I'd ever bought. ( The drinking age was 18 at the time.) Then I walked to a gourmet shop not far away and bought a little bottle of Beluga caviar. I sat in my car in a parking lot and drank most of the wine while I licked the caviar I dumped into the palm of my hand. I also got all teary and sad. I was moving to Elberton, for Chrissake.

The incident is a perfect expression of the arc of many Baby Boomers' lives: a double value system. On the one hand, I was a socialist who had been involved with SDS and helped publish an underground newspaper on campus at William & Mary.

On the other hand, I was raised in a prosperous family and my mother had introduced me to some exotic foods. She constantly reminded me when I was a teenager that I'd better find a lucrative career to keep my silver spoon from tarnishing.

I never managed that and my double value system remains intact — much to the chagrin of my partner Wayne. Hey, I'm a Gemini.

So, thanks for reminding me, Pearson's, that good food really does stimulate memories.

Here's Channel 2's video about the closing:

Speaking of life in the sticks, I lived two years in the bustling metropolis of Augusta (and commuted to Thomson, where I was editor of The McDuffie Progress). I truly hated my time in that city. I remember my mother telling me, "Everybody has to live in a place like that at least once."

I'm told Augusta has matured since those years in many ways. In fact, the food truck craze is about to take off there. First up is a married couple that plans to operate a truck called The Brown Bag next month.

However, The Augusta Chronicle reports that the truck's owners have encountered the same difficulty Atlanta trucks have:

They are working to gain final approval to operate the truck. Georgia’s regulations require food trucks to have a kitchen in a separate building, but The Brown Bag’s kitchen is located on the truck.

“It’s been tough. We’re trying to work it out with our home counties,” Carole Romero said.

The Brown Bag’s menu will range from hot dogs and beef or chicken sliders to macaroni and cheese, sweet potato fries, crawfish monica and crab cake, and pork or scallop sliders.

How the hell have carnival food trucks gotten away with operation for many years?

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