The dynamics of my mother's relationship with her sisters and my grandmother are the stuff of which legends are told. Given the volatility of any interaction between the various players, it's amazing to me that she somehow convinced my father not once (a nursing home), but twice (a grocery store) to throw his lot in with this family whose members wore their issues with each other so prominently on their shirt sleeves and go into business with them.
Of course, conventional wisdom says, "Never go into business with family;" and certainly Ma and Pa are a testament to that. Both ventures left them financially depleted and one landed them in court.
Yet here we are, me and Da Bros, entering into a business together -- something we've talked about doing for years. I could enumerate the differences between my parents' misguided ventures and this one, but I think the most significant is our history of going to the mat for each other. While we have a lot of happy memories of our childhood, we went through some pretty scary stuff that forced us to rely on each other.
|A very old photo of the cousins|
The Courthouse Corner Cafe will probably open Feb. 1, 2012, in Romney, WV, and will feature, along with the ubiquitous specialty coffees, homemade soups, baked goods, panini and sandwiches. This is a family venture, so along with Dark Garden, John Boy and me, Dirtman will also be involved as well as the Heirs and the Twinz and, we hope, guest appearances by John Boy's son, Jason.
For the most part, it will be me and DG, since one of our favorite things to do on weekends in get together and cook ... um ... stuff. Dirtman has subbed as a barista and Jason and Heir 2 have worked as baristas, though they're both employed elsewhere. Heir 1 worked at Panera Bread for a year; the Twinz -- Mickey D's.
Then there's John Boy, who DG insists will sit in the front of the cafe sipping wine and eating gruel. He might even tell about a little thing called the Pony Express...
|Yeah. Right. We're happy to serve you. You gotta problem with that?|