Saturday, February 25, 2017.
Through most of the year, with all the sports that pre-empts my radio show, my new radio schedule gives me enough free weekend time so I don’t feel overworked–if what I do can actually be called work. But some Saturdays and Sundays–such as today and tomorrow–I am on both weekend days. I am also at work both on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras itself, when most of my colleagues have the day off. What can I say but that I am the Iron Man of New Orleans talk radio?
Mary Ann doesn’t want to dine with me today. In fact, she doesn’t want to have dinner with anybody. Or, come to think of it, she doesn’t want to have the dinner, either.
This leaves me free to go to dinner whereever I want. I go to Pizza Man of Covington for the enormous pile of greens that they say is an Italian salad. That’s followed by the Board Special pizza. Instead of tomato sauce, it’s layered with olive oil, herbs, spicy capicola ham, garlic, herbs, feta cheese, fresh spinach, and mozzarella. I talk for a few minutes with the son of owner Paul Schrems. Paul has more or less retired, but he still shows up to work now and then. His son seems to be as turned on by the lighthearted way pizza is handled here as his dad always did. Everybody finds the place fun, from the kids who laugh when Pizza Man throws sprinkles of flour at the big window that separates them from the kitchen. Adults are amused by the collection of pizza boxes with cartoons on their sides. I don’t know who the artist is, but it’s almost worth going to Pizza Man just to see the pizza-box ever-changing, often topical Museum Of Pizza Art.
While I’m there–I always eat in, never get pizza to go–my mind wanders through the decades that began in 1990, when we moved to the North Shore and our kids were just becoming conscious of their world. They loved Pizza Man. As time went on, Pizza Man became more about actual eating than laughing at the show. En route to Jude and ML’s becoming tweens, teens, and young adults, Mary Ann and I got wistful when the old juke box played, for the millionth time, “Puff The Magic Dragon,” certainly the most-played song on the old box. What a great life was pinned down around this old pizza joint!