After tonight's meeting of the Council on Witness to Society and the World, DeLaina Gumbs and I went out to dinner. We had some plans, but as we approached the place we had originally selected, we noticed a Five Guys Burger and Fries.
"Do you want to go to Five Guys?"
"I have heard they make good burgers. But I have never been to one."
"So do you want to go?"
"Sure why not."
We ordered. Talked. Got our food. Started eating.
"So is it a good burger?" DeLaina had opted for another entree. I alone tried the burger.
"It's a good burger."
"The best burger you have ever had?" she asked. One sign proclaimed that; friends had told both of us that.
"The best burger I have ever had?" I reflected. "I don't think so."
"Where was the best burger you ever had?"
"Well . . . here's how I answer that question. Memory can be a funny thing. We often romanticize experiences from the past - including food. First experiences - early experiences take on a glow and aura over the years that sometimes they don't deserve."
"OK. That makes sense."
"So realizing that I may be remembering things as better than they were . . . I would say that the best burgers I ever had were in college. There was this bar. Every week or so, a group of us would go there. We would call the trips '2-buck-nights.'"
"Well you have to remember that this was long ago." I proceeded to demonstrate how long ago by stumbling over the number of years, finally realizing that it had been about 35 years ago or so.
"And what I remember is that for 2 bucks, you could get 2 beers and 2 burgers."
"Really? That seems pretty cheap."
"That's what I remember. And there has been a lot of inflation in 35 years or so. Of course I could be wrong. But whatever the price was, those burgers are the best I remember having."
"What made them so good?"
"I am not sure. I suspect that it had as much to do with the people - the friends, the owner, the bartender - as it did with whatever the taste might have been. At any rate, those will always be the burgers I identify as my favorite."
Five Guys makes a good burger, but memory still burns strong.
See you along the Trail.