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September 8, 2012. Lunchbunch. Mi Camino Real, Mount Orab OH. flebobcee, BUT where’s Wee-Willie?

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120906 Mt Orab OH Mi Real Camino Lunchbunch. Wall mural. Bob foto. Criptographic.

120906 LunchBunch Mi Real Camino in Mount Orab OH. Menu featuring Oscar’s autograph. flefoto. Criptographics.

Bob says we woulda gone to the little grill in his well-guarded and gated community where danger lurks wherever entry is sought. All the plans had been laid DOWN. All the maps drawn and quartered. EXCEPT they don’t open until 4pm. So, hippity hippity hop, we flop again at Mi Camino Real, where we’ve been often enough this past few years to be recognized at first glance. Where the people are friendly and the food is decent and they allow us to play Scrabble (copyright til you die) afterwords without having to push and pull me to a library down the street and up Route 68 past Radio Shack.

Another miracle that’s made my life much more accessible (to me) is the auto adaptor kit for my c-PAP (thank you, CB, for finding it) which allows me to wear my mask which helps me breathe almost effortlessly during short-to-medium trips.

Oscar served us for the first time today. Never missing a beat in the warm and timely response offered by Caesar, his predecessor who, we thought, might have been hiding in the kitchen to get some respite from this crabby, demanding, old folks. You can see Bob’s brain working furiously as he creates still yet another question to throw at Oscar without getting kicked out of there or led by the nose to the kitchen sink’s load of dirty dishes. Or is it ye old reflux yo-yoing? 120906. Good thing Bob exhausted himself talking on this Lunch Bunch Thursday, for his phone would lie fallow in CB’s purse for the next five days in CB’s purse where it had sprung in a desperate effort to make a home with an even bigger talker than master Bob. Criptographics. flefoto.

Just the three of us, Bob, CB and me. Willie is off wandering in Vermont again with her friend diddle diddle john, the hunter man who, she says, seems almost as cosy in Vermont as in his mobile hunting lodge somewhere on the Ohio-West Virginia border.

Oscar the server was serving the LunchBunch for the very first time. And, like Caesar before him, seemed to have radar installed to anticipate our needs and various types of medication to quickly counter ill effects of some of our silly requests.

Like roasted peppers. Tasty but testy (hot). Bob and I ordered two and ate one each. The other two I brought home to chop into the white beans my sister had given me the week before to the accompaniment or crumbling cornbread.

120906 cheese and chorizo and refried beans. Enough, it seemed for a while, to float the whole block for a few jarring moments of deeply pulsating bodily explosions. Criptographics. flefoto.

Bob’s spousal unit Joyce is on a protracted sojourn to the South. Not so bad, he can keep in touch by phone. But WAIT, CB dropped Bob’s phone in her purse! He has no phone at home. So, he’ll truly be Joyceless until next Tuesday when we meet again. And beyond.

CB got her usual steak fajitas; problem with multiple visits to a dining establishment (more than one) is that boredome sets in quickly and heavily, like a concrete horseshoe the school bully forced down your gullet, regardless of how good the food, service, appointments and all that stuff may have been that “first” time. NEVER spend the first one until you feel you absolutely must.

CB is lovin’ her steak fajitas, probably the 2nd most favorite Lunch Bunch Food at Mi Camino Real. 120906. Criptographics.

120906 Lunch Bunch seen through the sharp eyes of a guru-iet. “Laugh,” shouted the big guy in the bigger wheelchair; laugh, damn you! With a will! And we did!!!!!!!!!” Criptogra[hics. Bobfoto.

Bob had an enchilada and a tamale. I had a tamale (I do believe the singular form of tamale is “tamale”) and the stuff that normally comes with fajitas – beans and rice all around and all that other sour cream and guacamole and stuff. Followed by flan and churros.

A solid 7 for me and I heard no complaints from the other two until we started the Scrabble games.  I won 1 of 2. CB won 1 or 3. and Bob won 2 of 3. Unless, of course, I am mistaken.

120906 Afterwords. Bob is the designated loader and unloader of my folding Scrabble Board. 500 ins and outs with not one smashed snout – well, mebbe one, eh Bob? But nothing, absolutely nothing compared to a fast draw. Have you ever? I say, have you ever been victimized by a fast draw artist? ”Tis not something soon forgotten. No. Not at all. 120906. Criptographics. flefoto.

The conversion united that allows me to use my C-PAP in Tranq is a blessing, boosting me to eating spots around the area.

