Gifts from men…and another home run for…Peter Stack!

by admin

Pete,

I was just looking through my scrapbook and found another creative (writing) gift from you. The expiration date was 6/7/78, so I am thinking this was for my 16th birthday in 1976? Way to go! Another stellar effort from my first boy-friend.

Here it is:

"A Date on your Birthday Club, 4505 W. Burlington. Nantucket, NC 66409

So I wanted to break this down into parts, because it is such a brilliant exhibit.

Paragraph One

Sentence One: I have won something! Always makes one’s heart race.

Sentence Two: Establishes trust in the organization from whom I have won the prize. Note mention of prestige, status, and all the contact information including address (Nantucket, North Carolina, 66409) with phone and extension.

Let’s dissect  this. I know the nuances of your cleverness were greatly overlooked at the time for which I apologize.

Nantucket:

A city I would not even visit for another ten years. But this historic whaling capital has beautiful historic homes from classicistic to local vernacular, great clam chowder and fried oysters, and most of all water. So, I am thinking that this was you foreseeing our futures in history/preservation for Paula and life-giving water for you.

North Carolina:

The state where I was born at Camp LeJeune. Establishes a connection to my past.

66409:

Berryton, Kansas. The zip code where my favorite funniest brother-in-law (and Jack and Lacy’s uncle) Charles Ash Adams lives and owns property, just west of Topeka. Again, a prophecy from you who knew his calling of an important relationship for me. Charlie’s military slang confirming our forever friendship, apart from being Adams, was that it was (I should say, he is), “teflon coated.”

339 area code:

This is for many suburban Boston towns including part of Wellesley where my sister Gina would later live. The town I will mention that jumped out at me was Maiden in Middlesex County. Not much more to say there.

Sentences Three and Four

It was wise to use the term companion instead of escort. It foretells the use of computers when their only existence at the time was at a scale the size of a small gym. And, further instruction. You knew me too well with my love of details, not that surprises aren’t equally effective.

Policy

1. Punctuality. This was nice. Since I’m usually not on time but working on it, I am sorry if I made you wait.

2. This is all true.

3. Respects my parents curfew and puts to rest any anticipated fear of consequences if ignored.

Statistics

Vitae-Data, good to know.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind still having a bit of this from others before I engage in dinner with anyone, for various and conversational reasons. Weight is irrelevent, though. And of course, unemployed in the current times should be amended to self-employed. We all do good work in some form or another.

Plus, the confirmation that food is still one of the two constants directing the way to a man’s heart is one of general interest to me.

To Pete’s wife Jen and all women and wives: do we really want anymore complexity?

Back page (the further instructions mentioned above) 

"One of these dates are a possibility"

Restaurant Review

These notes are of recollections about restaurants popular in Prairie Village-Leawood-Plaza-Overland Park burgs in the latter 70s. Lancers, please post and share your stories and funny memories about family dinners, dates, girl’s-guy’s night out, or our pre-SME-Prom Group outings (or “drunks” as we might now call them): 

A. Dragon Inn. Pete introduced me to Chinese Food and this family restaurant. At the time, it was located a clock behind the sporting goods store (?, memory lapse, please post and help) on Santa Fe Drive in Old Overland Park just west of Metcalf off 79th.  We had mu shu pork and crab rangoon and it was marvelous. I learned to drink lots of water.

B. Minsky’s Pizza. The only location I can remember was at 103rd and Metcalf. Was this called Watt’s Mill or was that on east side of Metcalf? I think the only place I ever go to in this area now is Keith Coldsnow, which was only located in Westport at that time.

C. Dinkeldorf’s. Was this in Ranch Mart? Or the deli approximately across the street from Minsky’s that had lox? I don’t think the Indian Hills people knew these areas as well as those who had migrated further south to Meadowbrook. We were more Merriam-Prairie Village-Fairway-State Line north oriented folks.

D. Sam Wilson’s. Was this the first great steak and salad bar place on State Line? Wasn’t there also another one over in Missouri on 63rd?

E. Lobster Pot. Ralph Gaines. Lud Gaines father’s place in Union Station. Very expensive as I remember. I never dined there. This was quite a big thing for Pete to offer (see*).  Since I had been trained by my mother not to order the most expensive thing on the menu and to eat everything you order when someone else is paying, this was generous for him to offer but way out of my comfort zone for him to invest.

F. Trader Vic’s. Of course always loved this, but I get mixed up with the Kona Kai. I think Trader Vic’s was the one in Crown Center and Kona Kai was at the Hilton just south of the Plaza on Main across from The Wishbone (which was a definite favorite of mine). It reminded me of Brookville Hotel in western Kansas where I would go with my Grandparents when traveling to Hays.

F. Dinner at the Kona Kai. Just a word to our children about these asian restaurants in the 70s.

1) Women love drinks evocative of sand, sun, and surf served in creative containers with umbrellas. It’s a sweet, colorful playtime in a festive outfit, stimulates many senses. I should have skipped the alcohol, that was, and still is, plenty for me to handle right there. I would tell you about an SME pre-homecoming gathering here, but I don’t remember anything (or if fun?) beyond the first drink in the coconut. I do think the cute drink stirrer made it home safely.

2) And I’m making a generalization here about cultural familiarity in Johnson County vis-a-vis suburban kids and asians at this time period: we both all looked the same to each other. In fact, the waiters couldn’t even discern us from our parents when ordering alcohol.

G. Your choice. Such a relief that someone else had taken the time to think all this through, so I was putty. Was never even considered.

And to Jen and the Stack Family, you are very good sports about these, now two, posts. They are in part about New Mexico and Philmont Boy Scout Camp and Johnson County Restaurants. But Pete, your creative thoughtful momentos were the motivation to taking me back to different places, different times, old friends. Thank you, Pete.

Sincerely,

Paula Elizabeth Graves Adams.

note: to SME Lancer’s, ’78ish. I would love it if you would post and share in Coffee?

6 comments on “Gifts from men…and another home run for…Peter Stack!

  • Paula – You are such a clever writer! And this note from Peter Stack is beyond sweet. Can’t wait to peruse back postings in Coffee!.

    • Thanks Jenny,
      Pete and Jen are both good sports about this. I think Pete is off the hook now, at least in terms of tangibles…I don’t seem to be able to find anything more in my scrapbook. Seriously, I enjoy making things. So, long after a person is gone(never gone, you know what I mean…haven’t seen or talked in quite a while), to find something they have made for me or given to me that was special to both really makes me smile.

    • Dales, that’s it! It was the best, nothing like it and now a thing of the past to have a store of this scale, personal service, great stuff. For some reason, I remember their floors but it can’t be that they had wood floors, could it? Thank you for sharing that, what was your uncle’s name? And is that your dad’s brother or mom’s?

    • I felt exactly the same. Do we even have a polynesian restaurant like this in KC anymore? Maybe we should have our next reunion there :).

      I remember eating there but I can’t remember my date….I think it was either Pete or Biff Rubin or Mark Allen. I do remember the fun drinks though, a sad comment of my pre-Kona Kai behavior.

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