That’s probably one of the best known quotes on television, or perhaps anywhere. From the long-running series, Cheers, it is so familiar that sometimes we forget what the truth is that it describes.
My twelve year-old grandson, who is often included in the generational lunches our family does on week-ends commented this week that we should go back to Peanuts, a neighborhood sandwich place that derives its name from the freedom to throw the ubiquitous peanut shells on the floor. This, from a kid who has memorized every fast food menu in Orange County.
Reflecting on his desire I was struck with the fact that, although the sandwiches are good and the peanuts unusual, the thing that probably colors his memory is the friendliness of the clientele. Ryan has only been there twice, but his Dad, Uncle and me have been there multiple times and know Wanda, the owner and resident bartender from “way back”. Know her history from when she bought the place five years ago. Know why there are all the pictures of NASCAR events and tracks on the wall. Know why the napkins no longer advertise Bud because she wanted to raise the image of the place.
And more importantly know the people who are there when we come. Oh, we don’t know their names, or even what they do for recreation and sustenance, but we know THEM! Know why they frequent a place like Peanuts and know that a casual comment about a sports team or even a political figure may get you a friendly pop on the arm, but it won’t get you into an argument. Or if it does, it will be a friendly argument.
I’m pleased to see that we have passed on to Ryan an appreciation for that kind of atmosphere. We’ll have to take him up on his suggestion to return soon.
Oh, did I mention the sandwiches are good too?
Do you agree with my sentiments? Do you want to share the name of your favorite place where “everybody knows your name”?