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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adventures with Kerri Part II

(Note: Here is another chapter of my Travels With Kerri. Once again you have several choices. You can read the whole thing, read part of it or delete the whole thing and don't tell the author. I will somehow know who my real interested friends are)

Since it was almost 5:00 and the kids had to be at the college by 6:30 we decided that we should find a place to have something to eat. Dick asked the young man at the desk if he could recommend a "southern" restaurants and he said "not really" so we thought we would just drive until something looked interesting. That took only 3 minutes because as we drove out of the motel entrance we saw "Tammy's" (not the real name) Southern Buffet and Dick said "how about trying that" so we agreed. We also wondered why the young man at the motel hadn't mentioned it if it was good, but we are always up for a new experience in fine dining. We walked in and were greeted by a very friendly young girl who showed us to a booth, took our drink orders, and said help yourself to the buffet. As we got up to walk over to the serving line Dick asked the girl what her name was. She said Christy which I understood very well, but Dick thought she said Tracy (remember the dialect is different up there) and she said no it's Christy. So he asked her to spell it and she did, CHRISTY and then he understood.

Now I have been to a lot of Southern buffets, but I've never visited one that had Chinese good before. It was also interesting that the salads were the first course, followed by desserts, then vegetable, entrees, and then the Chinese dishes. Since Dick is a big dessert fan he didn't mind the desserts being first, but we did wonder how they determined the orders of courses. There was quite a variety of dishes and I tried to sample a fair number but we all agreed that it wasn't going to rank up there with the top southern food we had ever eaten. Even the Chinese food wasn't very good and Dick wondered why I had even tried Chinese food at a southern café and I really had no answer for that question.

Now even though the food wasn't so good, Christy was a treat. She kept coming over to our table and asking if she could get anything for us and of course Dick engaged her in many topics of conversation. We had to listen closely (at least everyone except me did) to understand what she was saying and I had a pen and pad and tried to copy down some of the conversation. The thing is that later I couldn't read my dialect writing. I do know that she said she was from Sinner (Center) Ga. and she had to wop off (wipe off) the table. She had just graduated from high school and was dating a boy younger than she was who was still in school. He should have been a senior but was a sophomore so there was some problem in that scenario. She said they met in church which we heartily approved of and her mother (the other waitress) was standing nearby and heard our conversation. She said she liked the boyfriend and insisted that they go to church because "God don't lak (like) ugly" and we think she meant ugly behavior. She then went further by telling us that he'd better not ever hit her daughter because "you just don't let no man hit you more than once". I was thinking "why even once".

Dick asked Christy why they served Chinese food and she said she didn't know about that, but that the café was owned by a Korean man who owned several other restaurants in town... Well that's when we knew it was providence that we had picked that particular place to eat. Of course we said nothing about Ron being half Korean at first and Dick asked her all about the owner and if he was nice and easy to work for, etc. just to see what she would say. She answered very positively so then Ron told her he was half Korean. In the mean time Kerri went out to the car to get a copy of her book and CD which she signed and gave to Christy as we were leaving and enclosed a $20 bill. Dick also added $20 so I would say that was one happy little girl.

By then it was time to head to the college and get ready for the big show. Kerri had been on the cell phone off and on all day with the student Carrie who arranged their performance and she met us at the entrance gate so we could follow her to the site of the show. Carrie was a very sweet girl who seemed very much in awe of Ron and Kerri. After all they are big stars. Everyone at the college was so nice and friendly and it's always a pleasure for Dick and me to be around Christian young people. The program started with a band playing and leading praise songs. Everyone was asked to stand which we did, but the songs went on and on as praise music tends to do and my back was letting me know it was time to sit down. However, there was a young man in a wheelchair sitting in front of us and he stood with a walker during the singing so I just kept telling myself if he could stand up so could I. Dick told me later that he was saying the same thing. What an inspiration!

There were about 150 kids in attendance and they loved both Kerri and Ron's performances as did we. They served pizza after the show so we met and talked with quite a few of the kids including the young man in the wheelchair and they were delightful and very friendly.

Then it was back to the "Ritz". Dick and Ron had found a wonderful family bakery and bought pastries so they came to our "suite" and we indulged ourselves and talked about the evening's success. Kerri and Ron left and in preparing for bed I removed the bedspread and wished I hadn't when I saw the blanket. It's hard to describe except to say that I wouldn't dare let any part of it touch any part of my body. At least the sheets looked clean and I prayed that they were. I didn't look for bedbugs; ignorance is bliss. Neither Dick nor I slept very well because of the radiator AC which made a lot of noise and I don't think we could relax enough to sleep. I got up early the next morning and walked down to the lobby to check out the free breakfast. There were bagels, white bread slices, cereal, and make your own waffles so I decided to make a waffle. What a mistake as it was tasteless so I threw it away and ate a piece of toast. Fortunately back in the room, there was a leftover donut from the bakery so I added those calories to the toast.

Since Kerri and Ron wanted to sleep in Dick and I explored the shops nearby and spent some time in Tuesday Morning. I just stood in the aisles and listened to the conversations around me and was fascinated that we could be in the same state and have such a different language. Once again I jotted down notes but couldn't read them. I know it was lite, rite, and nite for light, right, and night. When I gave my credit card to the lady at the check out she had it upside down and when she noticed, she said something like, "if I could git yo head up rite I mite can read dat". Or sumpin lite that.

We picked Kerri and Ron up and I told them that at this stage in my life I no longer feel the need to stay at cheap motels that are less than clean. I know that they don't get to pick where they stay as the people who they are performing for book their accommodations, but I'm too old and spoiled to stay at those motels with "atmosphere". I also just mentioned in passing that I felt certain in the near future that their "star" status would merit them staying in five star hotels as well. I don't know where that would be in Rome, Ga. but there had to be something better than where we were.
On our way out of town, we made a quick driving tour of Martha Berry College which is spectacularly beautiful. It is the largest college campus in the US encompassing 28,000 acres most of which are just countryside. Henry Ford contributed quite a large sum of money to build several beautiful buildings on campus so that of course was interesting to us. That man really got around and we don't know what his relationship with Martha was.

We couldn't leave town without checking out the TJ Maxx store as well the Barnes and Nobel bookstore in a quest to find Kerri's book which they did not have. We of course wrote a note requesting that they order some copies as it was an excellent book. We then decided to have lunch at Panera Bread Company. Kerri and I were going to share a sandwich so we chose one of the specialty sandwiches and the girl behind the counter asked which side we wanted. Well the choices were 2 kinds of bread, an apple, or chips. Kerri immediately said she wanted the baguette to which I said' "why would you want more bread when you ordered a sandwich". Now mind you, all week she has been telling me that she and Ron are on the Weight Watchers diet and they are counting points. She then said she just liked the bread and did I think she was fat? She continued with this tirade adding that her mother was trying to give her a complex and the 2 girls behind the counter were looking at us wondering if we were crazy or what. Ron was standing there trying to act like he didn't know us and Dick was still shopping. Well, I knew that she was smiling and really just trying to embarrass me which she did. She finally told the girl to just give her an apple and Ron went up to the counter and said "do you think you can get a marriage annulled after a year and half?" Well Kerri was on a roll (no pun intended) and continued all through lunch telling Ron that her mother thought she was fat. I just kept telling her to eat her apple and count her points. Of course now she has more material for her act.

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