Today started out like a regular Thursday for me- morning appointments with clients, then planning to have lunch with Dad before returning to work to meet with afternoon clients. Dad said last night he wanted to eat at a sort of underground pizza place. He was craving “sweet pizza”.
Spinners Pizza might be known as Garro’s Pizza to those of us who grew up here, or were stationed at Bragg in the 80’s and early 90’s. Long before CiCi’s was a thing, Garro’s was home of the pizza buffet. What set them apart from the chain pizza places was their rustic decor, and their “dessert pizza”. Before Pizza Inn had the Pizzert, there was Garro’s cherry or apple pizza, -sometimes even chocolate, made with chocolate pudding! No tomato sauce went on these slices, just a sweet base (can’t reveal the secret, sorry!) then topped with unsalted mozzarella cheese and yummy pie toppings. When you were 8, this was the greatest thing in the world. (Let’s be honest here, as an adult it is still in the top 10 of greatest things.)
So that’s why Dad wanted Spinners today. He wanted sweet pizza. He got there before I did, and had already ordered drinks. I was pretty sure he assumed I wanted the pizza buffet, but alas, I’ve been gluten free for a little over a month and the health benefits (for me) really outweigh delicious, delicious pizza. (It’s been a struggle. If you think I don’t miss gluten and “real” pizza, please read the second paragraph again. My keyboard might short out from drool.)
It was just Dad and I today. I don’t know where his other friends were (I’ve previously mentioned them- they always want Mexican food). I was kind of happy it was just us. As much as I love the other Vets, it’s nice to have Dad time. We made small talk and he ate slice after slice as I ate my salad (their salad bar is straight out of the 80’s, unhealthy ranch and everything!) and waited on my pizza fries. Think pizza, no dough, smothered all over french fries. (Just want to mention here that in no way does gluten free=healthy.)
While we ate we talked, about his recent trip with my mom to Philly, about his group meeting today, and we reminisced. We talked about when Spinner’s was Garro’s and I would beg to eat there after school on early release days. (Garro’s was not located far from school.) We laughed about how my little sister would always whine that she wanted McDonald’s but we could convince her to go to Garro’s by telling her she could sit at the Pac Man table. Yes, its still there. A table with a Pac Man game built into it.
Today, Spinner’s was packed. From construction workers to men in suits, its hard to beat a reasonably priced pizza buffet with great service. Our waitress was running her feet off, as she appeared to be the only waitress serving the whole restaurant. Near the end of our meal, I asked for a box for my leftover pizza fries. She brought it back and said “your meal has been paid for, have a nice day!”
Dad looked confused, and I immediately started looking around the restaurant? Was it the gentleman who looked like a lawyer in his suit and pink shirt? Was it the three elderly ladies that had sat near the back? I waved the waitress down and before I could ask, Dad did. “Who paid for us?” She looked around the restaurant and the smiled and said “the two men that were sitting here” and gestured to the booth behind us. Since I was facing them, I knew sort of what they looked like. I knew from their converstation between themselves and from several other customers that they were car salesmen. Had they seen Dad’s Vietnam Vet hat? Had they heard us reminiscing about 20-some years ago when I was in elementary school (yikes)? Had they heard me offer to fill his plates for him, as his limp was a bit pronounced today? (He refused AND was not using his cane. If you want to know where I get my stubborness from…)
As we left, we had to pass the cashier. “We’ve already been taken care of,” Dad announced to her. She smiled and replied, “yes, sir.” I stopped and asked her if she knew anything about our benefactors. She seemed hesitant. “I know they are car salesman,” I supplied. She hesitated for a minute and said I think they work at “—- Ford*”.
I want to thank those two men who don’t know us and still paid for our meal. You saved us fighting over the check and I think your random act of kindness deserves recognition. If, by chance you are reading this, please email me or get in touch with me through this blog or my facebook page. I imagine you didn’t do this for recognition, but I would like to thank you personally and let your boss(es) know what great people you are.
I try to keep politics out of this blog, but let me say this- with the recent acts taking place around the country many people, myself included, are finding it hard to “hunt the good” in this world. This act of kindness makes me realize that for all the bad that is out there, there is so much good too.
(Disclaimer: I am not being paid or receiving compensation by Spinner’s Pizza or —Ford for this blog, this is all personal opinion.)
*Once I can confirm that they truly work at — Ford I will place the name of the dealer in this blog.
contact Joanna: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posted in: Dad ♦ food ♦ Writing
- Tagged: 80's, dessert pizza, garro's pizza, gluten free, lunch with dad, pac man, pizza, random acts of kindness, spinner's pizza, vietnam vet
It is so refreshing to see acts of kindness towards our soldiers. That is the best way to say thank you.