When Dad asked Mom for a Valentine’s date, she was suspicious. Our parents were frugal and rarely ate out.
“I won a free dinner at the Chinese restaurant.”
(There was only one Chinese restaurant in Juneau.)
“You won it?”
“In a contest… I wrote a Valentine’s poem.” He choked on his laughter.
“Well, I’m not agreeing to anything until I hear your poem!”
Dad’s winning verse had already been broadcast on KTOO, the local radio station, so Mom wasn’t the first to hear it:
My dear Judith Ann
If you were to select between chocolates and me
I wouldn’t expect the decision to be
A difficult task for a sweetheart like you
But my dear, might I ask, would you save me a few?
In addition to dinner, the prize also included being picked up in style. That February 14, a bitter cold front following a thaw had frozen the whole town into such a sheet of ice that roads were barely passable. Severe weather was not uncommon in Alaska, but this storm was extreme enough to close the schools, and the state and federal office buildings. The limousine couldn’t get down the driveway. Mom & Dad picked their way through snowdrifts to reach the highway, where the driver rolled out a length of red carpet, helped them into the waiting limo, and whisked them 17 miles to Valentine’s dinner downtown.
At Eat The Fine Print, we try to carry on the tradition of sweet irreverence.