I want to tell you a little story about Mr. Murphy.
Mr. Murphy is a an old man who comes in to The Restaurant alone every single day, sometimes even multiple times a day. (There are actually a lot of people (mostly old people) who do that.) It’s strange and kind of sad. But I think Mr. Murphy probably just can’t be bothered at his age and in his condition to cook for himself. If he doesn’t have any help at home, and it doesn’t seem like he does, it would be very hard for him I imagine to go to the grocery store, do all the shopping, take in the groceries and put them away, and then stand around a kitchen to cook and clean for yourself. I mean, there is a reason people come to restaurants.
Anyway, Mr. Murphy is a creature of habit. He always gets a glass of water and then a coffee with the meal. Most days he orders two eggs over hard, crispy bacon, and white toast.
After waiting on him for the hundredth time, I realized that he always, ALWAYS ripped the crusts off his toast and left the crust on his placemat, because it would just fall off the edge of the plate anyway, and his hands are kind of shaky. Basically, he always made a mess on the table with the toast.
So, I started cutting the crusts off his toasts a while ago and he loves it. Now all the other waitresses are cutting his crusts off, too. It’s become a thing, and he loves it (I think!) and that makes me happy.
Mr. Murphy is 96 years old. He’s a World War II combat Veteran. He is freakin AWESOME.
The coolest thing is that everyone else realizes he’s awesome, too. I would say that about more than half the times he comes in to eat, someone else pays for his food. Sometimes it’s us, The Restaurant comps his check, like today, of course, and sometimes it’s other regulars who know him and care for him. But what I love, and what has been known to make me tear up a little, is when strangers and especially young military men notice his WWII Veteran hat that he always wears and ask to privately pay for his meal.
I LOVE it when people pay it forward.
I hope you hugged a veteran today, or called one to say thank you. I called my grandpa before Elise went to bed tonight and could really tell how much he appreciated the special acknowledgement. I’m not always fully in favor of what our military does (and doesn’t do), but I always respect a person who makes the sacrifices required to serve in the military.
Do you know any WWII vets still kickin’?