Thank you, Bob, for the tomatoes….again. What can be better than the taste of a fresh tomato? A tasty round of lip wrestling, he muttered confidently after a pause for thought.

I must also thank Mi Camino Real for the Mexican pop. Strawberry for me; Orange for Bob. Wow! Reminded me of the pop we used to sometimes be able to afford from the iceman down in Puryear, Tennessee. Straight from on the ice under the protective tarpaulin to my mouth, thence quickly, quickly, laid, down my throat, like liquid sandpaper cleaning my pipes. Wow!

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Written by frankieleeee

September 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Air thick enough to choke a cow…and ME; Chinese (is it really?) food good and plenty enough to fatten us all for market! Lunch Bunch.

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120828 Future of four of the LunchBunch foretold by soothsayers at the Chinese Buffet in Cincinnati’s Eastgate Shopping Center. Clockwise beginning in upper left: Bob, fle, Willie & CB. Criptographics. williefoto

My first time in weeks to venture more than a few blocks from the house. Success!

120828 Gathering and girding our loins in the parking lot, preparing yet another assault on the Chinese Buffet in Eastgate. Criptographics. flefoto

Sometimes, no, most times, Lunch Bunch winds up landing in a tiny or medium strip mall somewhere between Northern Kentucky and Northern Dayton. I think that the strip mall must be formatted for easy ingress and egress for restaurant owners and their equipments and their dreams.

120828 Chinese Buffet at Eastgate. Criptographics. flefoto

The China Buffet in the Eastgate Shopping Center is an exception to the temporary housing rule, however, we’ve been planting our big and small butts there for several years, never tiring yet of the cornucopia of eastern delicacies awaiting us. One of the few places I don’t complain too much about return visits – my preference is to try a new place every week.

“Take off your coat, throw it in the corner; don’t see why you don’t stay a little longer…” (Bob n Willie)

I try to get a small bite of everything that looks good and wind up with three plates of samples, half of which are consumed with a smile in my gut and between my mustache and beard.

120828 Hong Kong looking down upon the Lunch Bunch

120828 Bob and server Cindy got to know each other very very well, apparently; we all sighed with joy

Hot. Hot. Hot.

I love spicy hot food. I discovered yesterday my lungs can no longer endure hot and muggy weather. I learned the definition of smothering firsthand until Tranq’s a/c kicked in.

Bob brought tomatoes and cucumbers to the party – thank you, my friend. And ribs which he also took back home.

120828 Chinese Buffet. Eastgate Shopping Center. Cincinnati.

Willie brought snicker doodles she had made – they were excellent, Wee Willie.

CB brought me – good job, CB.

Scrabble (copyright til you die) is mostly fuzzy, methinks

Tuesday because Willie and John (her spousal unit) (remember the soul singer Little Willie John? – mebbe a good label for our couple, eh? Eh, Willie?

120828 Afterwords. Preparing the battlements.

Anyhow, Little Willie John left for parts Vermont this morning, take their cats with them and who knows what else as their ferry their household from here to the ancestral home left Willie by her mom a few years back.

What a beautiful setting up there not far from Lake Champlain. CB and I met with Willie up there one October for a special Lunch Bunch where I was introduced to poutine, a mishmash of french fries, gravy and curd cheese.

I’m surely gonna miss her when she arrives at her final farewell. Glad Bob’s, so far, not planning on spending the rest of his retirement in the Okefenokee Swamp wrestling alligators, crocodiles and giant catfish.

I suppose I should mention the consensus grade we four gave the Chinese Buffet was 8.3. Unlike most buffets we’ve tried, they have squid; they have octopus; and stuff; but I never found one of their spareribs.

Lunchbunch is a rally. One of us tries to find a restaurant that is impossible to find and the rest spend the morning looking for it, GPS in hand, or in the case of Bob, handwritten instructions his hand wrote down – Bob doesn’t trust his GPS very much because, he says, I’ve been a very poor example when I got CB and me lost several times using GPS. Never ever ever, though – well, HARDLY ever, do I mention the time Willie and I followed Bob all over the countryside near Clarksville (OH) looking for apples (It’s our secret, Bob – Willie’s and yours and mine!).

When we do finally find each other at the designated meeting place the clash of our rushing words would energize a nuclear power plant if someone ever learned to harness it.

After staying in the house, mostly in bed, for most of the week before, riding in a wheelchair behind CB in Tranq, is without equal, even when the water-laden air refuses to cease its battering of the insides of my lungs.

