Friday, December 30, 2005

My Dinner with Uli, Part III

The Uli's Jr had owned a gift shop next door to Uli Sr's Gourmet Grocer. I don't remember the name, but it's closed now anyway.

Uli himself was a salt-of-the-earth type who had worked his way up in the grocery business and had held every job there was to hold, eventually learning the butcher trade. Uli's had been in this town only about 12 years, if I remember correctly from what he told us. It seems to have been there as far back as I can remember. He got the idea to open it because so few grocery chains knew anything about meat and he thought the town would support a store that emphasized good meat. He said that he sold it and his buyers sold it again within a year. The second buyers didn't last more than a year either.

Mom was interested in talking to Uli, as fellow old-Riversider. It turned out that they didn't have many fiends in common. My impression of Uli is that, since he was old enough to work, that's all he did and, since he first got himself behind a butcher counter, that's all he did. Once he opened his own store, he spent every waking moment seeing to the store. A hard worker.

Every once in awhile, Uli would mention that moving to the Tower was not his idea. It was Mrs. Uli Jr's idea. I don't know whether Mrs. Uli Jr was half the villain Uli thought she was-but I didn't like her too much.

Uli complained about the types of activities provided by the Tower. Mrs. Uli Jr told me that he complained about them, but he always seemed to participate in them. Mom, who has also complained about the activities, but has found some that appeal to her, tried to convince Uli that there were some good things to do. In the months since she moved to the Tower, Mom has discovered a literature class and has also discovered some retired professionals who were still very much in tune with the world around them. They, like Mom, just needed someone to help them take care of themselves.

She mentioned to Uli that she and another woman had started a book club. I didn't hear Uli's response, but I wondered, with his coke-bottle glasses, how well he could see to able to read. Mrs Uli Jr whispered to me that Uli didn't read very well. He was a man who had begun working so young and had continued working so hard, that he never had time for much formal education.


Billy Canary said...

Seems to me that Big Uli had something to do, and distastefully so, with the rapid pro-growth movement (initiative?) of the Ab years. I think I replied sarcastically and with much wit to a letter to the editor he wrote. Something to the effect of "A fool can no more see his ears than his folly." I stole that from someone. And wasn't his store shutdown for a day or so for having gourmet cucarachas? Ask him next time ya see him.

Brother Atom Bomb of Reflection said...

Yeah, he was pro-growth. Don't know about the cockroach though.

Donita said...

So, you're back? Are you rich?

Brother Atom Bomb of Reflection said...

Only in the things that matter.

vivage said...

Stupid Uncle Ben, didn't help much huh?

Jim said...

I find that I don't have many fiends in common either.