T-Squared Energy Connections[i]
April 16, 1966 – Gladys and Jerry
Table for Two opened April 16, 1966 on Main Street in Hartsburg. The original menu included sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea for take-out or eat-in. Catering options included lunch and desserts. One bistro table with two chairs sat outside the shop entrance.
Sadie and Lucy Abrams father, Daniel, wanted his twin daughters to go to college and pursue their dreams. Sadie was working on an accounting degree. Lucy aspired to be a chemical engineer. They traded days at the restaurant to accommodate class schedules and they studied at night.
Daniel also wanted the twins to earn the money for college tuition. He thought they would appreciate a degree more if they paid their own way. So Daniel loaned them money to open Table of Two. Sadie and Lucy would learn how to run a business, repay the loan and later pay back school loans made possible through the Education Act of 1965.
* * *
Jerry Taylor turned twenty-three the day before being sworn in as the youngest mayor of Hartsburg. Jerry won on his vision for Hartsburg. He wanted to maintain a thriving downtown while shopping centers popped up on the outskirts of the city as new neighborhoods developed around Hartsburg. Cutting the ribbon on opening day at Table for Two was one of his first official duties. After cutting the ribbon, Jerry took a big bite of blueberry muffin and a swallow of the first cup of coffee served.
“Yum! Sooo good. I’m going to have to keep an eye on my waistline,” he said to the crowd as he brushed the crumbs from his face.
Jerry sat at the bistro table outside the restaurant all morning greeting passersby and encouraging them to support the newest business on Main Street. Pointing to the second chair at the table, Jerry beckoned patrons to sit and chat with him about whatever was on their mind. Jerry learned so much sitting outside the restaurant he decided to make Meet the Mayor on Main a weekly practice.
Gladys was visiting her Aunt Irma on April 16th for a shopping excursion. Irma was like a second mother to Gladys; Gladys’ mother died from cancer shortly before her eleventh birthday. After shopping half of the stores lining the two blocks considered downtown Hartsburg, Gladys and Irma were ready to take stock of their purchases. They stumbled upon Table for Two, almost tripping over the empty chair.
“Whoa! What’s this?” Gladys asked.
“Are you ladies OK?” Jerry inquired.
“Is this that new restaurant I read about in the Daily Gazette?” Irma asked.
“Yes,” Jerry answered. “Welcome to Table for Two. Why don’t you put your bags down and take a break? Looks like you’ve been busy. Today is your lucky day. Table for Two is offering a free mini-muffin with every order, no matter how small.”
“I am kind of thirsty Aunt Irma, and my feet are killing me. Not the day to wear new shoes. Would you like a coffee or some tea?” Gladys asked. Biting her lower lip, head tilted down. Gladys couldn’t take her eyes off Jerry.
Gladys and Irma took Jerry up on his offer, setting their packages on the empty chair.
“We won’t be but a minute or two. Thank you ever so much,” Gladys said as she opened the door for her aunt.
One look into Gladys’ hazel eyes and Jerry knew he wanted to marry her. Wavy, shoulder length auburn hair framed a sweet face and sunny smile. A robin’s egg blue shirt-dress adorned her petite frame. Smitten from the beginning, Jerry felt his heart beating double time. His mind went blank. An electric current filled the air.
While the ladies were inside, Jerry removed the packages from the chair and placed them in neat pile under the table. He opened the door for the Gladys and her Aunt after they paid for their beverages.
With a swish of his arm Jerry said, “Please ladies, sit a spell. Tell me, what you think of our newest establishment?”
Jerry stood next to Irma for the best view of Gladys. Topics of conversation over the next half hour ranged from the delicious free muffins to the future of Hartsburg. Jerry spoke with enthusiasm and passion for preserving a vibrant downtown and his five-year development plan.
“I’m graduating next month with a degree in civil engineering. I would like to learn more about your five-year plan. I’m in town for a couple more days. Maybe we can meet for coffee before I leave,” Gladys said.
“We better get moving,” Irma said. “There are more stores to check out and I’m sure there’s a hat out there with my name on it.”
Irma didn’t like where the conversation was going and wanted to protect Gladys from potential heartbreak. No stranger to heartbreak, Irma never fully recovered from the loss of her fiancé in a car crash. She wanted to save Gladys from starting something that might lead to a broken heart.
Jerry handed the ladies their packages.
“It was a pleasure meeting you ladies. How about we meet right here Wednesday morning Gladys? You can help me inaugurate my new strategy to keep in touch with my constituency while we discuss my five-year plan. You name the time.”
After a sideways look at her Aunt Irma, Gladys looked Jerry in the eyes and said, “You’re on. I’ll meet you right here Wednesday at nine-thirty.”
Jerry bowed his head in acknowledgement as the ladies continued arm-in-arm down Main Street.
[i] T-Squared – In astrological charts the t-square configuration is a dynamic pattern that links and inter-locks energies. It can be seen in the major events, challenges, and themes that are encountered in life.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.