120828 Afterwords. Preparing the battlements.

I think most of us won at least one Scrabble (copyright til you die). Well, no, CB says that’s not true. CB won both of hers. Willie lost both of hers. Bob and I split ours. After more than a decade, we, however, have yet to reach a decision on the deepest meaning of that frustrating word game. Too bad AGGRAVATION isn’t its name.

Brought home some Singapore Mai Fun and, thusly, added a new favorite taste: the curry did it, methinks.

120828 – Lots of food; more cleanup. It’s a wonder they don’t have me on my hands and knees cleaning up my infamous messes caused by spillover from Bob’s and my (and sometimes Willie’s) appetizers.

Willie had to leave after two games to get home ahead of traffic and get her ass packing for today’s departure. (It is my theory (well ONE one of my theories). Bob shot over to Meijer’s to do Joyce’s bidding. I got in Tranq and tried to keep quiet so as not to disturb CB, my chauffeur.

Written by frankieleeee

August 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

August 9, 2012 Lunch Bunch at Emma’s Soul Food, Harrison Avenue, Western Hills (Cincinnati).

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Around the corner from Emma’s Soul Food Restaurant in Cincinnati. Shack on the outside but definitely not on the inside. Criptographics. 2012. flefoto.

Soul food. How life has changed from the days when soul food, or country food, became the bill of fare for us folks who couldn’t afford better cuts or more expensive vegetables. Now the yuppies are trying to take our food away from us, denying us of yet another part of our identity. I saw in a paper last week where a high class soul food restaurant was opening in the Cincinnati area.

120809 It’s a lonesome street, is Harrison, looking out the front door of Emma’s Soul Food. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful.. The menu was functional although handwritten – penmanship C+. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 More of Emma’s I-don’t-know-their-names: the two guys in the background are the chefs. We all enjoyed our lunch, although the jury is out as to whether/when we, the discerning Lunch Bunch, will return. Criptographics. flefoto

 

 

People in the big house over there ate pork tenderloin and hams and tender cuts of ham. From the same pigs, the poor people who helped kill and dress the hogs got what would probably have been thrown away for fed to the dogs any. Hog head for head cheese where you take all the skin and stuff, grind it up and make a poor man’s lunch loaf. Pig ears, one of my favorites, to boil for sandwiches. Pig feet. Pig tails. Brains? Nothing better than pig brains scrambled with eggs.owe

there were the poor white relatives of the hog owners who gratefully accepted the charity of leftover pig ears, feet and ribs, a piece of loin or two to supplement the 5 pounds for a dollar hamburger meat at Schofner and Thompson (half bread and other filling). And we loved our food, rarely realizing we’d been relegated to the bottom of the balrrel of pork bounty, especially our black friends? who lived over yonder in the holler and who dasn’t say “no” to whatever request, or to whatever compensation was offered.

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful. Criptographics. flefoto

Today my 29 cent a pound pork ribs are, what 3 or 4 dollars?

Fat back, for example, has become an integral part of a gourmet dish. Who can afford fatback now?

And everything else is rising sky high in price.

So whadda we eat now that we can afford.

Used to get a soul food plate for 2 or 3 dollars; today it’s 10-17 dollars.

They’re stealing from us again.

I only hope the same ingenuity from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a few countries in Europe, will come up with alternative affordable food for our tables which by nature of our lessening incomes must be provisioned with less and less.

Which all leads me to Emma’s soul food Restaurant on Harrision not far down the street.

I don’t like to take the LunchBunch to the west side; it’s too easy to go close to home. Except now with my COPD, I am forced to. And we’ve found some pretty good places that even Bob hasn’t blown up in his imagination before we left. Five Boroughs. The Chinese Restaurant. Ron’s Roost. Giovanni’s and Emma’s.

Strangely, Emma’s had been open on Harrison Avenue, a major thoroughfare, for 8 years, and CB and I had never heard of it. Almost literally a hole in the wall. Clean. Good fresh food, but not what I would call a souldfood restaurant.

A compromise between Europe and Africa. A compromise.

120809 Unnamed server and Willie establish a temporarily strong bond. The fish was good. The ribs not barbecued but baked we were told. Criptographics. Flefoto

I’ve worn myself down writing this …. I’ll finish tomorrow.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

Any of you ever been to a hog killing where nearby Negro laborers, who lived in tiny villages among farms in the county, were called to help and given hog guts (chitterlings), ribs, heads and the like for their hard day’s labor.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

And we haven’t even touched on barbecued possum and fried raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, edible birds and the like.

