Jeff Turner shares an excerpt from his self-published memoir, "Notes to My Kids: Little Stories About Grown Up Kids." One lucky commentator will receive a free set of his memoirs. So leave a comment for Jeff below!
An Autographed Pizza Box
How many kids had the proprietor of a pizza place autograph a pizza box for them? Not too many but you did at Charlie’s Pizza one day near where we used to live.
Charlie’s pizza was a neighborhood institution on the east side of Fort Worth. For over 30 years Charlie and his family owned it and produced New York style pizza for we BBQ-and-Mexican-food-obsessed Texans. His pizza was always fresh and delicious, topped with fresh ingredients and a good thin crust. It was very tasty and we ate there frequently as did many who lived on that side of town. In fact one year it was voted as “best pizza” in Fort Worth.
Over time you were old enough to realize what Charlie’s was and asked for it. You also knew who Charlie was since he ate there in person many times. You would always be happy when we announced we would be eating there and ate your share of each pizza pie. Like us, it was one of your favorite places to eat, and remained so over the years.
However the most memorable thing about Charlie’s was the time you wanted Charlie to autograph one of the pizza boxes. You were was very insistent about this, so one day I asked Charlie to sign one containing a large pizza we ordered. Charlie looked at me funny and I explained why I was doing this. He smiled real big, whipped out a pen, and ascribed his John Henry on the top of the box. You loved it and kept the box for years, sauce stains and all, in your closet. It was a valued treasure in your little boy eyes even though it started as a plain pizza box.
Over the many years since then the box disappeared in house moves but the act was not forgotten. A couple of years ago before he sold his business I was in the restaurant, and like so many times before, Charlie, now grey headed, was behind the counter making pies. He took my money and I saw the stacks of empty pizza boxes behind him and asked him if he remembered signing a pizza box many years ago. He paused briefly and said he did recall doing that with a big grin on his face. I refreshed his memory about how happy that made you. He got a laugh about that and said no one else had ever asked him to do that.
So a plain, ordinary pizza box, just one of billions like it, was signed and treasured by you like an autograph penned by a famous movie star or athlete. That small act of kindness by Charlie Langdon shows us that the star on life’s stage is not always someone well known and famous but instead can be an average person. Indeed Charlie was an average person but he was still someone very important in the big, bright eyes of a little boy named Roger who liked his pizza.
Leave a comment for Jeff, and one lucky winner will receive a set of his memoirs!
Jeff Turner has self-published two books of memoirs, the story of a marriage before divorce and another after divorce, Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters and Life Stories and Notes To Stephanie: Days Remembered. His next memoir, Notes to My Kids: Little Stories About Grown Up Kids, will be self-published soon. Contact Jeff at the following sites.