Archive: » 2020 » January

The Bones of Mickey Mantle’s Old Restaurant

The long-forgotten bones of Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’ Restaurant are visible here and there in a building on Highway 80 that is now part of the High Ridge Church campus. Ben Shelton, a church member who is overseeing the renovation and expansion of the building, pointed them out recently during a gray, rainy afternoon. The east side of the building contains single-pane, wood-frame exterior windows from the original restaurant, which opened in December 1968. In a few closets and less-used spaces, the original terrazzo flooring is visible, while a back room likely housed a manager’s office....

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Customer Service, Both Great and Poor

On the same evening, a few days ago, I experienced both excellent customer service and its polar opposite – lousy service based on silly rules. I’m not naming names here, since my aim is to neither denigrate an establishment nor provide a free plug. This is more an exercise in comparing and contrasting two events that occurred with a few hours of each other. When traveling to a large city, all of us have a dizzying array of choices as to where we dine or book a hotel – constrained perhaps by cost or convenience. But even within budgetary constraints, the options are practically endless....

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No More, ‘What’s That You Say?’

There is no advantage to getting older. You don’t get smarter, you don’t get wiser, you don’t get more mellow, you don’t get more kindly; nothing good happens. Your back hurts, you get more indigestion, your eyesight isn’t as good, you need a hearing aid. It’s a bad business getting old, and I would advise you not to do it if you can avoid it. It doesn’t have a romantic quality. — Woody Allen I take issue with some of Woody Allen’s assertions above. There are advantages to getting older, such as the senior discount at the movie theater, and 50-cent coffee at McDonald’s....

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My Reading List for 2019, Courtesy of Goodreads

It’s time for the annual review of books read in the previous year. I use the Goodreads app, which allows one to catalog the books finished, what I’m currently reading, and what is on the to-read list. The social-media app is owned by Amazon, which is well on its way to controlling the world. Like Facebook, one has “friends” on Goodreads, who spy your name on the list and decide to join your online book club. I welcome all but don’t spend much time searching for friends who are on Goodreads. The app’s primary function for me is to replace the handwritten list of books read, which...

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Sounds of Silence Increasingly Rare

If silence was golden, you couldn’t raise a dime. — Mose Allison That line from one of my favorite blues singers, now gone, came to mind the other day while filling up my car. As soon as I swiped my credit card and punched in the billing zip code, a small video screen built into the pump lit up. The Gasoline Pump Celebrity News began broadcasting, with a young woman seated in a television studio breathlessly telling me what famous star was getting a divorce, or getting married, or possibly both. One can’t even buy gasoline with a screen shouting at you. If it’s not celebrity “news,”...

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