OR

Is the story as simple as someone stealing my Dad’s (on my father’s side) and my Grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) recipes and selling them to the highest bidder once they had sampled their rich (fatty) goodness, increasing demand for the junk food which had heretofore feed us at the bottom of the food chain, which, in turn raised prices to fit big time eateries.

120809 Willie and Bob and CB and I found more than guffaw hanging in the air inside Emma’s . “Did you hear the one about……?” Criptographics. flefoto

Will we, too, be relegated to dog food dinners?

“With or without cereal bits, ma’am et mister? I do recommend the pseudo wheat germ flavor.”

120809 Beautiful flowers to top off the tasteful decor of Emma’s street side windowsill. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 Out back. The end of it all! Bury it quick and bury it deep, matey, afore it spreads over us all. Criptographics. flefoto

Written by frankieleeee

August 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Lunch Bunch August 23, 2012. Eating with the seniors at Giovanni’s in the verdant (except for Giovanni’s) western suburbs of Cincinnati.

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I actually got out of bed yesterday. What an adventure! There I was lying in that damned ole hospital bed on a Thursday morning when I felt this quirky tug on my gut (sorry, could not differentiate between small and large). “Must be Lunch Bunch pangs,” opined CB. “Willie and Bob must be spelling you to get themselves out of having to come to us and play Scrabble on your hospital bed.

120823 And the seniors have it! Giovanni’s, that is. And always welcomed personally by Tony the server (whom I sometimes refer to as “Bob”). Casual is good. Food is good (except for musty taste of bread and Bruschetta). Company is GRRRRReatttt!!!!! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Bob and Tony in back; Willie and fle in front. CB in back of the camera. Criptographics. CBfoto

Giovanni’s Italian Family Dining. Where old folks go to shovel down the soft, yet delicious; the bland, yet tasty, proooducts of the Giovanni Emini family. Courtesy of the scoops provided by the pound by Tony Enimi, son of the family. Scoops unlimited! As tony performs his Russian dance Kazachok

Fleet of foot, master of the kazachok, Tony Emini, master of all the tables he surveys at Giovanni’s (and he surveys them ALL). Only hands of family touches the food, none of strangers, they say, airily, self-assuredly. 120823. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 All Lunch Bunch is served family style; every order is shared, except, on occasion, Bob’s eggs. Here CB passes the me a share of the salad which I immediately mixed with sausage and spaghetti and stuff, for roughage purposes only, of course. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 CB in the middle and at the ready! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Willie with tales from Enosburgh Falls (VT), Indian Lake (OH), just above Dayton OH, Colorado, Albany, and King’s Island, not to mention her most recent adventures at the dentist’s office. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Our Table: see the ripples of laughter? Criptographics. Bobfoto

This hospice thing has become a pain in the ass: I truly never know when a Lunch Bunch will be my last, either in-house or in an eatery. It’s a tad frightening to know that there is a relatively small finite number of Lunch Bunches in my future.

But that’s whining. Actually, I’m grateful for the time I’ve left to spend with friends and work on real and imaginary projects.

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. Criptographics. Flefoto

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. My favorite among them all. Criptographics. Flefoto

Time to make believe I can still …… (fill in the blank)

Oh, me! Oh, my! What will they ever do without me? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Ooooooooooooooooooooh!

Bob, Willie, CB and I comprised Thursday’s Lunchbunch. Bob stopped along the way and brought us all some fresh tomatoes. God, are they good. Thank you, Bob.

Willie got up early for a dentist appointment and, wouldn’t you believe it, I forgot to admire her new work.

She was almost biblical in that she went first to “prepare a place for us” at the usual table served as usual by Bob Enimi, son of Giovanni. Ordered appetizers: sausage in sauce, fried calamari, and bruschetta.

120824 And I in my bib, wolfed and wolfed til my tongued lolled and lolled, to the delight of my paid-audience in Giovanni’s, except for the one fellow who threw back his five dollar coin along with what seemed like a peck of overripe tomatoes mixed with mnure-rich soil from which they had come the week previous. Criptrographics. bobfotot

Even though a busload of seniors beat us to their tables, and even though only Tony was there to serve, he served like a mothuh and nobody had to wait… not even us latecomers.

