Passages- Rest In Peace Leo Sears and the nice lady from Mike’s

Maybe it’s the short days but I always seem to feel it harder when people die around Christmastime or I don’t hear about it till then.  Leo Sears was a familiar face at the Harbor group  and elsewhere in the community.  I never agreed with him once but he was always genial, always a good sport. I will definitely miss him.

I have a hard time deleting people from my phone/email  list when they die. I leave them there forever so I remember them. I still have Chris Crawford on my list.  Charles Ollivier.  Dave and Penny Elsebusch. I never put Leo on my list but his card is on my desk.  Think I’ll leave it there for a while.

Last week I dropped in at Mike’s Drive Up for the first time in a couple of months and found a memorial had been placed there for the nice lady who waited on me 100 times and who apparently died October 15. Her name, it said, was Sharon Carpenter. I never knew her name, I never even had a real conversation with her. I was afraid to start one because of the right-wing  propaganda posted around the place, I figured we wouldn’t find common ground.  Yet she and her husband are the kind of people who keep the nation running. They get up in the morning and sling burgers or pump gas and never get recognition. They are the salt of the earth and deserve honor. They are the people who make Eureka a nice place.  One of their children was manning the counter, but it won’t be the same. 

So while you’re Christmas shopping  stop in and have a burger (with everything including chili) at Mike’s.  It’s a Christmassy thing to do. And say hi to the family.

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MY FAVORITE BUSINESSES- Shopping at the Grocery Outlet

When I first discovered the Grocery Outlet, they were in a slightly different location than they are now. The old place was in the same part of town, I just can’t remember where, so if anyone does, tell us please. The old one was a bit more adventurous for the shopper. The used to carry jams from Turkey and honey from places like Moldova. Every visit was an adventure. If you saw something you liked, you had to just grab it because it might disappear, never to return.

Since the move, it’s a different experience. Gone is the schadenfreude I used to feel from mixing with the hoipoloi.  These days I’m one of them, and glory in my identification with the 99%. GO is evolving, too.  Nowadays, like Safeway, they send you emails about their current offerings. I go about once a month (my food comes from Winco, COSTCO, Murphy’s and Safeway, in pretty much that order). I always go when there’s a food drive on.  Not only can you fill your bag cheaply, they stock the kinds of food you want for a food drive- canned soups and stews, peanut butter, tuna. I go to buy for the food drive,  then end up buying more stuff for myself than for Food for People. This last time GO was featuring Harris Ranch ground beef in 3 lb chubs for $10 and change. Considering the godawful rise in GB prices lately ($4.99/lb at Safeway) this is a no-brainer.  Made two meat loaves.

They still have the weird imports and the domestic non-starters too.  I bought tapenade from Peru and low-sugar marmalade from Smucker’s for $1.99.  (The NO-sugar version version goes for over $3 at Murphy’s.) They have Irish cheese and I picked up some Stilton, very cheap. They have a lot more fresh produce than they used to and their beer prices are excellent.  Definitely the first stop when I’m giving a party. 

So if you haven’t been  there, give GO a try.  Nice people,  good prices.  And on top of everything else, it’s just across the parking lot from Mike’s DriveUp,  of Garlic Fries fame.  I’ve never appreciated the Garlic Fries,  but Mike’s is the only place in Humboldt -as far as I know-  where you can get an LA Tommy’s-style cheeseburger, sloppy. drippy, gooey. With chili? Of course.

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