cake, flip flops and the wise old man

In the borough of  Pittston, Pennsylvania, each August,  they have a tomato festival that attracts people from all over the country.     While I was still living in Wyoming, a few miles away, I always made sure I attended it each year.    Last year’s festival was especially nice.   As always I made sure I drove my 1992 Saturn SC down River Road, to Main Street, and into the city where I ended up parking on Broad Street right behind St. John the Evangelist Church, my mother’s old parish on William Street.    From there I walked over to one of the local parking lots where they have the food stands and most of the main attractions of the festival.     As always, when I went over to the San Cataldo Society’s stand, the really big guy who’s in charge of their basket of cheer reminded me that he recognized me from the year before.     At the souvenir stand where they were selling things that specifically refer to the festival, and that advertise it, I couldn’t help noticing a particularly nice pair of flip flops with pictures of tomatoes on them.    Unfortunately I’ve never been in the habit of wearing flip flops so I didn’t bother to buy them.     A few minutes later I met such an exceptionally lovely lady dressed in traditional Pennsylvania Dutch garb.    She was giving out free samples of home made cake and asked if I wanted a slice.    As I was sitting down, enjoying my cake, Monsignor Bendik, the long time pastor of St. John’s, passed by.   The monsignor is at least in his late sixties and people have always given him credit for being among the wisest priests in the Scranton Diocese.     He was helping with the parish’s fund raiser at their nearby stand.    The next tomato festival is coming up in only a few weeks.   It’s always during the last week of August.   I’m so very sorry that I shall have to miss out on it from now on.   


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