Let’s see, I had spaghetti and sausage (pretty good), Bob had a cheese pizza (delicious), CB had ziti alfredo (okay) and Willie had lobster ravioli (i donated my portion to the hungry children in Appalachia; others froze theirs to be examined at some distant future time).

Ever try to divide one medium to small piece of tiramisu among 4 people all of who who wanted the biggest piece? especially Willie and me? Good stuff and Bob’s Cannoli wudn’t half bad, either.

A testament to the taste of Giovanni’s: Willie took John Lasagna for dinner and I brought sausage (homemade, of course) and tiramisu for CB’s and my dinner. No leftovers were allowed to languish.

Back to CB’s and my apartment for some Scrabble (copyright til you die) and leftover Rodney root beer.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob's closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes - precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. Criptographics. flefoto.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob’s closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes – precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. How cold and lonely these buildings all seem without the softening of human warmth or love or breath or something like that, eh? Criptographics. flefoto.

I won a game.

I also lost a game that Bob says I probably could have won.

Twelve years almost every week we’ve played Scrabble (copyright til you die) and have yet to agree on almost anything about Scrabble (copyright til you die) EXCEPT that we all like it, especially Willie who continues to chase it with a will and with every centime she can borrow from Farmer Jack’s.

The downside is the next morning (today), that damned ole elephant showed up again and sat on my chest until mid-afternoon when I finally managed to calm her/him down by practicing my breathing without my C-PAP mask.

120823 Back at the ranch, Bob, Willie and CB prepare for the weekly Scrabble scrap. Can Bob keep that smirk intact through the afternoon? Stay tuned, dear viewers, and ye may see yet. Criptrographics. flefoto

120823 Nebulizer. Nebulizer. Drugging up to boost my Scrabble (copyright til you die) I.Q. Won one. Lost one. Won the first one which means Scrabble (copyright til you die) drugs don’t have long enough effects, do they Bob? Criptographics.

120823 Willie and I shooting each other. Criptographics. flefoto

All is well and I am already swelling with anticipation for next week at Eastgate, willing to spend some miserable time in bed to combat edema in my legs in order to make the trek on Tuesday.

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!

Written by frankieleeee

August 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

The Battle for Lunch with the Lunchbunch 20 July 2012.a

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Willie nervously tests the food and the water, looking for good taste and also for suspicious warning signs that the Joycists are on the rampage. flefoto Criptographics. Peruano Sabor. Fairfield OH

I awoke in the pre dawn yesterday. It was Friday the twentieth of July. As I jumped off on cold, if invigorating icy floor tiles, I realized if I didn’t have my “A” game pretty much at its peak today, the Lunhbunch would be footless and almost certainly luckless in ways that one or two of the couldn’t even imagine.The T-Part air fighters had shredded much of Route 4 from Interstate 275 to Motherfuckuh Highway, effectively shutting down automobile traffic in the finest food zone on Cincinnati’s west side. Hell or any of its sides.

July 20, 2012. All of us (back: CB, Willie, and Jude; front: l-R=r: me then Bob with his Julie shirt) in full battle garb Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH. Peruano Sabor. Criptrographics.

Jealousy.

Plain ole jealousy.

Concealed behind these walls, the inside paint gun locker of the restaurant where our final hopes would lie if we were forced into fierce action against the Joycists. fotobyfle Criptograph July 20, 2012

Bob’s military wife Commander Joyce tired of hearing about the best pizzas, the fried chicken, soup’s of all sorts, cornbread of all sorts, carrot cake, flan and you-name-it pies, had called em out after p;ulling her battle gear from that huge waterproof bag she had suspended under the surface of the inlet halfway across the lake.

The Joycists resurrected.

Special guards, at the behest of LB members, have been hired by the restaurant to protect us from those who would painfully deny us our one sumptuousness of the week. (How dare they?) Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH DSCF1025DSCF1006

Nobody was going to out brag her gourmand friends. oafter what seemsd like a hundred calls from my cellphone, I was able to have Willie desiccate construction site inspector. At thats site outside my favorite South American joint – outside Sabor Peruano. I had information a gang of Americans posing as illegals planned to make a big fuss – complex with hand pained

Family style dining gives each of us a taste of as many as a dozen appetizers/entrees/desserts/specialty drinks. Here is the pork and rice I order (and shared). First time in my memory that everything everyone ordered was superb, but especially dat crispy pork Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH. Criptographics. bobfoto

signs, body and internet noise accusing me and others like me of huge pretense – pretending to love Latin American food to dilute its level of consumer delight in Cincinnati.

