Greetings from Carrboro,
My third grade class wrote letters, sealed each one in separate envelopes, and handed them reverently to Ms. Steele. Somehow our class was chosen to pen missives written to our future flying-car-driving selves to be sequestered in a time capsule side by side with a Pet Rock, Stretch Armstrong, and an Elton John Captain Fantastic 8-track tape. Along with a slew of other things that I can’t remember. It was a big deal; our entire class was on the 6 o’clock newscast standing in front of the shopping center as they lowered the capsule into the ground. I wore a red and white striped shirt.
But I doubt time capsules are a thing anymore. At least collectively. Because with technology constantly unveiling our lives in such vivid color, who needs them to glimpse the past? My iPhone randomly attacks me with a slide show from the last decade that is presciently cringeworthy, even providing a soundtrack at times. And wandering back down the yellow brick road of social media has its own frightful detours and the occasional flying monkey to duck. The shared joy of the time capsule is about looking forward and not about the grand – or not so grand – reveal.
I’m sure that’s why resolutions for the new year remain. Encapsulating hope, I guess, never goes out of style. Putting aside the “I-will-eat-only-celery-and-make-all-of-my-own-clothes-this-year” resolutions that usually run out of steam pre-February, stating goals that remind us of our better angels feels right each January. Despite last year’s stumbles. Or, you know, those from five years before that. Or ten.
2023 will be the 25th year Acme has made such resolutions – to our community, our guests, and to ourselves. And looking back, it’s easy to see the crooked course – rife with mistakes and serendipity and resolve – that has shaped Acme into the restaurant that it is today. From 9/11 to the Great Recession to Covid. But always – always – following the north star that loving what we do really matters more than anything else. And that we have all of you to thank for making that possible.
Last week, when I was putting away Christmas decorations in my attic, I found an old menu from the first year Acme was open. The fonts that were sweated over, the drawing of Carrboro on the cover, the beet sandwich people still ask me about. I felt everything as if it were yesterday.
But it wasn’t the reminder that Cincinnati chili was on that first menu or that a glass of wine was a mere $3.25 that touched me. Just as I’m pretty sure that if I read the letter that third-grade-me wrote for the time capsule, it wouldn’t be the actual prose that I’d hold onto or my awful handwriting. It would be the remembered hope for the future, the resolution and promise woven together – ever sense – in so many intimate ways. And so I pause at this crossroad of Acme’s 25th, looking back, yes, but mostly looking forward excited about what is to come. Because I’m still hoping to drive that flying car.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme