Good morning to everyone...hope you had a great weekend. I kept myself busy this weekend painting for my craft show in November up at the Grove in Glenview, Illinois. It seems like I am always in Christmas mode. I am almost always with a paint brush in my hand. Trying always to come up with new ideas...especially new ornaments for personalization. The family ones get to be the trickiest to create. After so many years of doing this, coming up with new shapes and ideas really make the brain work hard.
Now onto todays story. It is about a restaurant which no longer exists. It was in the farthest northern corner of Chicago. It was at the corner of Devon and Central. It was a regular old restaurant specializing in ice cream extravaganza's. I remember going their as a child and then as time moved along taking many others there as well. Now if I wanted to talk ice cream...this story could go on and on, because of all treats in this world, I would have to say that ice cram is my absolute favorite. Now Lockwood Castle wasn't known for the best ice cream itself...but for their creations. I remember going their as a kid, sitting in a chair and just being mesmerized by the concoctions that went by to other tables. I sat they salivating trying to decide which I would have. Now you may ask what was the big deal about Lockwood castle's concoctions....well BIG was the word that would well describe it. They served an ice cream soda in a vase. Not one of those little vases, But the normal....put a dozen roses in, kind of vase. You needed to either stand of kneel on your seat to drink from it. I think my favorite was the Green River Float! Now they had other concoctions as well, but the BIGGEST was called "The Giant Killer". It came out in this huge boat shaped bottom container....had 32 scoops of ice cream in it and had every topping known to man on in. It was filled with whipped cream, cherries and nuts. There was never an opportunity going there with my mom or even dates to even imagine ordering it...but boy, when it came out...sparklers, little paper umbrellas all over it...it was truly a magnificent sight to see.
So one day, many years later, I was the leader of a girl scout troop for my daughter. For a treat one night, I took them out to Lockwood Castle for ice cream and soda. I had budgeted just enough money for the Giant killer, a soda for each girl and a tip for the waitress. It was fantastic to see the girls eyes light up when that treat came out the door. I must admit, I was quite excited myself to know that I would finally partake in that specialty dessert. The girls manned their spoons and dived right in. What a treat...both seeing the girls enjoy the dessert and the dessert itself. The waitress was a real gem. She made sure that there was an umbrella for each of the girls....you know how kids are!
Well, the real surprise of the night was went we were all done and had talked ourselves out...I went to pay for the treats, and upon reaching the register, the waitress handed me a note and told me there was no charge. I looked at her face, trying to figure out what was going on...she told me to read the note.
I opened the folded piece of paper only to find the explanation. It seemed that on that evening, I had encountered an angel. The note read...I am so pleased to see someone who dedicates their time to children and enjoyed watching you and all the girls enjoying the treat. I know how hard it can be to create a night like that for the children...I hope you enjoyed the night as much as I and accept this evening as a treat on me.....unsigned.
I couldn't believe it. Someone actually paid for our night! I didn't know who it was....I didn't know if the person was there, but I do believe that God had sent me an angel. The money that we didn't use for that evening went towards another event for the girls. Till this day, I have no idea who it was...but if you are reading this post and remember this happening...and you were the one...I just want to say "Thank you from the bottom of my heart" you made me believe in the generosity of strangers.
Now, there have been other events at Lockwood castle...I remember one when I was 18 years old and took my younger cousins there for ice cream. when we got there though the eldest proceeded to tell me that he was hungry as could he get something to eat as well. Of course I told him he could...only to my surprise...he ordered a steak dinner and upon his ordering that, his brother did the same. By the time they ate and then had desserts, I was lucky to have enough to pay for the bill...this was pre-credit card days. I was eating egg salads for the rest of the week...but it was fine...they really enjoyed the special treat out.
Lockwood Castle...a place that I enjoyed for generations. From being a child, to taking my children and so many more. It is now a Starbucks. No longer that special place that makes children's eyes glisten and sparkle and giggle with pleasure. But now that I have written about it...I think that the next ice cream party I plan to have have with my grandkids will include some vases to be used and who knows, maybe I will find a base to use to create that Giant Killer as well. As the old saying goes....I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!