They were determined to drive us to the west side where there hasn’t been a self-respecting restaurant since Aunt Flora’s left for the Findlay Market and where running upon one good meal a year is  not unlike rediscovering the hope diamond, and that’s is we all agree on it.

Bob after months of intensive conditioning is obviously fit to confront the worst the Joycists can throw at him. Bob, on more than one occasion, has thrown himself between oncoming paintballs and his friends, including me. Quiet but loyal, I’d say. Yes, I’d say that. 120721 Fairfield OH flefoto Criptographics.

Which we don’t hardly ever. Even for real bank money.

I had been suspecting Joyce was up to something like this for weeks.gh

I called my friend Sarah who works there, who had sent me steaming bowlfuls of Peruvian food when I was in the hospital on the a-tip of the crust. Sarah rounded a half dozen of her friends and family up, commandeered their vehicles, including – can you believe it? – one with a chair lift and slipped us in through back entrance. All of us, that is, except Jude, the designated decoy was arrived normally late.

CB always getting up and down up and down to help me; poor kid. Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH flefoto Criptographics.

Joyce’s crowd was left outside in the parking lot sucking hind tit and creaming of better days, of more effective days when the Lunch Bunch would no long have either the best meal or the last

CB had the green spaghetti probably colored by spinach whose flavor (thankfully) didn’t bleed through loudly. Peruvian food seems to include a heavy European influence (e.g.), namely influences from SpainChinaItaly, West Africa, and Japan (spaghetti). Out-of=state foods prepared with hometown foods. I like it a lot, but I’m not sure how the rest of the gang feels about it. Most don’t complain but also aren’t normally as loudly complimentary as I. Did I say the restaurant twice sent food, insisting on no charge to my friend who picked it up. First of all, how could I not love them, eh? Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH DSCF1024

Don’t fool with the Lunch Bunch. Mess with us at the rest of have your ego busted.

Dirty table – No, I don’t think that’s the word at all, more like the ashtray after sex – I can still hear my friends full-throated purrs of satisfaction rumbling around the room as the crew changes the scenery for the third act of our Lunch Bunch – Scrabble (copyright til you die). Enough! They said. “Too much” (from the peanut gallery). “Blessed at the gluttons!” Finally a smattering of Joycists stepped out of their concealment to applaud our expertise in both ordering and eating and being all around nice folks. Still, looking at the quickly disappearing food one can not help wondering  how many tales the table could tell, for it heard and saw all, where each of us could grasps no more than a minuscule soupcon. Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH flefoto. Criptographics.

Yesterday’s meal was, in MY OPINION, the best meal we’ve had: 2 soups, deep fried bacon and potatoes, onion salad, pork and rice, spaghetti, chicken steaks and rice, paella with its yellow rice (ordered eagerly by Bob but methinks NOT eatern eagerly by him), cookies that melt in your mouth, flan, all day long ….. all day long… till the Scrabbleboards (copyright til you die) come out.

Jude in full stride, like the rest of us, she’s a talker, and, like the rest of her, she has absolutely no chance of spitting out a single sentence of more than six words intact. Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH flefoto. Criptographics.

THEN

I lost two.

But it didn’t spoil my day.

CB beat Bob. Not sure, but that could have been a day breaker for someone. Willie beat the piss outa me; don’t know how she fared against CB.

Sarah, server and savior. Who will neither forsake no shorchange.  Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH. flefoto. Criptographics.

Then it was time to go, for willie to flow ahead of traffic.

For Bob to hit Dewey’s for a makeup pizza for Joyce.

Jude seafood soup. Willie and I do no like cilantro which is brought to the table in a little non-polluting bowl. Soup’s good. Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH DSCF1025

Since the previous LB, CB had a colonoscopy after we made that emergency turnaround in Kentucky where some afoul was spilling out of her bowels.

All’s better. No cancer, it would appear.

Willie’s been to a wedding near Colorado Springs where her very best friend in the whole wide world (originally) from Vermont lives. Her photographs showed the devastation of that huge wildfire in the Colorado Springs area. Cases of water on the ground space regularly – comfort for firefighters. A beautiful wedding, she see. Hell trying to fly out of the SPRINGS, said she, especially for her friends trying to get back to Vermont, although it wasn’t a ride in the park for Willie, either, said Willie, to us all.

