Greetings from Carrboro,
I know that I’m not alone. If asked for what I’m grateful, I freeze up and say something remarkably banal like puppies or rainbows or those new flavors of LaCroix. A lot of that stems from a decade’s worth of familial scarring at the Thanksgiving table of my childhood. How in the hell did my parents think that any 12-year-old could conjure something thoughtful holding his grandmother’s hand, head bowed, with luscious gravy less than a foot away? Really, it boggles the mind.
But now, gratitude is trendy – people wear it on their sleeve. Nearly everyone on social media is #grateful. And I can’t help but think that the hash-tagged tribute belies a rather different – rather darker – sentiment. I don’t know about you, but parents who are gushingly grateful for their children make me cringe for their kids. Because, come on, families aren’t all that different.
My jadedness aside, I do reflect during this time of year on those things for which I am oh-so thankful. It is a long list. Much of it is private. Even more is simple, silent recognition of the people who populate my life, providing the solace and strength and friendship any year requires.
You wouldn’t know him. Before we open our doors each day, he has finished his many hours of work. But you certainly know his food. And, like me, you benefit from his spirit and his endearing, indomitable pride in his chosen craft. Raul Francisco is the backbone of Acme. Full stop. For 12 years, I’ve been lucky enough to work at his side, laugh with him about getting older, and watch his three beautiful daughters grow up.
I learn from him every day. In small ways and big. He’s organized and focused and has badass knife skills. Unlike, well, me. But he doesn’t judge. He appreciates our differences, recognizes their importance. And, just maybe, that is at the heart of true gratitude – acknowledging the intimidating truth that we can’t do it all alone. That we need people, different people, to forge our lives. So, I am deeply grateful for Raul and for his steadfast friendship. Not to mention his damn good food. Acme just wouldn’t be Acme without him.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The Staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme