A Restaurant Runs Through It.


Around 1976 my parents decided to separate. Mom ended up living in Grand Junction. She spoke to me often about a small upscale restaurant she discovered called The Winery. She often would go in and sit and the bar for a drink, probably a nice glass of wine. She quickly made friends there. The Winery was there for her and her children for decades. Birthdays, special events, nice evenings out. All important things to celebrate were worthy of a trip to The Winery.

Mom has passed on now, but the importance of this restaurant has continued. My own wedding dinner was there almost 30 years ago. We have introduced our own children to the quiet, reserved ambiance there. We have enjoyed anniversaries, birthdays and nice evenings out.

A few years ago The Winery was in difficult times with an owner who couldn’t appreciate the history and couldn’t leave well enough alone when it comes to the menu. We thought it may close. Steve Thoms stepped in and saved it. Under his management the restaurant has flourished and gotten stronger. He left the core of the menu alone and played around with other items to entice former and new patrons back. And it has worked. The Winery is once again a vibrant, fun place to enjoy. And with the recent addition of the outside patio we have a new place to visit when all you want is a small appetizer and a beer.

There are threads in a life, in a community, in a family that need to be encouraged to stay strong. Places we visit often because the memories are that vibrant. Places we visit because we like the people and the history. Places we visit because they remind us of good times and good people. The Winery is that place in this family. It is an institution to us because it has remained rock solid in its belief to just be the same. Quality and consistency. Day after day, year after year, decade after decade.

So why am I writing about another place to eat? Because this particular restaurant is that important to us. 3 generations in my family have now celebrated important and not so important events there. We continue to hold it in our hearts because it is one of the threads we can all share together. A shared memory forged over time. In one consistent place.

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When in Rome…


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The mist hangs in the air, enveloping everything. Trees and fenceposts grow a nice layer of lichen and moss. Old concrete shows its age in the bricks of the churches. Ancient tombstones lean towards the earth as if ashes to ashes, dust to dust also applies to them. Driving the narrow roads, sliding through small towns and communities, through burroughs and townships, slowly invades your soul. Life here is hundreds of years old as many of the headstones tell me.

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Training has brought me to the rural part of Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh. My hotel is about an hour outside of the facility and as such lends me time to drive and think. To view the fall colors in the hardwood forests. To grab lunch in the small hamlets around the area. Look up Carmichaels PA in your Google Earth. Its a nice place.

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Next up is Fort Worth TX for a week. More training there. I’ve been to Ft Worth a few times in the past. Another lifetime ago, another profession, another memory. I traveled then in the heat of the oppressive summers, not in the fall. Will the colors be as vivid? Will there be a chill in the air as there is here? I hope my schedule will lend me time to contemplate and explore. I want to post from there as I am from here. We will see…..

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