Willie brought Elk sausage from Colorado. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Already tasted it. Already like it with mustard and crackers. Doesn’t she look good in red? Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH. flefoto. Criptographics.

Willie has been traveling like the headless runner of late. East Enosburg, Albany, Lake Champlain, Dayton, Santana concert, Colorado Springs, Fairfield OH (Lunch Bunch), and now to Findlay OH this weekend for more Scrabble.

’til dus

My Hopkins family had the first reunion without me in a bunch of years…well over ten. Still almost can’t get my mind over not EVER being able to go to Paris (TN) my hometown again. Certainly a prisoner of my own doing, but a prisoner nonetheless. Several Scrabble (copyright til you die) tourneys have called without response in Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio (this weekend, too). Slowly  the tope is being pulled tighter.

man, do we have a llot of dishes when we eat family styile big family with lots of tastes of lots of taste; and Karina who, too was commended as server/savior. Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH. flefoto. Criptographics.

Not nearly desperate as it could be without my family and friends.

Both Ronald and Willie (and her trusty helper John) have put together electronic memory books for me. I try to watch one or both every day to feed the psychic hunger pains that threaten regularly.

our ammunition to their sorrow Lunchbunch 120721 Fairfield OH DSCF1013

Jude is looking for a job. Good luck, although the Lunch Bunch would definitely be the less without you, friend.

Happy Trails to you (channeled just for you from Roy and Dale)

June 22, 2012 Two Rivers Lodge, General Butler State Park, Carrollton, KY: Thank you!

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It should be illegal, the delight I find in being with friends and kin. Lookee here. Clockwise starting with me: ME, my cousin Fay Evans, her brother and my cousin Johnny Alexander, My sister Peggy Moody Smith, another Alexander girl, Linda who makes the finest blackberry cobbler this side of the great divide, my brother Ronald Moody, (seated) Carol Ann Alexander Norwood who does good wherever she sees road kill and bloody fingers. Criptographics. photo by ronald moody Jun 22, 2012

A big bunch of my family huddled over hoe cake and beans and blackberry cobbler at yer General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky, the other day. In part, I guess, it was my birthday which had eschewed Jefferson and Leee weeks earlier when Lee was locked in a breathe freeze over in Cincinnati. I do love these people either because it’s intrinsic or because I’m desperately looking (as Arthur Godfrey is said to have done in his lonely dying days) for a friend I can die happy with or mebbe get him or her to drop down the abyss with me to serenade me on the way down. Mebbe JC could soften my landing with some of his soft and sweet songs. But I digress. Again. Don’t I?

June 22, 2013. General Butler State Park, Carrollton KY. Fle n CB at fle’s bday party/gathering at Two Rivers Restaurant. Obviously, two years of dieting gone to hell. Shall I starve myself so I’ll look better when I die or shall I yummy my ass to the grave? More or less on that later methinks. Criptographics

Criptrographics. Jun 22, 2012. General Butler State Park,

The very best days these days are those I can spend with friends and kin. Was it ever thus and I ignored it? Ronald gave me an electronic picture frame for my my death gallery. Here, he’s showing me the Slide show he put together. I watched it intermittently for an entire day and plan to add more and see more more often. Thanks, Ron.

Jun 22, 2012. Criptrographs. Don Norwood, CB & me! Welcoming summer with open arms and stuff. Welcome, you ole Sole, if it wasn’t for the death threats of your humidity, I would fling off my clothes and get me a tan the likes of which even Wee Willie has never seen; instead, you say, “stick it in your nose.” Really?

There was Reanee whom I hadn’t seen in years, since my first marriage when the family used to get together for marathon pitch (card game) battles – I’m told they picked it right up and ploughed straight ahead at Two Rivers.  Reaneee who is actually more related to my first wife, Gerry, than to me and who is closely related to my Alexander cousins, mebbe because she’s an Alexander her own self, being progeny of J-B and Sarah. Reanee recerntly graduated (retired) from the IRS after 32 years, says she may spend the rest of her time playing cards while I straw my death letters all over the place (I’m up to 114 before I did 3 more this morning – does that make it 117?). Reanee and my late brother Jacky were good buddies.

June 22, 2012. Criptographics. Reanee Alexander; and my cousins Carol Ann, Johnny, Linda, Fay. Aunt Louise and Uncle Nolan must done a pretty good job, as did J. B. and Sara Alexander. They all turned out good. Real good.

