Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fancy lunch

I am reading a book about a WWII hero (Fiction) and in this book the author describes the Wanamaker Tea Room. Boy, did his description bring back memories. I don't know if I've ever written about this before, and it's realy about Philadelphia, not Runnemede, but the journey starts in Runnemede, so I guess it really is about Runnemede. When I was a child, say 7 or 8, my dad took me into Philly (via bus #31) and we got off the bus at 13th and Market in downtown Philadelphia, PA. The excitement began as we got on the bus. Excitement equals an upset stomach. However, I was able to keep my breakfast down during the bus ride into Town. Dad wanted to take me some place special. I think the occasion was my birthday. Anyway, it was the first of several trips dad and I would take to this wonderful restaurant -- the Chrystal Tea Room on the 9th floor of Wanamaker's store. There were three ways to get there once you got into the store. You could ride up in an elevator, you could take a series of escalators up, or you could climb nine flights of stairs. Dad opted for the elevator. (ASIDE: the music floor was two floors down - 7th floor -- and I spent many lunch hours there when I was working in Philly in the early 60s. The difference was that to save time I would run up the stairs to the 7th floor and run down the stairs when I left the music department. To think that now I can't even do one step!) We arrived at the entry to the restaurant. The tables were set with linen table cloths and had linen napkins and silver cutlery, as well as two goblets. One for water, and the other for wine I suppose. We only got water. Dad suggested that I get the chicken salad sandwich on toast, which I did. It was delicious, and became my favorite. Did dad and I return to that restaurant? Yes, we did, several times. So did my mother and I. Thank you daddy for taking me to such a nice place. And thanks to Dan Walsh (the author of the book The Homecoming) for reminding of those pleasant trips and times of love and laughter with my father. ttfn