|Chocolate Bar Cafe|
The first few days of the trip were spent with my Grandma Krass near Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had a great time showing her pictures/videos from our wedding and just shooting the breeze. The day we were leaving my grandma mentioned how a few weeks before our arrival she went with a friend to the Chocolate Bar Cafe, or as the Krass family referred to it, "Alinosi's." Alinosi's an ice cream parlor near Detroit that appears to be largely untouched since about the 1950s. My grandpa used to take the grandchildren to Alinosi's to award us for good behavior, or to get us out of our grandma's hair--to this day I'm still not quite sure the real reason.
|Sarah and Grandma Krass|
I was giddy the entire drive.
I was flooded by memories as soon as we walked through the door. I remembered the menu, the bar stools, the pictures of the Alinosi family, but mostly I remembered their famous Clown Sunday. I'm not sure the server knew quite what to do with me. I just stared at the menu smiling like Mark Grace rode into the shop on a unicorn (I'll save some of you a google search. Mark Grace played 1st base for the Cubs in the 90s).
"Can I help you?" the server asked.
"Well, I'm not quite sure. The thing is, I haven't been here in about 16 years..."
"Let me guess", she cut me off. "You want a clown Sunday."
"YES!!!" I practically shouted. Sarah had to refrain me from jumping on the counter.
"We have men in their 60s came in and order our clown Sunday. They never forget it."
Fighting back tears, Sarah and I shared the glorious and unforgettable clown Sunday.
|Mmmmmmmm Clown Sunday|
I suppose it's the moments of unadulterated joy and pain that we remember most. I remember the black and white tile floor at Alinosi's but I also remember remember the exact level of Mario Kart I was playing when Dr. Engstrom walked down the stairs to our basement and told me my dad had passed away. In moments like that there is no secondary emotion. There is only the scene--made up of characters, places and times.
I think we remember things from our youth better because we allow the "scene" to simply be the scene. We don't analyze, explain or argue with it. It just is. Sometimes I wish I were more "childlike" (though Sarah probably doesn't see how that is possible), and I simply "took it all in." At least this way I could eat more ice cream.
If you are ever in Detroit, go to Alinosi's. Believe me, you wont regret it. Order the Clown Sunday and take it all in. I know we did...
|Exactly as I remember it|