Truth is I had almost completed this post yesterday (Wednesday), then I discovered all my work had disappeared. Poof! Everything disappeared into thin air. Musta been karma telling me it wasn’t good enough. So, let’s see. Hell, it’s never good enough is it? I wonder if anyone will give a damn about these precious photographs after I die.

June 22, 2012. Father (Joe Frankie in the middle), son (Randy standing on the left) and grandson (Nicholas on the right). Has it been so long since Randy, Nick’s dad Carl and I went on fishing trip to that big reservoir – got some pictures somewhere – and got chased by a beautiful but toothless woman who was caretaker of the bar in the town where we went to replenish beer supplies. STERLING! God, Carl, how many cases did we disappear that weekend?  criptrographics

fotobyRonaldMoody. June 22, 2012. Linin’ up to pay attention. Or to collect for sacrificing precious moments of their lives in General Butler State Park. criptographics

Val and Johnny Alexander who’ve had a much more exciting life (I think) than probably anyone else in the family. Johnny’s the acknowledged  brain of his family. Come to think of it there is no one “brain” in ours. We’re more like the ancient Romans. A triumvirate.  I suspect if you asked any of the three of us, you’d get the same answer, “Heck yes, I’m the brains of this family.

June 22, 2012 Joe Frankie, Johnny, Dwain, Don. criptographics Did I tell you this was my 69th birthday pal rty which had been postponed in April because of illness in the honoree – that would be me.

June 22, 2012. Don Norwood & Joe Frankie Smith. criptographics.

June 22, 2012. Peggy & Charlotte. criptrographics

June 22, 2012. Siblings Carold Ann, Johnny, Linda and Fay. criptographics

June 22, 2012. Johnny, Carol Ann & Reanee check out promotional brochures for the General Butler State Park. The only place you can see BOTH the Kentucky River and the Ohio River. Damn! I missed that: both at the same time. For sure I’m going to look for them next time I’m in, around, or through Carrollton. Criptographics

There’s more to General Butler than meets the eye. One could spend a lifetime in aloneness or escaping the constabulary after raiding a watermelon patch. Most of the rest of the group spent the previous night at the lodge where they played chinese checkers, Scrabble, pitch and parlor games that would… I’m telling you, games that would put a blush on your face as you strained toward the winner’s ribbon.  We can never hearken back to the good ole days but we can blink a couple of times and see some pretty damned wonderful ghosts, eh. Shelling beans by the chimney at Aunt Louise’s. Watching movies under a tent in downtown Puryear with my cousins. Being hoisted upon the bed of a truck to draw the winning lottery tickets (and getting financial reward for the doing) June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012 Criptographics. I’m sorry Joe and other family members who have passed on could not be there for a moment of memory, but gladder ‘n glad I was. I kinda like the blurred effect here caused by my inability to hold my new camera steady,

The Two Rivers Restaurant fare was decent, as usual, if they only learn to cook pinto beans; the hoecakes were good. Johnny says hoecakes come from slave days when for whatever reasons, the bread was actually cooked on the blade of a hoe held over a fire. Grandmother used to make it; I never cared that much about it until I got old, however. This time, it was grreattttt! (Attribution to Tony the Tiger, of course). Carryout is great at Two Rivers! I ordered piece of Blackberry cobbler to go. No charge!

Beat that if you can, Food Network.

20120611 Lunchbunch takes quick, secret lunch to Starlite in Kettering.

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Criptographics. fotobybob. 20120811 Starlite Diner. Kettering MI. wilflebobcee

Together. Again. One by agonizing one, we slip and slither into Kettering’s Starlite Diner for a sip and a bite and a piece of pie out of sight of the prying eyes. Hat brim pulled low to conceal flecks of sugar and flower and incipient madness. I’ll be damned! but it does seem the older we get the busier we become, some (Wilie, CB) externally, some (fle – me) internally and one (BOB) as busy as he has to be unless it is cat-connected. Willie is back from her place in the glacier. Surreptitiously. For a lunch, probably because she knows how wide a swath of warmth her shadow spreads on those days of communicating with the otherwise misunderstood.

Rumor is Willie is so short of time she’s being forced to take dirty underwear back to Vermont, says she might persuade John the Mighty to clean up her clothes while she  continues to clean up for the life they will have and live and love and luxuriate in. ‘Course she hasn’t got  lot more of her mom’s bushes to trim; most of them are in the city’s incinerator, gone to a far far better place.

Written by frankieleeee

June 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm