Some things are certain: long hours, hard work, and that my grandma's tenderloins are the best in the state. My grandparents owned a restaurant in Meadville, a small town outside Chillicathe on 36 highway. My folks and I would go down there every month or so, and I LOVED helping grandma and grandpa when I could, even if it was doing dishes or helping out on the farm (what little I could do). I remember going to the restaurant and picking walnuts off a tree in back for grandma and grandpa. What they did with them, I'm not sure (probably just threw them away), but I recall them making a sign that said their grandson was selling freshly picked walnuts... for $1 each. Yeah so I wasn't quite the businessman back then, and even though my grandpa was my only customer, everyone thought it was pretty funny. Some tried to haggle, but my prices were firm.
I think my fondest memory of visiting grandma and grandpa in Meadville was when I got my first fishing rod. One of their regular customers knew I was staying with them for a few days and got me my first fishing rod. It was covered with Disney stuff (I was like 6 at the time) and grandpa took me fishing. I don't think I caught anything, but that's not the point of the story. My grandparents customer, someone I met maybe once before, got me a present. Not because he felt like he had to, not because my grandparents told him to, but because I was being accepted into a community.
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For those of you wondering, yes she does still make the best tenderloins in the world.
Chris Cobb, Kansas City