My son Greg, who lives in Wilmington, called Monday asking if he could sleep on our couch Saturday night and I told him of course it was available. It had been several months since he paid us a visit and his coming was the catalyst we needed to straighten and clean-up our home — something I had been putting off for a long time.
Greg, a cancer survivor, moved to Wilmington a few years ago. He was owner and publisher of The Wake Weekly for nearly eight years when cancer struck him in a throat lymph node gland and he had to get an apartment in Durham where he had daily treatments for three months at Duke Medical Center.
The cancer discovery came just two months after his mother, Peggy, passed away Nov. 1 following four months of radiation and chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma cancer.
Greg later said if he knew then how bad chemotherapy treatments were, he would never have encouraged his mother to endure them. Greg also had an operation to remove the cancerous gland.
He now is very careful of his health, eating well and working out in a gym nearly every day. He and a friend also ride bicycles regularly.
Both Bobby and I were pleased to hear his favorable comments about the cleanliness of the main bathroom. And we were exceptionally thankful for his dinner treat on Saturday night at the Bonefish Grill at North Hills. Greg ordered sea bass, but our waitress returned later, giving the sad news they were out of sea bass for the first time she could remember.
He took the disappointment in his stride and said, OK, let me have grouper, and the friendly, talkative waitress was thankful for his understanding. She said some people had responded hatefully.
After Greg learned I had never had filet mignon, he insisted I try it, and I ordered it medium-well done. Later, Greg said he wished he had paid attention to my order, and he would have insisted I order it medium-rare to be juicier and more flavorful.
He suggested we order a Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer and we loved it.
During the wait, we met some folks who sat down near us. I was surprised to hear someone call my name and learned the gentleman's last name was Montague and he had played football at Wake Forest-Rolesville in the 1970s. He knew me from shooting photos on the sidelines.
It was my first visit to North Hills in years and we all were surprised at the changes and growth.
Greg loves to cook and he treated us to an eight-egg omelet with scrapple Sunday morning. It was a pleasure to have him join Mavis and me at church Sunday morning. But, his greatest pleasure was meeting and chatting with some of his long ago friends like Laura Kilian and Brenda Alford.
Loved passion column
I always love to receive responses to a column and I was happy to have a telephone message Friday from Jackie Logan, who was especially attracted to last week’s column about passion, lifted from my good friend Rick Stewart’s Kenly News.
A retired nurse and a Wake Forest resident for 20 years, she loves to see people with passion and she has some of her own — well-preserved old homes and furniture. It makes her happy to know a middle-aged man who has a passion for fishing, and others with a passion for whatever that makes them happy.
Thank you, Jackie for your response and may your passions be many.
Mailbox flag endures
With all the new technology, do you ever stop to think about some of our customs which have never changed? As I was recently inserting three letters inside my street-front mailbox and pulled up the red flag to signal the mail carrier of mail to pick up, I thought about this custom and I wondered how long it has been since it started. I know it’s been more than 80 years because I remember it when I was just a kid.
Yes, some ways are so easy and work so well, they never change. It’s too bad so many other things can’t follow suit.
And by the way, that first class letter that used to take a 3-cent stamp in 1949, now requires a 46-cent stamp. It’s well worth it, too.
—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.