"I would not like nights so bright you could not see the stars." -- Akira Kurosawa

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Atlanta
I grew up in a family of Southern storytellers. Back in 2004, I started Whole Bean to continue the tradition in a new medium. Over the years, I've written about families and friends, peculiar situations, extended road trips, recalcitrant home appliances, and many things for which I'm truly grateful. I hope you enjoy your time here.
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Days of Beer and Lithuanians


Sometimes, a building means so much more than just bricks and mortar.

Such was the case with our favorite local sports bar, the Jocks & Jills location in suburban Alpharetta, which closed its doors shortly after St. Patrick's Day last year. At that time, I posted a blog entry detailing the immense pain and suffering that this shutdown caused our after-work P-Council and lunch groups.

Today, while on the way to another favorite replacement haunt during the lunch hour, we noticed that not only is our old place still closed, but now it is being demolished. There is a pervading air of finality about the entire J&J experience.

You might wonder how one place could hold so much sway over us? It's simple -- J&J served as a repository of memories which could never be replaced. Memories such as:
  • The day that Mike told me we simply had to visit J&J because they had these two cute Lithuanian waitresses working there.
  • The six dollar (including drink and tip) Thursday Men's (plus Tanya) Lunch Special. It had started at four dollars, climbed to seven, then came back down to six when business fell off a few years ago.
  • Anthony's incredible repeating lunch order: a turkey sandwich with fresh (never cooked) jalapeno slices and french fries.
  • The night that we used J&J as a launching pad prior to our first P-Council field trip to see "Borat".
  • Lunch pizza, the crust of which never seemed to be quite done.
  • Our regular lunch waitress, Rachael, who always took good care of us. Rachael wrote our entire order down on a napkin most days.
  • The time Allison tipped Vaida a dollar, even though she only had a glass of water. Allison did it for our sake, she said.
  • Our annual Christmas Stocking Dump, where we traded silly gifts with each other before the holidays.
  • Rich changing the channel on the TV in the men's room from ESPN to Lifetime.
We don't always know all the reasons why these sorts of things happen, but we do know that tearing down Jocks & Jills means the end of a historic chapter in our lives. So thank you, J&J. Thank you, Rachael. Thank you, Vaida and Inesa. We will always remember you.