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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mary Ann

 Now that Jen and I are all suburban-ish car commuting types, we often meet after work at a place I call The Meat Palace. Why, oh god WHY, do two vegetarians meet at a steak house? Sounds like the beginning of a shaggy dog story, doesn't it? Two Vegans walk into The Cooked Cow Emporium and...

For starters, we’re meeting for post work drinkies not food. Secondly, the joint’s all dark wood with nice dim lighting -- cozy. None of the patrons are there to be SEEN and SCENE. It’s laid back and the bartenders know the meaning of a dry martini (Sapphire, extra, extra dry with olives -- just in case I’ve neglected to mention this a zillion times already). Oh yeah and they put little pretzel snack bowls out. What’s not to love?

All this and it reminds me, happily, happily, of my recently quit of this good earth Aunt Mary Ann -- my father’s sister who was, in my questionably adult years, more of a mother than aunt to me. You know -- annoying, full of great advice and opinions (asked for but more often not), tons of love, tremendous stories (scandalous and otherwise) and you can and just canNOT wait to spend time together. All this AND she was a lousy cook just like me.

Mary Ann and I went out to eat. Eat and people watch.

When I visited her at her NYC apartment (in the Turtle Bay section of Midtown -- just up from the UN -- FAB area!) we’d go to McSorley's. Upstate, in Hoosick Falls, we went to The Firehouse -- which, coincidentally, closed it’s doors for good the very week that Mary Ann shuffled off to Valhalla. In Bennington, after one of our big shopping excursions, it was Carmody’s. What these places all had in common was dark wood, dim lighting, awesome barkeeps and wonderful cheeseburgers. My aunt was just MAD for cheeseburgers. ‘Mary Ann,’ I would ask, ‘would ya like a burger?’ She’d snort and reply ‘is NY big?’

What is the half life of grief?

Mary Ann died this past July -- she’d been doing poorly for a few years. I believe she was ready but I sure wasn’t. I suppose I never would have been ready for her to get gone.

Jen and I found a place here in Quincy that she would have totally loved -- Remick’s. Dark wood, friendly and attractive barmen (the Irish accents help -- they always reminded Mary Ann of her grandparents who came over from Kiloglin) -- better still, they know how to make a Grasshopper, her fav adult bev.

I believe it’s time to go raise a grand toast to the late great Mary Ann Maderer!

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