Sunday, December 27, 2009

Going Back to Pratt

Christmas for many of us means going back to the place where we planted our roots and grew up before heading out in the world. Our family and friends can be found there, along with some great memories.

The day after Christmas my friend Jennifer wanted to meet up for dinner. Earlier we had recalled fondly the days of playing pool at Charlie's Pizza Taco and writing on the graffiti wall.

OK, before going on, I probably need to explain exactly what a "pizza taco" is. First, it's not a taco pizza. It's a pizza taco.

It's sausage, hot sauce, mozzarella cheese and lettuce wrapped up like a giant taco. It's a Pratt original and

Unfortunately Charlie had tons of orders backed up, so we didn't end up eating there, but before we left we did have to find our names on the wall.

There's Jennifer's! No one dared write over the "Krusemark." Her family is like the mafia in Pratt. Her dad is the Don.

Or not.... But her dad is named Don. Hmm....maybe there really is a connection there? I might have to discuss this with Jennifer a little more in depth!

In the meantime, there's my scrawling signature in red!

Jessie McCandless '94

Apparently being the friend of the local mafia family doesn't afford me as much protection as I'd like. My name has been written over quite a bit over the years....

But my protection is on the way! In her scooter-cart thingy!

Stay off the sidewalks!! Jennifer finally got her license!

There was a sobering moment, though, when we saw Jason Befort's signature up on the wall.

Jason graduated in the class before Jennifer and I. He was brutally murdered in Wichita a few years ago. It was so sad. To read about the terrible story, click here.

Jennifer and I wondered aloud for a moment how many names on the wall would never see their owners again. We stood in silence a while, contemplating the passage of time....

Since Charlie had an extremely (and atypical) long wait, we made our way down to Woody's.

Woody's has been a Pratt favorite ever since I can remember. My earliest recollections of Woody's was waiting out in the car for Dad to go in and get cheeseburgers for the whole family. Since that time, they've turned the once shady bar into more of a family-friendly place.

But they still have ice cold beer (and margaritas, which Jennifer and I enjoyed) and some wickedly-good food! We had a great time talking about the past, present, and future and enjoying some tasty beverages and our great meal.

It's hard to believe that Jennifer and I have been friends for 28 years now. It almost seems silly to call her a friend--she's really more like a sister. We have the best time catching up in our old hometown and despite her world travels, extremely busy work schedule and her dedication to her family, she always goes out of her way to stay in touch and make time for her old high school buddy :) Thanks, Jennifer! Love ya, you crazy gal!!!

1 comment:

Krazy Cindy said...

I think the greatest honor you can give someone is to call her a true friend. You handpick your friends whereas you can't chose your relations (sisters). That being said, I do love my sisters (all 3 of them and 2 sisters-in-law). However, I'm much closer to my best friends and they know a lot more about what makes me tick than any of my family members.