When Mike became self-employed a few years ago, he started out with people who believed in him and trusted him. It grew from there. We’ve since been through some good times and hard times, some feast and famine. But always we had good friends in the business.
Mike is retiring, or trying to. His most faithful of friends have been the men of Attalla Electric Motor Repair — the owner, Steve; Steve’s son, Blake, and employees, Tavares and Jeffrey. They have been so encouraging in every way that Mike — who does an awesome barbecue — decided to show his gratitude with a lunch. That was yesterday. Mike was the chief cook and bottle washer. I was the waitress.
Boss Steve said it felt like the old days when the men worked and the women served. And don’t get your knickers in a knot, modern ladies. I remember that time on the farm. Women would cook all morning. Men would come in from the field and eat. Or, as Steve said, bring out a picnic lunch. When Steve brought that up, the memories came flying. It felt really good to wait on the men folks yesterday.
Mike made a gallon of tea especially for Jeffrey, who is diabetic. Jeffrey is also a minister of the Gospel and led our little group in prayer before the meal. I immediately buttonholed Tavares and told him he had a town named after him in Florida. Of course, I think the town came first. He was intrigued because I’m sure he’s wondered where his unusual name came from. He said he was going to look it up.
We got all the fixings laid out. Blake sat with Tavares and Jeffrey at a big work table, Mike and I sat at a little round table, and Steve sat at the desk. I visited the trio toward the back with tea several times, even when they protested. “You’re getting more tea whether you want it or not,” I said. Mike told them already I was bossy. I guess they found out.
Mike and Steve talked about Vietnam. Mike’s number was up and he was preparing to go — when the war ended. Steve went but the war was winding down.
But everybody talked about the barbecue. We left all the leftovers, including baked beans and potato salad, and Steve said they’d be hitting it for the rest of the day.
Also, you can’t tell it by the picture of the group above — who all look like pirates about to say ARRGH. But, I promise you. They are all nice guys with a great sense of humor. Even my husband, who is the biggest pirate of them all. We had a blast with these guys.
Jeffrey leaned toward me at one point and said conspiratorially, “You gotta bring him back now. We’ve got to have some more of this barbecue.”
Will do, guys. We’ll come back just to see what you have been up to. And to thank you again for your years of good business and friendship.