Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Banjos and Pizzas are for Happier Moments

   Many blogs ago I was writing about taking a trip back east, doing the Civil War thing and eating pizza every chance I got. Well, we made it back there again for the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg or as others will call it, the 150th anniversary in commemorating the battle where so many young men died. The Southerners would call the war: The War of Northern Aggression and Gettysburg as the high water mark.
   Sheri and I were selected to be greeters at the Soldiers Cemetery or what is currently called the Gettysburg National Cemetery. To be a greeter one has to apply by filling out forms online, providing photos of our 19th century outfits and be willing to stand at the gates in 90º temperatures with skyrocketing humidity and be willing to greet spectators with a cheerful yet somber voice as they entered the cemetery grounds. Hmmmm, cheerful and somber? Don't know if I can do that but I'll give it a try. The Boy Scouts were there to light the 3500 luminaries that glowed in the dark over the Gettysburg dead. We got the chance to meet some of the Boy Scouts and inform them that 100 years ago at the 50th anniversary of the battle that the Boy Scouts actually helped out enormously for the surviving veterans reunion of the battle, both north and south. They set up tents, did their laundry, provided assistance to the handicapped and helped to feed them. These young scouts had no idea that their legacy is connected to the whole ordeal. I was glad to be able to educate them as their troop leaders should have but they probably had no idea either.
    It almost seemed fitting that when taps was played that Sunday evening and the 21st century military marched by in perfect order that the heavens opened up and poured down on us in torrents. Almost like saying they were washing away the scars one more time and to start fresh tomorrow.
   I learned something about pizza that week in Gettysburg. Pizza is a little like a banjo. A what? Yes, a banjo. You can't be in a somber mood and play a banjo or eat a pizza. Pizza is for happy times like a banjo is for brighter times. It just doesn't seem to be appropriate after walking past so many graves of so many young men who gave their life to preserve the Union and turn to your wife and say, "Ready for a pizza now?" I don't mean that disrespectfully but in reality it's hard not to be moved after seeing so many luminaries and hearing taps being played. Pizza can wait, I thought.
    In fact it did wait. Once we got to Philadelphia I figured we would be gorging on pizza at different places every night. As luck would have it our hotel was right next door to the Reading Train Terminal which has since been changed into a food court for 70-80 amazing choices of food types, styles, ethnicities and flavors. None of them were connected to a franchise as it was all real food in the best sense of the word. One night I skipped the pizza for the lasagna which was amazing. Another night we heard someone walk by and raved about the chicken being out of this world so we ate chicken that was every bit as good as we had hoped. Another evening we discovered the German fare and ate grilled bratwurst. There were so many choices, including Amish treats that we don't get at home or at least near Sacramento that we had to try as many as time would allow. We did have pizza in Boston and while in Gettysburg we tried a pub that served amazing food that we needed to sink our teeth into.  Even after the re-enactment we thought about getting a pizza on the way home. However, as Picket's charge ended a couple of rain drops fell followed by a few more and then the heavens opened up on us. By the time we reached our car about a mile away our 19th century outfits were drenched to the bone. Sheri was smart enough to bring a change of clothing. I, however, am the eternal optimist and said it wasn't gong to rain. That left me either in soaking wet clothes or strip down to my boxers and t-shirt which were only partially wet. We found the first place we could called Lincoln's Diner, walked in a little sheepishly and sat down wearing my solid blue boxers. Nobody even noticed.  Pizza wasn't on the menu so I settled for the meatloaf. Pizza will have to wait one more time. It did wait...all the way until we finally returned home and had 6 days to prepare for the return of the Pear Fair. The amazing Pear Fair that we cut our teeth on in our opening pizza debut a year ago. Was it a fluke, could we really have sold close to 360 pizzas that day and was it to  repeat like the year before? Only 6 days to order the food, repack the rig, get the crew together and bake pizzas like there was no tomorrow. Being a guest greeter at Gettysburg was one thing but cranking out the same number of pizzas again this year would prove to be quite another.
   To be continued in: The Return of the Pear Fair.

No comments:

Post a Comment