Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Old friends, good times, and a reminder of difficult economic times

 Hawker Chicken ... tender breast meat wok fried with garlic, red peppers, and scallions in Ken’s legendary sesame zinfandel sauce.

 Sushi Plate ... 7 pieces of chef’s choice sushi and California roll. Saki.

 Sunshine Shrimp ... tempura-fried, topped with toasted coconut and honey, and served with Chardonnay aioli.
 Edamame ... steamed soybeans tossed with sea salt.

Sweet endings ... compliments of the establishment.

The old saying, "You can't go home again," has never been true in my case and last night that was proven once again when childhood friends gathered for good food, drink, and remembering good times when we were growing up in Bon Air, Virginia.

We lived one street apart -- there was a wooded ravine between our houses with a path that neighborhood kids used to get from one street to the other to avoid the busy Forest Hill Avenue. We went to school together and attended the same church on the corner of Forest Hill Avenue and Buford Road, active in the very large youth group of the 1970s singing in the youth choir, attending youth retreats, participating in everything that had to do with Bon Air Baptist Church.

We grew up in a more carefree time than our children, a time when our parents had a looser leash on us and we were free to roam and explore without the fears that are so prevalent today ... and roam is exactly what we did. Our bikes were our chariots to freedom, and we rode for miles to visit friends and explore the James River area and visit the library and buy candy at the Bon Air Pharmacy and meet friends at the community center. Our dinner last night offered an opportunity to laugh at those escapades from a more innocent age.

This friend has been a small business owner in the Richmond area for the past 20 years so conversation turned to the economy and how it has financially affected many businesses, including hers. In the past several years, she has downsized from an office and showroom/warehouse to a warehouse and running the business out of her home. Her business, directly tied to the home building industry, has taken a huge hit with the downturn of the real estate market and the economy. Even with all that, she remained upbeat about the future.

It was a reminder that many are struggling in these difficult times and yet another reason I remain involved in politics. This country was never meant to be run by a nanny government but by the people who take personal responsibility, work long hours, and take chances on business start-ups. Cronyism is not acceptable in our elected officials. They have been elected to represent the citizens, and the citizens are the ones they need to care about instead of wondering how they will be reelected next go round.

Something to think about along with the good memories of old friends....

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
21 November 2011

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