Random Thoughts

From Where We Stand

Standing in the Jeffersonville Pizza Department dining room, we can hear the clatter of dishes and the voices of dining guests downstairs, at 158 Main. It is amazing how this seemingly routine occurrence retains its ability to surprise every day. It is as though, being lost in thought, we might proceed absent-mindedly toward the next task or destination and suddenly become aware that we had cut out an entire sound-scape for hours. We re-enter it the moment a sudden voice arises in laughter downstairs, released in the carefree, joyful sharing of a meal at this or that table.

Standing on the landing in the morning, before the open flag begins to sway in the wind, we take in the vast silence of the dining room. How many people have come here to eat, to add a special touch to the beginning of the day, to forget something or renew ties with old friends, to discuss a business deal, make a proposal, get away from the children for a few hours in order to restore their faith in their ability to parent?

Dining out has a different meaning to different people. However, it is not merely about luxury or not feeling like dirtying dishes. It is a ritual. It is an acknowledgment of personal worth, also. What better gift can we offer ourselves at the beginning, the middle or the end of a long day of labor or study but a meal, prepared and brought to our table as if we had become king or lord for one precious moment. Or is it the traveler in us who finds an oasis at these tables? It does not take much, not even a fancy set up with tablecloth and rare wine. What it takes is atmosphere, honest to goodness service and a selection of foods that are tailored to the region and the moods and tastes of dinner, lunch or breakfast guests… And the guests are the atmosphere.

The other side of this scene, of course, is what goes on in the kitchen and what goes on outside of the kitchen: the suppliers, the planning, the delivery, the training, the cooking, management, skills and teamwork that come together like a carefully structured idea, culminating in an eye and palate pleasing dish.

Success, then, is not one chef’s abilities or one businessman’s accomplishments. These are neither the building blocks, nor the recipe. Success is that moment when it all comes together; when voices from the dining room, relaxed faces, friends, co-workers, travelers, cooks and wait staff take their places on the floor and turn an ordinary day into a replenishing moment.

Standing on the landing, at 158 Main, before the flag sways in the wind to welcome hungry guests, we take in all of this and feel extremely grateful. There is an entire, changing yet constant community within these walls. THANK YOU…

… And welcome to our blog.

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