Things are about to radically change around here. (more on that later) In lieu of that, I've been having a few of what I call, "last meals". Last night we met up with friends whom we have not seen in many months. Rod and Farhana travel extensively for their art shows and getting hold of them on a weekend is a tricky thing. They were showing in the Roanoke art show this weekend, so we all agreed this was the weekend to get together. We met right around the corner from their art booth at a Lebanese restaurant called Cedars. I like Lebanese food and Cedars was okay. (But it was only that for me.) The company was a lot more satisfying. B. and John rode with us and the six of us had a great time catching up on our lives and sharing what's what.
Being early summer, it was still light outside when we finished dinner. The sidewalks of downtown were filled with people, not only from the art show, but also because the 611 Norfolk and Southern steam locomotive made its homecoming this very weekend! The arrival of this train was a big deal for Roanoke and folks came out with great fanfare. From bits and pieces I've read, it's the only steam engine of its class to survive the scrap heap. Built in 1950 in Roanoke, it's been out of commission for twenty years until it was restored in North Carolina. It will be making excursions over the next few weeks and tickets are still available for a few of those. You don't need to be a rail enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of this locomotive. It's a piece of living history!
We weren't ready to part company with our friends so early in the evening, so we walked a couple of blocks to Corned Beef & Company where they have pool tables and a shuffleboard, (and beer). The guys came up with this idea, I think. It was early enough, perhaps 8:30, that the young people weren't out yet and we had the big, cavernous place practically to ourselves. One of the bartenders came over and talked to us a bit, explaining how he kept score and how to keep the board sprinkled in sand to make the pucks slide better. I had never played shuffleboard before and it turned out to be a lot of fun! We played guys against girls, which upped the competition just a bit. We had a hilariously good time. The guys probably won both games, I don't even remember because it was fun regardless. We finished up around 10:30 PM, just when the volume on the music cranked up and the young people started streaming in for their Saturday night fun. It was a perfect time to make our exit. They can have that scene...Been there...Done that.