Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

Some stories from our past deserve a retelling. At least that is how I feel about something that happened to me many years ago here at our local grocery store on Flynn Street.

Guys used to call a good-looking girl a “tomato”. Remember those days? Slang terms have changed many times over the years but most folks still “have a clue” when you use a phrase that has been “knocking around” for a long time. “Catch my drift”?

On this particular afternoon I stopped by the store after work to pick up two tomatoes to add to our dinner salad.

I headed to the checkout and saw a younger woman headed there just ahead of me. Both of us were just behind a dapper older gentleman. He quickly turned to the darling younger woman in front of me and motioned her ahead of him in line. I assumed that the generous nature of the man was appeased by that action.

Being in my mid-forties at the time I was no longer under the illusion that my looks would get me any consideration in a grocery checkout line…and I was about to take up my place behind him.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the offer of his hand motioning me ahead of him in line also. Not only surprised, but infused with a fresh feeling of not being so old after all! But observing my plastic bag of tomatoes, he trumped the pleasantness of my own musings by remarking, “I’d do anything for a couple of “tomatoes”!

After living here awhile longer and getting acquainted with more folks I am fairly positive that the gentleman at the grocery store that day was none other than the late Joe Denner. What a gentleman!

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