By Emily Kallas
No surprise to anyone who knows me, but I am a sentimental person. I always have been. I would even get teased by certain people in my life about it. Honestly, it is probably why I write.
For me, spaces, places, and objects hold meanings, memories, and stories...
The swingset on the school playground, long since gone, where I would spend my recesses with my childhood friends.
The part of the park where my friend, now deceased, and I made up a story about a ninja hideout.
The one corner of the mall where I finally worked up the nerve to break up with a boy who was more in love with the idea of me than the reality of me.
The spot by the waterfalls where I heard the first “I love you” from a man who truly meant it (and still does).
The pie shop, where as a kid I flipped through all of the cards on the pie menu, pretending to consider something other than my favorite, French Silk Pie.
It wasn’t really a pie shop per se, but my Grandmother only ever referred to the restaurant that way, and well, it has since become part of my family’s lexicon.
The pie shop closed permanently a couple of months ago.
With the exception of the pie, the food at the restaurant was mediocre but perfectly serviceable. It always did what it need to do, squelched any hunger, and never gave me food poisoning. That can not always be said of the restaurant's competitors.
But I do not hold the memory of the pie shop near and dear to my heart for their food. (Again, except for the pie). As a kid, the pie shop was where my grandmother took me (or my sister, or my cousins), as a treat. It was even more of a treat when we got to see a movie that day as well.
I remember being the only kid around, everyone else a retired person. There’s an assisted living home just down the road. I didn’t think anything of it then, but it was an excellent place for them to get a decent meal and a change of scenery.
Then as an adult, the pie shop became a space for new memories. Within walking distance of my apartment, it was a great place for Michael and me to meet up after work for dinner. In fact, that was when we decided to keep seeing each other. Even then, we were the youngest in the crowd of customers. But neither of us seemed to mind. If anything, it felt more romantic. Something to look forward to being a place we could go to as an old couple.
So imagine the heartbreak when the restaurant abruptly closed.
Where will we get our pie now?! Where will the local elderly go now? Were the employees - especially those who had been there for more than a decade - given warning, or at least decent severance packages?
I knew the end would come, that the restaurant would close eventually. But I would have liked to have had one last meal, one last slice of pie, one last quiet goodbye.
As for today, Pi Day 2023, Michael and I found another place nearby with pie. Albeit not French Silk, and not from the pie shop. Delicious, but missing the sweetness of so many memories.