I ran into the daughter of a friend yesterday at the 10th anniversary celebration LifeSource Natural Foods was putting on. Her baby was happily mouthing one of the free pizza samples. The sight brought back memories of how much work our washing machine put in when my own daughter was that age.
Pretty quickly—instantly, in fact—the conversation turned to what also, if I were the baby’s mother, would be the first words out of my mouth when I met an acquaintance with my baby in tow. Heck, they’d be the first words when I met a stranger too.
“She won the cutest baby in Salem award!” “Wow, congratulations,” I replied. I didn’t delve into the details of who gave out the award and all that, but I didn’t question that Pizza Baby (sorry, can’t remember her name) deserved the accolade. When you can look cute with tomato sauce all over your face, you really are cute.
A clown with a very large dog caught my eye next. I told the dog that he was cute too. The clown said that his companion was a pussy cat, metaphorically speaking, and I did successfully pat him after more than a little trepidation. But I figured that lavish compliments, even if not totally sincere, were the best way to stay on this canine’s good side.
It’s a commentary on Salem that one of the big progressive events of the year is LifeSource’s annual celebration in the store’s parking lot. I won’t call it a sad commentary, but that’s probably what it is. Nonetheless, Laurel and I are grateful for the existence of Salem’s one and only natural food store.
We can’t understand why the second largest city in Oregon doesn’t have a larger Wild Oats, or some such, store. But then Salem doesn’t have a Trader Joes either. Marketing note to these companies if you Google this post: Come to Salem! Forget the demographic statistics about all the unhealthy, overweight, fast-food eating people in this area. You’ll do good business here. Laurel and I will welcome you with open wallets, and so will a lot of other folks starved for more natural food options.